The first few weeks of pregnancy can be somewhat strange and wonderful at the same time, but its also a very special time, at this stage most women wouldn’t realize that they are pregnant. This guide will help you understand and enjoy your pregnancy, you will learn whats going on in your body and how your baby is developing week by week.
Fertilization of the Egg
Fertilization is believed to occur in the middle part of the tube called the ampulla, not inside the uterus. Sperm travel through the uterine cavity and out into the tube to meet the egg. When the sperm and egg join, the sperm must pass through several outer layers of the ovum, although many sperm penetrate the outer layers usually only one sperm enters the ovum and fertilizes it. After the sperm penetrates the ovum, the sperm head attaches to its surface. The membranes of the sperm and ovum unite, enclosing in the same membrane. The ovum reacts to this contact with the sperm by making changes in the outer layers so no further sperm can enter. The sperm also loses its tail. The head of the sperm is called the male pro nucleus, the ovum is called the female pro nucleus. The chromosomes of the male and female pro nuclei combine. When this starts happening very small bits of information and characteristics from each partner conjoin. This chromosomal information gives us our particular characteristics. Each parent supplies 23 chromosomes your baby is a combination of chromosomal information from both parents. Your baby’s sex is determined at the time of fertilization by the type of sperm that fertilizes the egg.
When is your baby due?
The beginning of a pregnancy is actually figured out from the beginning of the first day of your last menstrual period. That means your are pregnant 2 weeks before you actually conceive. This can be confusing so lets look a Little closer.
For most women they don’t know the exact date of conception, but they have a good idea of the date of their last period, this is the point from which a pregnancy is dated, for most women ovulation takes place around the middle of their monthly cycle or 2 weeks before their next period. Pregnancy last about 280 days or 40 weeks from the start of the 1st day of the last period. You can calculate your due date by counting 280 days from the 1st day of your last period, this gives you the approximate date of delivery. Calculating a pregnancy this way gives the gestational age or menstrual age, most doctors and midwifes use this method to keep track of time during pregnancy. Most people count time during pregnancy by using weeks, most find this the easiest way.
Its also important to understand a due date is only an estimate, not an exact date don’t count on that particular date, see it as a goal a date to prepare and look forward to, you may see that date come and go and no baby. Understanding how time is recorded during pregnancy helps, remember no matter how you count the time of your pregnancy its going to last as long as its going to last, but a miracle is happening, a life is growing and developing inside you, enjoy this wonderful change in your life.
Look out for future articles from me on week 4 and beyond.