According to the famous adage, a woman becomes a mother from the time she conceives. Her role is crucial and magnificent in creating a healthy child. She carries the unborn baby in her womb for nine months. On the other hand, a man becomes a father only when he sees the child! Although he does not carry the unborn baby within his body, he has a crucial role to play in creating life – his sperm carries half the genetic code of the child.
Let us take some time to appreciate the sperm’s journey to fertilise the egg. The Sperm has to overcome many odds to survive and reach the egg. The struggle begins – right inside the man’s body! The immune system cells (white cells) see them as a foreign invader and start attacking them. So, specialised cells create a barrier against white cells in the testicles to protect sperm cells.
Sperms look very different from other cells in of the man’s body. They have a tiny head with tail- which helps them to swim and reach where they need to go! After ejaculation, the sperms begin a race. In this race, sperms with poor motility or defects will not make it to the end.
The sperms struggle continues in the woman’s reproductive tract!
Vaginal secretions are acidic and majority of sperms will not be able to survive here!
Response of the immune system
Even the woman’s white blood cells detect the sperms as “enemies”, and destroy many of them.
During ovulation, cervical discharge is more fluid and thinner in texture and helps the sperms to pass easily into the cervix and beyond. Contrary to this, when the woman is not ovulating, this fluid is thicker, which makes their journey tough.
Journey through the female reproductive tract Walls of Fallopian tubes
Once the vaginal, cervical and uterine cavities are crossed, sperms travel further and pass through the narrow Fallopian tubes. Some of them get attached to the walls; some fall exhausted -unable to continue in the race.
This is only half the battle won! Along the whole journey, the most powerful sperms – which have survived the odds reach the egg. The sperms attach to the surface of the egg and gain an extraordinary ability: the sperm hyperactivation. Sperm’s tail has to become stronger and more powerful, so that sperm is able to reach the egg more easily.
The good news is: the egg also helps the sperms by releasing cytokines, which send signals to the sperms. The sperms respond to the signals and start moving vigorously. The burst of female hormone – progesterone encourages the sperms further.
Out of millions, about 200 sperms will reach the egg but only one sperm– the fittest, fertilises the egg successfully. This is our super-hero!
When the concentration of sperm is below 20 million with poor motility, they will not be able to overcome the obstacles and complete this journey!
Morpheus IVF offers IMSI (Intra Cytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection) to select the fittest sperms with best shape and size for injecting into the egg. Double Your Chances of pregnancy!