Seminiferous Tubules

Definition - What does Seminiferous Tubules mean?

Seminiferous tubules are hollow tunnels in a man’s testes where sperm develop. The process of sperm development, called spermatogenesis, is a crucial component of a man’s sexual reproductive functioning, as sperm are a vital component of conception. Problems with the seminiferous tubules could result in infertility.

FertilitySmarts explains Seminiferous Tubules

The seminiferous tubules make up a majority of the testes mass. They also house six different types of cells, all components of the final product, sperm, or spermatozoa. The sperm develops in the seminiferous tubules before being filtered into the center of the testes through a series of ducts. They are then stored in excess for ejaculation.

There are two types of conditions that may impact the seminiferous tubules:

  1. Abnormal development called Klinefelter's syndrome
  2. Abnormal degeneration, which can be broken into two subcategories: central degeneration, or total degeneration.
Both conditions may be attributed to rare genetic disorders that impact a small number of males. Disorder of the seminiferous tubules that prevents the development of sperm may be addressed by hormone replacement therapy, however, some cases may be untreatable.
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