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After injection into the vagina, millions of sperm cells (spermatozoa) make use of their whiplike tails to swim through the cervix toward the uterus. Most are destroyed along the way by secretions in the vagina, but some reach the uterus and a few may enter the fallopian tubes. A very small number may survive as long as 48 hours. If during this period only one sperm succeeds in entering a fallopian tube and meeting there an oocyte ready to be fertilized, conception can occur. This event is possible only during a period of about 4 days of the month. After the sperm lodges in the oocyte, the tail disappears, but the head unites with the oocyte to form the zygote.
The treatment cycle involves the following steps: (1) Induction of ovulation with fertility drugs, such as clomiphene citrate, injectable follicle-stimulating hormone/luteinizing hormone, or both, to produce multiple ovarian follicles. When the largest follicle reaches 20 mm in diameter the patient is given an injection of human chorionic gonadotropin to induce expulsion of the oocyte from the follicle. (2) Laparoscopy and follicular aspiration for the harvesting of oocytes. (3) Maturation of retrieved oocytes and inoculation with the husband's or donor's sperm. (4) Incubation of the resulting embryos until they reach the two- to six-cell stage. (5) Transfer of an embryo via catheter into the patient's uterus; at this point intensive intervention ceases, the pregnancy is considered normal, and no further manipulation is required.
See also: fertilization
Patient discussion about fecundation
Q. What is the connection between alcoholism & male fertility? If a guy drank heavily for many years, then stayed sober for many years, would his ability to impregnate a woman disappear, or be at all diminished, as a result of his years as a hard-core alcoholic? In other words, would he not have to worry about using any birth control because in his situation it was rendered unnecessary due to the negative effects of long-term drinking? And would such bad effects, if indeed they had kicked in, have been canceled out by a long period of sobriety after the drinking years?
Q. Can cystic fibrosis patients have children? My boyfriend has cystic fibrosis, and currently he’s treated with many medications but usually healthy (other than pneumonia from hospitalization from time to time). I heard that men with cystic fibrosis can’t have children - is that true? Is there anything he can do about it?
I'M SO SORRY ABOUT MY ENGLISH, I'M LEARNING.
Q. Do women with cystic fibrosis have difficult pregnancy? My wife has cystic fibrosis, and after 3 year of marriage we decided we want a baby. I know that men with cystic fibrosis are usually infertile and can’t have children- is that the case also for women with cystic fibrosis? Is the pregnancy in women with cystic fibrosis more problematic? Is it dangerous?