Never stop learning with Curiosity Learning Paths!

  • Get inspired with the web’s best bite-sized learning content, curated for learners like you.
  • Learn more—quickly and easily—by exploring our dynamic Learning Paths.
  • Spread quick knowledge to friends with our original Smart Memes!

From Womb To Cradle: Conception And Birth

Scroll down to explore a learning path based on this topic.
Playlist Description

Babies aren't delivered by storks from the sky, but even the real story of conception through birth has a few misconceptions. For example, it was long thought the female egg simply lied in wait for male sperm to swim up and fertilize the egg. We now know the female egg is much more active in the process, with a bit more of a say when it comes to which sperm it seeks out. When the male releases sperm into the female body, about 300 million tiny swimmers are released as well. Yet of those possible 300 million, only about 200 will ever make it far enough to be considered a viable candidate for fertilization. But once a sperm has succeeded in embedding its head into the egg, the process is far from over.

This playlist takes you on a journey through the womb, laboratory and birth canal to dispel the many myths behind pregnancy. Whether it be artificial insemination, surrogacy, adoption or maternal birth, a family's path to welcoming a baby is not necessarily similar. And with more than 130 million babies born each year around the world, there are many outside circumstances that can affect the chances of conception. Watch these videos to learn about different fertilization options, as well as the tricky science behind having a baby.

05:51
Add to Playlist
Watch Later Added
  • Actions
  • About This Video
Animation of chronic diseases at http://www.healthjourneysupport.com/ View more AMAZING medical animations at http://www.nucleuslibrary.com To download FREE medical animations of pregnancy and birth, visit http://www.prenateperl.com/yt2012 This 3D medical animation shows human fertilization, also known as conception. Fertilization is the epic story of a single sperm facing incredible odds to unite with an egg and form a new human life. The sperm's journey is visualized with rich detail and narrative to convey a fresh understanding of a classic physiological tale. This medical animation portrays the process of human fertilization. Shown at a cellular level magnification, sperm struggle through many obstacles in the female reproductive tract to reach the egg. Visualized at the molecular level, genetic material from the egg and a single sperm combines to form a new human being. Transcript: Fertilization is the epic story of a single sperm facing incredible odds to unite with an egg and form a new human life. It is the story of all of us. During sexual intercourse, about 300 million sperm enter the vagina. Soon afterward, millions of them will either flow out of the vagina, or die in its acidic environment. However, many survive because of the protective elements provided in the fluid surrounding them. Next, the sperm must pass through the cervix, an opening into the uterus. Usually it remains tightly closed, but here the cervix is open for a few days while the woman ovulates. The sperm swim through the cervical mucus, which has thinned to a more watery consistency for easier passage. Once inside the cervix, the sperm continue swimming toward the uterus, though millions will die trying to make it through the mucus. Some sperm remain behind, caught in the folds of the cervix, but they may later continue the journey as a backup to the first group. Inside the uterus, muscular uterine contractions assist the sperm on their journey toward the egg. However, resident cells from the woman's immune system, mistaking the sperm for foreign invaders, destroy thousands more. Next, half the sperm head for the empty fallopian tube, while the other half swim toward the tube containing the unfertilized egg. Now, only a few thousand remain. Inside the fallopian tube, tiny cilia push the egg toward the uterus. To continue, the sperm must surge against this motion to reach the egg. Some sperm get trapped in the cilia and die. During this part of the journey, chemicals in the reproductive tract cause the membranes covering the heads of the sperm to change. As a result, the sperm become hyperactive, swimming harder and faster toward their destination. At long last, the sperm reach the egg. Only a few dozen of the original 300 million sperm remain. The egg is covered with a layer of cells called the corona radiata. The sperm must push through this layer to reach the outer layer of the egg, the zona pellucida. When sperm reach the zona pellucida, they attach to specialized sperm receptors on the surface, which triggers their acrosomes to release digestive enzymes, enabling the sperm to burrow into the layer. Inside the zona pellucida is a narrow, fluid-filled space just outside the egg cell membrane. The first sperm to make contact will fertilize the egg. After a perilous journey and against incredible odds, a single sperm attaches to the egg cell membrane. Within a few minutes, their outer membranes fuse, and the egg pulls the sperm inside. This event causes changes in the egg membrane that prevent other sperm from attaching to it. Next, the egg releases chemicals that push other sperm away from the egg and create an impenetrable fertilization membrane. As the reaction spreads outward, the zona pellucida hardens, trapping any sperm unlucky enough to be caught inside. Outside the egg, sperm are no longer able to attach to the zona pellucida. Meanwhile, inside the egg, the tightly packed male genetic material spreads out. A new membrane forms around the genetic material, creating the male pronucleus. Inside, the genetic material reforms into 23 chromosomes. The female genetic material, awakened by the fusion of the sperm with the egg, finishes dividing, resulting in the female pronucleus, which also contains twenty-three chromosomes. As the male and female pronuclei form, spiderweb-like threads. called microtubules, pull them toward each other. The two sets of chromosomes join together, completing the process of fertilization. At this moment, a unique genetic code arises, instantly determining gender, hair color, eye color and hundreds of other characteristics. This new single cell, the zygote, is the beginning of a new human being. And now the cilia in the fallopian tube gently sweep the zygote toward the uterus where he or she will implant in the rich uterine lining, growing and maturing for the next nine months until ready for birth.
