Talk:Prenatal development

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This article has been classified as relating to embryology.


Source for original text: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia (public domain)

The original text has a variety of misnomers which should be more clearly defined and distinguished including: fertilization, morula, embryo, fetus, conceptus, and conception. I've used Keith Moore's "The developing Human" textbook as a reference. In addition the timeline makes the common mistake of confusing the timing of pregnancy (2 - 40 weeks after the start of the last menstrual period) with prenatal development (0 - 38 weeks post fertilization) and deserves further correction. MFero

Who discovered the cause of the fetus?[edit]

Does anybody here know who first made the connection between the act of sexual intercourse and the inception of a fetus?

Ug the Caveman. (talk) 19:41, 19 April 2010 (UTC)


Can anyone find what week it is when the Fetus can feel pain? I know it's either four or six or eight, but I can't find which one.

In the latest Free Inquiry, they report on an article in the august issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association to the effect that a fetus cannot feel pain untill the 28th week. Here is the link: Here is the formal reference: Fetal Pain: A Systematic Multidisciplinary Review of the Evidence Susan J. Lee; Henry J. Peter Ralston; Eleanor A. Drey; John Colin Partridge; Mark A. Rosen JAMA. 2005;294:947-954. --ESAQUE--

Actually, the subject of fetal pain (see here) is controversial. Depending on who you ask and (usually) if the expert is pro-life or pro-choice, it can range from seven weeks to seven months. Here's what we do know. By the end of two months or so, upon proper stimulus the pain receptors flare up, the receptors sending signals to the brain, and the fetus acts as if it feels pain. The disputable point is whether the brain of the fetus is developed enough that it actually feels pain or if the response is more like an involuntary reflex. A judgment like this seems inevitably colored by political opinion on the controversial issue of abortion, and perhaps we'll never know the real truth in our lifetime. --Wade A. Tisthammer 15:01, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
saw the debate and although the website that the following is from a pro life website it is based on pure scientifice evidence and research...

"Latest studies in england point that by 9 weeks the embryos primitive nervous system is now active and able to sense pain or stress, but only becomes able of controlling body functions by the 24th week of gestation."—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 21:47, 8 February 2007.

"The sensory nerve on the face, the Trigeminal nerve is already present in all three of its branches, in a four week old human embryo, at seven weeks they twitch or turn their head away from a stimulas in the same defensive manoeuvre, seen in all stages of life" E. Blechscmhidt and S. Windtap

"Cutaneous sensory receptors appear in the perioral area in seventh week of gestation" taken from "Pain and its affects on the human embryo

The same website also explains that not only does the embryo feel pain but that scientific studies show that because of the unique nervous system the embryo may in actual fact experience "pain far longer snd more sensitivly" than adults or mature children -- 12:56, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

It's safer to assume they do not, lest we accidentally believe they feel pain when it turns out they don't. (talk) 07:58, 5 August 2012 (UTC)


An IP recently made a few changes to numbers in the article. Does anyone have sources to verify one version or the other so we can tell which set of numbers is correct? Thanks, delldot | talk 08:07, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

I just matched the english measures to the metric ones. I probably should have ascertain wich were the most accurate before editing the page though. My bad. user: esaque

No, no, you did fine :) delldot | talk 18:19, 24 January 2006 (UTC)


Can we have some more pictures? At least one at about ten or twelve weeks would be nice. Polyhymnia

Prenatal Development[edit]

The word "fetus" is almost always used in distinction to the word "embryo". Strangely, though, the terms "embryology" and "fetal development" are each commonly used to describe the development of both a fetus and an embryo. It would be more straightforward and less confusing for Wikipedia to have an article titled "Prenatal Development", so that everyone will clearly understand that both embryonic and fetal development are being covered.

I'd like to start a new page, titled "Prenatal Development". I'd turn this "Fetal Development" article into a redirect, and move its content to the new page. I'd also put a redirect at the embryology page pointing to the new Prenatal Development page.

