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Compendium Review Major Topic One: Reproductive System

Part Three • Fertilization • Pre-embryonic and Embryonic Development • Fetal Development, Pregnancy and Birth • Development after Birth

• Fertilization
• Pre-embryonic and Embryonic Development • Fetal Development, Pregnancy and Birth • Development after Birth

Pic from http://en.wikiped

Sperm cell fusing with ovum

Fertilization is the process of an egg and a sperm joining to form a zygote which is the first cell of a new human being. Fertilization occurs in six steps:
1. Sperm breaks through the corona radiata (layer of follicular cells) 2. The head of the sperm, known as acrosome, digests part of the eggs plasma membrane known as the zona pellucida 3. Sperm fuses with eggs membrane 4. Sperm nucleus enters eggs cytoplasm 5. Vesicles called cortical granules release enzymes which prevent other sperm from binding to the plasma membrane by releasing enzymes that make the membrane impassable 6. The eggs pronuclei and sperms pronuclei are surrounded by a nuclear envelope

Pic from http://www.britanni

• Fertilization • Pre-embryonic and Embryonic Development • Fetal Development, Pregnancy and Birth • Development after Birth

A human embryo at five to six weeks of development
Pic from http://www.scienceclarifi

Pre-embryonic and Embryonic Development
The process of human development from a zygote includes: cleavage (mitotic, each new cell receives complete set of genes and chromosomes), growth of daughter cell size, morphogenesis (shaping of the embryo), and differentiation (cells assume different functions and structures).

Outside of an embryo is the extraembryonic membranes which is responsible for gas exchange, collecting waste, and providing nourishment. This includes the chorion (contributes to placenta formation), allantois (extends from embryo, contributes to umbilical cord formation), Yolk sac (contains blood vessels, blood cell formation), and the amnion (fluid that protects growing fetus).

Pic from Human Biology pg 355

Development occurs in three stages, preembryonic (first week), embryonic (second week to end of second month), and fetal development. The zygote undergoes cleavage as it makes its way down the oviduct to the uterus. This sac of embryonic cells is known as a morula, which in turn becomes the blastocyst. The early blastocyst has an inner cell mass which is surrounded by an outer layer of cells. The outer layer of cells will become the chorion and the inner cells will become the embryo.

Pre-embryonic and Embryonic Development

Pic from Human Biology pg 356

Pre-embryonic and Embryonic Development
During the second week the embryo implants itself in the uterus wall, secretes HCG to maintain the corpus luteum and prevent menstruation, and secretes enzymes to eat the tissue and blood vessels of the endometrium. The yolk sac (blood cell formation) and the amniotic cavity (surround fetus) form and are separated by the embryonic disk which was the inner cell mass. This act of forming the embryonic disk is known as gastrulation, where the cells move to become a layer of tissue known as the primary germ layer. The allantois and yolk sac become the umbilical cord which will transport blood between the placenta and embryo.

Pic’s from Human Biology pg 357

Pre-embryonic and Embryonic Development

Pic’s from Human Biology pg 38-597

By the third week the nervous system is evident. Development of the heart and neural fold become apparent. In the fourth week the embryo is connected to the chorion by the body stalk (pre-umbilical cord). The head and the tail are forming , and the umbilical cord becomes fully formed. During the fifth week limb buds star to appear and the head enlarges.

Pre-embryonic and Embryonic Development
In week six through week eight the embryo takes a human appearance, with it’s limbs, hands and feet starting to take form, the head and neck become more defined while the eyelids start to develop, kidneys begin to produce urine, and the skeleton begins ossification. The fetus is about 1.5 inches long

Pic’s from The Visible Embryo and

• Fertilization • Pre-embryonic and Embryonic Development

• Fetal Development, Pregnancy and Birth
• Development after Birth

“This embryo is also from an ectopic pregnancy, this one in the cornu (the part of the uterus to which the Fallopian tube is attached). The features are consistent with a developmental age of seven weeks (reckoned as the ninth week of pregnancy).”
Pic and verbiage from

Fetal Development, Pregnancy & Birth

During pregnancy, progesterone and estrogen prevent new follicles from forming, preventing menstruation. Nutrients and oxygen are moving from the mothers side to the fetal side, while waste and carbon dioxide is moving to the maternal side.

