Why The Due Date Is Really The Guess Date
The estimated due date or as I like to call it, the guess date is simply in the middle of the range of full term.
So if you prepare for the likelihood of 42 weeks of pregnancy , youll experience less disappointment and communication overload if your magic date comes and goes.
First pregnancies tend to last longer than subsequent pregnancies, but of course, not always.
Many factors come into play, so you can never be completely accurate as to a babys due date.
Even the experts dont have an advantage when working out the date!
In a study on due dates, doctors, midwives and mothers had to guess what a babys day of birth would be.
No-one was more accurate than the other!
Are You Getting BellyBellys Pregnancy Week By Week Updates?the best
How To Use A Home Pregnancy Test Kit
Home pregnancy test kits vary in their sensitivity to hCG. Most test kits are best used about one to two weeks after your period was due. Always strictly follow the manufacturers instructions. Generally speaking, most home pregnancy tests follow the same basic principles:
- You collect urine in a small container and dip the test strip into the urine. Alternatively, some kits offer a test strip that you hold under your stream of urine.
- To improve accuracy of results, it is best to test your urine when you first get out of bed. Early morning urine is concentrated and contains higher levels of hCG than at other times of the day.
- Most test strips indicate the presence of hCG by the appearance of a coloured line or dot.
- Results are rapid. Most test kits take only a few minutes to complete.
- Most kits come with a second test strip. This allows you to test again at a later stage.
Why Due Dates Are So Hard To Predict
There are a bunch of reasons as to why its so hard to predict when baby will be born. Lets start with the most basic: Soon-to-be-moms often count nine months ahead, but pregnancy is typically 40 weeks from the first day of your last period, which is, of course, more like 10 months.
Another concept to understand when figuring out due dates is that theres no such thing as a firm date for when baby will actually arrive. Even what your doctor tells you is simply an estimate. After all, every pregnancy is different. Some babies, as if eager to greet you, arrive early others take their time and enter late, on their own terms.
Gauging the size of your bump probably wont help much either. For instance, when it isnt your first pregnancy, your bump may show a bit faster than it did the first time around. The growth in the abdomen is much quicker, says Jessica Shepherd, MD, an ob-gyn and womens health expert. Your abdominal and uterine muscles are looser now, since they stretched during your first pregnancy. Plus, your uterus doesnt return to its original pre-pregnancy size after baby number 1, giving your body a head start. So, youll likely pop earlier.
You May Like: How To Relieve Tooth Pain While Pregnant
So How Many Weeks Along Is My Pregnancy
Week 1 of your pregnancy starts on the first day of your last period.
But the first day of your last menstrual period provides an exact date doctors and midwives can go by for the sake of specifics.
With assisted conception, for example IVF, you might know exactly when the egg was fertilised.
But for other pregnant women, the exact moment of ovulation and conception is usually unknown.
Due dates are notoriously inaccurate, due to the way your dates are calculated.
Its assumed you have a 28 day menstrual cycle with ovulation on day 14.
As you likely know, every woman has a unique cycle length and ovulation day.
You may have a shorter or longer cycle than 28 days and you may have ovulated any time in between!
Pregnancy due dates are calculated based on averages, so a date can be given.
Therefore when you miss your first period, youre already 4 weeks pregnant.
Okay, got it, but how many weeks am I, you ask
To find out how many weeks you are, use our pregnancy calculator.
Itll give you an estimated due date, as well as an estimated date of conception.
It will also tell you how many weeks pregnant you are, and how long you have to go until you reach the end of full term pregnancy at 42 weeks.
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.
Recommended Reading: How Can You Know When You Pregnant
When Did I Conceive
Are you pregnant but not sure exactly when you conceived? An ultrasound is the most accurate way to determine how far along your pregnancy is. Ultrasound exams provide images and include various measurements of your developing baby that can help estimate how many weeks pregnant you are and your approximate conception date. If you are making a pregnancy decision and want to learn more about your pregnancy and your options, call to see if you qualify for a free ultrasound.
Due Date Calculator
Please select the first day of you last period
You last period date:
What Are The Chances Of Delivering On My Due Date
Just four percent. The due date isan estimate, says Scurfield. There are all sorts of factors that go into when a woman delivers. It may have to do with the size of the fetus or the health of the mother. Some women will have one baby early and the next baby late. Its nice to be able to predict and plan, but babies come when theyre ready.
Don’t Miss: Can You Get Pregnant After Weight Loss Surgery
Use An Online Due Date Calculator
If youve just discovered youre pregnant and want to know how many weeks pregnant you are you can use an online tool to figure it out. You will need to know the start date of your last regular period and have a rough idea of how long your average cycle is.
If youre using this online due date calculator, youll put in the calculation method , the start date of your last period , and input your cycle length.
So, for instance, if your average cycle is 28 days, and the first day of your last regular period was May 18, 2022, youll be told that youre 5 weeks pregnant if your cycle is about 21 days, youll be told youre 6 weeks pregnant. If you dont know how long your average cycle is, the calculator will average it out for a more exact number, get an ultrasound done.
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.
Also Check: How Does Your Lower Stomach Feel In Early Pregnancy
Actual Length Of Pregnancy
The actual length of pregnancy varies significantly among women. Just 4% of babies are born on their estimated due date, while 70% are born within ten days. The remaining 30% are born more than ten days before the due date or more than ten days after.
The reference above provides a delivery birth range of 38 weeks and four days to 41 weeks and three days with a probability of 70%.
