Fallopian Tube Fluid: The Physiological Medium for Fertilization and Early Embryonic Development



In the absence of pathological conditions, fluid can be detected in the lumen of the Fallopian tube throughout the reproductive lifespan. It varies in volume and composition according to the stage of the ovarian cycle or pregnancy, and is most abundant at the time when gametes or embryos would be present in the tubes. Accordingly, tubal fluid might be viewed as of critical importance in the events of fertilization and subsequent cleavage of the zygote, not least since there are no fixed morphological relationships between the embryo and the endosalpinx during its progression towards the uterus. On the other hand, studies of in vitro fertilization and the first stages of development using supposedly chemically-defined media — in conjunction with subsequent transplantation of the embryos to demonstrate viability — place a substantial question mark over any unique value of the Fallopian tube fluid, this being especially so in primates. The dilemma will be addressed in Chapters IX and X.


Fallopian Tube Ovarian Vein Tubal Epithelium Oestrous Cycle Luminal Fluid 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of ScienceUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghScotland, Great Britain

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