Difference Between Embryo and Fetus

Development of a human life is a beautiful part of nature. A human life starts with when the sperm and ovum get together. This creates the fertilize ovum which eventually starts to divide and produce more cells. Remember that these dividing cells form embryo. Both embryo and fetus are the stages of development of human life. Both terms are often intertwined but they are actually different. They differ in terms of what is developed and what occurs in each stage. Embryo is a very early stage of human development whereas fetus is the development which occurs around eight weeks of conception.


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    When a zygote divides into group of cells within an outer membrane, it leads to an embryo. Its early stage is known as blastocyst. However, these cells are converted into an embryo with a strong outer wall or membrane. Remember that Embryo is in early stages of development and is formed after third week of conception or the fifth week of pregnancy.

    According to a research, the brain, heart, spinal cord and other organs are in their initial formation state. In addition to this, an embryo cannot survive outside mother’s body. This is because an embryo does not have any organs or structures to carry out body functions.

    With the ability of not surviving on its own, an embryo is like a mass which is not fully human. After looking at this factor, embryos are viable for abortion.

    Image Courtesy: gettyimages.com

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    Foetus on the other hand is the term used to describe the development stage after eighth week of conception or the 10th week of pregnancy. In foetus, kidneys and liver start functioning. Besides this, tiny fingers and toes also start forming. You can even see genitalia with the help of ultrasound at this point.

    A foetus around 27 weeks old can even survive outside mother’s body. This is because they have necessary organs and structures to carry out different body functions.

    Image Courtesy: gettyimages.com

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