The term “ovum” refers to a mature female reproductive cell, also known as an egg. It is the largest cell in the human body, and can be fertilized by a male sperm cell in a process leading to the creation of an embryo. Ovum plays a crucial role in sexual reproduction and pregnancy.

Key Takeaways

  1. Ovum refers to the female reproductive cell or gamete in animals and plants, also commonly known as an egg. It’s the largest human cell and is the only cell which can be seen without a microscope.
  2. The ovum plays a critical role in reproduction, being fertilized by the male sperm to form a zygote which then develops into an embryo leading to the creation of a new organism.
  3. In humans, a woman is born with all the ovum she will ever have, which are present in the ovaries. Each month, one ovum is released during ovulation for potential fertilization.


The term “ovum” is integral to understanding motherhood as it refers to the female reproductive cell or egg that combines with a male sperm to develop into an embryo, ultimately leading to the formation of a new individual.

This is the very first stage of the potential for motherhood.

The ovum, produced by and released from the ovaries, carries genetic information from the mother, which contributes to the offspring’s genetic makeup.

In other words, an ovum plays a central role in conception, development, and the continuity of human life, making it a crucial component of motherhood.


The term “ovum” refers to the female reproductive cell or gamete in animals and plants, more commonly known as an egg. The primary purpose of an ovum is to carry the genetic material of a female to combine with the male sperm cell to create a new, unique individual.

The ovum holds all the necessary chromosomes and genetic information required from the female side to create an offspring. In terms of the process, the ovum matures in the woman’s ovaries and gets released each month – a process known as ovulation.

If the ovum gets fertilized by a sperm during its journey to the uterus, it can develop into a fetus, eventually leading to a new life. If this does not occur, the ovum, along with the lining of the uterus, is shed during the woman’s menstrual cycle.

In essence, the ovum plays a critical role in human reproduction and motherhood.

Examples of Ovum

Human Reproduction: In human reproduction, ovum plays a critical role as it represents the female gamete. It unites with the male sperm to form a zygote which further develops into a fetus. Each month, during the menstrual cycle, a mature ovary releases an ovum into the fallopian tube where fertilization may occur if sperm are present.

IVF Treatments: In vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments heavily rely on the ovum. In this process, a mature ovum is artificially combined with sperm in a lab (instead of inside the female body). After successful fertilization, the resulting embryo is then transferred into the woman’s uterus.

Egg Donation: In situations where a woman may not be able to conceive using her own eggs, she may choose to use donated eggs. An egg or ovum donor undergoes a process to have her eggs retrieved, which are then given to another woman who is trying to conceive. The donated ovum is fertilized with the recipient’s partner’s sperm and then transferred to the recipient’s uterus.

FAQs on Ovum and Motherhood

1. What is an ovum?

The ovum, also known as the egg, is the female reproductive cell or gamete. In humans, ova are produced by the female reproductive organs called ovaries and they are key to conception and pregnancy.

2. What role does an ovum play in motherhood?

An ovum contributes half of the genetic material needed to form a new person. During fertilization, the ovum joins with a sperm cell from a male and forms a zygote. This zygote can then grow into an embryo and eventually into a fetus.

3. How is an ovum released?

An ovum is typically released once a month from a woman’s ovaries in a process known as ovulation. This egg then travels down the fallopian tube where it may be fertilized by a sperm cell. If the egg is not fertilized, it is usually shed along with the lining of the uterus in a woman’s monthly period.

4. How long does an ovum live after ovulation?

An ovum can live for 12-24 hours after ovulation. Fertilization by a sperm cell must occur within this time frame for conception to take place.

5. Can a woman run out of ova?

Yes, a woman is born with a finite number of eggs (approximately 1 to 2 million). This number decreases as a woman ages, typically reaching zero at menopause, which usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55.

Related Motherhood Terms

  • Fertilization
  • Conception
  • Embryo
  • Zygote
  • Gamete

Sources for More Information

  • Mayo Clinic would be a reliable medical source for information about ovum.
  • Britannica is known for its encyclopedia which could also provide good information about ovum.
  • Medical News Today provides open access to a myriad of information on various medical topics including ovum.
  • WebMD is a trustworthy site and it could also be a useful source to find information about ovum.