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Does caffeine increase the speed at which sperm travels?

Does caffeine increase the speed at which sperm travels?


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I'm not even sure if this claim is true, but…

This source states that

Caffeine gives both types of sperm a boost, but the Y-sperm would get a little more of a boost.

This article reinforces the quote. In fact, this "tip" can be seen all over the internet to preferentially conceive a male rather than a female.

My question is how. What is happening at the molecular to increase the overall mobility of sperm? It clearly wouldn't work as a neurotransmitter (as it "normally" works).


The cell response for caffeine, is at the molecular level of RyR (Ryanodine receptor), and the main effect could be a temporal rise in Ca+2 cytosolic concentration, so it can change the electrical behavior for the whole cell, and then affect their mobility. But the main area for RyR research is at spermatogenesis, there are a lot of papers like this one, for that topic


How Caffeine Evolved to Help Plants Survive and Help People Wake Up

Every second, people around the world drink more than 26,000 cups of coffee. And while some of them may care only about the taste, most use it as a way to deliver caffeine into their bloodstream. Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance in the world.

Many of us get our caffeine fix in tea, and still others drink mate, brewed from the South American yerba mate plant. Cacao plants produce caffeine, too, meaning that you can get a mild dose from eating chocolate.

Caffeine may be a drug, but it’s not the product of some underworld chemistry lab rather, it’s the result of millions of years of plant evolution. Despite our huge appetite for caffeine, however, scientists know little about how and why plants make it.

A new study is helping to change that. An international team of scientists has sequenced the genome of Coffea canephora, one of the main sources of coffee beans. By analyzing its genes, the scientists were able to reconstruct how coffee gained the biochemical equipment necessary to make caffeine.

The new study, published Thursday in the journal Science, sheds light on how plants evolved to make caffeine as a way to control the behavior of animals—and, indirectly, us.

Caffeine starts out in coffee plants as a precursor compound called xanthosine. The coffee plant makes an enzyme that chops off a dangling arm of atoms from the xanthosine a second enzyme adds a cluster of atoms at another spot. The plant then uses two additional enzymes to add two additional clusters. Once the process is complete, they’ve turned xanthosine into caffeine.

The process may seem extraordinarily complex, but the new coffee genome study offers a detailed look at how it evolved.

The caffeine-building enzymes belong to a group of enzymes called N-methyltransferases. They’re found in all plants, and they build a variety of compounds. Many of these molecules serve as weapons against enemies of the plants. Sometimes, those weapons turn out to be valuable to us. Salicylic acid, first discovered in willow trees, became the basis for aspirin, for example.

The evolution of caffeine in coffee started when the gene for an N-methyltransferase mutated, changing how the enzyme behaved. Later, the plants accidentally duplicated the mutated gene, creating new copies. Those copies then mutated into still other forms.

“They’re all descendants of a common ancestor enzyme that started screwing around with xanthosine compounds,” said Victor A. Albert, an evolutionary biologist at the University at Buffalo and co-author of the new study.

Scientists had already determined that caffeine was also made in other plants, like tea and cacao, by N-methyltransferases. But by sequencing the coffee genome, Dr. Albert and his colleagues were able to make a more detailed comparison of the genes in different species. They discovered that in cacao, the enzymes manufacturing caffeine did not evolve from the same ancestors as those in coffee.

In other words, the coffee plant and cacao plant took different evolutionary paths to reach the same destination. Evolutionary biologists call this sort of process convergent evolution.

Birds, for example, evolved wings when their finger bones fused together and sprouted feathers more than 150 million years ago. Bats, on the other hand, evolved wings about 60 million years ago when their fingers stretched out and became covered in membranes.

When convergent evolution produces the same complex trait more than once, it’s usually a sign of a powerfully useful adaptation. Experiments with coffee plants offer some clues as to why evolution would reinvent caffeine so often.

When coffee leaves die and fall to the ground, they contaminate the soil with caffeine, which makes it difficult for other plants to germinate. Coffee may thus use caffeine to kill off the competition.

Coffee plants also use caffeine to ward off insects that would otherwise feast on their leaves and beans. At high doses, caffeine can be toxic to insects. As a result, insects have evolved taste receptors that help them avoid ingesting caffeine.

But coffee and a number of other plants also lace their nectar with low doses of caffeine, and in that form, it seems to benefit the plants in a different way.

Plants make nectar to feed insects and other animals so they’ll spread their pollen. When insects feed on caffeine-spiked nectar, they get a beneficial buzz: they become much more likely to remember the scent of the flower. This enhanced memory may make it more likely that the insect will revisit the flower and spread its pollen further.

“It’s a very cool fact that you can use one molecule to do a negative thing and a positive one,” said Julie A. Mustard, a neurobiologist at the University of Texas at Brownsville.

It may be a coincidence of biology that caffeine-producing plants have a similar effect on us—toxic at high doses but enhancing our brains at low doses. “They’re manipulating all of us,” Dr. Mustard said.


Contents

Mate-guarding is a defensive behavioral trait that occurs in response to sperm competition males try to prevent other males from approaching the female (and/or vice versa) thus preventing their mate from engaging in further copulations. [2] Precopulatory and postcopulatory mate-guarding occurs in birds, lizards, insects and primates. Mate-guarding also exists in the fish species Neolamprologus pulcher, as some males try to "sneak" matings with females in the territory of other males. In these instances, the males guard their female by keeping them in close enough proximity so that if an opponent male shows up in his territory he will be able to fight off the rival male which will prevent the female from engaging in extra-pair copulation with the rival male. [9]

