When an egg is fertilised by the sperm, it is called a zygote. This zygote immediately starts to divide at an exponential rate, to achieve the feat of transforming from a single cell to a 3kg baby. The division and growth happens as the zygote slowly drifts towards the uterus, where it can secure itself.
30 hours after fertilisation, the zygote is now 2 cells.
72 hours, the zygote is now 16 cells.
96 hours, the zygote is now a ball of over 60 cells, and now called a morula.
108 hours, the morula has a cavity inside, and is called a blastocyst.
The blastocyst, essentially a shell of cells with a mass of cells at one point, hatches out of the zona pellucida as it is now much bigger.
To gain the massive amount of energy required for development, the zygote eats up simple sugars in the fallopian tube during its travel.
As mentioned before, when pregnancy does not happen, the endometrium is shed and flushed out. To prevent this, the blastocyst secretes something called βhCG, keeping the corpus luteum alive, which secretes progesterone to maintain the endometrium. As the endometrium is the fertile “soil” where the embryo will grow, this is a vital step (βhCG is the hormone tested in a pregnancy test).
When the blastocyst reaches the uterus, it finds a safe spot on the endometrium, with the inner cell mass facing the wall. This is where implantation begins.
After clinging tightly to the endometrial cells, the blastocyst fuses some of its cells into a digging tool that can eat away at the endometrium. As it digests away the cells, the blastocyst slowly burrows in until it is completely embedded inside. Cells invade the hollowed space, firmly securing the blastocyst while destroying blood vessels and glands to release nutrients, securing a supply line. Now, it can start its rapid development into an embryo as it leeches away the mother’s nutrients.
A foreign body latching on to the host’s cells, digesting away tissue and leeching blood and nutrients – an embryo acts exactly like a parasite, to ensure that it can safely survive the 40-week gestation. In fact, an embryo can implant itself almost anywhere in the body, such as the fallopian tubes, ovaries or even the gut, as long as there is a secure blood supply. This is called an ectopic pregnancy, and can be an extremely dangerous scenario to both the mother and developing fetus.
(Full series here: https://jineralknowledge.com/tag/arkrepro/?order=asc)