Even though it continues to be a wonderful winter we're having this spring, the fact is that Easter weekend is upon us. And with all the images of baby chicks and bunnies (even though they may be snuggled up in wool coats), our thoughts turn to the warmer weather and fertile spring days to come.
In honor of the holiday weekend, here's five fascinating facts you may not know about eggs (oocytes).
- The oocyte is the largest cell in the human body. it would take 15,000 of a man's sperm to equal the size of a single egg!
- A female fetus starts making eggs at about nine weeks after conception. A 20-week-old fetus has the maximum number of eggs she will ever have (approximately 7 million). When the female baby is born, she has about 600,000.
- Eggs spend their years inside the ovaries in an immature state. Each month, one matures and is released in the process called ovulation.
- At 21, about 90 percent of a woman's eggs are viable. At 41, this percentage drops to around 10 percent.
- Eggs don't fool around. While a million sperm may be vying for attention, eggs will only let one lucky one in. They have a special "organelle" that releases proteins and enzymes to keep the rest of the eager fellas out.
March 28, 2013
Posted by Leigh Ann Woodruff