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How babies are made…Sex education revisited

Author GreatDad Writers
Submitted 01-06-2006

So you are planning a baby. Though having sex is a basic requirement for producing a baby, there is a lot more to it. Here are interesting facts connected with conceiving a baby:

The female body

  • A girl child is born with about a million eggs inside her ovaries.
  • During her lifetime, a woman releases about 400 eggs during ovulation.
  • The ovaries release a mature egg about 14 days before menstruation.
  • This travels through either of the two fallopian tubes, which connect the ovaries to the uterus.
  • This mature egg may encounter a healthy sperm on its way to the uterus. The sperm would be present if there would be sexual intercourse around the time the egg release occurs. The sperm penetrates the egg and initiates the process of forming the baby.
  • An unfertilized egg either dissolves or is absorbed by the body.

The male body

  • To produce healthy sperm, the testicles maintain a temperature of 94 degrees Fahrenheit, which is about four degrees cooler than the temperature of the rest of the body.
  • Millions of microscopic sperm are produced in the testicles.
  • Around 30 million to 300 million sperms are released during ejaculation. Once the sperms reach the fallopian tubes, they can have an average lifespan of 3-4 days. However, some have a lifespan of even 7 days.
  • If an egg is present in the fallopian tubes, ejaculated sperms immediately begin to swim towards the egg to fertilize it.
  • From the millions of ejaculated sperms, only one will ultimately fertilize the egg.
  • Sperms having an X chromosome go on to make a girl, while those with a Y chromosome make a boy.

To produce healthy sperm, the testicles maintain a temperature of 94 degrees Fahrenheit, which is about four degrees cooler than the temperature of the rest of the body.

Sexual intercourse

  • From the millions of sperms that are ejaculated, only a few dozen make it to the egg.
  • From these, the strongest manages to penetrate the outer shell of the egg to fertilize it.
  • Once this happens, none of the other sperms can get in.
  • Within about 24 hours, the successful sperm combines with the egg and a new cell is formed.
  • This new cell immediately starts dividing itself rapidly.
  • The bundle of new cells (known as the embryo) then attaches itself to the uterus.

While certain positions are better for conceiving, couples can use the position with which they are comfortable. One way couples can increase their chances of conception is by having sex every other day about 14 days before the woman’s menstruation.