Curious Parents

From Womb To Cradle: Conception And Birth

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.

Written by Curiosity Staff August 20, 2014

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