Organisms with polygynous mating systems are controlled by one dominant male. In this type of mating system, the male is able to mate with more than one female in a community. [10] The dominant males will reign over the community until another suitor steps up and overthrows him. [10] The current dominant male will defend his title as the dominant male and he will also be defending the females he mates with and the offspring he sires. The elephant seal falls into this category since he can participate in bloody violent matches in order to protect his community and defend his title as the alpha male. [11] If the alpha male is somehow overthrown by the newcomer, his children will most likely be killed and the new alpha male will start over with the females in the group so that his lineage can be passed on. [12]

Strategic mate-guarding occurs when the male only guards the female during her fertile periods. This strategy can be more effective because it may allow the male to engage in both extra-pair paternity and within-pair paternity. [13] This is also because it is energetically efficient for the male to guard his mate at this time. There is a lot of energy that is expended when a male is guarding his mate. For instance, in polygynous mate-guarding systems, the energetic costs of males is defending their title as alpha male of their community. [11] Fighting is very costly in regards to the amount of energy used to guard their mate. These bouts can happen more than once which takes a toll on the physical well-being of the male. Another cost of mate-guarding in this type of mating system is the potential increase of the spread of disease. [14] If one male has an STD, he can pass that on to the females that he's copulating with, potentially resulting in a depletion of the harem. This would be an energetic cost towards both genders for the reason that instead of using the energy for reproduction, they are redirecting it towards ridding themselves of this illness. Some females also benefit from polygyny because extra pair copulations in females increase the genetic diversity with the community of that species. [15] This occurs because the male is not able to watch over all of the females and some will become promiscuous. Eventually, the male will not have proper nutrition, which makes the male unable to produce sperm. [16] For instance, male amphipods will deplete their reserves of glycogen and triglycerides only to have it replenished after the male is done guarding that mate. [17] Also, if the amount of energy intake does not equal the energy expended, then this could be potentially fatal to the male. Males may even have to travel long distances during the breeding season in order to find a female which absolutely drain their energy supply. Studies were conducted to compare the cost of foraging of fish that migrate and animals that are residential. The studies concluded that fish that were residential had fuller stomachs containing higher quality of prey compared to their migrant counterparts. [18] With all of these energy costs that go along with guarding a mate, timing is crucial so that the male can use the minimal amount of energy. This is why it is more efficient for males to choose a mate during their fertile periods. [13] Also, males will be more likely to guard their mate when there is a high density of males in the proximity. [2] Sometimes, organisms put in all this time and planning into courting a mate in order to copulate and she may not even be interested. There is a risk of cuckoldry of some sort, since a rival male can successfully court the female that the male originally courting her could not do. [19]

However, there are benefits that are associated with mate-guarding. In a mating- guarding system, both parties, male and female, are able to directly and indirectly benefit from this. For instance, females can indirectly benefit from being protected by a mate. [20] The females can appreciate a decrease in predation and harassment from other males while being able to observe her male counterpart. [20] This will allow her to recognize particular traits that she finds ideal so that she'll be able to find another male that emulates those qualities. In polygynous relationships, the dominant male of the community benefits because he has the best fertilization success. [12] Communities can include 30 up to 100 females and, compared to the other males, will greatly increase his chances of mating success. [11]

Males who have successfully courted a potential mate will attempt to keep them out of sight of other males before copulation. One way organisms accomplish this is to move the female to a new location. Certain butterflies, after enticing the female, will pick her up and fly her away from the vicinity of potential males. [21] In other insects, the males will release a pheromone in order to make their mate unattractive to other males or the pheromone masks her scent completely. [21] Certain crickets will participate in a loud courtship until the female accepts his gesture and then it suddenly becomes silent. [22] Some insects, prior to mating, will assume tandem positions to their mate or position themselves in a way to prevent other males from attempting to mate with that female. [21] The male checkerspot butterfly has developed a clever method in order to attract and guard a mate. He will situate himself near an area that possesses valuable resources that the female needs. He will then drive away any males that come near and this will greatly increase his chances of copulation with any female that comes to that area. [23]

In post-copulatory mate-guarding males are trying to prevent other males from mating with the female that they have mated with already. For example, male millipedes in Costa Rica will ride on the back of their mate letting the other males know that she's taken. [24] Japanese beetles will assume a tandem position to the female after copulation. [25] This can last up to several hours allowing him to ward off any rival males giving his sperm a high chance to fertilize that female's egg. These, and other, types of methods have the male playing defense by protecting his mate. Elephant seals are known to engage in bloody battles in order to retain their title has dominant male so that they are able to mate with all the females in their community. [11]

Copulatory plugs are frequently observed in insects, reptiles, some mammals, and spiders. [2] Copulatory plugs are inserted immediately after a male copulates with a female, which reduce the possibility of fertilization by subsequent copulations from another male, by physically blocking the transfer of sperm. [2] Bumblebee mating plugs, in addition to providing a physical barrier to further copulations, contain linoleic acid, which reduces re-mating tendencies of females. [26] A species of Sonoran desert Drosophila, Drosophila mettleri, uses copulatory plugs to enable males to control the sperm reserve space females have available. This behavior ensures males with higher mating success at the expense of female control of sperm (sperm selection).

Similarly, Drosophila melanogaster males release toxic seminal fluids, known as ACPs (accessory gland proteins), from their accessory glands to impede the female from participating in future copulations. [27] These substances act as an anti-aphrodisiac causing a dejection of subsequent copulations, and also stimulate ovulation and oogenesis. [5] Seminal proteins can have a strong influence on reproduction, sufficient to manipulate female behavior and physiology. [28]

Another strategy, known as sperm partitioning, occurs when males conserve their limited supply of sperm by reducing the quantity of sperm ejected. [2] In Drosophila, ejaculation amount during sequential copulations is reduced this results in half filled female sperm reserves following a single copulatory event, but allows the male to mate with a larger number of females without exhausting his supply of sperm. [2] To facilitate sperm partitioning, some males have developed complex ways to store and deliver their sperm. [29] In the blue headed wrasse, Thalassoma bifasciatum, the sperm duct is sectioned into several small chambers that are surrounded by a muscle that allows the male to regulate how much sperm is released in one copulatory event. [30]

