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Development of Fetus

Development of Fetus

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Published by mOHAN.S

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Published by: mOHAN.S on Dec 04, 2009
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It is defined as the union of a single egg and sperm,marks the beginning of a pregnancy. The act of becoming pregnant, by the fertilization of an ovum.
Foetal development
After the embryonic period (8 weeks) and birth the developing humanis called a foetus.
:Following ovulation, the ovum passes into theuterine tube and is moved along towards the uterus. At this timecervix, under the influence of oestrogen, secretes a flow of alkalinemucus that attracts the spermatozoa. At intercourse about 300million sperm are deposited in the posterior fornix of thevagina.Those that reach the loose cervical mucus survive to propelthemselves towards the uterine tubes while the remainder aredestroyed by the acid medium of the vagina. Only thousands reachthe uterine tube where they meet the ovum, usually in the ampulla.During this journey, the sperm matures and is capable of releasingthe enzyme hyaluronidase, which allows penetration of the zonapellucida and the cell membrane is sealed to prevent entry of anyfurther sperm and the nuclei of the two cells fuse. The sperm and theovum are known as the male and female gametes, and the fertilisedovum as the zygote.
Amniotic Fluidity is secreted by the amnion, especially the partcovering the placenta and umbilical cord. Some fluid is exuded frommaternal vessels in the decidua and also from fetal vessels in theplacenta. It increases in amount weekly until there is approximately800-1200 ml at term. It is a clear, pale straw colored fluid 99% waterand 1% is dissolved solid matter.
It distends the amniotic sac and allows for the growth and freemovement of the foetus.
It maintenance of constant body temperature for the fetus andprovides small amounts of nutrients.
It equalizes pressure and protects the fetus from jarring andinjury.
It protects the placenta and umbilical cord from the pressure of uterine contractions during labour.
: Placental development begins at third week of embryonicdevelopment and develops at site where embryo attaches touterine wall
Produces 4 hormones necessary to maintain pregnancy
Support fetus for respiration, nutrition, excretion
Storage of glucose in the form of glycogen and reconverts toglucose and also store proteins, calcium and iron
Fetal sac
: It consists of a double membrane, outer membrane is thechorion, which lies under the capsular deciduas and becomes closelyadherent to the uterine wall. The inner membrane is the amion whichcontains the amniotic fluid.
: It is a thick opaque, friable membrane derived from thetrophoblast.It is continuous with the chorionic plate, which forms thebase of the placenta.
: It is a smooth, tough, translucent membrane derived fromthe inner cell mass. It is thought to have a role in the formation of theamniotic fluid.
Develops from amnion Body stalk attaches embryo to yolk sac,fuses with embryonic portion of placenta
Provides pathway from chorionic villi to embryo
Contains two arteries and one vein
Surrounded by Wharton’s jelly to protect vessels
Wharton’s jelly: Specialized connective tissue protects bloodvesselsFunction of umbilical cord: Provides circulatory pathway toEmbryo
Pre-embryonic stage
 The first two weeks following conception is called the preembryonicperiod.
Embryonic development
From the fourteenth day after conception through the eighth week of pregnancy the products of conception are referred to as the embryo.
Third week:
 The embryonic disc becomes elongated and pear-shaped, with abroad cephalic and a narrow caudal end.The ectoderm formed a longcylindrical tube for brain and spinal cord development.Thegastrointestinal tract developed from the endoderm appears asanother tube like structure communicating with the yolk sac. Themost advanced organ is the heart. At 3 weeks, a single tubular heartforms outside the body cavity of the embryo and by the end of 28days, it starts beating at regular rhythm and push its own primitiveblood cells through the main blood vessels.
Fourth week:
 The interval between date 21 and 32 is characterized by somiteformation.Somites are a series of mesodermal blocks that forms oneach of the midline of the embryo.The vertebras that form the spinalcolumn develop from these somites.Arm and leg buds are not visiblebut tail bud is visible.By this time 4 pirs of pharyngeal pouches aredeveloped.The first arch forms the lower jaw, second-the hyoid boneand the third and fourth-cartilage of the laynx.The primordia of theeye and ear are also present.By 30
day, the arm and leg budsbecome prominent and by day 35, they are well developed.

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