01:54
Add to Playlist
Watch Later Added
  • Actions
  • About This Video
Watch more How to Understand Infertility videos: http://www.howcast.com/videos/511880-Hypothyroidism-and-Infertility-Infertility Learn how miscarriages affect fertility in this Howcast video about infertility. Miscarriages are one of the most frustrating things that can occur in infertility patients. Miscarriages can occur in any woman. They are more common in women attempting to conceive by infertility treatments or who just have a history of infertility. Miscarriages are much more common in couples undergoing infertility treatments than in those who have never had a history of infertility. The causes for miscarriages are multiple. They can be due to genetic causes, either in the eggs or the sperm or just in the embryos. They can also be due to anatomical causes like fibroid tumors of the uterus, endometriosis, uterine septum or any other uterine abnormalities, either from birth or developed. They can also be due to autoimmune causes in which a woman rejects the developing embryo, or in cases of abnormal clotting factors that cause infarcts or decreased blood supply to developing embryos and fetuses. There are many causes for recurrent pregnancy loss. Recurrent pregnancy loss is defined as two or three miscarriages that occur in a woman over time, usually consecutively. It is very important to get a good diagnostic evaluation for a miscarriage. That can be done by a board certified reproductive endocrinologist or a maternal fetal medicine specialist. There are treatments for recurrent pregnancy loss. In many cases where women or couples believe the case is absolutely hopeless, it is not. In many cases the next pregnancy is a perfectly normal pregnancy even without any medical intervention. Miscarriages can in many cases be treated and successful pregnancy achieved.
02:01
Add to Playlist
Watch Later Added
  • Actions
  • About This Video
Watch more How to Understand Infertility videos: http://www.howcast.com/videos/511920-What-Happens-When-First-IVF-Cycle-Fails-Infertility Learn about selective embryo reduction in this Howcast video. In cases of which a woman has conceived and has had multiple embryos transferred to the uterus. She may be at risk of multiple pregnancy. Pregnancies that are twins, triplets, quadruplets, and more are at higher risk of pregnancy loss and perinatal complications as compared to other pregnancies in which only one embryo was implanted. And these cases the woman has the option to undergo what is termed a selective reduction. What that means is that, in cases in general, in which there are more than two embryos implanted and sometimes in cases where it's only two embryos implanted a reduction can be done by placing a needle into the fetal sac and then injecting chemicals that instantaneously stop the heart from beating. This is performed typically at around 9-12 weeks of pregnancy. It is done at this late time because naturally reduction occurs at such a high percentage cases that many times that the actual reduction does not have to be perform by the physician. Selective embryo reduction is emotionally challenge for couples to do, and it is a situation that couples should not have to face very often. What is required is that the couple and the physician make a good decision initially about how many embryos to transfer into the uterus. If the couple has adverse feelings about reduction they should never be place in that position. Single embryos or two embryos could potentially be transferred into the uterus at the time of embryo transfer reducing the need to ever face the situation of selective reduction. If selective reduction is required, however, it is generally safe for the remaining embryos.
