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Updated December 15, 2009

Definition: Fertilization occurs when the sperm and egg combine to create an embryo.

Fertilization typically occurs in the fallopian tubes of a woman shortly after ovulation if sperm has been deposited into the reproductive tract. The fertilized egg then moves down the tube and implants into the uterus, initiating a pregnancy.

Occasionally the fertilized egg will implant outside of the uterus, such as in the fallopian tube or cervix, which is known as an ectopic pregnancy.

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