A strategy common among insects is for males to participate in prolonged copulations. By engaging in prolonged copulations, a male has an increased opportunity to place more sperm within the female's reproductive tract and prevent the female from copulating with other males. [31]

It has been found that some male mollies (Poecilia) have developed deceptive social cues to combat sperm competition. Focal males will direct sexual attention toward typically non-preferred females when an audience of other males is present. This encourages the males that are watching to attempt to mate with the non-preferred female. This is done in an attempt to decrease mating attempts with the female that the focal male prefers, hence decreasing sperm competition. [32]

Offensive adaptation behavior differs from defensive behavior because it involves an attempt to ruin the chances of another male's opportunity in succeeding in copulation by engaging in an act that tries to terminate the fertilization success of the previous male. [5] This offensive behavior is facilitated by the presence of certain traits, which are called armaments. [33] An example of an armament are antlers. Further, the presence of an offensive trait sometimes serves as a status signal. The mere display of an armament can suffice to drive away the competition without engaging in a fight, hence saving energy. [33] A male on the offensive side of mate-guarding may terminate the guarding male's chances at a successful insemination by brawling with the guarding male to gain access to the female. [2] In Drosophila, males release seminal fluids that contain additional toxins like pheromones and modified enzymes that are secreted by their accessory glands intended to destroy the sperm that have already made their way into the female's reproductive tract from a recent copulation. [5] Based on the "last male precedence" idea, some males can remove sperm from previous males by ejaculating new sperm into the female hindering successful insemination opportunities of the previous male. [34]

The "good sperm hypothesis" is very common in polyandrous mating systems. [35] The "good sperm hypothesis" suggests that a male's genetic makeup will determine the level of his competitiveness in sperm competition. [35] When a male has "good sperm" he is able to father more viable offspring than males that do not have the "good sperm" genes. [35] Females may select males that have these superior "good sperm" genes because it means that their offspring will be more viable and will inherit the "good sperm" genes which will increase their fitness levels when their sperm competes. [36]

Studies show that there is more to determining the competitiveness of the sperm in sperm competition in addition to a male's genetic makeup. A male's dietary intake will also affect sperm competition. An adequate diet consisting of increased amounts of diet and sometimes more specific ratio in certain species will optimize sperm number and fertility. Amounts of protein and carbohydrate intake were tested for its effects on sperm production and quality in adult fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae). Studies showed these flies need to constantly ingest carbohydrates and water to survive, but protein is also required to attain sexual maturity. [37] In addition, The Mediterranean fruit fly, male diet has been shown to affect male mating success, copula duration, sperm transfer, and male participation in leks. [38] These all require a good diet with nutrients for proper gamete production as well as energy for activities, which includes participation in leks.

In addition, protein and carbohydrate amounts were shown to have an effect on sperm production and fertility in the speckled cockroach. Holidic diets were used which allowed for specific protein and carbohydrate measurements to be taken, giving it credibility. A direct correlation was seen in sperm number and overall of food intake. More specifically, optimal sperm production was measured at a 1:2 protein to carbohydrate ratio. Sperm fertility was best at a similar protein to carbohydrate ratio of 1:2. This close alignment largely factors in determining male fertility in Nauphoeta cinerea. [39] Surprisingly, sperm viability was not affected by any change in diet or diet ratios. It's hypothesized that sperm viability is more affected by the genetic makeup, like in the "good sperm hypothesis". These ratios and results are not consistent with many other species and even conflict with some. It seems there can't be any conclusions on what type of diet is needed to positively influence sperm competition but rather understand that different diets do play a role in determining sperm competition in mate choice.

One evolutionary response to sperm competition is the variety in penis morphology of many species. [40] [41] For example, the shape of the human penis may have been selectively shaped by sperm competition. [42] The human penis may have been selected to displace seminal fluids implanted in the female reproductive tract by a rival male. [42] Specifically, the shape of the coronal ridge may promote displacement of seminal fluid from a previous mating [43] via thrusting action during sexual intercourse. [42] A 2003 study by Gordon G. Gallup and colleagues concluded that one evolutionary purpose of the thrusting motion characteristic of intense intercourse is for the penis to “upsuck” another man's semen before depositing its own. [44]

Evolution to increase ejaculate volume in the presence of sperm competition has a consequence on testis size. Large testes can produce more sperm required for larger ejaculates, and can be found across the animal kingdom when sperm competition occurs. [45] Males with larger testes have been documented to achieve higher reproductive success rates than males with smaller testes in male yellow pine chipmunks. [45] In chichlid fish, it has been found that increased sperm competition can lead to evolved larger sperm numbers, sperm cell sizes, and sperm swimming speeds. [46]

In some insects and spiders, for instance Nephila fenestrate, the male copulatory organ breaks off or tears off at the end of copulation and remains within the female to serve as a copulatory plug. [47] This broken genitalia is believed to be an evolutionary response to sperm competition. [47] This damage to the male genitalia means that these males can only mate once. [48]

Female factors can influence the result of sperm competition through a process known as "sperm choice". [49] Proteins present in the female reproductive tract or on the surface of the ovum may influence which sperm succeeds in fertilizing the egg. [49] During sperm choice, females are able to discriminate and differentially use the sperm from different males. One instance where this is known to occur is inbreeding females will preferentially use the sperm from a more distantly related male than a close relative. [49]

Post-copulatory inbreeding avoidance Edit

Inbreeding ordinarily has negative fitness consequences (inbreeding depression), and as a result species have evolved mechanisms to avoid inbreeding. Inbreeding depression is considered to be due largely to the expression of homozygous deleterious recessive mutations. [50] Outcrossing between unrelated individuals ordinarily leads to the masking of deleterious recessive mutations in progeny. [51]

Numerous inbreeding avoidance mechanisms operating prior to mating have been described. However, inbreeding avoidance mechanisms that operate subsequent to copulation are less well known. In guppies, a post-copulatory mechanism of inbreeding avoidance occurs based on competition between sperm of rival males for achieving fertilization. [52] In competitions between sperm from an unrelated male and from a full sibling male, a significant bias in paternity towards the unrelated male was observed. [52]

In vitro fertilization experiments in the mouse, provided evidence of sperm selection at the gametic level. [53] When sperm of sibling and non-sibling males were mixed, a fertilization bias towards the sperm of the non-sibling males was observed. The results were interpreted as egg-driven sperm selection against related sperm.

