Human Ovulation Captured on Film for First Time


New Scientist, who published the image, calls it "history in the making." It's the clearest picture ever of an egg being produced by an ovary. Jacques Donnez at the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) in Brussels, Belgium "captured the event by accident while preparing to carry out a partial hysterectomy on a 45-year-old woman."



New Scientist reports: “The release of an egg was considered a sudden, explosive event, but his pictures, to be published in Fertility and Sterility, show it taking place over a period of at least 15 minutes. Shortly before the egg is released, enzymes break down the tissue in the mature follicle, a fluid-filled sac on the surface of the ovary that contains the egg. This prompts the formation of a reddish protrusion, and after a while a hole appears, from which the egg emerges, surrounded by support cells. It then enters a Fallopian tube, which carries it to the uterus.”

Posted June 12, 2008 at 8:31am ETC by Andy Towle
in Nature, News