In the reproductive biology world, we come across many concepts or terms that the people without much of health knowledge may confuse.  Such is the case of expressions Zygote, Embryo and Fetus.

It is very common for the people having little knowledge of biology how precisely should be referring their yet-to-be-born child in its developmental stage in the womb. However, it is not very difficult distinguishing the uterine stages of your baby.  Let us discuss all the developmental stages of a yet-to-be-born your baby for your knowledge.


The zygote is the earliest stage of life and begins after the egg and sperm unite (female and male gametes).  As the two gametes combine, they make a core cell, with 46 chromosomes.  50 per cent, i.e. 23 of these chromosomes are maternal and the 50 percent, i.e. 23 are from the paternal origin.

Near about 24 hours after the egg and sperm unification, the 1st partition of the newly formed cell occurs and from then onwards, it is not known as Zygote.  The embryonic life starts.


From the beginning of the embryonic life up to 8th Week of conception, the growth of embryo happens.  During this stage, strong cellular changes happen.

After the formation of a zygote, the first division of the embryo of a human being happens. From this intense process, two cells are received. After this, succeeding divisions happen. The cell numbers and how fast these divisions happen is called Morphokinetics.

Apart from this, while there are some patterns of embryonic divisions, every embryo is a distinct and can divide in a rapid manner, based on the quality of the embryo. Thus, it can appropriately be rated “embryo of a high quality” in case it takes the usual route of embryonic division patterns.

At Day-2, the embryo is comprised of typically 4 cells, almost of equal size. Similarly, on Day-2, the embryo is made of, by and large, 7 to 9 cells of the highest quality.

At the time of formation, the embryo is made of two cells, which carry on dividing themselves. With several undistinguishable cells, the embryo is known as Morula as it takes the shape of a mulberry.

On 5th Day, the embryo is known as Blastocyst as it transforms itself into a particular figure having varied types of cells.

A cavity appears within the embryo and a sequence of cells known as trophoblast help in the growth of a new body organ, placenta. Inside this cavity, the formation of a baby is created by the inner cell mass is found.

In between 7th and 9th Day, an embryo gets implanted. At this critical juncture, many embryos are unable to implant themselves.  The implantations mean getting the embryo at the blastocyst fixed in the female’s womb in the interior layer, known as Endometrium or Uterine Lining.

In the embryo’s Blastocyst phase, it disintegrates the membrane protecting the endometrial lining. Implantation, more or less, gets completed on the 14th Day after the fertilization. At this stage, one can say that the endometrium has been occupied forcibly by the embryo.

In case of the process going as anticipated, you can announce that the female has certainly achieved pregnancy.  From this time onwards, generation of hormone beta-hCG starts.

After passing the above stage, the development of the embryo takes a faster pace — from an unrecognizable and the rounded shape to achieving a somewhat extended form, like a baby’s silhouette except having a recognizable feature.


The 8th Week of pregnancy marks the end of the embryonic stage and the beginning of a fetal phase of pregnancy. From hereafter, the developing baby in the uterus is known as Fetus.

All through the first month, the overall body percentage of the fetus remains unequal and the volume of the head is found bigger than the remaining parts of the developing fetus. As the months pass by, the remaining parts of the body gradually attain a bigger size awaiting the formation of fetus silhouette.

The fetus carries a precise cell specialization level, which increases the formation of tissues that help in structuring the body’s most important parts, like the kidneys, the liver and the brain.

The fetal phase is the longest phase of pregnancy. The developing baby is known as a fetus until the delivery of a child between 38 and 40 weeks of pregnancy. The fetus, thus, takes birth as a baby.

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