I'm not saying that the way things are set up now is "wrong". I'm only saying that the way I suggest would be "better".Ferrylodge 23:11, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Okay, this change has been made, and there is now a redirect from fetal development to prenatal development. I think this will all be less confusing now for some readers, because details of embryonic development will no longer be contained in an article having a title that seems to limit the article to fetal development.Ferrylodge 16:54, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Propose move[edit]

For the same reasons as on Talk:Fetus, I'd suggest moving this article to "Prenatal development (human)." The info here on anything else hardly justifies anything more than a stub. Too bad there isn't an article on prenatal development in general. Gnixon 22:57, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Yes, everything after the first two short sentences is purely human-centric. I'd say to move it to Human prenatal development, but it would help if there were some content for a new prenatal development article. —Pengo 23:29, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Connection between sexual intercourse and pregnancy?[edit]

Does anybody here know who first made the connection between the act of sexual intercourse and the inception of a fetus?"

The connection was apparently made in prehistoric times. As far as I know, there is no written record that suggests that the connection between intercourse and pregnancy was not taken for granted.Euthman 17:07, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

aparantly there are some amazonian ribes that have not made the link. Would we have writen records saying what they didn't know? It seems more likely they would just take for granted that babies come (from the gods...) and not bother to mention the lack of an earthly cause. I can't imagine there were many celebate/virgile girls around in prehistoric times. Larklight 21:57, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

See the first answer on this thread. -- (talk) 22:27, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

Proposed WikiProject[edit]

A WikiProject for pregnancy and childbirth related articles has been proposed. For more information and to express interest, please visit Wikipedia:WikiProject_Council/Proposals#Pregnancy_and_childbirth. Thanks! --Ginkgo100talk 23:44, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

I saw the proposal at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals/Archive 1. What happened to it? A separate WikiProject sounds like a good idea, but I'm uncertain whether it is necessary to have when considering that there already is the wp:repro. Mikael Häggström (talk) 07:31, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

Clarification of ages in each week not overkill[edit]

I clarified the difference between gestational and embryonic age, and I think we better keep that extensive differentiation (repeated in each week section), because the time passed since last time I passed by here and differentiated has shown that the if there is just a small confusion between them, then eventually the whole article becomes completely messed up. Mikael Häggström (talk) 05:10, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Why not just choose one to use, after explaining how to derive the other? -- (talk) 22:29, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

If we would do so, I think the risk is too big that the article will be messed up again. Mikael Häggström (talk) 07:19, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

Week 6[edit]

"The embryo measures 4 mm (1/8 inch) in length and begins to curve into a C shape." The image shows that the embrio begins to curve in the opposite direction!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:29, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

"C chape" in this sense is not dependent on which direction you watch it from. Mikael Häggström (talk) 07:25, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

Primitive streak[edit]

Primitive streak is spelt wrong in this image (Day 12). "Primative streak" should read "primitive streak". Does anyone know how to correct it? --Malfidus ~ (talk) 21:49, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

 Done. I just edited the SVG file by hand (SVG is a text format). Note I think you may need to refresh browser cache to see the change. CTRL+F5 worked for me (in Chrome). David Hollman (Talk) 22:33, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Abortion-related facts about prenatal development[edit]

There are many facts about prenatal development cited by one side or another in the abortion debate. Further facts about prenatal development are deemed relevant by informed consent laws in some states or countries, so that women learn these facts when they seek an abortion. Additionally, medical professionals or abortion clinics who are asked by women about the effects on the embryo or fetus often describe facts about prenatal development that women may find relevant in the abortion decision, regardless of whether an informed consent law exists. Various reliable sources discuss these matters, and there ought to be a Wikipedia article about it. While some Wikipedia articles mention a few of these facts about prenatal development (e.g. fetal pain and viability), there isn't any comprehensive article on this subject, and it would be good to have one, at least as a sub-article of this Wikipedia article (this Wikipedia article could include a brief summary of the sub-article).Anythingyouwant (talk) 15:18, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

I'm sure the article would benefit from a section of this topic. Mikael Häggström (talk) 07:23, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
Okay, as availability permits, I'll get to work on it.Anythingyouwant (talk) 17:42, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

Proposed merge with Prenatal development (biology)[edit]

Very little unique content already on target page - would fit easily into an Other animals section Iztwoz (talk) 07:20, 28 October 2016 (UTC)

  • Support no need to needlessly fragment information. Benefits readers by centralising information and ensuring articles are more comprehensive --Tom (LT) (talk) 07:44, 28 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Support per Iztwoz.   Bfpage  let's talk...  15:00, 3 January 2017 (UTC)


In the text it says that the embryo usually implants after 8-10 days, while the accompanying diagram says 7. Can this be clarified? --Russell's teapot (talk) 11:10, 4 April 2017 (UTC)