THIS WEEK: CONCEPTION AND EARLY GROWTH
Your little one’s life begins this week.
The first two weeks of the pregnancy calendar – the two weeks when you weren’t actually pregnant – have passed and your new baby is now in the very first stages of development.Soon after ovulation at the start of this week, the egg is fertilized by a sperm, creating a zygote – the first stage of human life. The zygote then travels towards the uterus (womb), multiplying along the way. About 3 or 4 days after fertilization the morula, as it is now called, enters the uterus.
The morula now absorbs fluid from the uterus and becomes a blastocyst which implants into the uterus two or three days after the morula first entered the uterus.
- Zygote: The first stage of a human being, created when an egg is fertilized by a sperm. Fertilization takes place about 12 hours after ovulation.
- Morula: A mass of cells which looks like a mulberry. The zygote becomes a morula about 4 days after fertilization.
- Blastocyst:Composed of multiple cells, some of which will form the true embryo, while others will form the placenta. The morula becomes a blastocyst about 5 days after fertilization.
At this point you won’t know you are pregnant, at least not officially. Many women instinctively know they’re pregnant, though it’s just as likely you won’t notice anything until you miss your period in a couple of weeks.
Changes are occurring in your hormone levels as your body shifts into pregnancy mode, but at this point the changes are relatively small and won’t be picked up by pregnancy tests, nor are they likely to cause noticeable pregnancy symptoms.
After ovulation, a woman’s ovaries produce progesterone in preparation for pregnancy. This occurs whether or not she is pregnant. If there is no pregnancy, progesterone levels drop and another period occurs, but since you are pregnant, your ovaries will continue producing progesterone for several weeks until the placenta takes over this task 6 – 10 weeks after conception.