The ova remains viable for approximately 24 hrs after ovulation to be fertilised by a sperm.

...chances of becoming pregnant increase dramatically if you have sex during the 5 days before ovulation and the 24 hours after ovulation. [source]

My question: what prevents it from remaining viable for a longer period?

My assumptions:

  1. Could be because it is arrested in metaphase II so cannot undergo transcription

  2. Could also be because its haploid

  3. Due to progesterone effect.

So what is the real phenomenon behind this? Also note that, compared to the ova, the sperms remain viable in the female reproductive tracts for a longer time (approx. 4-5 days).



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