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Sperm and Egg

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THE SPERM AND THE EGG

The Sperm and The Egg

PSY/ 265

March 20, 2014

I am Egg. I have taken the long, dark journey into the infundibulum. This is the outermost part of the woman’s fallopian tube. Sperm, my soul mate, has been waiting for me to make this trip for an eternity. The sperm is the germ cell of a male. We can now finally meet. I have been waiting for this instant for so long now. I am very much looking forward to meeting him.

I am one of some 400,000 eggs that have developed in this woman’s ovaries since puberty. Some 400 of us have survived to this point in her life and have ripened into ova. I finally get to be the one ova that is released during this month’s ovulation. The other ova have their growth suppressed by me for this special event. My home has always been the ovary. I am now moving into a new spot in town, the fallopian tube. Here I will await my friend Sperm’s arrival. It has taken me some time to get from the ovary to this point. Now, only two weeks remain before the woman’s next menstruation. I am so small that this 4 inch tube has taken me a long time to traverse. The cilia that line the tube helped to push me along down the tube’s length. The cilia are miniscule hair-like structures that make this possible. They were able to move me along at a rate of an inch each day.

Today is my first full day in the fallopian tube. I trust that Sperm will be making his own way up to me soon. He has to reach me within two days of my journey’s inception or conception cannot take place.

I understand that Sperm’s journey is quite complicated too. His life starts in the man’s testicle. Through the process of spermatogenesis, he was created in a 72 day cyclic phase. Sperm will contribute a match for my one female X chromosome. His match with be either a female X or male Y chromosome. This will give the embryo the chance to become either female or male during its later development.

Sperm’s journey continues when he moves into the epididymis is where he will continue to grow. After another 2 to 4 weeks he is developed enough to move on to the tube called the Vans Deferens. Sperm continues his long journey from this point by moving into the seminal vesicle. In the seminal vesicle he is nourished is a fructose rich bath of seminal fluid rich. Without this additional nourishment, Sperm would not be able to move into the next phase of his journey as a healthy, viable cell. Sperm moves with an action that resembles a fish swimming. Sperm has a structure that acts as a tail. He can whip this around in a motion that allows him to move himself forward. Before he reached the stage of development where the tail allowed him to move himself the epididymis and the Vans Deferens tube helped to move him along by their contractive movements. These movements swept him along. He also had groups of cilia that assisted him in his efforts to move forward during this process.

The male has other organs, such as the Cowper’s gland and the prostate gland that manufactured seminal vesicle fluid that make up the soupy mixture in which Sperm swims. This soup is the ejaculate called semen. Once Sperm has been incorporated into this ejaculate he is just waiting for the opportunity to be expressed from the man’s penis during sexual acts. Once he has been expressed into the outer world, his journey to meet me, the Egg, really begins in earnest. This is a race against time once Sperm travels to meet me here in the fallopian tube. He will be in competition with millions of other sperm that will flood through the cervical canal in search of their final destination. They move further up into the uterus. All the sperm are battling to be first to reach the waiting Egg that sits in the fallopian tube. Once they reach the ovum, they battle to be the one to penetrate the ovum’s outer lining. The strongest of the sperm and the fastest will be the winner of this race. The sperm will then penetrate the lining and the ovum and sperm begin a chemical transformation that allows them to unite in a way that makes the fertilized egg become the embryo. The embryo then continues on down the fallopian tube to the uterus, where it will be implanted in the uterine wall until birth.

References

Rathus, S.P., Nevid, J.S., & Fichner-Rathus, L.F. (2011). Human sexuality in a world of diversity (8th ed.). Boston: Pearson Education, Inc..
What to Expect. (2008). How fertilization happens. Retrieved June 14, 2009 from http://www.whattoexpect.com/preconception/fertility/how-fertilization- happens.aspx…...

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