Advice on getting pregnant, conception explained plus information on how ovulation and fertility effect your chances of conceiving a pregnancy.
Conception is the process of becoming pregnant. Most women ovulate each month, this is when an egg is released by the ovaries. For women with a 28-day menstrual cycle, ovulation typically occurs on day 14.
During intercourse the man will ejaculate and sperm will be passed from the testicles via the penis into the woman's vagina. If a sperm meets the egg, fertilisation may occur.
During a male ejaculation, there are anywhere between 60 million and 500 million sperm that have a go at the 'big race'. They cross the collar of the uterus pretty much within ten minutes. Only about 100 to 200 of the 'chosen ones' will arrive at the most strategic place.
The egg can be impregnated for approximately 24 hours from when it leaves the follicle. Once one sperm is successful and penetrates the egg it will lose it's tail and it's head will increase in size. This entrance creates an 'activation' in the egg and it too begins to enlarge.
If the egg has been fertilised (the process of the sperm fusing with the egg) it will move to the uterus and attach itself to the uterine lining, a process called implantation. The cells are called a zygote. The cells will begin to divide which will lead to the development of an embryo and hopefully produce a baby in nine months time!
A simple game of genetics will determine the sex of your baby. Every man and woman constitutes 22 pairs of chromosomes plus one pair that is the difference between them; these are the sexual chromosomes X and Y. Men have the chromosomes pairing of XY and women have the pairing of XX.
- Both the egg and the sperm have 23 chromosomes
- The egg is always the carrier of the X chromosome
- The sperm can carry either an X or a Y chromosome
This means that it is the male side that determines the sex of the baby.