Last Updated: November 30, 2017

Definition - What does Spermatogenesis mean?

Spermatogenesis is the process of sperm development. Sperm, the male sex cells, are essential for reproduction, and any disruption to the development of sperm may cause infertility.

FertilitySmarts explains Spermatogenesis

Sperm are developed through a precise system. The three primary biological contributors are the hypothalamus, a section of the brain, the pituitary gland, a node at the base of the brain, and the testes. The hypothalamus is responsible for secreting gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which stimulates the pituitary gland to release two additional hormones, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and lutenizing hormone (LH). FSH and LH are crucial contributors to sexual reproduction, and trigger the testes to maintain regular development and production of sperm.

Any condition that impacts the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, or the production of hormones would disrupt the development of sperm in the testes. This includes:

  • Tumors
  • Diseases or illness, including diabetes, heart disease, or infections
  • Obesity or high BMI
  • Cancer treatment, including chemoteraphy or radiation
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Genetic conditions or chromosomal defects
  • Certain medications

Any treatment for problems with spermatogenesis is based on the condition present and its required treatment. This may include surgical removal of tumors, medication adjustments, lifestyle changes, or hormone replacement therapy.

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