How Does Pregnancy Happen
Each month your ovaries release an egg about 14 days before the first day of your period. This is called ovulation. When you and your partner have unprotected sex around the time of ovulation, his sperm swim to meet your egg and fertilize it. The fertilized egg moves through your fallopian tubes and attaches or implants to the wall of your uterus where it grows and develops into a baby.
You can get pregnant if you have unprotected sex any time from 5 days before and the day of ovulation. The more often you have sex during this time, the more likely you are to get pregnant. Your egg is fertile for 12 to 24 hours after ovulation. Your partners sperm can live inside you for up to 72 hours after you have sex.
Depending on the kind of birth control you used, it may affect how soon you start ovulating. There are several ways to figure out when you ovulate such as using the .
Contact Your Obgyn As Soon As You Think You Are Pregnant
Call your OBGYN clinic as soon as you find out youre pregnant. When you call in, your provider will review your medical history to determine the timing of your first prenatal visit. If you are a woman with no medical problems and under the age of 35, your first prenatal appointment will likely be 3-4 weeks after your missed period.
Some women should be seen sooner than others. For instance, if a woman has a history of ectopic pregnancy , she should be seen within a couple of days. Certain other medical conditions warrant an immediate visit with the provider.
Note: Ectopic pregnancy is when a fertilized egg grows outside of the uterus, such as in the fallopian tube. The earliest symptom of ectopic pregnancy is typically light vaginal bleeding soon after a positive pregnancy test. If this happens, call your OBGYN to schedule an ultrasound right away. The ultrasound will identify if the fertilized egg is growing in the uterus or if it has attached somewhere else.
An ectopic pregnancy cannot be moved to the uterus and requires treatment such as medication or surgery. If the ectopic pregnancy continues growing to 5 or 5.5 weeks after conception, it could cause more serious complications, such as a ruptured fallopian tube, which can result in life-threatening internal bleeding. Symptoms of a ruptured fallopian tube include sudden and severe pain, abnormal bleeding, lightheadedness, and shoulder pain.
Youre Visiting The Bathroom Significantly More Often
Do you find yourself urinating more often during the day or waking up in the middle of the night to take care of a full bladder? This could be a sign youâre pregnant. Because your body makes significantly more blood during pregnancy, your kidneys are filtering more liquids â resulting in a greater number of potty breaks. Though youâll be doing plenty of urinating, pregnancy actually increases your chances of constipation, meaning that going #2 may be a little more difficult.
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What If Your Lmp Due Date And Ultrasound Due Dates Arent The Same
What if your due date is different than the due date according to the ultrasound? Or what if you have four different due dates?! , ovulation, and ultrasound.)
In these instances, your OB or midwife may adjust your due according to the ultrasound, since a dating scan is considered more accurate.
Note: Many healthcare providers may not adjust the due date unless youre more than a week off, but this can have implications at the end of pregnancy in terms of induction. If you feel like your due date needs to be adjusted, ask for a dating ultrasound or follow up with your doctor to adjust your due date. If your due date is not adjusted, you may hear talk about inductions when youre one week late, even if that could actually be your true due date.
What Complications Are Linked To Multiple Births
Anyone can experience complications during pregnancy regardless of how many babies youre carrying. However, most healthcare providers consider multiple pregnancies higher risk than single pregnancies. This doesnt mean that every woman who carries more than one baby during a pregnancy is going to have problems. If youre pregnant with multiples, your provider will want to watch you for possible complications that can happen when you carry more than one baby at once. Your provider will talk to you about each risk factor and frequently check with you to make sure you arent experiencing anything concerning.
Possible complications include:
Fraternal twins always have two placentas. The risks of pregnancies with fraternal twins are similar to those of pregnancies with only one baby. However, the number of possible risks are increased when compared to pregnancies with one baby.
Another complication that can happen in identical twins with one placenta is called twin-anemia-polycythemia sequence . This is due to blood that goes from one twin to the co-twin because of vascular communications at the placental level. In this condition, one twin becomes anemic , whereas the co-twin becomes polycythemic . Several treatments/interventions are performed when this happens.
A third condition that can occur in identical twins with one placenta is called selective IUGR. One twin grows well, whereas the co-twin does not experience much growth.
