As adult women, we should know and learn about the various roles of the reproductive organs. One of them is a woman’s egg cell which has an essential role in supporting fertility levels.
Together with the sperm, the egg has an equally significant role in the formation of the fetus. The egg cell size itself is in the range of 100 microns or almost similar to the dimensions of an adult hair. This size is about 20 times larger than the size of sperm.
Apart from the size and role of the egg, which is very important, here are some things to know about a woman’s egg.
Female Egg Cell in Pregnancy Process
Egg cells have a vital role in supporting the pregnancy process. You could say the egg is a determinant related to the level of fertility in women.
The process of production and maturation of eggs itself occurs in the ovaries. When the egg is considered mature and ready to be fertilized, then the egg will be released through the fallopian tube to the uterus.
When the fertilization process finally occurs, the fertilized egg will go to the uterus. From here then, the egg will attach to the uterine wall and begin embryo development.
Meanwhile, suppose the sperm does not successfully fertilize the egg. In that case, it will be destroyed and released along with the tissue in the uterus that should function to support fetal development during the fertile period.
Facts About Female Egg Cells That You Need to Know
When compared to sperm, female eggs have some interesting facts that need to be known. The following reviews interesting facts about the egg cell in the fertilization process.
1. Have a Short Lifespan
Quoting from Hindawi’s research, the egg will travel through the fallopian tube and then flow into the uterus when a woman ovulates. The above steps only occur within 12 – 24 hours, after which the egg will be destroyed if there is no sperm in that time to fertilize.
The broken and destroyed egg will then be expelled with the endometrial tissue, cervical mucus, vaginal secretions, and a mixture of blood commonly known as menstruation in women.
2. Many Eggs Die Before Women Go Through Puberty
The number of regular female eggs at birth is 700 thousand to two million eggs at birth. This number will continue to decrease with age. Before entering puberty, the average woman will lose approximately 11,000 eggs each month, leaving about 300 thousand – 400 thousand eggs when she enters adolescence.
Of the many eggs that are owned and stored in a woman’s body, technically, only about 500 eggs are ready to be used in the ovulation process. Meanwhile, at the age of puberty, women lose an average of 1000 eggs every month.
3. Selective Against Sperm
As we know, sperm cells compete with each other to fertilize the egg. However, did you know that egg cells also have particular and picky characteristics towards sperm.
Based on a 2011 study, the egg will select one sperm and then release specific cells that help the tail of the sperm to penetrate the egg more quickly.
4. Can be Freezed
Maybe many people do not know if human eggs can be frozen. This procedure is even more common, significantly increasing the chances of pregnancy for expectant mothers undergoing IVF programs.
The Mayo Clinic explained that the egg freezing process aims to maintain the quality of the egg while it is still in a healthy and abundant condition. That way, husband and wife can use it at any time if they are ready to get pregnant and have children.
The majority of egg freezing procedures are for women aged 30 and over. In addition, this process is generally also recommended for people with infertility or to avoid the long-term effects of drugs that can interfere with the fetus’s health.
5. Only Produced Once in a Lifetime
Facts related to the following female egg cell that is only produced once in a lifetime. Did you know that women are equipped with eggs from birth? Unlike a man who has sperm periodically throughout his life, a woman’s eggs are determined at birth and are limited in number.
Disorders in Female Egg Cells
Egg cells have an essential role in determining fertility in women. The following are examples of female egg cell disorders that can cause difficulty getting pregnant.
1. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a type of disorder triggered by excess androgen hormones in the ovaries and adrenal glands.
This condition is one of the many common disorders relatively common in women. The negative impact is that it can interfere with the release of eggs during ovulation. It often causes fertility problems in women.
2. Fail to Ovulate
Ovulation is a process that occurs when a mature egg cell ruptures and begins to move through the fallopian tube to the uterus to fertilize with sperm cells.
Many factors can trigger ovulation failure. These include endocrine disorders, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and aging characteristics.
3. Blockage in the Fallopian Tube
The fallopian tube is through which the egg typically passes before entering the uterus. As a result, if the fallopian tubes are damaged or blocked, this causes sperm cells to not meet for fertilization with a woman’s egg.
4. Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI)
Medically, primary ovarian insufficiency is a condition in which the ovaries cannot function normally due to a disturbance in the follicle, the organ responsible for the maturation of the egg.
Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) can be experienced by women even though they are not 40 years old yet. However, people with this condition still have a chance to get pregnant and have children because they can still produce eggs.
Those are various facts about the female egg cell and its role that you need to know. Together with sperm, the egg is a mandatory requirement to produce a fetus or embryo.
Compared with sperm, eggs also have limitations because a woman cannot produce them for the rest of her life. So, it is essential to pay attention to the health and quality of the egg so that later it does not cause fertility problems that can result in not having children.