02:26
Add to Playlist
Watch Later Added
  • Actions
  • About This Video
Watch more How to Understand Infertility videos: http://www.howcast.com/videos/511893-How-to-Cope-with-Secondary-Infertility-Infertility Learn how often assisted reproductive technology (ART) is successful in this Howcast video about infertility. The success of the assisted reproductive technologies depends on both the patient factors as well as on the specific technology being utilized. As women get older, the chances of any assisted reproductive technology, or ART, is diminished. Certain ART procedures give a higher chance of pregnancy than others. For example, in vitro fertilization gives a higher chance of success than intrauterine insemination. In the former, IVF, eggs are retrieved from a woman's body, they are fertilized outside the body, and the fertilized eggs, known as embryos, are transferred back into the uterus. In intrauterine insemination, sperm is produced by the man, processed, and placed into the woman's uterus. In vitro fertilization gives a much higher rate of success because fertilization is achieved mechanically. In intrauterine insemination, we cannot assure that the sperm will ever enter the eggs or even reach the eggs. The chances of successful in vitro fertilization are, as indicated, age dependent. In women under 30, the chances of in vitro fertilization, as calculated by the pregnancy rate per cycle of IVF initiated, can be greater than 50% per cycle. As women get to the above 30 age group, particularly in the over 35 age group, those levels drop. In women under 35, in general, the chance of a successful pregnancy is approximately 45% to 50% in most centers. In the group from 35 to 37, it drops to 40%. In 38 to 40 year old's, it drops to approximately 30% per cycle. And in over 40, the rate is considerably lower. After the age of 42, the chance of successful pregnancy with in vitro fertilization is well under 5%. Therefore, it is imperative, in any couple considering reproductive technologies, to consider the age of the woman as the primary factor. Women in their mid 30's or older should see the fertility specialist right away to give them the highest chance of pregnancy.
02:40
Add to Playlist
Watch Later Added
  • Actions
  • About This Video
Watch more How to Understand Infertility videos: http://www.howcast.com/videos/511913-Intrauterine-Insemination-IUI-Infertility Learn how to find a surrogate mother -- and what to consider before hiring one -- in this Howcast video. For some couples to achieve pregnancy, the use of a surrogate is required. Fortunately, these are the minority of cases. Many women are confused about when surrogacy is required. If a woman has poor egg quality, a surrogate is not going to be helpful for her to achieve a pregnancy. For women with poor egg quality, a surrogate is not the appropriate treatment. The use of donor eggs is the appropriate treatment in that case. But in women who have a very poor uterus; for example, ones who've either undergone a hysterectomy and have no uterus or in cases in which the uterus has very significant tumors that are benign but not allowing for implantation, or in cases where there's terrible scar tissue in the uterus, surrogacy can be very useful. Surrogacy has to be separated into two different types. One is called true surrogacy in which both the surrogate woman's eggs and uterus are being used and then there is what's called a "gestational carrier". A gestational carrier is a case in which the woman who needs the surrogate uses her own eggs and those eggs are fertilized by the husband's sperm, and the embryos are transferred into the gestational carrier. This type of surrogacy has significant legal limitations in certain states. For example, in New York State where I practice, paid surrogacy is not allowed by law. Compassionate surrogacy is allowed. What that means is that someone can choose to be a carrier for another person as long as no money changes hands. In other states, those limitations do not exist. In order to achieve a pregnancy by surrogacy, of course, the first thing is to choose the surrogate. It's a very difficult process in the sense that many women are not interested in being surrogates and those who are interested do require significant compensation to do so. The most important step is to first speak to a reproductive attorney. That attorney will then work to create a contract between the couple and the surrogate so that the chances of the surrogate in the future desiring to keep a child or making pregnancy decisions without the input of the recipient couple is avoided or minimized. Surrogacy is an important part of fertility care for some couples. Speak to your fertility physician about the role of surrogacy in your case.
