This textbook presents essential and accessible information about human embryology including practical information on human health issues and recent advances in human reproductive technology. Starting with biological basics of cell anatomy and fertilization, the author moves through the development of specific organs and systems, before addressing social issues associated with embryology. Each chapter includes specific objectives, general background, study questions, and questions to inspire critical thinking. Human Life Before Birth also contains two appendices and a full glossary of terms covered in the text. Clinicians and researchers in this field will find this volume indispensable.


Key selling features:

  • Explores all the developmental and embryological events that occur in human emryonic and fetal life
  • Reviews basic cell biology, genetics, and reproduction focusing entirely on humans
  • Summarizes the development of various anatomical systems
  • Examines common birth defects and sexually transmitted diseases including emerging concerns such as Zika
  • Documents assisted fertilization technologies and various cultural aspects of reproduction

part Part I|2 pages

An overview of human development

chapter Chapter One|6 pages

Before you begin

chapter Chapter Two|8 pages


chapter Chapter Three|15 pages

Cell division

chapter Chapter Four|15 pages


chapter Chapter Five|13 pages


chapter Chapter Six|11 pages


chapter Chapter Seven|7 pages


chapter Chapter Eight|22 pages

The embryonic period

chapter Chapter Nine|12 pages

The fetal period

chapter Chapter Ten|12 pages

The placenta and the umbilical cord

chapter Chapter Eleven|9 pages

The pregnant woman, childbirth, and multiple pregnancies

part Part II|2 pages

Some details of human development

chapter Chapter Twelve|11 pages

The skin

chapter Chapter Thirteen|10 pages

The nervous system

chapter Chapter Fourteen|12 pages

The skeleton and muscles

chapter Chapter Fifteen|12 pages

The circulatory system and hormones

chapter Chapter Sixteen|11 pages

The digestive system and the respiratory system

chapter Chapter Seventeen|18 pages

Mouth and throat, face, and the five senses

chapter Chapter Eighteen|13 pages

The urinary and reproductive systems and the external genitalia

part Part III|1 pages

Society and human development

chapter Chapter Nineteen|18 pages

Birth defects

chapter Chapter Twenty|14 pages

Birth control

chapter Chapter Twenty-One|18 pages

Reproductive technology

chapter Chapter Twenty-Two|11 pages

Sexually transmitted diseases

chapter Chapter Twenty-Three|8 pages

Cultural aspects of development