Q:

Why is the egg larger than the sperm?

A:

Quick Answer

Egg cells are considerably larger than sperm cells because they carry the cytoplasm and organelles necessary for cell division and growth to begin, while sperm cells are basically a cell nucleus and a tail. Because the sole purpose of the sperm is to carry the father's genetic information to the egg cell so fertilization can occur, small size and superior motility are advantageous.

Continue Reading
Why is the egg larger than the sperm?
Credit: SCIEPRO Science Photo Library Getty Images

Full Answer

An egg cell, or ovum, is the largest cell in the human body. It contains all of the organelles found in normal cells such as ribosomes, mitochondria, the golgi apparatus, the endoplasmic reticulum and a nucleus. It also contains several structures unique to the ovum such as the corona radiata and the zona pellucida. Some of these structures allow for fertilization by the sperm cell and others provide nourishment during the early stages of development. By contrast, the sperm cell is a simple structure. It consists of a small head containing a cell nucleus and a long whip-like tail. There is also a tube-shaped section connecting the head to the tail. This section houses the mitochondria that provide the energy for the tail to move. If fertilization occurs, the nucleus of the sperm enters the ovum and the two half-sets of chromosomes merge to form a complete set. The fertilized ova is called a zygote, and it contains all the elements necessary to develop into an embryo.

Learn more about Pregnancy

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How does the IVF procedure work?

    A:

    WebMD explains that during the process of in vitro fertilization, both egg and sperm are brought together in a laboratory setting to allow the sperm to fertilize the egg. The fertilized eggs are then placed back in the uterus. The process takes several weeks, but it is one of the most common forms of infertility treatments.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the procedure for the IUI treatment process?

    A:

    The intrauterine insemination, or IUI, procedure involves stimulation of the egg; then semen production; washing of the sperm; cleaning of the cervical area; and the actual insemination, according to Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago. The procedure is easy and painless but has to be done by a qualified professional.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    When is a woman most likely to get pregnant?

    A:

    According to the American Pregnancy Association, a woman is most likely to get pregnant during ovulation, which occurs when a woman's ovary releases a mature egg that can be fertilized by sperm. After leaving the ovary, an egg can only survive for up to a day. Ovulation occurs between the 11th and 21st day of a woman's menstrual cycle. A woman's menstrual cycle is lasts approximately 28 to 32 days.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is an eukaryotic cell?

    A:

    Eukaryotic cells are advanced cells that have, at minimum, a cellular membrane surrounding cytoplasm, a cytoskeleton and membrane-covered organelles. More advanced eukaryotic cells also contain a nucleus that protects genetic material.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore