Although soft lighting, cocktails and romantic music playing in the background may help pregnancy and conception occur, there is more to it than that. The process is biological; many things come into play to conceive a child. If you are trying to have a baby, it’s a good idea to understand how pregnancy and conception occur.
It Starts with Ovulation
Ovulation is necessary to become pregnant. Every month, eggs start to develop in the follicles of the ovaries. Usually, one follicle dominates to develop the egg, and the eggs in the other follicles stop maturing and degenerate, according to Web MD. The dominant follicle ruptures when the egg is ready, releasing the egg from the ovary. This is ovulation, and it typically happens two weeks before a woman’s period starts.
Preparing the Uterus
After ovulation, the ruptured follicle secretes progesterone and estrogen to prepare and thicken the lining of the uterus, the endometrium, for the embryo. When the egg is released, it travels into the fallopian tube and waits for about 24 hours for sperm to fertilize it. No sperm means the egg will degenerate, your increased hormones will subside and the thickened uterus lining will slough off, which is your period.
What is Conception?
Sperm can live inside a woman’s body for five days, so the sperm can already be there when the egg is released, or the sperm can arrive up to 24 hours after the egg releases. When the sperm meets the egg, after traveling through the cervix to the uterus, the egg becomes fertilized, and conception has occurred. At that time, a coating will form to prevent other sperm from entering the egg.
The Baby’s Gender
As soon as conception occurs, your baby’s sex is determined. Women only have X chromosomes, so they are XX. Men can have X or Y chromosomes, so they are XY. If the man’s sperm provides a Y chromosome, the baby will be a boy, an XY, and if the sperm provides an X chromosome, the baby will be a girl, an XX.
Signs You Are Pregnant
You will begin to notice some signs you are pregnant a few days after conception. Your breasts may be tender, and you may have nausea and vomiting, usually but not limited to, the morning. This is where the term “morning sickness” derives. You may feel more tired than usual, and you will miss your period. You can confirm your pregnancy by a urine test administered several days after conception. Your doctor can confirm the pregnancy by listening for fetal heart sounds.
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