Difference Between Sperm and Semen


Main Difference

Many medical terms are complicated and difficult to understand for people who are not related to the field. There are many such words which may be easy but still have a different meaning and most of the times individuals end up thinking that they are the same thing. Two such words related to the field of biology are sperm and semen which are mostly considered the synonyms of each other but that is not entirely accurate, both are different from each other and have their own properties to define them. Some of the differences between these two are given in this paragraph to obtain a better understanding. Semen are a set of parts while sperm is one of the components of semen, this is the simplest way of defining the two. In addition to sperm, semen also contains other constituents in the prostate such as two seminal vesicles which resemble an ear. Therefore, it can be said that the position of semen is in the prostate while the area of sperm is in the testicles and that is the place from where they are made. Both complement each other in a way that, there is a chemical present in the prostate which gets mixed with the sperm and helps it to turn in the liquid form once it enters the women, this helps it to do its functions properly after moving around freely. Another way of describing the variations between the two is that sperm is actually a cell which is used for reproduction while semen is the liquid place where sperm is located. Semen is located in the outer region of the testicles near the pelvis with the help of a seminal vesicle, and both of them play an important part in reproduction when they join together. In short, sperm is the main part which plays a role when it comes to combining with a female cell which ends up creating life while semen is the carrier which takes the sperm to its place after setting it free. There are not many other ways to describe the oppositeness between them because everything about them is different from each other. Further explanation on both these particles and their role, along with a list of differences is given in the next few paragraphs.

Comparison Chart

Semen is a part which consists of different materials including spermSperm is a part which is present in the semen
Semen is in the form of liquidSperm is a little harder
Semen can affect sperm and convert it into a fluid formSperm cannot influence these changes in the semen.
Semen consists of different fluid and acidsSperm consists of a head, tail, and body

What is Sperm?

These are known as male reproductive cells and are responsible for the creation of another being with the help of eggs of a female. They are located in the semen and with the help of it are able to free themselves to perform their functions after turning into a liquid state. It is a haploid and therefore has the ability to obtain another chromosome combination, which is usually of the opposite sex. It is made in the testicles, and generally, one testicle is required to make all the sperms needed. Mostly there are 200 million sperms in few liquid drops. The structure is very simple, it has a head, tail, and body. The primary function is of the head which contains the genetic fluid that joins with the female egg. The tail helps in the movement of sperm while the body contains all the organs which are responsible for providing energy to the sperm. Sperms can differ in a way, especially by personals who have a different lifestyle and belong to a different culture. It combines with the semen to help in reproduction.


What is Semen?

These are liquid particles which form the basis of reproduction. It contains sperm but has other particles too, it is produced in the pelvic region with the help of seminal vesicle and is mostly a wet body which converts the sperm in fluid form and helps in the movement. Semen differ from person to person and show different variations in the seminal fluid depending on an individual. The biggest contributor in semen is the amino acid, there are also enzymes present along with the fructose which is joined together with other components such as proteins and vitamins. All these constitute about 70% of the total mass of the semen. The rest of the part is composed of three other types of particles. First, one is the sperm cell which is around 3% of the total mass, the second component is the bulbourethral glands which are less than 1% of the weight. While the last and the biggest contributor is the mixture of zinc, citric acid and a couple of other substances and makes up for the remaining 27%.

Key Differences

  1. Semen is a part which consists of different materials including the Therefore, sperm is a part which is present in the semen.
  2. Semen is in the form of liquid while sperm is a little harder.
  3. Semen can affect sperm and convert it into a fluid form while sperm cannot influence these changes in the semen.
  4. Sperm only constitutes 3% of the total size of
  5. Sperm has a proper shape while semen does not have a good
  6. Sperm and semen have to combine together to perform the reproduction cycle.
  7. Sperm consists of a head, tail, and body while semen consist of different fluid and acids.
  8. Semen is a seminal vesicle while sperm is a tiny cell which is used for reproduction.
  9. Sperm itself can play a part in combining with the female cell, but semen cannot perform such as task on its own.
Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss