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The Sperm Journey

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Tuesday, September 05, 2017 | 0 comments

Image: Fertilization, by Peiling Tan, on Flickr
Once sex has occurred, approximately 100 million to 300 million sperm are injected into your vagina.

Your cervix, located at the end of your vagina, is usually closed tightly, but if you have sex during ovulation, your cervix will be open to allow the easy passage of sperm into your uterus.

The sperm cells use a liquid called semen to get into your uterus, and then they use the fluid within your uterus to move around. Of that large number, only 3,000,000 sperm cells actually make it through your cervix and into your uterus!

Since only one tube holds the egg, many of these sperm will swim up the wrong tube and never find an egg to fertilize. The ones that do choose the right tube will encounter roadblocks as they search for the egg. Many get pushed back by the constant motion of the fallopian tubes. Others get tangled in the cilia of the tubes. Still others get attacked by white blood cells searching for intruders.

It is estimated that only 500 sperm actually reach the egg! This is one way to make sure that only the strongest and healthiest sperm reach the egg.

Sperm have been known to live for up to 5 days, which is why you can get pregnant from having sex 5 days before ovulation! The time that fertility is at its highest is the day before ovulation; that way the sperm are waiting in place before the egg is ovulated.

The egg only lives for 24 hours, so any sex that occurs more than 24 hours after ovulation has occurred should not result in pregnancy.

Photo credit: Fertilization
by Peiling Tan, on Flickr

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TODAY'S BOOK SUGGESTION:
Image: So Close: Infertile and Addicted to Hope, by Tertia Loebenberg Albertyn. Publisher: Porcupine Press trading under DGR Writing + Research; 2nd edition edition (January 27, 2009)So Close: Infertile and Addicted to Hope
by Tertia Loebenberg Albertyn

-- Meet, marry and make a baby: That's how it's supposed to go, right? What happens when you start trying for a family ... and trying, and trying some more?

How far do you go to achieve your dream of having children? So Close is the heart wrenching, exhilarating, devastatingly funny story of Tertia Albertyn's battle with infertility. Tertia wanted a baby so badly she went through nine IVFs.

Most people give up after the third. I don't think I am being brave at all. I am just too terrified NOT to try again. In her worst nightmare she could never have imagined that making a baby would take her four years, each treatment bringing her and her husband Marko closer and closer to creating their family.

During Tertia's journey everything that can go wrong does go wrong. Until, finally, everything goes just right. Tertia is as hilarious as she is irrepressible, as approachable as she is knowledgeable.

If you are struggling with infertility, have triumphed over infertility or have felt empathy with someone who is going through this experience, you will find a friend in Tertia.

Image: Buy Now on Amazon.comPaperback: 308 pages
Click to order/for more info: So Close: Infertile and Addicted to Hope
Find it on Amazon: US | Canada | UK







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Catherine

About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost that precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted that there will be no more babies in our house.

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