Q:

How does a mature ovum travel through the fallopian tube?

A:

Quick Answer

When a mature ovum is released from one of a woman's ovaries, tiny projections on the fallopian tubes collect the ovum and place it inside the fallopian tube. The ovum is then pushed through the tube by peristaltic contractions and the action of the cilia.

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Full Answer

Sex hormones in a woman's body cause an egg to be released from the ovary. This process is called ovulation. It is then grabbed by tiny projections on the outside of the fallopian tubes and deposited inside the tubes. It is here, while the egg is on the way to the uterus, that it is fertilized by sperm and the process of pregnancy begins. The fertilized ovum is called a zygote.

When the ovum enters the fallopian tubes, it travels through them to finally reach the uterus where it embeds itself into the uterine lining. The ovum travels through the fallopian tubes with the help of cilia and peristaltic contractions inside the tubes. Secretions inside the mucous membrane of the tubes also help to move the ovum and sperm along. The mucous membrane has swaying hair-like structures called cilia. These, along with the muscular contractions of the tube itself, push the ovum toward the uterus.

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