Coloured SEM of human sperm in the uterus

Coloured SEM of human sperm in the uterus

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Credit: D. PHILLIPS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Sperm in uterus. Coloured scanning electron micro- graph (SEM) of human sperm on the inner surface or endometrium of the uterus (womb). The heads of the sperm appear to be brushing against the grass- like ciliated epithelium. Tiny projections or microvilli (white) cover the remaining secretory cells, which provide a moist environment and nutrition to both sperm and the female egg. Sperm remain incapable of fertilising an egg (ovum) until after undergoing capacitation, a process which occurs within the female tract. The close association of the sperm with the ciliated cells in this image may relate to this process. Magnification: unknown.

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Keywords: anatomy, ciliated epithelium, endometrium, human, human body, in uterus, reproduction, reproductive system, sperm, uterus, with sperm

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