(Source: Ferenc Husvéth)
Capacitation, generally speaking, is the change sperm undergo in the female reproductive tract that enables them to penetrate and fertilize an egg.
This step is a biochemical event; the sperm moves normally and looks mature prior to capacitation. It is important to note that once the sperm reaches the egg, it does not mean that it is capable of fertilizing it immediately. In order to fertilize the egg, the sperm must undergo the process of capacitation in the reproductive tract where a number of enzymes and signaling molecules are involved. This process can take around 10 hours, which means that the fertilization time is approximately 24 hours.
(Image Source: Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1713008)
The terms “semen” and “sperm” are sometimes incorrectly used as synonyms. While they are closely connected, they are not the same.
In order to initiate fertilization, a sperm must first fuse with the plasma membrane of the female egg cell (known as the zona pellucida) and then penetrate through the membrane to fertilize it. Generally speaking, many sperm fuse to an egg cell, making it the “easy” part. Actually getting sperm to penetrate through the egg's external shell can, and often is, the more difficult activity. In order to accomplish this, sperm cells go through a process known as the acrosome reaction, which occurs in the sperm as it approaches the egg.
(Image source: Anatomy & Physiology, Connexions Web site. http://cnx.org/content/col11496/1.6/)
The scrotum is a feature of the male reproductive system that hangs from the body at the front of the pelvis, between the legs. It is a sac of skin divided into two chambers, and it sits next to the upper thighs. The two compartments of the scrotum are distinguished externally by a middle ridge called the raphe. Internally, the raphe connects to a muscular partition, the septum, which serves to divide the scrotum into its two areas.
Our most recent intern from North Carolina Central University Edward Morris sat down with us to discuss his motivation in joining the team and his interest in male contraception. This blog post shares highlights from that conversation.
Hello, my name is Edward Morris, I am a Public Health Education student at North Carolina Central University. I am a non-traditional student who had a prior career in the United States Army as a Bradley Commander and a Chemical Operations Specialist. I served 2 tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom. I wanted to continue to serve the American people and advocate for better health for underserved communities.
(Photo courtesy of Sansum Clinic)
This blog post is written by Male Contraceptive Initiative's Youth Advisory Board Member Claudia Brewer
When we hear “male birth control,” the vasectomy may be the first thing that springs to mind for many of us. Despite this, there’s a lot of confusion out there surrounding this procedure: Is it permanent, or reversible? Does it fulfill all of men’s contraceptive needs? To get to the bottom of these questions, I did some research and spoke with Dr. Alex Koper, a urologist at Sansum Clinic with 40 years of experience performing and counseling for vasectomies.
Male Contraceptive Initiative condemns in the strongest possible terms any and all acts of violence perpetrated against any group or individual. The most pressing reason for asserting this today is the unconscionable rise in attacks on people of Asian descent in America over the past year, with at least 3,700 individual acts of violence reportedly committed against this community since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are saddened and distressed by this violence and the way it affects Asian American communities.
(Image credit: Dana Foundation - Illustration by Elizabeth A. Weaver II)
Male Contraceptive Initiative provides funding and advocacy support for the development of non-hormonal, reversible forms of male contraception. But what does “non-hormonal” mean? How do these methods differ from “hormonal” contraceptives? In this post, we share a primer on the difference between hormonal and non-hormonal contraception. (Please note that there is a mini-glossary at the end of the post that provides definitions for key terms featured in the post. Please visit the Glossary page on our website for additional terms and definitions.)
A mandate for all physicians far and wide is “Do No Harm.” A mandate in which the health of the patient is prioritized above all else, and the health benefits of any treatment should outweigh the risks of that treatment. This creates a situation in which life-saving therapies with powerful and sometimes dangerous side effects are easily justified, because without treatment a very serious diagnosis could kill the patient entirely.
Our most recent MCI Youth Advisory Board member Claudia Brewer sat down with us to discuss her motivation in joining the board and her interest in male contraception. This blog post shares highlights from that conversation.
What do you study/what's your academic background?
I’m pursuing a B.S. in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology with a Minor in Society and Genetics at UCLA. My goal in college is to gain a deep understanding of human health, from the complex molecular mechanisms underlying disease to the broader social and political implications of the latest bioengineering technologies. Most of my background is in biological research and healthcare. Most recently, I conducted research on a pathogenic protein associated with Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases at the UCSB Neuroscience Research Institute. I currently serve as a scribe for a primary care physician at UCLA Health.