Last Updated: May 16, 2018

Definition - What does Spermatid mean?

A spermatid is an immature male germ cell. It is spherical shaped and contains 23 unpaired chromosomes. Spermatids go on to become mature sperm cells (spermatozoa). Fertility treatments involving the collection of sperm cells from a man's testes may utilize spermatids if no mature sperm cells are available.

FertilitySmarts explains Spermatid

During sperm production (spermatogenesis), spermatagonia (stem cells) divide through a series of different stages to create mature sperm cells, called spermatozoa. It is during one of these divisions that spermatids are formed.

Spermatids are known as haploid cells because they contain a single set of unpaired chromosomes. They are immature sperm cells and do not yet contain a tail or other key features of mature sperm cells that allow them to fertilize an egg. Spermatozoa are the mature sperm cells that travel into the female reproductive tract to fertilize an egg.

In certain cases of male-factor infertility, sperm may be extracted from a man's testes for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). If a man does not have any mature sperm cells in his testes, spermatids can be used. However, using spermatids for this process typically results in low pregnancy rates and is used as a last resort.

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