Warning: This post contains a graphic written illustration of the sexual act of intercourse. If this is something you feel you are too young for or sensitive to, I suggest you skip this post.
When I was in school, I had to take a mandatory health class. We learned about a lot of health-related topics; such as how babies are made.
According to my daughter, this isn’t taught in health classes anymore. So it got me thinking, are there folks out there who don’t know what happens after intercourse?
If you are one of those people, relax. Here is a simple guide on how babies are made.
The human reproductive system
I’m not going to go too deep. Just enough so you can understand the basics. I did some research to make sure everything I remembered was correct.
I’m going to start with the man’s reproductive system. This system includes the penis, the scrotum (the sack hanging from behind the penis), and the testes which are inside the scrotum. To see an illustration of the male reproductive system, click here.
During sex, the man secretes a liquid called semen; which contains millions of sperm sex cells. The only thing this sperm is to do is find a female egg and fertilize it.
The woman’s reproductive system involves a few more items. There are the ovaries, fallopian tubes, vagina, cervix, and uterus. Click here to see the illustration of the female reproductive system.
Inside your body, the uterus sits just below your stomach. Inside the uterus are two things: the ovaries and the fallopian tubes.
The ovaries hold the woman’s eggs. When a woman is born, she has 1 million eggs ready. As she gets older, the number of eggs will drop. Puberty tells the ovaries to release one egg per month. It will drift through a structure called the fallopian tube, and then into the uterus.
Once there, the egg will wait to be fertilized. Since the uterus is where the baby lives, the lining of the uterus is full of nutrients needed to feed the future baby.
If the egg isn’t fertilized within a certain amount of time, it and the nutrient-rich lining will be released from the body. This is called your menstruation cycle (your period).
How conception happens
Now when a man and woman decide to have intercourse, there are a lot of things that go into getting the body ready for it. Different signals go to certain parts of the body, like the reproductive organs.
As things continue, the vagina becomes wet and the testes produce sperm. When the penis is inserted into the vagina, the wetness will help it slide into the vagina and up to the cervix. When the sperm are released (or ejaculated), they travel through the cervix and into the uterus looking for an egg.
Once released into the female’s body, the sperm runs into a lot of dangers as they make their way to the egg. Such as going the wrong way, dealing with the uterus’ acidic environment, and dodging killer white cells. So a small portion of that millions of sperm will reach the egg.
Sidenote: When the sperm enters the body, the white cells see them as invaders and will attack them.
Now when the egg is found, the remaining sperm will make a beeline for it. They attack it from all sides; looking for a way to get in. Once one gets in, the mom’s and dad’s DNA will merge and start a chain reaction that will cause this cell to divide exponentially. Also once a sperm cell gets into the egg, a reaction will start that will block off the egg to all the other sperm.
While all this is happening, the egg continues to travel through the fallopian tube to the uterus. To watch an animated version of this journey (in a new tab), click here.
How we come to have the baby we know and love
Once the egg is in the uterus, it will implant itself in the uterus’s wall. A stalk going from the mom to the baby will be made. This cord is the way the baby gets the nutrients he/she needs to grow. This stalk is called the umbilical cord.
The uterus is where the baby will live for 9 months, sometimes it can take as long as 10 months or 40 weeks. Then a baby will be born and that’s how you have a beautiful little human.
The takeaway is learning how babies are made. To do this, one has to know the process that happens outside with the penis and vagina; and on the inside with the sperm and egg.
If you want to share a story or a comment, please share it in the comments section. I’d love to read them!