If Your Adolescent is 10+ Years, Make Sure They Understand Fertilization
- Explains how a sperm meets an egg at fertilization
- Describes that not very many sperm make it to the egg
If your adolescent is in that 10+ age group, it is time for you to review the biology of fertilization. This can be a very simple, brief discussion about how an egg and sperm meet.
This anatomy figure explains it all.
- An unfertilized egg is released from one of the two ovaries at ovulation.
- The unfertilized enters a tube called the fallopian tube and waits for no longer than a day for sperm to show up.
- If sexual intercourse happens, 100 million sperm are released into the vagina. It takes about 2 minutes for sperm to travel from the vagina, through the uterus, and into the fallopian tube. Only about 50-100 of the most healthy sperm make it to where the unfertilized egg might be waiting in the fallopian tube.
- Only one sperm enters the egg at fertilization. The egg is now called a fertilized egg and it continues its journey to the uterus where it finds nourishment and grows.
This very basic information is what they need to understand about how an egg meets a sperm, and yet you would be surprised how few adolescents know this. It was likely presented in their school puberty talks, but I am not confident that a one time presentation is enough. It is so much better for them to learn at home from you where they can ask questions. Initiating this basic talk with your adolescent lets them know that you want to be there to help guide them through this important and yet personal information at home. They might not tell you at the time, but let me assure you they appreciate it.
I will be there to help parents as you help your kids understand their reproductive system and how it all works. It is important to keep this information age appropriate for your child and try not to do too much at one time. Make it fun so both of you can feel comfortable and look forward to the next brief chat.
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