Let's talk about the ovum! What is the ovum I hear you ask? The ovum, also known as the egg cell, is the female reproductive cell that can be fertilized by sperm to create a new life.
We've all had those days during puberty when we blamed this mysterious organ for the cramps and pain we experienced each month. But here's the truth: the ovum isn't the main culprit of the agony. In fact, the ovary, which produces the ovum, is just a small pouch. And did you know that women have two ovaries, one on each side of the uterus? These tiny powerhouses store and mature the ovum while also creating hormones like progesterone and estrogen. But there's so much more to know about ova.
First off, did you know that ovums also compete, just like sperm? That's right - women are born with approximately 300,000 follicles, which are considered immature oocytes. As women go through puberty, these cells undergo maturation, but about one-third of them die off due to a lack of ovulation signals. By the time women near puberty, they possess about 180,000 follicles. During menstruation, around 1,000 ovums are used every month, but only one reaches the womb and develops. This means that women have roughly 180,000 ovums during their entire menstrual cycle.
Secondly, ovums also put in the work! About 1,000 ovums are released during one cycle of menstruation, which means they go through competition just like sperm. As sperm enters the body, the vaginal muscle contracts and supports it to arrive at the ovum's location. Contrary to popular belief, the ovum doesn't just passively wait for the sperm to arrive; it actively approaches the sperm holding on at the fallopian tube. So let's give these ovums the credit they deserve.
Lastly, let's debunk the myth that menstrual blood must be a certain color. It's normal for the color and texture of menstrual blood to differ throughout the same cycle. The appearance of menstrual blood is dependent on the condition of the mucous membrane in the vagina. Darker blood indicates that it's been in the uterus for a shorter period, while bright red blood suggests a larger amount of bleeding. And don't worry if you skip a period; it doesn't necessarily mean that there's something wrong with your body. However, it's always best to visit a gynaecologist for an examination if you regularly miss or have delayed menstruation.
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