Female fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) were mated with males of four different degrees of genetic relatedness in competition experiments. [54] Sperm competitive ability was negatively correlated with relatedness.

Female crickets (Teleogryllus oceanicus) appear to use post-copulatory mechanisms to avoid producing inbred offspring. When mated to both a sibling and an unrelated male, females bias paternity towards the unrelated male. [55]

It has been found that because of female choice (see sexual selection), morphology of sperm in many species occurs in many variations to accommodate or combat (see sexual conflict) the morphology and physiology of the female reproductive tract. [56] [57] [58] However, it is difficult to understand the interplay between female and male reproductive shape and structure that occurs within the female reproductive tract after mating that allows for the competition of sperm. Polyandrous females mate with many male partners. [59] Females of many species of arthropod, mollusk and other phyla have a specialized sperm-storage organ called the spermatheca in which the sperm of different males sometimes compete for increased reproductive success. [57] Species of crickets, specifically Gryllus bimaculatus, are known to exhibit polyandrous sexual selection. Males will invest more in ejaculation when competitors are in the immediate environment of the female.

Evidence exists that illustrates the ability of genetically similar spermatozoa to cooperate so as to ensure the survival of their counterparts thereby ensuring the implementation of their genotypes towards fertilization. Cooperation confers a competitive advantage by several means, some of these include incapacitation of other competing sperm and aggregation of genetically similar spermatozoa into structures that promote effective navigation of the female reproductive tract and hence improve fertilization ability. Such characteristics lead to morphological adaptations that suit the purposes of cooperative methods during competition. For example, spermatozoa possessed by the wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) possess an apical hook which is used to attach to other spermatozoa to form mobile trains that enhance motility through the female reproductive tract. [60] Spermatozoa that fail to incorporate themselves into mobile trains are less likely to engage in fertilization. Other evidence suggests no link between sperm competition and sperm hook morphology. [61]

Selection to produce more sperm can also select for the evolution of larger testes. Relationships across species between the frequency of multiple mating by females and male testis size are well documented across many groups of animals. For example, among primates, female gorillas are relatively monogamous, so gorillas have smaller testes than humans, which in turn have smaller testes than the highly promiscuous bonobos. [62] Male chimpanzees that live in a structured multi-male, multi-female community, have large testicles to produce more sperm, therefore giving him better odds to fertilize the female. Whereas the community of gorillas consist of one alpha male and two or three females, when the female gorillas are ready to mate, normally only the alpha male is their partner.

Regarding sexual dimorphism among primates, humans falls into an intermediate group with moderate sex differences in body size but relatively large testes. This is a typical pattern of primates where several males and females live together in a group and the male faces an intermediate number of challenges from other males compared to exclusive polygyny and monogamy but frequent sperm competition. [63]

Other means of sperm competition could include improving the sperm itself or its packaging materials (spermatophore). [64]

The male black-winged damselfly provides a striking example of an adaptation to sperm competition. Female black-winged damselflies are known to mate with several males over the span of only a few hours and therefore possess a receptacle known as a spermatheca which stores the sperm. During the process of mating the male damselfly will pump his abdomen up and down using his specially adapted penis which acts as a scrub brush to remove the sperm of another male. This method proves quite successful and the male damselfly has been known to remove 90-100 percent of the competing sperm. [65]

A similar strategy has been observed in the dunnock, a small bird. Before mating with the polyandrous female, the male dunnock pecks at the female's cloaca in order to peck out the sperm of the previous male suitor. [66]

In the fly Dryomyza anilis, females mate with multiple males. It benefits the male to attempt to be the last one to mate with a given female. [67] This is because there seems to be a cumulative percentage increase in fertilization for the final male, such that the eggs laid in the last oviposition bout are the most successful.


Why Is It Important To Improve Ejaculation?

1. Testosterone Level

Testosterone is the male hormone that impacts everything about the male body. Testosterone is responsible for maximizing muscle growth, hair growth, and to an extent our metabolism and longevity. Basically, testosterone defines our manliness and being short in testosterone is the last thing you want as a man.

When it comes to being a beast in the bedroom, testosterone determines not just how good you are and how long you last, but also the frequency of being in the mood aka libido or sex drive. Increased sex drive leads to an increase in sexual desire which your partner would very much like.

2. Semen Volume Determines Fertility

The amount of sperm you have in your body determines your ability to make a baby with your lover. You can say this is a primal instinct as showing evidence of fertility in the wild is considered a superior feature for the purpose of furthering the species. Needless to say, ancient women likely chose to produce offspring from males of superior fertility, and those who couldn’t get it up were left mateless, killing their line instantly.

A low sperm count raises the odds against you even if your wife is as healthy as she can get. Moving forward, knowing how to increase ejaculate volume and strength not only guarantees an instant ego boost but also represents your reproductive health.

3. Your Woman Wants It

It’s no secret that men want to have more sperm gushing out of their tubes, but how about your lover? Women may tend to shy around these topics, but some might actually prefer it when men do release more. It’s primal in that they see you releasing so much in pleasure because of them and them alone. It’s like a way of telling whether you enjoyed lovemaking as much as they did.

