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Conception, implantation and placentation


The aim of the menstrual cycle is to mature and release an ovum ready for conception, and prepare the uterine lining for conception and implantation. When an ovum is released from the ovary, it travels toward the uterus ready for fertilisation. Each ovum contains only 23 chromosomes and, for successful conception and pregnancy to occur, the nucleus of the ovum must fuse with the nucleus of a sperm which will provide the further 23 chromosomes required to create a human fetus. The fertilised ovum must then reach the uterus, implant and undergo distinct changes in order to successfully create the fetus and placenta.

Learning aims and objectives

This resource aims to provide a basic overview of conception, implantation and placentation theory. At the end of this module you will be able to:

  • Understand the process of conception and fertilisation
  • Identify the various stages of fertilisation and growth of the embryo
  • Correctly name the various parts and terms associated with fertilisation and pregnancy
  • Know how the cells adapt in the formation of embryo, placenta and so on

Keywords and linking topics

Conception, implantation, placentation, placental development, embryo formation, blastocyst

Activities and questions at the end of this resource will enable you to assess your knowledge and reflect on how you can incorporate it into your own practice. In the following questions, please select the answer that you believe to be correct. This will be marked and then you can move on to the next question. If you wish, at the end you can return for a further attempt at the questions.

Upon completion of the module, you will be able to download and save or print a certificate to include in your CPD/revalidation portfolio.