Pregnancy starts when a sperm meets an egg (ovum) and penetrates it - and that’s fertilisation, also called conception. The fertilised egg then travels to the womb (uterus) where it implants itself into the fresh lining of the womb, which will have been created since the last period. At that point the fertilised egg is called an embryo
Chemicals produced by the embryo stop the process of menstruation. The first sign of pregnancy is usually a missed period – one reason why it’s important to keep a period calendar.
Over the next 38 weeks (40 weeks since start of last period) that embryo develops into a foetus (around six weeks) though it’s still tiny at that stage, about the size of a baked bean.
It’s not until around 28 weeks that a baby has a good chance of surviving outside its mother, though it would still be ‘premature’. A baby born from 38 weeks onwards is considered ‘full term’.

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