The Sperm and the Egg

Topics: Sex organ, Reproductive system, Uterus Pages: 3 (1149 words) Published: June 27, 2010
The Sperm and the Egg

May 30, 2010

The process of the sperm and the egg from start to finish is a very interesting one. Both males and females play an important role in the process and one depends on the other to create life. The function and role of the male and female sex organs in relation to the sperm and the egg is also interesting. Without the egg the tadpole like sperm will die and without the sperm the egg will be released during the menstrual cycle. Movement of the Sperm and the Egg

Let’s begin with the movements of the sperm and the egg from development to fertilization. A female is born with all the ova (eggs) she will ever have, about 2 million, but they are immature in form (Rathus, S. A., Nevid, J.S., and Fichner-Rathus, L., 2005). When she hits puberty her ovaries will begin releasing mature eggs into the fallopian tubes. This will occur once a month and is generally one egg at a time. A male produces sperm in the testes. The sperm cell develops through several stages. In an early stage sperm cells are called spermatocytes and each contains 46 chromosomes, one x and one y set (Rathus, S. A., Nevid, J.S., and Fichner-Rathus, L., 2005). Each of these spermatocytes divides into two spermatids, each having 23 chromosomes (Rathus, S. A., Nevid, J.S., and Fichner-Rathus, L., 2005). The sperm look similar to tadpoles with a head, a cone-shaped mid-piece, and a tail (Rathus, S. A., Nevid, J.S., and Fichner-Rathus, L., 2005). The head of the sperm contains the nucleus that houses the chromosomes, while, the mid-piece contains structures that provide the energy the tail needs to swim (Rathus, S. A., Nevid, J.S., and Fichner-Rathus, L., 2005). Within minutes the sperm make the journey towards the egg. They pass from the vagina, through the cervix, into the uterus, and then the fallopian tube where the egg is waiting. Only one sperm can penetrate the egg, once it does a secretion hardens the outer layer of the egg making it impossible for other sperm...

References: Cleveland Clinic Foundation. (2005). The Reproductive System. Retrieved from http://www.cchs.net/health/health-info/docs
Rathus, S. A., Nevid, J.S., and Fichner-Rathus, L. (2005). Human sexuality in a world of diversity. (6th ed.) Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
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