Thursday, August 30, 2012

The ovulation cycle - from egg to implantation

The ovulation cycle: Ovulation occurs each month when an egg (ovum) is released from one of the ovaries. Occasionally, more than one egg is released, usually within 24 hours of the first egg. The ‘fingers’ at the end of the fallopian tubes help to direct the egg down into the tube. At the same time, the lining of the uterus begins to thicken and the mucus in the cervix becomes thinner so that sperm can swim through it more easily.
Egg moves through fallopian tubes
The egg begins to travel down the fallopian tube. If the egg is fertilized, then the lining of the uterus is now thick enough for the fertilized egg to be implanted.
Uterus lining shed during menstruation
If the egg is not fertilized, it will pass out of the body during the woman’s monthly period along with the lining of the uterus, which is also shed. The egg is so small that it cannot be seen.
Conception is the process that begins with the fertilization of an egg and ends with the implantation of an egg into a woman’s uterus.
A woman conceives around the time when she is ovulating; that is, when an egg has been released from one of her ovaries into one of her fallopian tubes.
When a woman is ovulating, the mucus in the cervix is thinner than usual to let sperm pass through more easily. Sperm swim into the uterus and into the fallopian tubes. Fertilization takes place if a sperm joins with an egg and fertilizes it.
During the week after fertilization, the fertilized egg (which is now an embryo) moves slowly down the fallopian tube and into the uterus. It is already growing. The embryo attaches itself firmly to the specially thickened uterus lining. This is called implantation. Hormones released by the embryonic tissue prevent the uterus lining from being shed. This is why women miss their periods when they are pregnant.

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