The relative amounts of G mucus or oestrogenic mucus in the vagina will determine the state of fertility. How do the hormones progesterone and oestrogen affect mucus secretion? Oestrogenic fertile-type mucus has four functions i.
Fig 1. The journey begins with millions of sperm cells that are released into the female reproductive tract during intercourse. The sperm cells gain their full ability to swim when they are ejaculated into the reproductive tract [ 1 ],[ 2 ].
Achieving a healthy pregnancy is a complicated, multi-stage process involving two people. Every month, the female ovulates one mature egg from one of her ovaries. Here, it will begin to move slowly down the tube towards the womb uterus.
Sperm gets ejected from the penis, enters the vagina, and swims up the reproductive tract until they reach the egg to fertilize it. Barely years ago, it was considered a major scientific breakthrough when scientists came up with the idea that a fully formed, tiny human inhabited the head of each sperm — totally debunked and untrue. Fortunately, as the human body has evolved over thousands of years to maximize fertility potential, so has our scientific understanding about sperm.
Cervical mucus is a whitish or clear vaginal discharge which, in the average 28 day menstrual cycle, is first noticed by the woman about 4 days after menstruation has stopped. This vaginal discharge comes from glands in the cervix, i. When the woman perceives the beginning of the mucus symptom she knows that the fertile phase of the cycle has begun.
It is 25mm long and contains several hundred crypts glands lined by cells which, under hormonal and neural influence, manufacture mucus, which is released into the cervical canal. Different crypts secrete different types of mucus: G, L, S and P. The isthmus produces an enzyme in granules designated Z.
Quiz After the ejaculation the sperm cells are cloaked by a slightly alkaline, buffering seminal plasma that protects them from the acidic vaginal milieu. Nevertheless a large portion of the sperm cells meets there their end.
Cervical mucus is an aqueous or gel mixture of fluids, ions and compounds, and cells, primarily produced by the endocervical epithelium. The amount secreted varies with menstrual phase and compositions changes under hormonal influence. Sodium shows the greatest concentration change at ovulation but does not change early enough to be of value in natural family planning practice.
The mouse is an established and popular animal model for studying reproductive biology. Epididymal mouse sperm, which lack exposure to secretions of male accessory glands and do not precisely represent ejaculated sperm for the study of sperm functions, have been almost exclusively used in studies. We compared ejaculated and epididymal sperm in an in vitro fertilization setting to examine whether ejaculated sperm enter cumulus-oocyte complexes more efficiently.