The coming before paragraphs have described the path in which sperm are produced. Now look at the entire pathway a sperm should travel come fertilize one ovum.

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a. V each ejaculation, the testes release up to 400 million sperm. The score is for one sperm cabinet to meet and also fertilize one ovum.

b. When a male ejaculates, sperm space ejected native the bag of the testes through a collection of ducts (the epididymis ducts, the ductus deferens, and also the ejaculatory ducts).

c. Seminal fluid, pouring right into the ducts indigenous the prostate gland and the bulbourethral glands, flushes the sperm through the urethra and also out that the tip of the penis.

d. Before fertilization deserve to take place, the sperm should be deposited in the vaginal vault, pass through the tiny opened of the cervix, swim v the uterus, and reach the fallopian tubes.

Editor’s Note: when sperm are qualified of swimming brief (microscopic) distances, this is no longer thought to it is in the main mechanism by which sperm reach the egg. The uterus has actually rhythmic contractions roughly the time the ovulation i beg your pardon propel sperm indigenous the cervix up v the uterine cavity and out right into the fallopian tube. The swimming activity of sperm is still thought come play a role, however only in ~ the really end of the process, once the sperm space within microscopic ranges of the egg.

(1) just the strongest sperm cells survive. Many sperm room destroyed immediately by the acidic fluids the cleanse the vagina. Just a few thousand sperm reach the cervix, and fewer still reach the fallopian tubes.

(2) Normally, the cervix is blocked by a hard wall surface of mucus which prevents bacteria native entering the uterus. Because that a few days each month (near the moment of ovulation), this special cervical mucus changes into a fluid stream the sperm can penetrate.

(3) Those sperm that pass with the cervix have about 48 hours in which to reach and also fertilize one ovum prior to they (the sperm) die. Sperm cells can travel this distance in a couple of minutes.

e. The challenge of this trip helps ensure that just the most healthy sperm cells with the fertilization point. Occasionally a poor quality sperm and also ovum execute unite. Most of these fertilized ova prevent developing and are lost spontaneously. The woman losing together an ovum go not also realize that she has actually been pregnant.

NOTE: Erection the the penis and ejaculation that semen are crucial for the placement that sperm in the mrs reproductive tract. Semen, likewise called seminal fluid, is a mixture that sperm and secretions indigenous the seminal vesicle, the prostate gland, and also the bulbourethral glands.


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