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Chapter 5

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 May 2022

R. John Aitken
Affiliation:
University of Newcastle, New South Wales
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Summary

The miracle of conception – how we all got to be here Successful conception requires spermatozoa to exhibit a wide range of sophisticated behaviours and biochemical changes. They are capable of exhibiting rheotaxis, thermotaxis and chemotaxis on their voyage to the site of fertilization in the oviduct. Once these cells have successfully engaged the cervix and uterotubal junction they come to rest in the isthmic region of the Fallopian tubes, where they are thought to bind to the oviductal epithelium and enter a state of quiescence. They are ultimately awakened from this gentle slumber by a signal coincident with ovulation and break away from the isthmic epithelium in a frenzied state of hyperactivation. These hyperactivated cells then bring their receptors-for-the-egg to the cell surface and go in search of their prey, aided by signals given out by the egg bearing a come-hither message. At this point in development, it is a race to find the fittest spermatozoa capable of engaging in the myriad cellular interactions required to achieve fertilization. It is a race that only one cell can win out of the ~200 million that started the race. Each one of us is the result of an incredibly complex obstacle race where all of the other competitors died.

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Chapter
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The Infertility Trap
Why life choices impact your fertility and why we must act now
, pp. 180 - 202
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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References

5.3 References

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  • Chapter 5
  • R. John Aitken, University of Newcastle, New South Wales
  • Book: The Infertility Trap
  • Online publication: 05 May 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108935593.006
Available formats
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To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Chapter 5
  • R. John Aitken, University of Newcastle, New South Wales
  • Book: The Infertility Trap
  • Online publication: 05 May 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108935593.006
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Chapter 5
  • R. John Aitken, University of Newcastle, New South Wales
  • Book: The Infertility Trap
  • Online publication: 05 May 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108935593.006
Available formats
×