The typical meiosis described above is seen only in the male. The primary spermatocyte of the male forms two secondary spermatocytes (after meiosis-I) and finally four spermatids (after meiosis-II). Both stages of meiosis begin after puberty, and are completed within a few days. However, the prophase-I takes about 22 days – a disproportionately long time.

In the female, however, there are long intervals (interkinesis) separating the different phases of meiosis. Meiosis-I begins immediately after birth but gets arrested after prophase, only to resume after puberty.

Meiosis-II also gets arrested in metaphase, only to be completed after fertilization. Moreover, in meiosis-I as well as in meiosis-II, the two daughter cells are not uniform in size: one gets most of the cytoplasm while the other gets little of it and is called the polar body. The polar bodies degenerate after sometime.