PROF. P. MOTTA / DEPT. OF ANATOMY / UNIVERSITY "LA SAPIENZA", ROME / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PROF. P. MOTTA / DEPT. OF ANATOMY / UNIVERSITY "LA SAPIENZA", ROME / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A bundle of spermatozoa. False-colour scanning electron micrograph of spermatozoa in the female cervical canal. The cervical canal connects the vagina to the uterus and its epithelium is formed by simple columnar cells which are ciliated (violet) or secretory (orange). The journey of the sperm from the vagina to the Fallopian tube may last 12-24 hours. Some of the spermatozoa are destroyed in the cervical canal by the viscous and acid mucus produced by the secretory cells. At mid-cycle, the fertile period, the mucus becomes more hydrated in order to ease sperm migration. Magnification: x2620 at 6x7cm size.
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