The Egg Cells Begin to Develop...
The egg is produced in an organ with every aspect having
been especially designed for this purpose: the ovary.
In every woman, there are two ovaries, one on the right
and one on the left. In these ovaries, there is a space,
big enough for nerve fibres and blood vessels and lymphatic
ducts to enter and exit. Inside this space, there are
fibrous tissues rich in blood. For the egg cells to
be formed safely, they must be nourished and protected
by these tissues. Within this protective structure,
there are many sacs (follicles) of varying sizes. In
every follicle there is one primary egg cell. But only
a single mature ovum is normally released from the ovaries
each month so that only a single foetus can begin to
grow at a time.
But this production does not consist of only one stage.
In order for this egg cell to mature, a few developments
must occur, one after the other. In order for the primary
egg cell to maturate and become reproductive cells,
one division by mitosis and two divisions by meiosis
must occur, and in a definite series without confusion.
As a result of the divisions, a difference in the number
of chromosomes in the cell occurs and different types
of cells are formed. As is the case with male reproductive
cells, in the female, too, the 46 chromosomes in the
primary egg cells are reduced to 23.
Above we see the
internal structure of the uterus. A special
system has been created in the female body
that takes into account every eventuality
that may occur in the production of the
egg and in the completion of its journey.
For example, the millions of cells in a
fallopian tube are responsible for making
the egg reach the uterus. At the side we
see a picture of a fallopian tube where
the ripened egg lands.
As a result of the divisions by mitosis and meiosis
in the egg cell, three small cells and one large cell
(ootid) are produced. The small cells die from lack
of nourishment, while the large cell undergoes some
changes and becomes the egg. If each of these cells
were the same size, there would not be enough of the
required nourishment for the development of the zygote
at the end of the fertilisation process. But the fact
that one of the cells has more nourishment, and the
others are small prevents such a problem from developing.
The development of the egg is not an unchecked phenomenon
that occurs randomly by itself. As we explained at the
beginning, what gives shape to this development, as
in the case of the male reproductive system, are the
hormones secreted by the pituitary gland, which is located
under the brain. It is possible to outline the stages
in the formation of the egg and the hormones involved
in the process:
1. Follicular Growth:
This is the stage in which the egg cell begins to be
formed. The primary egg cell is found, as we said before,
in what is called the follicle. The formation of the
follicle takes about 14 days. A pituitary hormone, FSH
(follicle stimulating hormone), comes to the ovaries
in the bloodstream. This hormone is responsible for
the formation and development of the follicle in the
ovaries and the production of the egg from the primary
cell in the follicle. At the same time, this hormone
is the cause of the secretion of the oestrogen hormone
from the mature follicle.
Oestrogen is a hormone which especially affects the
uterus. It accelerates the division by mitosis of the
cells in the uterus; this area then swells forming a
soft cushion to which the embryo will adhere after the
process of fertilisation. In addition, it ensures that
a sufficient quantity of blood and tissue fluids are
directed to the uterus. These preparations are made
every month. If an egg is fertilised, it lodges in this
specially prepared tissue where it is nourished and
its development continues.
At the side we see the
representation of a tiny egg cell the size of
a grain of salt, which is one of the most important
elements that go into the formation of a human
being. The system required for the formation of
this single cell, is found in every female alive
in the world today, as it has been found in all
females who have ever lived. This is God's flawless
As is the case at every stage of human creation, here
also a miraculous event takes place. The cells in the
female reproductive system determine in advance the
needs of the embryo that they will host, make preparations
to meet these needs and work to supply the most suitable
environment for the development of the foetus. How can
a collection of cells effect operations that require
such a degree of consciousness and intelligence? It
is, of course, impossible to say that cells possess
such a consciousness and intelligence, but cells in
the female reproductive system (even cells in the pituitary
gland) do these things which we have declared impossible
for them, and prepare in advance the environment most
suitable to the needs of an embryo they have never known.
It is not possible for anyone with an intelligent mind
to claim that cells do these things by their own will
and intelligence. Indeed, only one whose thinking is
seriously flawed could claim that cells composed of
unconscious atoms can do what he himself cannot possibly
do with his conscious intelligence. This being the case,
the reality before us is crystal clear: all the cells
that contribute toward the creation of a human being
perform their functions by the inspiration of the Creator;
they are vehicles in the realization of a miracle that
occurs when every human being comes into the world.
2. Ovulation: At this stage the follicle
that carries the egg breaks and the egg is released.
But the egg cell, which has been released from the ovaries
into the void needs assistance. Otherwise, the egg cell
would never be able to find the place to meet the sperm.
So, at this point, the fallopian tubes, located between
the ovary and the uterus, go into action. The egg cell,
which has been released from the ovaries into the void,
is caught by the fallopian tube, which has large tentacles
like an octopus. The fallopian tube provides an appropriate
environment for fertilisation and the later stages occur
depending on whether or not there are sperm present
in this tube.
egg cell is 150 microns in size, and is colourless
and semi-transparent. (above) It is the shape
of a sphere and its outer part is surrounded
by a soft yet tough membrane. Within the structure
of the egg there are extra nutrients like
fat, sugar and proteins. This reserve of nutrients
will ensure that the egg cell is nourished
on its journey and, if fertilisation occurs,
will take care of its needs until it reaches
Controlling all this process is the luteinizing hormone
(LH) secreted by the pituitary gland. It is worthwhile
pointing out another interesting thing about this hormone.