02:21
Add to Playlist
Watch Later Added
  • Actions
  • About This Video
Bestselling Learn Guitar on Android! http://bit.ly/LearnGuitarAndroid http://www.mahalo.com/ultrasound-prenatal-testt Pregnancy is one of the most exciting miracles in life, but it can also be one of the scariest. Dr. Sheryl Ross, a licensed obstetrician and gynecologist, helps you through these nine months by explaining every aspect of pregnancy, from the baby's development to your own body's health. In this video she explains ultrasounds. Pregnancy Playlist: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=1F7188B2A9CC37D8 Check out these related Mahalo Pages: Pregnancy - Ultrasound Prenatal Test: http://www.mahalo.com/pregnancy-ultrasound-prenatal-test Check out more playlists from Mahalo.com: Learn Biology: ‪http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=16EB9E5F60FAD9BD‬ Car Maintenance: ‪http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=B8E70A509E182770‬ Cooking With Vegetables: ‪http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=DF5E92810605398E‬ How to Cook: ‪http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=7016D638D52E3652‬ How to Play Guitar Songs: ‪http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=BE077DEF7EB33D00‬ How to Play Piano Songs: ‪http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=64CB0D9415B2B27A‬ How to Speak French: ‪http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=D2521D2616635BAF‬ How to Speak Spanish: ‪http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=2450C6C9DCDFCBFD‬ Taxes: ‪http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=C90C48F4B15F6911‬ Travel: ‪http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=F348A1D1C148415D‬
05:33
Add to Playlist
Watch Later Added
  • Actions
  • About This Video
Ben, Jonathan and their evil twins explain identical and fraternal twins are fertilized, while debunking some twin myths.
01:45
Add to Playlist
Watch Later Added
  • Actions
  • About This Video
In embryo splitting, an eight-celled embryo is split in half, leaving every single cell as genetically identical. Discover when embryo splitting happens with information from a science teacher in this free video on physiology and the human body. Expert: Janice Creneti Bio: Janice Creneti has a BS in secondary science education and a BA in biology from Boston University. Filmmaker: Christopher Rokosz
02:15
Add to Playlist
Watch Later Added
  • Actions
  • About This Video
Before labor the baby inside the womb must turn over, but this is no easy task. CURIOSITY continues Sunday, November 13, 2011 at 9PM e/p with WHAT'S AMERICA WORTH? | http://curiosity.discovery.com/#mkcpgn=ytdsc1
02:05
Add to Playlist
Watch Later Added
  • Actions
  • About This Video
Watch more Pregnancy 101 videos: http://www.howcast.com/videos/501209-Who-You-Should-Have-in-Delivery-Room-Pregnancy Learn how to create your birthing plan from childbirth educator Elizabeth Mangum-Sarach in this Howcast video. One of the most important things to remember about creating a birthing plan is that that word is a very challenging word to use in pregnancy and birth. The reality is I like to say how to create your birth preferences. So in thinking about your preferences for giving birth, it's important to do as much reading and research as you can to consider your options. The most important thing in creating a birthing preference list or your birthing plan is to know what your options are. So take a childbirth education class, talk to your care provider, talk to your friends and family, and create your list, your priority list, of the most important things to you for giving birth and to having the birth experience that you would like to have. When you're creating your birth plan or your birth preference list, pick the top three most important items that are the most important to you. Use these top three items to talk to your care provider in the last few weeks of your pregnancy at every prenatal visit that you have. Print out your birth plan and your birth preference list and bring this to the hospital or the birth center with you, or give it to your midwife during your home birth. Make sure that your care providers and the nurses and anyone else on your team know what your choices are for your birth plan and your birth preferences. Remember, always know what your options are, so be sure to do as much reading and research as you can, and remember to take a childbirth education class. In creating your birth preferences or your birth plan, think about your ideal birth experience. What does your ideal birth look like to you? Who's in the room with you? What kind of environment is around? What music is playing? Are there going to be photos taken or no photos taken? What are the top three most important things to you? Do you want to have room to move, freedom to move? Do you want to be able to eat and drink during your labor? Do you want to be able to avoid unnecessary interventions? Draw a picture of your ideal birth situation, talk to your support team about your ideal birth, and then using that picture of your ideal birth, choose the top three most important items to you.
00:48
Add to Playlist
Watch Later Added
  • Actions
  • About This Video
Animation of chronic diseases at http://www.healthjourneysupport.com/ View more AMAZING medical animations at http://www.nucleuslibrary.com Free iPad app with Nucleus animations the heart! http://www.ihearttouch.com To download FREE medical animations of pregnancy and birth, visit http://www.prenateperl.com/yt2012 If you like this animation, LIKE us on Facebook: http://www.nucleusinc.com/facebook This simplified 3D medical animation depicts a normal vaginal birth using a time-lapse effect. Strong uterine contractions push the fetus (baby) forcibly through the birth canal during labor. Concurrently, a picture-in-picture effect at the upper right shows the baby's head moving through the mother's pelvic outlet. http://www.healthanimations.com/pregnancy FREE pregnancy and birth videos for your OB GYN practice.