Getting pregnant is not an easy task, but understanding the essential physiology of the process is the best place to start. In this chapter I will describe the arduous journey that sperm must make through the female genitals to reach the egg, as well as the simultaneous adventure of the egg during which it matures to become genetically ready for fertilization, erupts from the ovary, and gets grabbed by the fallopian tube, fertilized, and then hustled along into the womb at exactly the right moment to implant. Failure of the sperm or egg to make an important connection anywhere along this complicated itinerary will prevent pregnancy from occurring. The vagina is an elastic canal, about four to five inches long. At the end of this canal, in the deepest recess of the vagina, is a structure called the cervix, which is the entrance to the womb, or uterus.
How Long After Sex Does Conception Occur?
A sperms journey to meet his egg | The Fertility Circle
Fig 1. The journey begins with millions of sperm cells that are released into the female reproductive tract during intercourse. The sperm cells gain their full ability to swim when they are ejaculated into the reproductive tract [ 1 ],[ 2 ]. Upon ejaculation, the sperm cells are enclosed in a fluid called seminal plasma or semen, which is a mix of fluids from the testes, seminal vesicles, prostate, and the bulbourethral glands. The fluid contains elements which protect the sperm cells during their journey towards the egg. Liquid extends from the cervix, allowing the sperm cells from the semen to swim into the cervix.
A sperms journey to meet his egg
There are approximately million sperm in each human ejaculation, but only about 2 million sperm make it into the cervix. Out of the approximately 2 million sperm entering the cervix, only about 1 million make it into the uterus. The rest are stopped by gooey mucus, or swim into dead-end channels inside the walls of the cervix. Out of the approximately 1 million sperm that enter the uterus, only about 10, make it to the top of the organ.
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