Working Out Your Due Date
Once you have confirmed that you are pregnant, you will want to find out when your baby is due to arrive. The average pregnancy is calculated at 282 days from the first day of your last menstrual period.
However babies rarely keep to an exact timetable, so a full-term pregnancy can be anywhere between 37 and 42 weeks. A baby born before 37 weeks is considered to be premature and anything past 42 weeks is considered overdue.
Due dates are usually calculated on your last period instead of the date of conception because of a number of reasons.
- Although the average woman ovulates approximately 2 weeks after her period, the exact time is not always known.
- Once an egg has been released, it can remain fertile for up to 24 hours.
- Sperm can last for up to 5 days after intercourse to fertilise an egg.
If your periods are irregular or you are unsure of the date, an ultrasound will help determine the development of the embryo and your due date. Ultrasound scans can be done at any stage of pregnancy after the first 6 weeks. The best timing for an ultrasound to determine the due date is between 8 weeks and 13 weeks 6 days.
You can use the Pregnancy, Birth and Baby due date calculator to work out when your baby is due.
Some doctors will refer to your due date as ‘expected date of confinement’ or EDC.
Your Baby At 5 Weeks Of Pregnancy
Your baby at 5 weeks pregnant is actually looking a bit like a tadpole. The placenta, amniotic sac, and umbilical cord are still forming. Instead, the baby is surrounded by the gestational and yolk sacs, which also provide protection and nutrients to the 5-week old embryo.
Most of your babys systems are beginning to form during week 5 of pregnancy. This includes their nervous and circulatory systems.
Why Is It Important To Calculate My Due Date
Its important to know your due date for planning purposes knowing your expected delivery date helps you prepare to welcome your baby. Youll have time to pack for the hospital and get the things you need for the baby, like a car seat. If you have other children, counting down the days until the new baby arrives can help siblings prepare for a new family member.
Knowing when youre due also allows you to get appropriate prenatal care. This includes taking prenatal vitamins and getting prenatal screenings at the right times during your pregnancy. Your provider will also measure your babys size and position throughout your pregnancy to ensure that your baby is growing properly.
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How Does Carrying Multiples Affect My Due Date
Expecting twins or triplets is different than expecting one baby in many ways, including the due date. If youre pregnant with multiples, your doctor will use your last menstrual period and an ultrasound to determine your due date. However, every pregnancy is unique and your doctor may recommend delivery prior to the estimated due date. Talk to your provider about when you can expect to deliver twins or triplets.
What If I Have Irregular Periods Or Long Cycles
Some women have cycles that are consistently longer than the average 28-day cycle. In these cases, a pregnancy wheel can still be used, but some simple calculations are necessary.
The second half of a womans menstrual cycle always lasts for 14 days. This is the time from ovulation to the next menstrual period. If your cycle is 35 days long, for example, then you probably ovulated on day 21.
Once you have a general idea of when you ovulated, you can use an adjusted LMP to find your due date with a pregnancy wheel.
For example, if your menstrual cycle is usually 35 days long and the first day of your LMP was November 1:
After you calculate your adjusted LMP date, simply mark it on the pregnancy wheel and then look at the date where the line crosses. That is your estimated due date.
Some pregnancy wheels may allow you to enter the date of conception which occurs within 72 hours of ovulation instead of the date of your LMP.
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Will I Get A More Accurate Due Date Later In The Pregnancy
You will have your first appointment with the midwife, the ‘booking appointment’, between 8 weeks and 12 weeks pregnant. Here you will be given a scan and receive an accurate date for your baby’s birth. But if you’re impatient to know when your baby will arrive, then our pregnancy calculator tool gives you an estimate due date without the wait.
Not pregnant yet?
Symptoms Of A Late Period And Pregnancy
The symptoms of a late period will be obvious to many women who menstruate regularly. If you were expecting your period, and it doesnt begin, youll know its late. Not all periods arrive like clockwork, and its very normal for periods to occur on a slightly different schedule. Pregnancy isnt the only thing that can cause a late or skipped period. But if youre wondering whether your missing period might mean youre pregnant, you can look for other early symptoms of pregnancy. During the first 8 weeks of pregnancy, many women experience:
During the first trimester , your body produces large amounts of a hormone called progesterone. This can make you feel sleepy. Even during the first week after conception, you may feel more tired than usual.
Implantation bleeding is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. It is very light bleeding, often called spotting, that happens as a result of the fertilized egg implanting to the uterine wall. Implantation is usually 6 to 12 days after conception, or the moment the egg is fertilized by a sperm.
Some women also have mild abdominal cramps during implantation. Other women dont notice any symptoms with implantation.
