Pregnancy and the ensuing childbirth is truly a miracle. It is fascinating how human life takes shape inside our bodies. While most of us are aware of the basic concept, and may remember some details from our biology class in school, this topic is not usually openly discussed in the Indian society. It is, however, important for every woman to know exactly how you get pregnant. Let us look at the process stage-wise.

1. Women typically undergo a monthly ovulation cycle, where an egg is released by one of the two ovaries each time. The male testes produce millions of sperms throughout the month. Of course, a man and a woman having sexual intercourse, with semen ejected into the vaginal tract is the natural way to get pregnant. Of the millions of the sperm ejaculated, some of them travel up this tract into the fallopian tubes connected to the ovaries. There is a chance that one of them will meet the egg in the fallopian tube.

2. The fresh sperm is unable to fertilize; it needs a period of up to several hours in the female reproductive tract to capacitate, where its motility increases and its membrane is destabilized enough to penetrate the tough membrane surrounding the egg. After this, the sperm merges with the egg; this is known as fertilization or conception, and the fertilized egg is called a zygote.

3. The gametes of the egg and sperm fuse into one genome, whose cell division begins 24 to 36 hours after they merged. This process of cell division is very rapid, and the mass of cells keeps moving towards the uterus. Within a week, it reaches the destination and implantation takes place, that is, the genome gets implanted into the uterine wall.

4. Cell division continues until the eight week, when the placenta and umbilical cord are formed to nourish the embryo through the uterus. This embryo now has formations that will eventually become appendages, eyes, ears and mouth.

5. In the third month, the reproductive organs are formed and the foetus’s gender can now be determined. All other body parts continue to develop until the ninth month, when the foetus is full term and is ready to be delivered.

While there are a number of methods to calculate the estimated due date of a pregnancy, the LMP (Last Menstrual Period) method is universally accepted. Here the pregnancy is considered to last for 40 weeks, starting from the first day of the last normal period. The term ‘normal’ is used because a woman may have spotting in the first couple of months after conceiving, but this should not be mistaken for the regular menstrual period.

Knowing how you get pregnant is very useful if you want to conceive, as you can time your efforts for a better success rate. All the very best to you.  Here are some tips to get pregnant faster