The study of embryos, which comprises the period of prenatal development of embryos and fetuses, is called embryology. The study involves the formation of the embryo’s organs and systems from a cell. The period studied by this segment of science, covers several changes that the organism undergoes, which is the scenario of embryonic evolution that continues until the moment of birth.
The development that occurs in the prenatal period is more accelerated than that of the postnatal period. The period studied by human embryology lasts around nine months and, during this period, it is possible for abnormalities to occur, causing congenital problems. Within embryology, we find teratology, which studies these abnormalities.
Derived from the Greek word teratos , which means “monster”, teratology studies the intervention that the embryo undergoes for various factors, be they genetic or environmental, and which impair the evolution and correct formation of the embryo.
Embryology involves four main objectives, including the integration of prenatal development with studies and different sciences that can help to understand the events of embryology, in addition to optimizing the use of knowledge to minimize the risks that occur during pregnancy; develop and apply the knowledge obtained in relation to the beginning of human life and each of the changes that they cause to fetuses during the gestation period; assist the understanding , through studies and research, of the reasons why abnormalities in the formation of the fetus occur; and the analysis of fetal anatomy, which allows for clarification and explanation of how normal and abnormal structures develop.
During the gestation period, there is the accompaniment of the obstetrician, who uses the application of knowledge of embryology to determine in advance how problems may occur. In this way, it is possible to determine what are the probable causes of the abnormalities, helping in the process of growth and development of the embryo in order to allow the baby to be born healthy.
What determines embryology?
Some factors are essential for the study of embryology, which is important for good fetal development. Among them are ovulation, oocyte and sperm transport, fertilization, implantation, maternal-fetal relations, fetal circulation, critical periods of development and causes of congenital anomalies.
The study is important, as anomalies that occur during the embryo’s development period are responsible for most deaths during the first year of life, and embryology makes it possible to prevent a good part of them.