The LH hormone is absolutely necessary for the breaking
of the follicle in which is located the mature egg cell
and for its movement toward the place where it will
meet the sperm. The absence of this hormone will result
in the failure of the follicle to progress to the stage
of ovulation, even if there is no deficiency in the
secretions of the other hormones. But this sort of problem
does not occur and 2 days before the ovulation stage,
for a reason that scientists are still unable to explain,
there is an increase in the secretion of the LH hormone
from the anterior pituitary gland. At the same stage
there is an increase in the FSH hormone and, by the
influence of these two hormones, ovulation occurs regularly
every month. In other words, here too the pituitary
gland makes an astounding calculation of time and begins
the secretion of the required hormones at exactly the
right time and in the proper quantities.
The egg cells develop
in the ovaries, in structures called follicles.
In this illustration we see the stages of
the development of one single egg cell and
its release from the follicle. All women regularly
repeat this stage at a particular time. Every
month during a particular period, new egg
cells are formed and the same hormones are
secreted again and again as the female body
prepares itself as if fertilisation were about
to occur. But in the final period of this
preparation, the preparations change according
to whether or not sperm are present. This
is an evident miracle of creation.
Of course this conscious activity is not to be expected
from the pituitary gland itself or from the cells which
make up this gland. Since there is a superior intelligence
and will to be seen here, there is One to Whom this
intelligence and will belong: it is the intelligence
and will of God which reveals itself in all of these
wondrous occurrences in the stages of human creation.
3. The Corpus Luteum (yellow body) - The Luteal
Phase: After expulsion of the egg from the
follicle, the empty follicle fills with blood. There
are special cells called "granulosa" and "theca" cells,
which surround the empty space where these follicles
are located; they multiply and take the place of the
clotted blood in the follicle. These cells accumulate
yellow lipid, and are therefore called lutein cells,
from the Latin word luteus, "saffron-yellow." So, the
follicle from which the egg has been released swells
with the fluids which have filled it and becomes an
active element called the corpus luteum (yellow body).13
The corpus luteum plays an
important role in the preparation of the uterus for
the embryo and in conducting the pregnancy in a healthy
manner. The most important particularity of this element
is the secretion of the hormone called progesterone
under the influence of LH (luteinizing hormone). Progesterone
has an extremely important function in stimulating the
walls of the uterus. The most important change in the
uterus occurs in the mucous membrane (mucous) that lines
the uterus. Under the influence of oestrogen and progesterone,
the mucous membrane begins to swell. The glands and
blood vessels become highly tortuous, and the thickness
of the uterine wall increases. The purpose of these
changes is to prepare a suitable place for the embryo
after fertilisation. In addition, it allows the pregnancy
to advance by making the walls of the uterus relax.
Progesterone also affects the development of the milk
That one hormone can have an influence on another and
that they have the sense to do these things exactly
at the right time cannot be explained by the operation
of chance. This brings some questions to mind: How can
a molecule formed of unconscious atoms be possessed
of such a sensitive innate power and take the initiative
to organize the operations of the body so comfortably?
It is clear that the molecules that make up the hormones
do not have intelligence or consciousness. This shows
that the system together with its complementary character
has been created by a supreme power. It is God, Lord
of earth and heaven Who has inspired the molecules which
compose the hormones and the atoms which compose the
molecules in their conscious activities.
When the egg is released from the follicle,
the corpus luteum is formed and begins to
secrete oestrogen and progesterone. Progesterone
stimulates the walls of the uterus. Under
the influence of these hormones, changes occur
in the wall of the uterus. The purpose of
these changes is to prepare a suitable environment
where the embryo may lodge after fertilisation.
All these operations occur in all women in
the same sequence and with the same perfection.
These operations are the result of an evident
plan and design.
The corpus luteum phase lasts 12-14 days. At the end
of this period, if fertilisation has not taken place,
the corpus luteum degenerates and the same stage is
repeated. With the degeneration of the corpus luteum,
oestrogen, progesterone and other hormones are no longer
secreted; that is, the pituitary gland again comes into
action. Once again the secretion of FSH and LH begins
in the pituitary gland, causing the growth of new follicles
to begin. But these follicles cannot develop sufficiently
because the lack of oestrogen and progesterone causes
a new stage to begin-menstruation.
4. Menstruation: This is the stage
in which the unfertilised egg is ejected from the body.
Because fertilisation has not taken place, the previously
prepared wall of the uterus contracts, the blood vessels
are constricted and the egg is ejected. After this stage,
the body will begin again to prepare to carry out all
It was He Who created the
heavens and the earth in all truth. The day
He says "Be!" it is. His word is the Truth.
All sovereignty shall be His on the Day the
Trumpet is blown. He is the Knower of the
Unseen and the Visible. He is the All-Wise,
(Qur'an, 6: 73)
This whole stage is repeated in all women regularly
throughout a particular period of time. Every month
new egg cells are produced, the same hormones are secreted
again and again at the same period and the woman's body
is prepared as if fertilisation were going to occur.
But in the final stage, the direction of the preparation
changes according to whether or not sperm are present.
2002 Expanded Edition, "Corpus Luteum", "Menstruation:
Phases of the menstrual cycle"