3. Breast Changes
You may see changes in your breasts as early as 1 to 2 weeks after conception. Your breasts may be swollen and tender to the touch. You may have soreness or a feeling of fullness in your breasts.
5. Missed Period
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Using A Pregnancy Test With A Weeks Indicator
Pregnancy tests scan your body for hCG , a hormone produced only once an embryo has implanted in your uterus . Some of the fancier, more expensive home pregnancy tests have a weeks indicator that also tells how far along you are. But these tests let you know only that youre one to two weeks, two to three weeks or three-plus weeks pregnant . Fortunately, an ultrasound at your doctors appointment can help pinpoint a more specific due date.
Using Date Of Conception
The window for conception ranges from a few days before ovulation to a few days after. A typical menstrual cycle of 28 days means you ovulated around day 14. So if you know the exact date of conception, count 266 days to get your due datebut, of course, understand that baby might actually arrive a few days before or after, says Skeete Henry.
Counting from date of conception isnt always the most precise method for determining how far along you are, since its often difficult to know, with absolute certainty, when you actually conceived. Were not just talking about the day you had sex sperm can live inside your fallopian tubes for up to five days, so its possible to conceive up to five days after intercourse.
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What Is A Late Period
If your period is late or youre wondering if youre pregnant, the days can tick by rather slowly. How long do you have to wait before taking a pregnancy test? The instructions on home pregnancy tests often talk about your missed period. What do they mean?
In the world of pregnancy testing, a missed period means you expected your menstrual bleeding to have started yesterday, and it still has not started. The day of your expected period depends on what your normal menstrual cycle looks like and when your last period started.
The menstrual cycle is the time from the first day of your period to the day before your next period starts. The average cycle is 28 days, with a pattern that looks something like this:
Some womens menstrual cycles last the same number of days every month. These women can accurately predict the day their period will start. Other women have a menstrual cycle that is a little different each month. Your period is still considered regular as long as it comes every 24 to 38 days.
What Is The Ultrasound Date And Why Is It Different From My Due Date
When a doctor performs an ultrasound, they write a report on the findings and include two estimated due dates. The first date is calculated using the date of the LMP. The second date is based on the ultrasound measurements. These dates are rarely the same.
When your doctor evaluates the ultrasound results, theyll determine whether or not these dates are in agreement. Your doctor probably wont change your due date unless its significantly different from your ultrasound date.
If you have more ultrasounds, each ultrasound report will contain a new due date based on the most recent measurements. An expected due date shouldnt be changed based on measurements from a second- or third-trimester ultrasound.
Due date estimations are more accurate earlier in pregnancy. Later ultrasounds are helpful in determining whether the fetus is growing well but not for determining the age of the fetus.
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Latest Date You Can Have An Abortion
The legal time limit on abortion in the UK is 24 weeks, but most terminations are carried out much earlier. About 90% of abortions are performed before 13 weeks. Later abortions are usually only performed for medical reasons.
As well as the overall time limit, there are also limits on when certain types of abortion can be performed. You can have:
- Medical termination up to 9 weeks
- Manual Vacuum Aspiration up to 12 weeks
- Surgical termination by Dilation and Curettage up to 19 weeks
How Long Does It Take Hcg Levels To Be Detected By Home Pregnancy Tests
Pregnancy doesn’t necessarily start the day that two people have sex. An egg can be fertilized by sperm up to six days after intercourse.5 And then, it can take between six and ten days for the egg to implant itself in the uterus.
The hormone that home pregnancy tests look for starts being released from when the fertilized egg implants itself, which is why you have to wait for them to be effective.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, HCG is made by cells formed in the placenta, which nourishes the egg after it is has implanted itself in the wall of the uterus.4
Levels of HCG can be detected by two kinds of tests:5
- Blood testâaccurate as early as 11 days after conception
- Urine testâaccurate as early as 12 to 14 days after conception
So, if you don’t know when your period is supposed to start and you think you might be pregnant, you should test about two weeks after you had sex and possibly conceived.5
If it’s negative and your period still hasn’t come and you still think you might be pregnant, test again in another week.
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How Far Along Am I
enterdue datelast period
The How Far Along Am I Calculator uses your due date or last menstrual period to calculate how many weeks, months, and days you are pregnant.
different starting dates to count pregnancy
- Conception or ovulation
- Measurements from an ultrasound
- IVF Transfer date
Pregnancy is most commonly measured gestationally from a woman’s last menstrual period to birth. This period is known as gestational aging.
If you require more options to calcuate yourdue date or how far along you are, try ourdue date calulator.
How Do I Calculate My Due Date If I Had Ivf
If you used embryo cryopreservation and in vitro fertilization to get pregnant, you can use your IVF transfer date to calculate your due date. If your provider transferred the embryos five days after they retrieved your eggs, count ahead 261 days from the transfer date.
