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Conception - general

In this cut -away view you can see both the woman’s and the man’s reproductive organs during intercourse. Here are the penis, vagina, uterus, testicle and prostate gland. During intercourse, sperm are released into the vagina near the cervix, which is the entrance to the uterus. Here you can see the sperm swimming through the uterus and up the fallopian tubes. From their profiles, you can see the sperm actually have 3 parts, a head, a middle section, and a tail. The tail propels the sperm, which is powered by energy cells stored in the middle section. The head of the sperm contains the man’s genetic material and an enzyme-filled acrosomal cap needed to help the sperm penetrate through the outer membrane of the egg. Here’s the egg, moving through the fallopian tube. Within the fallopian tube, the egg is met by hundreds of sperm. Finally, one of the sperm succeeds in breaking through the egg’s outer membrane. After penetrating the egg’s outer membrane, the sperm released its nucleus, which unites with the nucleus from the egg. Fertilization or conception occurs when the sperm fuses with the egg to form a fertilized egg. The fertilized egg is called a zygote.

Conception - general

Review Date: 11/12/2021

Reviewed By: John D. Jacobson, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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