What is Conception, Pregnancy and Fertilization?
Fertilisation or fertilization (see spelling differences), also known as conception, generative fertilisation, insemination, fecundation, syngamy and impregnation, is the fusion of reproductive cells to initiate the development of a new individual organism or offspring. During this period. a fetus or and embryon is formed. The date of conception after noticeable symptoms can be calculated, if not known, with The Ovulation Date or The LMP.
Pregnancy, also known as gestation, is the time during which one or more offspring develops inside a woman. A multiple pregnancy involves more than one offspring, such as with twins. It usually occurs by sexual intercourse, but can occur through assisted reproductive technology procedures. A pregnancy may end in a live birth, a spontaneous miscarriage, an induced abortion, or a stillbirth. Childbirth typically occurs around 40 weeks from the start of the last menstrual period (LMP). This is just over nine months – (gestational age) where each month averages 31 days. When using fertilization age it is about 38 weeks. An embryo is the developing offspring during the first eight weeks following fertilization, (ten weeks gestational age) after which, the term fetus is used until birth. Signs and symptoms of early pregnancy may include missed periods, tender breasts, nausea and vomiting, hunger, and frequent urination. Pregnancy may be confirmed with a pregnancy test.
- Obstetrics, midwifery
- Missed periods,
- tender breasts,
- nausea and vomiting,
- frequent urination
Miscarriage, high blood pressure of pregnancy, gestational diabetes, iron-deficiency anemia, severe nausea and vomiting
- 40 weeks from the last menstrual period
- Sexual intercourse, assisted reproductive technology
- Birth control (including emergency contraception)
- Prenatal care, abortion
- Folic acid, iron supplements
- 213 million (2012)
- 230,600 (2016)
Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters, each lasting for approximately 3 months. The first trimester includes conception, which is when the sperm fertilizes the egg. The fertilized egg then travels down the fallopian tube and attaches to the inside of the uterus, where it begins to form the embryo and placenta. During the first trimester, the possibility of miscarriage (natural death of embryo or fetus) is at its highest. Around the middle of the second trimester, movement of the fetus may be felt. At 28 weeks, more than 90% of babies can survive outside of the uterus if provided with high-quality medical care.
Prenatal care improves pregnancy outcomes. Prenatal care may include taking extra folic acid, avoiding drugs, tobacco smoking, and alcohol, taking regular exercise, having blood tests, and regular physical examinations. Complications of pregnancy may include disorders of high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, iron-deficiency anemia, and severe nausea and vomiting. In the ideal childbirth labor begins on its own when a woman is "at term". Babies born before 37 weeks are "preterm" and at higher risk of health problems such as cerebral palsy. Babies born between weeks 37 and 39 are considered "early term" while those born between weeks 39 and 41 are considered "full term". Babies born between weeks 41 and 42 weeks are considered "late term" while after 42 week they are considered "post term". Delivery before 39 weeks by labor induction or caesarean section is not recommended unless required for other medical reasons.
Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy
The usual symptoms and discomforts of pregnancy do not significantly interfere with activities of daily living or pose a health-threat to the mother or baby. However, pregnancy complications can cause other more severe symptoms, such as those associated with anemia.
Common symptoms and discomforts of pregnancy include:
- Morning sickness
- Pelvic girdle pain
- Back pain
- Braxton Hicks contractions. Occasional, irregular, and often painless contractions that occur several times per day.
- Peripheral edema swelling of the lower limbs. Common complaint in advancing pregnancy. Can be caused by inferior vena cava syndrome resulting from compression of the inferior vena cava and pelvic veins by the uterus leading to increased hydrostatic pressure in lower extremities.
- Low blood pressure often caused by compression of both the inferior vena cava and the abdominal aorta (aortocaval compression syndrome).
- Increased urinary frequency. A common complaint, caused by increased intravascular volume, elevated glomerular filtration rate, and compression of the bladder by the expanding uterus.
- Varicose veins. Common complaint caused by relaxation of the venous smooth muscle and increased intravascular pressure.
- Urinary tract infection
- Hemorrhoids (piles). Swollen veins at or inside the anal area. Caused by impaired venous return, straining associated with constipation, or increased intra-abdominal pressure in later pregnancy.
- Regurgitation, heartburn, and nausea.
- Stretch marks
- Breast tenderness is common during the first trimester, and is more common in women who are pregnant at a young age.
- Melasma, also known as the mask of pregnancy, is a discoloration, most often of the face. It usually begins to fade several months after giving birth.