What is fertilization?

Fertilization in a nutshell, is the fusion of gametes that results in the development of a new individual organism or offspring. This process is also known as syngamy, generative fertilization and imoregnation. In human beings, the process of fertilization occurs when the sperm cells fertilizes the egg or ovum to give rise to to a zygote which is known as aphimixis (dipoid structure). The sperm cell is sexually transmitted to reach the fallopian tube where it fertilizes the aforementioned egg. In plants however, this process occurs in a much divergent manner where the gametes fuse together in different ways depending on the type of plant. In Bryophite land plants, fertilization occurs within the archegonium. In other plants that depend on seeds, the process is carried forward with the help of pollen grains which is the male gametophyte. Pollination occurs when the pollen grains are transported from the male part of the plant to the female part of the plant. As a result, the pollen grain germinates, giving rise to a pollen type that reaches the ovule and the egg for the process of fertilization.

Process of fertilization

The process of Fertilization in human beings occurs in the chronological sequence involving ejaculation, ovulation and fertilization. The process begins with the act of copulation or sexual intercourse. However, sperm cells can be unnaturally insemnated in the egg which is called artificial insemination and which involve ejaculation without copulation or copulation after ovulation. Artificial insemination is an option for people who face difficulty in the process of natural insemination and want to raise an offspring regardless of the situation. Pregnancy can be difficult to achieve for some couples due to unfavourable conditions in the fallopian tube, low sperm count or other underlying medical factors. The ovulation cycle must be monitered in humans, for higher chances of pregnancy. Ovulation occurs during the menstrual cycle in females where the egg is released from the ovaries. During successful copulation, the sperm located the oocyte (the immature egg) with the help of changing temperatures and chemical gradients. These changes are brougn on with the help of the progesterone hormone which is secreted by the oocyte. The sperm undergoes a process of capacitation which destabalises it’s membrane and and increases it’s movement.

Upon locating the oocyte the sperm penetrates the egg into the zona pellucida, which is a extracellular matrix made up of glycoprotiens. The zona pellucida surrounds the egg and binding with the sperm, a process of acrosome reaction takes place which allows the sperm to pass through and continue the process of fertilization.

Process of meiosis

After the successful implantation of the sperm cell, it’s outer coating and tail disintegrates. The process of meiosis then occurs in the egg where haploid ovum is produced. The fusion of chromosome occurs after this process where the two haploud cells, each containing 23 chromosomes fuse together to form a zygote containg a total of 46 chromosomes. The zygote then begins to undergo cellular division in order to grow and develope. This process is known as mitosis and occurs in the early stages of pregnancy. After successful fertilization, the female human will begin to show symptoms of pregnancy that range from both physical and psychological aspects. Generally the most fundamental symptom of pregnancy is missing a menstrual period. Women may also face symptoms like nausea, headaches, cramps and other physical discomforts during pregnancy. Psychological symptoms include constant mood swings and irritability. During this period, it is essential for the body to be receiving proper nutrition for the development of the zygote.

Developing an embryo

Fertilization is a fundamental and integral component in the process of reproduction and is essential in ensuring the continuation and survival of a species in a wholistic point of view. It’s sole purpose is to give rise to a deploid zygote which can be achieved both naturally and through artificial insemination. In human beings, the aforementioned deploid zygote further develops into an embryo which begins to grow and take shape of a human baby with the help of essential nutrients consumed by the mother. Therefore, the process of fertilization is integral in its role of producing an offspring and ensuring the continuation and survival of the species.

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