Understanding Conception

Understanding Conception

Posted on 26. Dec, 2011 by in Conceiving, Pregnancy Education

For the most part we understand how a child is made, right? Sperm and egg join and nine months later (ten, actually), a baby is had.

But are you familiar with exactly how the process happens? Here’s an in-depth look at how conception occurs.

Egg Release

Women are born with all of the eggs that they’re ever going to have in their lifetime. Each month, one of those eggs matures and gets released into one of our fallopian tubes with the hope of becoming fertilized and producing a child. In preparation to house a fetus for nine months, the lining of our uterus builds up because of excess estrogen that gets released. If that month’s egg does not get fertilized, then there is no need for the uterine liner. We shed that each month through what is our menstrual period.

Sperm’s Purpose

When a man ejaculates, up to 250 million sperm get released. They begin their journey to find the egg. Sperm can live for up to six days inside a woman, they’re patient organisms. This means that you don’t necessarily have to be ovulating the day you have sex but rather around the time that you have sex. You could have sex on a Monday, let’s say, and not become pregnant until Wednesday because there wasn’t an egg ready on Monday but there is on Wednesday.

That’s why if you’re trying to become pregnant, it’s a good idea to track your ovulation so that you can be aware of your most fertile days for conceiving.

The Moment of Conception

Once sperm reach your egg, it becomes a fight of the fittest. Only the strongest sperm will penetrate the egg and fertilize it. That 250 million sperm that started out, has now dropped in numbers to roughly two hundred or so. But it only takes one, and once the egg has been fertilized, its outer layer immediately begins to thicken so that no other sperm can penetrate it. In other words, only one sperm is allowed inside the egg.


Once an egg has been fertilized by a sperm, it begins its journey back to the uterus. What started as one single cell, the fertilized egg starts evolving at conception. By the time it reaches the uterus, it is a cluster of cells known as a blastocyst.

It attaches itself to the uterine wall and continues to create a human by dividing itself into more and more cells. Nine months later, if all has gone according to plan, you will hold your baby in your arms. A perfect rendition of you and your partner.   


About the author: Danielle is a freelance blogger and editor specializing in parenting, family, pregnancy, social media, and entrepreneurial topics. To learn more about Danielle, please visit her website at www.PenPointEditorial.com.

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