Not to mention how some women like it better when the semen tastes good. It tells them how you take care of yourself and more often than not, it makes you all the more attractive. So no, it’s not just a porn thing despite what many claim it to be.

4. It makes you look manlier

If you’ve dated a lot of girls in the past, you probably had at least a few incidents where you couldn’t really get it all out which either disappointed you, your partner, or both. It goes without saying that us men value quantity as much as we do quality and more ejaculate is always better.

5. It’s like you’re young all over again

Remember when you were young and you could ejaculate more often and sometimes several times afterward on the same day? As curious young men, we all definitely had our time of exploring our abilities and where they might end.

Knowing how to increase ejaculate volume and actually applying it in your life might just make you get your rhythm back.


Caffeine - A Stimulant for Our Body

You are drinking lots of cola at a party, when it suddenly hits. You are full of energy, you jump around, and you talk too fast. Later you can&rsquot fall asleep and the next day you&rsquore tired and feel awful. Does that sound familiar?

Most children already have a lot of energy, but kids who drink a lot of cola often end up even more wired than usual. The drink includes a lot of sugar but also a chemical that produces a lot of energy - caffeine.

Like cola, coffee is full of caffeine. That&rsquos why many adults drink it the first thing in the morning to help them wake up. The chemical is naturally found in tea, chocolate and hot cocoa. Because many people need this kick, food producers often add it to many other beverages, energy drinks and snacks. But is caffeine good or bad for us?

Some studies have shown that caffeine might help people respond to things more quickly. Scientists have found out that caffeinated coffee and tea can help protect your heart, brain and other organs from disease.

On the other hand too much caffeine can make people anxious and unable to sleep. This is worrisome because we need sleep to stay healthy. Caffeine may also raise your blood pressure, increase your heart rate and make you feel more stressed.

Love it or hate it, caffeine is hard to avoid. Coffee shops are all over the place, in city streets and malls. Machines offer coffee and cola at schools. Even though you can get caffeine-free coffee, tea and cola almost everywhere more than 80 % of adults in America consume caffeine regularly.

Caffeine raises the amount of sugar in your bloodstream, even if there is no sugar in your caffeinated drink. That&rsquos what gives you extra energy.

Taking caffeine away from regular users causes withdrawal symptoms, like headaches and sleepiness. It also makes them react more slowly. So when you give these people the caffeine that they need they do better and react more quickly.

Many athletes take caffeine to boost their energy. Studies show however that caffeine only helps those athletes who are in good condition already. In an experiment runners had to run at a very fast pace. On average they were able to run for about 32 minutes. After taking caffeine they ran 7 to 10 minutes longer.

Although caffeine may be good for world class athletes, it may harm the health of people who are overweight. In some people it may even lead to diabetes.

In the end a cup of coffee or a can of cola once in a while is okay, but don&rsquot overdo it !


The Surprising Benefits of Sperm During Pregnancy

Experts believe sperm might be able to prevent preeclampsia and cure morning sickness.

You might know some of the advantages of pregnancy sex: lowered blood pressure, improved sleep, increased intimacy with your partner. But did you know that sperm itself might have benefits for pregnant women? While many of these claims need more research, here’s why introducing sperm into your birth canal might not be such a bad idea. 

Preeclampsia Prevention

A high-risk pregnancy condition, preeclampsia is defined by elevated blood pressure and protein in the urine. It occurs in 5 to 8 percent of all pregnancies, according to the Preeclampsia Foundation, and it can cause complications like a low birth weight baby, placental abruption, preterm delivery, kidney failure, and maternal and/or fetal death. 

Researchers in Denmark released a 2017 study linking sperm and preeclampsia. In summary, women with greater exposure to the father’s sperm before conception had a lower risk of developing preeclampsia. Those with six months or less of exposure to the father&aposs sperm had a higher instance of the condition. One possible reason: sperm contains a protein, HLA-G, that improves the maternal immune system. More exposure to the paternal cells in this protein help women create “immunity” against preeclampsia, so to speak. 

Along those lines, research from 2000 published in the Journal of Reproductive Immunology showed that swallowing sperm is linked to a decreased preeclampsia risk. More research is needed to confirm these theories, however. 

Morning Sickness Cure

According to one SUNY-Albany psychologist, Gordon Gallup, increased sperm exposure could cure your debilitating morning sickness. Gallup’s theory states that a pregnant woman’s body rejects paternal cells in the fetus as a foreign substance, according to Slate. The body tries to expel this unfamiliar genetic material through nausea and vomiting. 

If this theory holds, the cure for morning sickness may be exposing yourself to sperm through either vaginal sex or oral sex.  This would help your body develop a “tolerance” to paternal DNA, thus decreasing nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. The exposure should ideally happen before conception and throughout the first few weeks of pregnancy. Of course, more information is needed to prove Gallup’s theory, so take this with a grain of salt. 

Labor Induction

If a woman is overdue, some experts say that having sex could possibly bring on labor, says Jimmy Belotte, an Ob-Gyn in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women&aposs Health at Montefiore Health System, and an associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women&aposs Health and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Part of the reason is that orgasms mimic uterine contractions, and sex releases a hormone that’s associated with labor (oxytocin). 

But sperm might play a role, too. Semen contains a hormone-like substance called prostaglandins, which is capable of ripening the cervix, says Dr. Belotte. In fact, a synthetic form of prostaglandins are also used in labor induction medications like misoprostol.


