Journey of the sperm

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  • The Testes
  • I must get to the egg princess!  Before the 250 million others do!
  • Vagina/Cervix
  • What way will I go? And so many others have died trying to get to the Egg Princess! 
  • Uterus /  Uterotubal Junction
  • We must kill sperm!
  • Good thing I am being blow toward this door or else i never would have found it.
  • The sperm stay inside the testes until ejaculation. 
  • Fallopian Tube
  • Wow. It is so nice in here.  I can stay here for hours, or even days!
  • 250 million sperm enter the Vagina, and most of them die in 30 minutes.  Sperm is destroyed by  acids that protect the vagina from Pathogens.  60,000 must find their way through the cervix.  Sperm must swim in a single file line through the cervical canal and most of them will die because they get lost or stuck in the passageways. 
  • Fertilization
  • Only 3000 sperm remain and they must find their way through the uterus to get to the Fallopian tube. Muscular contractions push the sperm towards the correct direction.  sperm are attacked by Leukocytes. Remaining sperm must find doorway to the Fallopian tube. Sperm must show the proper swimming technique to pass through.  
  • Implantation
  • I have finally reunited with the egg princess. I can wait to become a baby!
  • About 10-30 sperm remain.  In the Fallopian tubes, sperm are safe from Leukocytes.  Sperm are provided with nourishment from the Fallopian tubes.  Sperm can stay alive for hours or even days. 
  • Remaining sperm must attempt to find the egg at the upper Fallopian tube.  Egg releases chemicals that sperm can sense so they begin to move more quickly.  Sperm shed layers in order to propel faster to penetrate the egg .  Timing must be perfect because a sperm will only live for a few hours after capacitation process. The sperm makes contact with outer coat of the egg has a bag of enzymes on its head that explodes which makes it able to penetrate outer part of the eggs.  Once sperm is inside genetic payload is delivered and the 23 individual chromosomes of sperm and egg pair up . 
  • I am coming egg princess!
  • The zygotes travels down the fallopian tubes towards the uterus, cells begin dividing.  On day 4, the tiny bundle of cells is named a blastocyst.  5 days later, the embryo breaks out of the protective shell and implants in the wall of the uterus and begins growing.
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