Difference between Spermatogenesis and Oogenesis

Spermatogenesis and oogenesis are the processes that occur in the male and female organism respectively by which fertilization is made possible. In this article, we will see what the basic differences between these two processes are.


Spermatogenesis vs Oogenesis
A scheme of spermatogenesis and a cross section of a seminiferous tubule

In humans, reproductive organs are called gonads. Male gonads are called testes, inside which there are specialized organs known as seminiferous tubules. This is where sperm cells are actually formed. Spermatogenesis refers to the process in the male organism during which these cells are formed. Starting at puberty, a male individual’s organism produces millions of sperm every day for the rest of his life.

A scheme of ovum fertilization

Female gonads are called ovaries, and inside them the process of oogenesis takes place. During this process, special stem cells inside the female organism, known as oogonia, differentiate and develop into female sex cells, known as ova. All the primary cells in the female individual are formed during fetal development.

Spermatogenesis vs Oogenesis

What is the difference between spermatogenesis and oogenesis?

Spermatogenesis starts in the male organism after puberty. Oogenesism, on the other hand, starts during fetal life. This is because primary cells in the female individual are formed during fetal development. When a female individual reaches puberty, she begins a process known as the menstrual cycle, which describes a process of ovum development.

While spermatogenesis continues in males until the old age, oogenesis ends in females at menopause (around the age of 55).

Both spermatogenesis and oogenesis involve in the formation of haploid cell (having only one set of chromosomes, and ready to merge with another haploid cell)  from an original diploid cells (producing exact replicas)  This process is known as meiosis. Oogenesis ends up in the production of one final egg cell from each primary cell. Spermatogenesis, on the other hand, ends up with four sperm from each primary cell (spermatogonium).

Comparison chart

Spermatogenesis Oogenesis
Starts after puberty Starts during fetal life
Continues till old age Ends at menopause
Every spermatogonium gives rise to four sperms Every oogonium gives rise to one ovum