Pic’s from Human Biology pg 361

Arteries and veins in the umbilical cord are responsible for transporting oxygen rich/poor blood to and away from the developing

Table from Human Biology pg 360

Fetal Development, Pregnancy & Birth
The third month through the ninth month is known as fetal development. In the third to fourth months the fetus will grow in length while the gender of the baby becomes recognizable. Also, finger nails, hair on the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, and nipples form. The fetus is about 6 inches long by the end of the fourth month. Movement of the fetus is felt
Table from Human Biology pg 364

in the fifth to seventh month. A very fine hair called lanugo grows on the fetus, which is covered by a waxy white substance called vernix caseosa to protect the skin from the amniotic fluid. At the end of the seventh month the fetus us about 12 inches long the 3 pounds. Around and seventh week gonads start to develop. If the SRY (sex determining region of the Y) gene is present, testes develop. Testosterone stimulates the Wolffian ducts to produce male genital ducts, whereas if the SRY gene is not present then ovaries will develop causing the Wolffian ducts to regress and the Mullerian ducts to develop into the oviducts and uterus.

Fetal Development, Pregnancy & Birth
The XY gene denotes a male and the XX gene denotes a female. However, abnormalities will develop in XY female syndrome and XX male syndrome. A piece of the Y chromosome is missing in people with XY female syndrome and that piece is added to people who have XX male syndrome. The SRY gene is what cause testes to form. The testes secrete testosterone which stimulate the development of the male reproductive organs. Anti-Mullerian hormones discourage a females reproductive structure from developing, and dihydrotestosterone aids in the development of the penis, scrotum, prostate glands, and urethra. In the absence of any of these hormones during fetal development, the sex determination of the individual can be ambiguous.

Fetal Development, Pregnancy & Birth
Due to placental hormones, many changes occur in the mothers body during pregnancy. Most woman experience fluctuations in their energy levels due to nausea and weight gain. The progesterone relaxes smooth muscle of the uterus and arteries. Low blood pressure, water retention, and heartburn become prevalent. The pulmonary values change while the uterus occupies a large amount of the abdominal cavity. Also, pregnancy-induced diabetes, varicose veins, stress on the bladder, and stretch marks are common too.

Table from Human Biology pg 368

Fetal Development, Pregnancy & Birth
1. During the first stage of labor, the lower portion of the uterus is pulled upwards by the baby’s head. The head then promotes cervical dilation. The amniotic membrane will have ruptured by or during this stage, and the cervix will be completely dilated by the end of this stage.

3. The third stage is known as the afterbirth, when the placenta dislodges and is pushed down to the vagina.

2. During the second stage of labor the contractions are very frequent and lasting about a minute. The mother will have a desire to push as the baby is exiting through the birth canal.
Table from Human Biology pg 369

• Fertilization • Pre-embryonic and Embryonic Development • Fetal Development, Pregnancy and Birth

• Development after Birth

“Newborn infant, just seconds after delivery.”

Picture & verbiage from

Development after Birth
The study of aging is known as gerontology. As we grow older our skin starts to thin, the subcutaneous layer looses adipose tissue causing sagginess and wrinkling, hair thins due to less follicles, skin cracks due to less oil glands, less melanocytes brings on pale skin and gray hairs, decline in cardiac muscle strength, arteries become more stiff, liver and kidney functions decline, difficulty with bladder control and urination, reaction time slows down, loss of skeleton muscle, senses dull, arthritis, and a loss of bone density. While females will undergo menopause, men will undergo andropause.

Pic from

Some reasons as to why we age could be genetics, a weakening in the hormonal system, tissue changes that affect all organs, and/or poor diet and lack of exercise.

Works Cited
"fertilization." Online . Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 24 Apr. 2008 <>. "Gerontology." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 27 Apr 2008, 17:38 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 27 Apr 2008 <>. Mader, Sylvia S. Human Biology. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc, 2008. Pages 353-374. "Infant." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 1 Apr 2008, 16:57 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 24 Apr 2008 <>. "Ovum." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 8 Apr 2008, 06:09 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 24 Apr 2008 <>. "Prenatal development." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 19 Apr 2008, 03:36 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 24 Apr 2008 <>. Embryo and embryonic development. Accessed 24 Apr 2008. <>. The Visible Embryo. Accessed 24 Apr 2008. <>.