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Welcome to The Visible Embryo, a comprehensive educational resource on human development from conception to birth.

The Visible Embryo provides visual references for changes in fetal development throughout pregnancy and can be navigated via fetal development or maternal changes.

The National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development awarded Phase I and Phase II Small Business Innovative Research Grants to develop The Visible Embryo. Initally designed to evaluate the internet as a teaching tool for first year medical students, The Visible Embryo is linked to over 600 educational institutions and is viewed by more than one million visitors each month.

Today, The Visible Embryo is linked to over 600 educational institutions and is viewed by more than 1 million visitors each month. The field of early embryology has grown to include the identification of the stem cell as not only critical to organogenesis in the embryo, but equally critical to organ function and repair in the adult human. The identification and understanding of genetic malfunction, inflammatory responses, and the progression in chronic disease, begins with a grounding in primary cellular and systemic functions manifested in the study of the early embryo.

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Pregnancy Timeline by SemestersFetal liver is producing blood cellsHead may position into pelvisBrain convolutions beginFull TermWhite fat begins to be madeWhite fat begins to be madeHead may position into pelvisImmune system beginningImmune system beginningPeriod of rapid brain growthBrain convolutions beginLungs begin to produce surfactantSensory brain waves begin to activateSensory brain waves begin to activateInner Ear Bones HardenBone marrow starts making blood cellsBone marrow starts making blood cellsBrown fat surrounds lymphatic systemFetal sexual organs visibleFinger and toe prints appearFinger and toe prints appearHeartbeat can be detectedHeartbeat can be detectedBasic Brain Structure in PlaceThe Appearance of SomitesFirst Detectable Brain WavesA Four Chambered HeartBeginning Cerebral HemispheresFemale Reproductive SystemEnd of Embryonic PeriodEnd of Embryonic PeriodFirst Thin Layer of Skin AppearsThird TrimesterSecond TrimesterFirst TrimesterFertilizationDevelopmental Timeline
CLICK ON weeks 0 - 40 and follow along every 2 weeks of fetal development
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Home | Pregnancy Timeline | News Alerts |News Archive Dec 25, 2014

New studies in men suggest becomming a father might also
cause men's hormone levels to change just as women's do.

 






 

 

Expectant dads have hormone changes like moms

One of the largest investigations of prenatal hormones in first-time expecting couples found that men had significant prenatal declines in their testosterone and estradiol, but no change in their cortisol or progesterone.

Pregnant women have large prenatal increases in testosterone, cortisol, estradiol, and progesterone, an anticipated result expected in women. However, new studies in men suggest becomming a father might also cause men's hormone levels to change just as women change.


"Other studies had shown that men's hormones change once they become fathers, but our findings suggest that these changes may begin even earlier, during the transition to fatherhood.

"We don't yet know exactly why men's hormones are changing. These changes could be a function of psychological changes men experience as they prepare to become fathers, changes in their romantic relationships, or even physical changes that men experience along with their pregnant partners."


Robin Edelstein MD, lead author on the study.


The work is published in the American Journal of Human Biology.

More studies will be needed to find out whether a fathers' prenatal hormone changes are also linked to postpartum or after delivery behavior as well as other parental adjustments as well.

Objectives
Expectant mothers experience marked hormone changes throughout the transition to parenthood. Although similar neuroendocrine pathways are thought to support maternal and paternal behavior, much less is known about prenatal hormone changes in expectant fathers, especially in humans.

Methods
We examined longitudinal changes in salivary testosterone, cortisol, estradiol, and progesterone in 29 first-time expectant couples (N = 58). Couples were assessed up to four times throughout the prenatal period, at approximately weeks 12, 20, 28, and 36 of pregnancy. We also examined within-couple correlations in hormones. Data were analyzed using dyadic growth curve modeling.

Results
As expected, women showed large prenatal increases in all four hormones. Men showed significant prenatal declines in testosterone and estradiol, but there were no detectable changes in men's cortisol or progesterone. Average levels of cortisol and progesterone were significantly positively correlated within couples.

Conclusions
The current study represents one of the most extensive investigations to date of prenatal hormones in expectant couples. It is also the first study to demonstrate prenatal testosterone changes in expectant fathers and within-couple correlations in progesterone. We discuss implications of these findings for parental behavior and adjustment. Am. J. Hum. Biol., 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


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