If your provider transferred the embryos three days after egg retrieval, count ahead 263 days to determine your due date. On your transfer day, your provider will calculate your due date and share this information with you.
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What Does It Mean If My Doctor Changes My Due Date
Your doctor may change your due date if your fetus is significantly smaller or larger than the average fetus at your particular stage of pregnancy.
Generally, your doctor orders an ultrasound to determine the gestational age of your baby when theres a history of irregular periods, when the date of your LMP is uncertain, or when conception occurred despite oral contraceptive use.
An ultrasound allows your doctor to measure the crown-rump length the length of the fetus from one end to the other.
During the first trimester, this measurement provides the most accurate estimation for the age of the baby. Your doctor may change your due date based on the ultrasound measurement.
This is most likely to occur in the first trimester, especially if the date estimated by the ultrasound differs by more than one week from the date estimated by your doctor based on your LMP.
In the second trimester, an ultrasound is less accurate and your doctor probably wont adjust your date unless the estimates vary by more than two weeks.
The third trimester is the least accurate time to date a pregnancy. Estimates based on an ultrasound can be off by as much as three weeks, so doctors rarely adjust dates during the third trimester.
However, its not uncommon for a doctor to perform an ultrasound in the third trimester if theyre thinking about changing your date.
How Can You Tell If You’re Pregnant
Answering the burning question of whether you are pregnant or not can be easy or difficult depending on how far along you are and how well you know your own body.
Many women can tell if they are pregnant within two or three weeks of conceiving, and some women know a lot sooner, even within a few days. It really depends on your ability to pick up on the changes occurring within your body and how sensitive you are to them.
Of course, you’ll definitely be able to find out for sure once you have missed your first period by doing a pregnancy test . Don’t be tempted to take a pregnancy test too early, though. Doing so can increase your chances of getting an inaccurate result or maybe a faint pregnancy test line.
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Dating Pregnancy Using Ultrasound
Ultrasound in the first trimester is the most accurate method of dating pregnancy. During the scan, baby is measured and the age of pregnancy is estimated by comparing baby’s size against recorded averages. If there is a significant difference between gestational age according to LMP and gestational age according to the ultrasound, you may be given a new gestational age and due date based on the ultrasound measurements.
Your pregnancy may also be dated by ultrasound measurement if an LMP formula was not appropriate for your pregnancy for any reason. LMP formulas are not suitable in several situations including the following: LMP is not known or is not certain, birth control pills were taken in the two months before LMP, the menstrual cycle is irregular, you are carrying multiples .
Although the age of pregnancy based on ultrasound measurements is more accurate than the age of pregnancy based on LMP, both are estimates and not definitive statements.
When Will You Start Feeling Symptoms Of Pregnancy
Some women experience symptoms of pregnancy very early on, though many women do not. According to one study of 136 women who ended up having babies, 50% had some symptoms roughly eight days after their missed period, 70% had some symptoms roughly two weeks after their missed period, and 90% had some symptoms one month after their missed period.2
Many early pregnancy symptoms are also very similar to PMS, which can be confusing. I go into more detail about the early symptoms of pregnancy below.
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Weeks Pregnant: First Ultrasound
You wont necessarily be having your first ultrasound when youre 5 weeks pregnant. In many cases, your doctor will schedule an appointment and ultrasound around weeks 8 or 9.
If there are any risks associated with your pregnancy, you might still get an ultrasound this week. A specialist is able to see the fertilized egg approximately in week 5 of the pregnancy. The heartbeat can be heard in week 6.
Usually, during pregnancy, an ultrasound is carried out using an abdominal sensor, but during the early pregnancy stages, a doctor can still perform a transvaginal examination.
The first ultrasound examination helps to confirm the heartbeat of the fetus and the fact that the pregnancy is not ectopic. Later, it allows you to see the location of the placenta and the umbilical cord, as well as to assess the overall condition of the child. Ultrasound enables one to monitor a successful course of pregnancy.
Pregnancy Testing For An Early And Accurate Result
A pregnancy test measures levels of human chorionic gonadotropin in your blood or urine. hCG starts to be produced after implantation in the walls of the uterus.
Implantation can occur as early as 7 days after conception.
The placenta begins to develop and produces increasing amounts of hCG.
There are no dierences between ethnicities with regard to urinary hCG increase. However, levels of serum hCG in early pregnancy following assisted reproductive technology have been seen to be slightly lower in women with a higher pre-pregnancy body mass index.
If you need early detection of pregnancy, a blood pregnancy test done at the doctors oice can detect low levels of hCG and measure the actual quantity of hCG in the body.
A blood pregnancy test can be accurate six to eight days after ovulation. A urine test is usually accurate about 14-21 days after ovulation.
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