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Nature 213, 594 - 595 (11 February 1967); doi:10.1038/213594a0

Fate of Unejaculated Spermatozoa


CSIRO Division of Animal Physiology, Ian Clunies Ross Animal Research Laboratory, Prospect, New South Wales.

THE production of spermatozoa does not cease in sexually inactive males1–3, and it becomes necessary to examine the means of disposal of the surplus spermatozoa. The two most likely ways are either that they are voided in the urine or that they are resorbed in the epididymis or vas deferens. Early workers favoured the first of these mechanisms because they found spermatozoa in the urine of rats, guinea-pigs, dogs, and men4,5. In 1931, however, Simeone and Young1 reported that the vas deferens of the guinea-pig contained large numbers of degenerating spermatozoa and, as only small numbers of sperm were found in the urine, they concluded that resorption was the principal mechanism for disposing of the surplus spermatozoa.



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