Discussion

A research focus area for NASA concerns whether changes in μG impact the ability of organisms to reproduce [ 25– 31]. Our previous studies demonstrated that protein phosphorylation during activation of sperm motility occurs more rapidly in μG than in 1G [ 3]. This is consistent with work published earlier by Engelmann et al. [ 4] showing that sperm swim faster in μG than 1 G. The studies reported here were prompted by our observation that the response to the egg chemotactic peptide, speract, showed a different temporal pattern of protein phosphorylation in μG than in 1 G [ 3]. While hypergravity is of minor physiologic significance to space flight, nonetheless, it is widely used to explore sensitivity to changes in gravitation that can more easily be tested in the laboratory. Establishment of sensitivity of a biological system to changes in gravitational force (either hyperG or hypogravity, or both) in ground-based laboratory experiments is a critical prerequisite to establish a rationale to examine the impact of μG on such systems. As such, the results reported here further establish the gravisensitivity of sperm and provide key new data suggesting that this sensitivity extends to processes that affect egg fertilization. While the results reported here show that sperm components of fertilization are sensitive to increased gravity, it remains to be determined whether μG also affects early fertilization processes.

A primary target of protein phosphorylation during activation of motility and during the response to speract is FP130. FP130 was previously identified as a tightly bound axonemal protein whose phosphorylation was tightly coupled to activation of sperm motility [ 19]. FP130 was altered in μG both during activation of motility and also in response to speract [ 3]. The results reported here extend the μG results and demonstrate that FP130 phosphorylation is also sensitive to hyperG under conditions that change motility as well as sperm-egg interactions and fertilization. Thus, changes in FP130 phosphorylation appear to be very closely coupled to fundamental mechanisms that regulate sperm motility. In addition to FP130, a slightly larger phosphothreonine-containing protein, FP160, also showed parallel changes in phosphorylation in hypergravity. Interestingly, phosphorylation of FP160 was inhibited by H89 but not by H85, suggesting that this phosphoprotein is regulated by a cAMP-dependent protein kinase. In previous studies, FP160 was identified as a sperm phosphoprotein that could be extracted from isolated demembranated flagella by 0.6 M NaCl. Although not discussed in detail in the original paper, examination of the published data show that phosphorylation of this protein also increased during activation of motility [ 19]. FP160 and FP130 also showed parallel changes in phosphorylation in μG versus 1 G [ 3]. On the other hand, FP130 was not inhibited by any of the protein kinase inhibitors tested. These results suggest that the gravitational response may involve changes in a balance between activity of both protein kinases and protein phosphatases. Thus, in the case of FP130, the primary mechanism for the decline in phosphorylation may involve activation of dephosphorylation. This is similar to what has been suggested previously not only in the response of FP130 to speract [ 3] but to other sperm proteins that get dephosphorylated in response to speract as well [ 25, 26]. Whether or not protein phosphatase activity is altered in the hyperG environment would be difficult to determine directly given the limitations of the currently available hardware for performing these experiments.

The inhibition of sperm-egg binding and fertilization in hyperG raises the question of whether the opposite might be true in μG. With regard to sperm motility and the associated signal transduction, these are both stimulated in μG [3, 4]. Results from Xenopus fertilization suggest that a higher proportion of eggs are fertilized in μG than at 1 G [ 8]. However, the Xenopus study suggests that even though the differences between μG and 1 G were significant (P < 0.0001), the differences could be due to animal variation. The studies on sea urchins presented here were performed with both the control and hyperG groups that were obtained from the same batch of eggs and sperm. In addition, our sperm studies on the Space Shuttle were performed using ground controls and flight samples that were from the same batch of sperm for each space shuttle mission, respectively [ 3]. These results in this paper represent the first detailed examination of the effect of hyperG on sperm function and early fertilization processes. Furthermore, the results demonstrate that both μG and hyperG have significant effects on sperm activation, signal transduction, and early fertilization.

It should be noted that our studies are unique in that fertilization was carried out during exposure to hyperG. Nonetheless, it is important to distinguish physiologic consequences of hyperG levels used to wash sperm in the normal laboratory setting from the low hyperG values experienced by astronauts and pilots of advanced performance aircraft. With regard to sperm centrifugation, Brooks [ 6] found that pelleting centrifugation of bovine sperm produced a dramatic reduction in ATP content and a coupled increase in ADP content. Although the effects were rapidly reversible by resuspension, subsequent exposures to increased gravity produced even greater changes in the content of both nucleotides. There was a gradual but slight decrease in the maximum ATP content after each centrifugation, suggesting damage may have occurred. The G forces that the sperm were exposed to in that study were up to 1280 G, which effectively separated the sperm from glycolysable substrates. In space flight conditions, however, much lower hyperG forces are created (approximately 3 G). As a point of reference, 3 G is experienced during the first 8 min of launch on the Space Shuttle, and up to 8 G occurs in some turning manuevers in jet fighter aircraft. Other key differences that need to be pointed out are that while high-speed centrifugation is normally used to process sperm for fertilization, the changes in sperm motility and ATP content are reversible, and the subsequent fertilization by assisted reproductive technologies is carried out at 1 G. Similarly, we tested hyperG during ground-based control experiments to assess whether Space Shuttle launch conditions of vibration and hyperG affected the subsequent activation of sperm motility [ 3]. Sperm maintained in preactivation storage conditions during exposure to launch vibration, hyperG, or both showed no difference in subsequent motility when compared to controls. It should, however, be noted that there is one report that whole-body exposure to hyperG in male fighter pilots appears to increase significantly the proportion of female offspring [ 34]. The mechanism for this effect is unknown.

The results demonstrate that sperm motility comprises different categories of parameters that are distinguished by their sensitivity to gravity. The first group contains parameters that were inhibited by the change from 1 G to hyperG and include MOT and VSL. These parameters were affected not only in the transition between 1 G and hyperG but also continued to decline during the postcentrifugation period after 1 G was restored. The decline in both of these motility parameters may well be an underlying cause of the reduction in sperm-egg binding and subsequent fertilization that was observed in these experiments. A combined decline in the proportion of sperm that are moving as well as the rate at which the sperm are moving toward the egg will decrease the number of sperm encountering the egg. This number is also declining with time under hyperG. Individually, a decline of these two parameters is associated with human infertility [ 27, 28]. The second group contains motility parameters that were stimulated by the change from 1 G to hyperG (VCL, ALH, and VAP). These three parameters showed no additional change during the postspin 1-G-recovery period but maintained the increased values even after hyperG had been terminated. Even though this last group of parameters was increased in hyperG, the role of these parameters in the net movement of sperm toward the egg may not be of as dramatic consequence in comparison to MOT and VSL. This would be true if sperm-egg collision rate is a factor [ 37, 38]. If so, then it would be interesting to test whether increasing the sperm concentration would counteract the observed negative gravitation effect. The changes in these motility parameters cannot be attributed to a pelleting effect of centrifugation on the sperm because fixed sperm showed no apparent motility even when the threshold velocity was reduced to 0. Any changes in velocity motility parameters (including VCL, VSL, and VAP) cannot be attributed to inclusion of immotile sperm in the mean of these parameters, as velocity is only measured on sperm swimming at or above the minimum threshold velocity (20 μm/sec).

Regardless of which of the above categories the motility parameters fall into, the effects of altered G-force were retained beyond the brief exposure to hyperG. In this regard, increased viscosity of the fluid medium is known to inhibit sperm motility [29, 30]. We have shown that increased viscosity of the medium, using D2O, inhibits both motility and FP130 phosphorylation [ 3]. This suggests that changes in protein phosphorylation induced by hyperG could be responsible for the prolonged effect on sperm motility. Further experimentation will be required to determine if motility values return to prehyperG levels with a more extended recovery time at 1 G. Another possible mechanism is that the cytoskeleton detects changes in stress or tension that result in changes in protein phosphorylation. Such a mechanism has been demonstrated in the kinetochore that aids in the correction of misaligned chromosomes during mitosis [ 31]. In this system, kinetochore protein phosphorylation responds to changes in microtubule tension. In human-osteoblast-like cells, hypergravity induced a marked elevation in phosphorylation of p44/42 MAP kinases [ 32]. Hypergravity stimulates inositol triphosphate and decreases cAMP levels, resulting in a net increase in phosphorylation of microtubule-associated proteins in HeLa cells [ 33]. Thus, there is ample supporting evidence from other cell systems to support an effect of gravitational fields on signal transduction resulting in alterations in protein phosphorylation.

There is also a similarity in the effect of changes in gravity on sperm and the well-known gravitropism response in plants. In plants, gravitropism is hypothesized to involve interactions between starch-statoliths, protoplasts with cytoskeletal elements, or both, and signal transduction pathways [ 34]. Gravitropism in Euglena has been proposed to involve the whole cell body acting as a statolith [ 35]. In this sense, we propose that sperm would respond to gravity in a similar way. Displacements in the submicrometer range are sufficient to trigger changes in cytoskeletal reorientation [ 36]. The statoliths and protoplasts are of sufficient mass that the force produced by gravity interacts with cytoskeletal elements, which in turn cause changes in the direction of growth [ 37– 39]. Furthermore, the interactions with the cytoskeleton are coupled to changes in cell signal transduction involving mechanosensitive changes in Ca 2+ [ 5, 40, 41]. A similar relationship between the cytoskeleton and the mass of the sperm head in determining swimming direction in relation to the gravitational vector was proposed by Makler et al. [ 42]. Similar to plants, Ca 2+ is also a key signaling component that regulates changes in sperm movement [ 43, 44]. Our results support this relationship and suggest that the interactions are sensitive enough to occur under G forces that are below the threshold to cause measurable sedimentation of the sperm during low-speed centrifugation. The sensitivity to small changes in G force could be magnified and extended in time by changes in protein phosphorylation. A gravitation-induced change in sperm Ca 2+ could explain the dephosphorylation of FP130 and FP160 that was observed in this study. The presence of protein phosphatase 2B (PP2B), a calcium-calmodulin-dependent protein phosphatase in sperm could regulate these phosphorylations [ 45, 46]. Although other protein phosphatases such as PP1 or PP2A could also be involved in these dephosphorylations [ 47– 51].

In conclusion, increasing evidence, including new results presented here, suggests that sperm are sensitive to gravitational forces that living organisms, including humans, are exposed to during space flight. Furthermore, it appears that the stimulation of sperm motility and signal transduction during motility activation in μG is reversed in hyperG. In addition, in hyperG the inhibition of sperm motility and protein phosphorylation are associated with significant inhibition of sperm-egg binding and subsequent fertilization. These results suggest that it will be important to assess in greater detail the potential impact of extended exposure to μG on sperm function and fertilization. Although human reproduction in space is not an immediate concern, whether sperm function and fertility are impacted in μG is of importance for the production of food, such as fish, during extended space flight.


How does sperm motility affect fertility?

Sperm motility is the ability of sperm to move efficiently. This is important in fertility because sperm need to move through the woman’s reproductive tract to reach and fertilize her egg. Poor sperm motility can be a cause of male factor infertility.

In this article, we look at the impact of sperm motility on fertility, as well as the causes of poor sperm motility, and what can be done to improve it.

Share on Pinterest Sperm motility describes the way sperm move. It may affect fertility.

There are two kinds of sperm motility, referring to the way the individual sperm swim.

Progressive motility refers to sperm that are swimming in a mostly straight line or large circles.

Non-progressive motility refers to sperm that do not travel in straight lines or that swim in very tight circles.

For the sperm to get through the cervical mucus to fertilize a woman’s egg, they need to have progressive motility of at least 25 micrometers a second.

Poor sperm motility or asthenozoospermia is diagnosed when less than 32 percent of the sperm are able to move efficiently.

How does it affect fertility?

Worldwide, around 60 to 80 million couples are affected by infertility, and the rates vary from country to country.

