Pregnancy is the fertilization and development of one or more offspring, known as an embryo or fetus, in a woman's uterus. In a pregnancy, there can be multiple gestations, as in the case of twins or triplets. Childbirth usually occurs about 38 weeks after conception; in women who have a menstrual cycle length of four weeks, this is approximately 40 weeks from the start of the last normal menstrual period (LNMP). Human pregnancy is the most studied of all mammalian pregnancies. Conception can be achieved through sexual intercourse or assisted reproductive technology.
An embryo is the developing offspring during the first 8 weeks following conception, and subsequently the term fetus is used until birth. 40% of pregnancies in the United States and United Kingdom are unplanned, and between a quarter and half of those unplanned pregnancies were unwanted pregnancies. Of those unintended pregnancies that occurred in the US, 60% of the women used birth control to some extent during the month pregnancy occurred.
In many societies’ medical or legal definitions, human pregnancy is somewhat arbitrarily divided into three trimester periods, as a means to simplify reference to the different stages of prenatal development. The first trimester carries the highest risk of miscarriage (natural death of embryo or fetus). During the second trimester, the development of the fetus can be more easily monitored and diagnosed. The beginning of the third trimester often approximates the point of viability, or the ability of the fetus to survive, with or without medical help, outside of the uterus.
Famous quotes containing the word pregnancy:
“Her girlfriends asked that innocent,
What? What appeals to you?
when her pregnancy cravings appeared.
Her gaze merely fell
on her husband.”
—Hla Stavhana (c. 50 A.D.)
“There are highly gifted spirits who are always infertile simply because, owing to a weakness in temperament, they are too impatient to wait out their pregnancy to term.”
—Friedrich Nietzsche (18441900)
“It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to physics and chemistry.”
—H.L. (Henry Lewis)