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Where does fertilization take place?

Updated February 21, 2017

There is some level of debate in modern society as to what it is, exactly, that the term "fertilization" indicates. Much of the controversy has to do with the raging debate surrounding abortion. Scientifically speaking, however, fertilisation is simply the moment at which a male sperm enters the female egg, creating a zygote. After fertilisation, the egg is no longer an egg and the sperm is no longer a sperm. Instead, both cells have joined together to create a totally new entity. It is that new cell, the zygote, which will begin to divide in order to create a human being.

What is Fertilization?

There is some level of debate in modern society as to what it is, exactly, that the term "fertilization" indicates. Much of the controversy has to do with the raging debate surrounding abortion. Scientifically speaking, however, fertilisation is simply the moment at which a male sperm enters the female egg, creating a zygote. After fertilisation, the egg is no longer an egg and the sperm is no longer a sperm. Instead, both cells have joined together to create a totally new entity. It is that new cell, the zygote, which will begin to divide in order to create a human being.

Where Does Fertilization Take Place?

In most instances fertilisation takes place within one of the Fallopian tubes or within the uterus. The male's sperm travels into the vagina after he climaxes during vaginal intercourse and some of the sperm travels through the cervix and back into the uterus. A male's sperm can remain viable within a woman for up to 72 hours and during that time the sperm will constantly be seeking a female egg to fertilise. The sperm will enter into the Fallopian tube, as well, during this search.

What Happens After Fertilization?

During a normal, healthy pregnancy the newly formed zygote that exists after fertilisation lodges itself into the wall of the uterus. The woman's uterus begins immediately to supply the zygote with blood. This is what gives the zygote energy to begin dividing itself via the process of mitosis. The original cell that was created from fertilisation will divide to create two cells, which will then divide to create four cells, and so on for months. At the end of the process a newborn baby will be birthed by the mother, comprised of millions of cells that all sprang forth from the simple zygote that was created during fertilisation.

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About the Author

A legal clerk and law school student at The Thomas M. Cooley School of Law who lives in southeastern Michigan and holds a bachelor's degree in English from Western Michigan University. Geoffrey has over a decade of experience working as a freelance writer and has completed hundreds of articles during that time.