What does capacitation mean when talking about sperm fertilizing an egg?

Capacitation. Capacitation is the last steps in the maturation of mammalian spermatozoa and is required to render them competent to fertilize an egg. This step typically occurs after ejaculation in the female reproductive tract. In vitro, capacitation can occur by incubating ejaculated sperm in a defined medium for several hours prior to insemination.

Related Questions

Can sperm still fertilize an egg 24 hours after ovulation? If yes, will the sperm need another 12 hours for the capacitation process?

Yes they can. Fertilization can definitely take place 24 hours after ovulation. The capacitation usually takes place shortly after ejaculation and is facilitated by the uterine environment. It doesn't take 12 hours to occur. If you don't want to worry about an unwanted pregnancy or hiv/std, be more careful and don't have unprotected sex. Read more...

Is it true that male sperm can not fertilize an egg unless it goes through a process called capacitation which takes about 10 hours to complete?

Yes. Sperm normally undergoes capacitation as it travels through the female reproductive tract. Also artificial capacitation occurs during sperm washing in the laboratory with the spinning process along with the special culture media used. Read more...