Is "conception" the same as "fertilization"?

By Zaira Salvador.
Last Update: 11/29/2018

Technically yes. “Conception” refers to the union of sperm and egg and subsequent pregnancy, which is the same as “fertilization”, but “fertilization” just refers to the union of sperm and ovum, which does not mean that implantation occurs in all cases.

Let’s have a look to the definition of each according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary to see slight differences between them:

Conception: the process of becoming pregnant involving fertilization or implantation or both.

Fertilization: the process of union of two gametes whereby the somatic chromosome number is restored and the development of a new individual is initiated.

Taking this into account, it is important to distinguish both of them from the term implantation, which is defined as follows:

Implantation: (in placental mammals) the process of attachment of the early embryo to the maternal uterine wall.

Suggested for you: What Are the Steps of Fertilization in Humans?.

 Zaira Salvador
Zaira Salvador
BSc, MSc
Embryologist
Bachelor's Degree in Biotechnology from the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV). Embryologist specializing in Assisted Procreation, with a Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the University of Valencia (UV) and the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI).
License: 3185-CV
Embryologist. Bachelor's Degree in Biotechnology from the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV). Embryologist specializing in Assisted Procreation, with a Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the University of Valencia (UV) and the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). License: 3185-CV.
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