Menstrual cycle explanation week 3: Fertilization

The menstrual cycle explanation from week to week: during week 3 of the cycle a lot happens in your body. Ovulation has taken place and you have been making love. The only thing you can do now is to wait for one fertilization of the egg cell takes place.

At the moment that the egg is released, it begins to descend via the ovaries to the uterus. On the way there is, if all goes well, a whole army of healthy sperm cells waiting.

Only the strongest sperm have survived the obstacles that the female body has raised. This is a way for the woman to ensure that her future child only consists of the best genes. An egg cell is about 550 times larger than the head of a sperm cell, so it is easy to hit for the strong swimmers.

Menstrual cycle explanation week 3: Fertilization

The moment the sperm cells reach the egg cell they are not there yet. They must penetrate the cumulus oophorus. This is a thick shell around the egg cell. Again, only the strongest sperm cells can handle this. Many sperm cells do not survive this obstacle.

Once they are through this, their agony is not complete yet. There is still a thick shell that is about 4 times as thick as the head of a sperm cell. Fortunately, the sperm cells are helped by an enzyme that causes their tail to sweep up to 800 times per minute. They need about 4 hours to get in!

As soon as a sperm cell arrives, his tail is released and the head merges with the egg's core. This is the beginning of your future child. His looks, color eyes, color hair and his gender are now fixed.
After fusion of a sperm cell with the egg cell, it is immediately ensured that no other sperm cell can enter and the cell division begins.

You can therefore imagine that there is no point in having sex if ovulation has already taken place. The sperm cells then still have such a huge path that they will be too late for fertilization.

The Luteal phase

Your luteal phase starts when you have ovulated. This phase is dedicated to insemination of the egg cell and implantation in the uterus. The luteal phase must be at least 9 days long, otherwise there is not enough time for a proper implantation because the menstruation then washes everything away again.

The follicle where the egg has come out remains important these weeks. He is now called the 'corpus luteum' (yellow body). He ensures that the pregnancy hormone progesterone continues to be produced.

Function hormone progesterone at fertilization

The hormone progesterone has a number of important tasks in this third week of menstruation when the fertilization of the egg cell has taken place, namely:

  1. First, it helps to make the uterine lining thick enough for an implantation.
  2. In addition, it ensures that no more oocytes can be released
  3. The hormone increases the body temperature by 0.3 to 0.5 degrees to help the uterus prepare for implantation for the fertilized egg.
  4. It also closes the cervix and makes the mucus thicker so that no new sperm can enter the uterus after fertilization.

The hormone progesterone thus ensures that the fertilized egg has all the space it needs to develop, without having to share the space with a second egg cell.

Read more about the menstrual cycle explanation in week 4 of the cycle: The implantation.

Also watch this video from fertilization to childbirth!

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