Stay In The Know With Texas Adoption Center
Having an answer to How do I know how many weeks pregnant I am? is necessary for your peace of mind and will help you to make plans accordingly. If these involve placing your child for adoption? The more you know earlier on, the better for all involved. If finding answers is proving to be a struggle, Texas Adoption Center can help.
Also Check: How Early Can You Show Pregnancy Symptoms
Can My Due Date Change
During your prenatal checkups, your healthcare provider will monitor how far along you are. Don’t be surprised, though, if your provider gives you a slightly different due date than the one you calculated.
Also, most babies don’t arrive exactly on their due date. Every pregnancy is unique, and only a small percentage of babies are born right on time. Babies are typically born between weeks 38 and 42, and it’s totally normal for your baby to arrive any time during this window.
If your baby is born pre-term, your doctor will be able to advise you on any extra care your baby might need. On the other hand, if your baby isn’t born by the end of week 42, your doctor may suggest inducing the labor to bring on a vaginal birth, or he may discuss the option of a cesarean section with you.
What Is A Due Date Calculator
A due date calculator helps you estimate when your baby will be born. By calculating your due date, youll have an idea of your babys birthday. But keep in mind that your due date is only an estimate. Very few babies are actually born on the day they were due.
Knowing your due date is important for several reasons. It helps you plan and prepare for your babys arrival. It also gives your provider essential information they need to monitor your health and your babys health.
You can calculate your due date at home using a couple of different methods. But these methods arent always accurate. When you visit your provider, they may give you a different due date based on the size of your baby on ultrasound and the date of your last period.
Read Also: What To Get Pregnant Friend For Birthday
How To Calculate The Estimated Due Date
To calculate the probable due date, which should be around 40 weeks after your LMD, add 7 days to your LMD, and then count 3 months back and add one year.
For example, if the LMD was March 11, 2021, add 7 days, , then subtract 3 months and add 1 year . In this case, the estimated due date is December 18, 2018.
This calculation is not because the baby can be born between 37 and 42 weeks of pregnancy, however, it allows the parents and health care team to prepare for delivery.
Can The Pregnancy Conception Calculator Be Wrong
Yes, of course. So, when does conception happen? There is no possibility being 100 % sure about it. You may be a little bit more certain if you track your cycle and have it perfectly regular. But even ultrasounds and blood tests aren’t faultless. Remember, that your fertile window begins up to 5 days before ovulation and ends one day after it. So, although your conception date is, e.g., 11 July 2019, the intercourse that caused the pregnancy may have occurred as early as 6 July. However, with our conception calendar calculator, you can make an estimated guess!
You May Like: Can You Donate Your Eggs And Still Get Pregnant
How Do I Calculate My Due Date
You can calculate your due date by using:
The date of your last period
You can calculate your due date if you know the first day of your last menstrual period before you got pregnant. Your due date is 40 weeks after the day you started your last period.
This method is a good way to estimate when your baby is due because many women remember the day they started their period. But it might not always be accurate, especially if you have an irregular menstrual cycle or are on birth control.
The date you conceived
If you know the exact day you conceived, you can use that information to figure out when your baby is due. Count ahead 38 weeks from the day you got pregnant. That day is your due date.
This method is only accurate if youre sure about the day you got pregnant. You may only know the specific day you got pregnant if you know when you ovulated. Ovulation happens when your ovaries release an egg. Usually, women ovulate about 14 days after the first day of their period. You can track your ovulation by:
- Taking your basal body temperature around the time when you think you might be ovulating.
- Tracking your ovulation symptoms, such as ovulation pain and cervical mucus.
- Using an ovulation predictor kit. These kits use your urine to detect when youre ovulating.
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.
Don’t Miss: What Is The Likelihood Of Getting Pregnant On Nexplanon
First Day Of Last Period
Most pregnancies last around 40 weeks , so typically the best way to estimate your due date is to count 40 weeks, or 280 days, from the first day of your last menstrual period . You could also subtract three months from the first day of your last period and add seven days.
The first day of your LMP is how most health care providers estimate a baby’s due date. But remember, it’s only an estimated due date, not a deadline for your baby to arrive. Just 4 percent of babies are born on their estimated due date.
I Had Sex Two Weeks Ago But My Doctor Says That Im Four Weeks Pregnant How
88 things nobody tells you about being pregnantIf you have a standard 28-day period, you will likely ovulate around day 14 and are most fertile around days 12, 13 and 14when you had sex to conceive. It takes about nine days after ovulation for implantation to occur, which brings you to around day 23. It takes a few days for your pregnancy hormone levels to be detectable by a pregnancy test, bringing you to around day 28. How far along you are in your pregnancy isnt calculated from conception or implantation but from the first day of your last normal period. If you had your period four weeks ago, then ovulated and had sex two weeks ago to become pregnant, youre currently four weeks pregnant.
Read Also: When To Test Pregnancy After Missed Period
Using Last Menstrual Period
To figure out your due date, count 280 days, or 40 weeks, from the first day of your last period . The LMP method works best for women who have a consistent period with a regular cycle, says Delisa Skeete Henry, MD, an ob-gyn with Serene Health OB/GYN & Wellness in Fort Lauderdale, Floridaand by that she means a cycle ranging from 28 to 38 days. Your estimate can then be refined with what the doctor learns from your pelvic exam. Thats because a typical uterusone without fibroids or massestends to be certain sizes at certain points in pregnancy. The result is accurate plus or minus seven days, Ruiz says.