Mature Egg

Definition - What does Mature Egg mean?

A mature egg is a follicle in the ovary that has undergone two separate rounds of meiosis (a special form of cell division that only occurs in the egg and the sperm cells). These rounds of cell division reduce the number of chromosomes in the nucleus of the egg from 46 chromosomes to 23 chromosomes in preparation for fertilization by the sperm.

FertilitySmarts explains Mature Egg

Just prior to ovulation, the developing egg must undergo two rounds of cell division in order to reduce the number of chromosomes in the nucleus from 46 chromosomes to 23 chromosomes. This process of chromosome reduction is known as egg maturation and creates a mature egg that is ready for ovulation and fertilization by the sperm. When the 23 chromosome nuclear of the mature egg combines with the 23 chromosome nucleus of the sperm, the fertilized mature egg will again contain the 46 chromosomes necessary for healthy embryo development.

In women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) also known as an hCG trigger shot, is used to stimulate egg maturation in preparation for an egg retrieval procedure. Due to various factors, not all eggs collected during egg retrieval may be mature eggs. Only mature eggs will be eligible for the fertilization and implantation process.

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