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Preconception Topics..

You are here : home > Preconception > How Babies are Made - The Basics > The Process of Fertilisation

The Process of Fertilisation

The Process of Fertilisation

The Reproductive System of a woman
The Menstrual Cycle
The Hormones
The Reproductive System of a Man
The Role of Testosterone
The Sperm's Odyssey in the Female Reproductive Tract
The Process of Fertilisation

The Process of Fertilisation

Of the few hundred sperm which reach the egg, only one will successfully fertilise it. The process of fertilisation is truly the primeval mating dance - the fertilisation tango - when the mother's chromosomes (in the egg) and the father's chromosomes (in the sperm) fuse together to create a new life - one which is totally different from all others, because of its unique genetic composition. We have now learnt quite a lot about fertilisation thanks to in vitro fertilisation (IVF) - and it is truly one of Nature's miracles.

During the time the sperm spend in the female reproductive tract, while swimming towards the egg, they acquire the capacity to fertilise it - a process called capacitation. When the sperms reach the corona cells (only a few hundred successfully make the trip, guided by chemicals produced by the egg which serve as guiding beacons to the sperms) they become hyperactivated - they start beating their tails in a frenzy. This is useful because it provides the mechanical energy the sperm head needs to burrow its way through the outer shell of the egg called the zona. The sperms disperse the cumulus oophorus (and so far it's a team effort ) and when they reach the egg, they first bind to the zona. A chemical is released here by the sperms in a process called the acrosomal reaction in which the acrosome (which sits like a cap on the head of the sperm and behaves much like a battering ram) is removed. The acrosomal enzymes dissolve the zona pellucida by making a tiny hole in it, so that one sperm can swim through and reach the surface of the egg. At this time, the egg transforms the zona to an impenetrable barrier, thus preventing other sperm from entering it.

The genetic material of the sperm (the male pronucleus) and the genetic material of the egg (the female pronucleus) then fuse - to form an embryo, which then divides into 2 cells. These cells in turn then continue to divide rapidly, producing a ball of cells - the embryo. The embryo then travels through the fallopian tube (which nurtures it and propels it ) into the uterus - a journey which takes about 3 to 5 days. The embryo must then break through its zona ( this is called embryo hatching); and then attach itself to the lining of the uterus in a process called implantation - and in 9 months, if all goes well, a baby is born.

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Process of Conception
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Reeki.7 years ago
this is an excellent article that summarizes a lot of data in layman language and it is consisitent with data available on expert medical sites as well
Kia.7 years ago
This info is really nice and very helpful as they help to understand the basics of formation of life. All these things are good to know.
Sukhi.7 years ago
Where does fertilization takes place? How can I know that fertilization has taken place? Is there any test for finding this out?
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