In the United States, the rate is thought to be around 10 percent of couples. The figure is based on the definition of infertility as the inability to conceive after 12 months of trying.

Male factor infertility is when an issue with the man’s biology makes him unable to impregnate a woman. It accounts for between 40 to 50 percent of infertility cases and affects around 7 percent of men.

Male infertility is usually the result of deficiencies in the semen, the most common of which are:

  • low sperm count or oligospermia
  • poor sperm motility
  • abnormal sperm shape or teratospermia

Around 90 percent of male infertility issues are caused by low sperm count, but poor sperm motility is an important factor also.

The causes of low sperm motility vary, and many cases are unexplained.

Damage to the testicles, which make and store sperm, can impact on the quality of sperm.

Common causes of testicle damage include:

The long-term use of anabolic steroids can reduce sperm count and motility. Drugs, such as cannabis and cocaine, as well as some herbal remedies, can also affect semen quality.

Varicocele, a condition of enlarged veins in the scrotum, has also been associated with low sperm motility.

Semen analysis is the most basic and useful test, and it can detect 9 out of 10 men with a fertility problem. The test assesses the formation of the sperm, as well as how they interact in the seminal fluid.

The sample is usually collected by masturbation. The man will be asked to abstain from sex for between 2 and 7 days before collecting the sample to increase the volume of semen.

It is necessary for the whole ejaculation is be collected in a sterile container to ensure the test results are complete.

The sample is usually collected in a private room at the doctor’s office or collection facility, though in some circumstances it can be produced at home. If this is the case, the sample will need to be delivered for analysis within an hour.

The sample should not be stored in the fridge, and doctors recommend holding it close to the body during transportation to keep it at body temperature. This will ensure it is the best possible quality when it is analyzed.

Sometimes, the sample can be collected via sexual intercourse, either in a specially designed condom or by withdrawing before ejaculation. It is important not to use a commercial condom for this, as many have lubricants or spermicides that can taint the sample.

Samples can vary for different reasons, including the length of abstinence from sexual intercourse and illness. As a result, two samples are usually collected. They may be anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks apart.

If the percentage of progressively motile sperm is less than 32 percent, the diagnosis may be poor sperm motility.

There are lifestyle choices people can make that will help improve the quality of their sperm. Smoking can reduce fertility and has been shown to affect sperm motility.

Recreational drugs, including cannabis, amphetamines, and opiates, and excessive alcohol consumption also reduce sperm quality. Doctors advise people to avoid these if they are trying to conceive.

Being overweight with a body mass index of 25 or more can affect both the quality and quantity of sperm.

There is a link between an increased temperature of the scrotum and a reduction in the quality of sperm. The ideal, sperm-producing temperature is around 94 °F, or just below body temperature, so loose-fitting underwear and taking simple measures to keep the testicles cool may help.

Helpful steps include taking regular breaks if working in a hot environment, and getting up and moving around if a person spends long periods sitting down.

There is no evidence that complementary therapies are effective in improving sperm motility.

Poor sperm motility can lead to male infertility, but treatments are available. Some options include:

  • Intrauterine insemination (IUI): Also known as artificial insemination, the IUI procedure involves sperm being collected and washed. The fastest moving sperm are then inserted into the womb using a fine plastic tube.
  • In vitro fertilization (IVF): During IVF, the woman is given medication to encourage the production of eggs, which are removed from the ovaries and fertilized with sperm in the laboratory. The resulting embryo is then returned to the womb to develop.
  • Sperm donation: A person wanting to conceive may be able to receive a sperm donation from a donor for use in an IVF procedure.

Anyone who has been trying unsuccessfully to conceive for more than 12 months is advised to speak to their doctor to check for any fertility issues there may be.


Sperm motility is essential for fertility because sperm needs to be able to travel forward up the vagina, past the cervix, and into the uterus to fertilize the egg. It doesn’t matter how much sex a couple has, or what a man’s sperm count is if the sperm is unable to travel toward the egg. Sperm that doesn't or can't move will not be able to fertilize the egg and achieve pregnancy.

Changing the habits below can naturally improve sperm motility.

  • Hot Testicles - If you like extra hot showers, sitting in the hot tub, or wearing tight-fitting undies and pants, you need to stop those activities if you have low sperm motility. The overheated testicles harm the sperm.
  • Being Stressed Out - Stress can wreak havoc on your body, and sperm health is not exempt. When you are stressed out, your body produces chemicals that can negatively affect overall sperm quality and lower your chances of getting pregnant. Figuring out how to relax is in your best interest. Meditation and mindfulness are both excellent practices that reduce stress and boost fertility.
  • Bad Eating Habits - Many vitamins and minerals are necessary for healthy sperm. If you are eating a diet of convenience foods and fast foods, you are likely not getting the nutrients you need to have healthy sperm.
  • Smoking and Drinking - Both smoking and alcohol consumption can cause changes in all sperm parameters - sperm count, motility, and morphology. If you are trying to get pregnant and have low sperm motility, eliminating these vices might help.

Some of these sperm issues are harder to correct than others. Luckily, sperm motility can be improved in several different ways.


How to Increase Your Sperm Count

This article was medically reviewed by Janice Litza, MD. Dr. Litza is a board certified Family Medicine Physician in Wisconsin. She is a practicing Physician and taught as a Clinical Professor for 13 years, after receiving her MD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health in 1998.

There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

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Research shows that you are mostly likely to be fertile if your semen contains at least 15 million sperm per milliliter. If you're worried that your count may be too low, or if you've seen a doctor and been diagnosed with low sperm count, try to keep things in perspective -- you may have to try a few different strategies, but experts agree that most male fertility issues can be successfully treated. There are a number of effective steps you can take to boost your sperm count and increase your odds of getting your partner pregnant. [1] X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from one of the world's leading hospitals Go to source


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