FRANCIS LEROY & ANTHONY LOMBAERTS, BIOCOSMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY FRANCIS LEROY & ANTHONY LOMBAERTS, BIOCOSMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Implantation in early pregnancy. Animation showing the stages in the ovaries (white), uterus (centre) and fallopian tubes (oviducts) from ovulation to implantation of a developing embryo in the wall of the uterus during the early stage of human pregnancy. The first stage is the release of an ovum (egg, red) from an ovary (here, the ovary at left). At the same time, sperm cells (spermatozoa, white, one shown here) pass up the vagina (lower centre). The ovum enters the fallopian tube and is fertilised by a sperm cell at upper left. A magnified view of the fertilised ovum (zygote) is at top left. The second stage shown here, as the fertilised ovum travels along the fallopian tube, is cell division (left of upper centre). The third stage is formation of the morula (right of upper centre). The fourth stage is formation of the blastula (top right). The fifth and final stage is implantation in the wall of the uterus, with the embryo then developing into a foetus over the following weeks. The whole process from ovulation to implantation typically takes 9 days.
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