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Egg-citing Pictures! Egg Released During Ovulation.

The first photos of a female human's egg release during ovulation.
These pictures are incredible! (First time seen clearly on a human female). This was captured by Dr. Jacques Donnez (2008) while he performed a  laparoscopic hysterectomy on a 45-year-old female.  In these photos you will see the follicle (red) – a fluid-filled sac on the surface of the ovary (white) containing the egg. The process lasted approximately 15 minutes. The egg (ovum) is only viable for pregnancy for 24 hours after its release.  However, if sperm were already present at the cervix or in the uterus before ovulation occurred, pregnancy could take place. Sperm typically remain viable for about 72 hours. This is why there can be a “window” of time around ovulation when a woman can achieve pregnancy.   If you are interested in more pelvic health education, please see our online platform, Pelvic Guru Academy for some amazing courses!


  1. celainesmith on October 19, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    This was a great moment of learning and a time of appreciation for advancement in technology. Thanks for sharing!

    • Pelvic Guru on October 19, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      Yes! It’s a great moment in time for sure! Thanks for your comment 😉

  2. Jodi on October 21, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Wow! Amazing capture! Thanks for sharing!

    • Pelvic Guru on October 21, 2012 at 11:33 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Jodi! Yes- Amazing!

  3. Kristin on October 29, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    This is incredible. As a science geek, I appreciate opportunities to learn. Thanks.

    • Pelvic Guru on October 29, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      Kristin- Thanks for your interest and comment (and fellow science-geekiness)! It IS super incredible. It’s one thing to read about it, but another thing to actually see what it looks like!

      • Tamika Blyther on July 4, 2014 at 3:24 am

        Is it natural for a women to release 5 or 6 eggs during ovulation, and a women who does dose her body feel more cramping and heaviness during her menstrual month

  4. Linda Onajobi on November 2, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Thank you Pelvic Guru for sharing this picture. It speaks clearly about the ovulation process. Nice one and believe many women will thank you for it.

    • Pelvic Guru on November 2, 2012 at 11:38 pm

      Thank you for sharing your comment! It’s great to receive feedback. Feel free to share the link to others so they can see it.

    • Baatyr on November 26, 2012 at 10:27 pm

      1) Ejaculation has a greater sperm count than pre-ejaculation.2)Well if she aadrley ovulated, that means that she aadrley released an egg. So sperm will have no egg to fertilize. There is a 10% chance of pregnancy in that situation. However, periods of ovulation are different for everyone so if she ovulates again real soon there is a chance of pregnancy because the sperm might still be in the vaginal area waiting to fertilize an egg. Most likely sperm will die off in 2 days after being the vagina.

  5. Sylvia on November 13, 2012 at 11:39 am

    I wonder how this compares to a younger woman’s anatomy.

    • Pelvic Guru on November 13, 2012 at 3:09 pm

      Sylvia- Great point/question…

  6. Katy Bowman on November 13, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    This was really great — thank you for sharing it! I posted this on the Aligned and Well Facebook page with this additional ovum science (which you may already know!): A woman’s eggs are developed while she’s in utero, which means a woman is born with all the eggs she’ll ever have (as opposed to males who make their sperm throughout a lifetime). This also means that your eggs were inside you when you were inside your mom. So the egg that you came from was once inside your grandmother.

    • Pelvic Guru on November 13, 2012 at 3:08 pm

      Katy! Thanks for sharing this on your FB page AND thanks for the info. It’s great info to share! Looking forward to continued communication and hopefully collaboration. ~ Tracy

    • Nawid on January 6, 2014 at 10:36 am

      I found out about 4 years ago after I had a fibroid tumor reevomd surgically that I would have to have c-sections when I eventually have children. Due to the surgery I had I will never be able to deliver normally. Hopefully there is not too much scarring from my surgery that I will still be able to have children one day.

    • Meredith on January 18, 2016 at 10:13 pm

      Cool thought!

  7. AnnaP on November 13, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Sperm can actually live in the woman’s body for up to 5 days, with optimal conditions.

  8. Anonymous on November 13, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Fascinating picture, thanks for posting! But you have an inaccurate statement about the lifespan of sperm. In optimal conditions, sperm can live for close to a week inside the woman’s body; much longer than the 72 hours that you have cited. This is because in the days before ovulation, the woman’s body secretes cervical mucus which protects and nourishes any sperm that would be deposited.

  9. Rajib Kumar Borah on December 6, 2012 at 9:36 am

    This is the moment about what I’m frequently asked by the student that they will be able to see an original picture of ovulation or not

  10. […] Eggs Released During Ovulation […]

  11. Pelvic Guru on December 29, 2012 at 1:21 am

    Thanks for all of your wonderful comments.

  12. Anonymous on December 7, 2013 at 4:18 am

    very very informative

  13. francis ndario on May 11, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Quite educative, wow, keep it up

  14. Tamika Blyther on July 4, 2014 at 3:25 am

    what is the highest amount of eggs a women has been known to release.

  15. okonkwo joy catherine on March 21, 2015 at 6:50 am

    Am finding it hard to conceive,I took clomid 50mg for 10days mistakenly,how can u help me to conceive fast.

  16. Laresa Reed on February 26, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    May I have permission to use this photo for educational purposes?

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