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.
Early Signs Of Pregnancy
For women who have a regular monthly menstrual cycle, the earliest and most reliable sign of pregnancy is a missed period.
If your period doesnt arrive as expected, you may be pregnant, but there can be other reasons for a missed period, such as illness, stress and strenuous activity.
Sometimes women who are pregnant have a very light period, losing only a little blood.
Some of the other early pregnancy signs and symptoms are listed below. Every woman is different and not all women will notice all these symptoms.
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When Should I Call My Doctor
A note from Cleveland Clinic
A due date calculator helps you plan for your babys arrival. Keep in mind that a due date calculator is only an estimate. Youll need to see your provider to confirm the date. Your due date may change when you have a prenatal ultrasound. Your provider may even change your due date more than once during your pregnancy, but it usually only changes by a few days. Knowing when to expect your new family member allows you to prepare mentally and physically. An accurate due date also helps your provider monitor your health and the health of your baby.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/07/2021.
What If I Notice Some Cramping During Pregnancy
Pregnant women may experience some light cramping early in pregnancy. The cramping is often like light menstrual cramps through the lower abdomen or on one side or the other. It is often a result of all the changes that are occurring in the uterus as the implanted egg begins to grow and develop. Also, a cyst, called the corpus luteum cyst, can develop on the ovary at ovulation.
This cyst forms in the spot on the ovary where the egg comes out before making its journey to the uterus. It then produces progesterone until the placenta has formed enough to begin producing its own progesterone. The cyst can cause some discomfort for women in early pregnancy.
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How Ultrasound Can Help Date A Pregnancy
What if you dont know the date of your last menstrual period? Or maybe your cycle is so irregular that you cant even begin to guess when you may have ovulated? Dont worry! A dating ultrasound can help in fact, doctors commonly use a dating ultrasound as a tool to verify the LMP method.
You might receive a dating ultrasound at your first prenatal appointment or slightly later into your pregnancy.
How Do Pregnancy Tests Work
Pregnancy tests work by detecting one of the key early signs of pregnancy: a hormone called human chorionic gonadotrophin . This hormone is only made when a woman is pregnant.
Traces of hCG can be found in the urine from three to four days after implantation, but the concentration needs to continue to build up to a level at which the test can detect it and give a positive result. The best time to take a pregnancy test is from the day that the period is missed.
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What Do I Need To Know About Using A Pregnancy Due Date Calculator
A due date calculator may not be completely accurate. This is especially true if you arent exactly sure when you had your last period, you have irregular periods or you dont know when you conceived. You should see your provider for a more precise test, such as an ultrasound, to confirm your due date.
How Soon Can I Take A Pregnancy Test
Pregnancy tests work by detecting a certain level of human chorionic gonadotrophin in your pee. You can take a pregnancy test as soon as youve missed your period. However, its best to wait at least one week after youve missed your period to get the most accurate results. While some tests claim to give you accurate results before a missed period, taking a test too soon can result in a false negative .
Your healthcare provider can take a blood sample to test for pregnancy as early as one week before a missed period.
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Pregnancy Terms In Months
|How many months is Pre Term:||Pre term is before 37 weeks which is approximately> 8 Months|
|How many months is Early Term:||Early term starts at 37 weeks which is approximately 8 Months|
|How many months is Full Term:||Full term starts at 39 weeks which is approximately 9 Months|
|How many months is Late Term:||Late term starts at 41 weeks which is approximately Mid 9 or 10 Months|
|How many months is Post Term:||Post term starts at 42 weeks which is approximately End of 9 Months or 10+ Months|
Can You Feel Pregnant Before You Miss Your Period
Yes, you can feel pregnant before you miss your period. Some people say theyve felt pregnancy symptoms within a week of conception .
Could I have the symptoms of early pregnancy and not be pregnant?
Many of the symptoms of early pregnancy overlap with other medical conditions, as well as your typical menstrual cycle. Premenstrual symptoms can be very similar to pregnancy symptoms. This can make it difficult to tell the difference. You can also miss a period and not be pregnant. This can happen when you lose or gain a lot of weight or are stressed. Breastfeeding can also cause your period to stop.
The best way to know youre pregnant is to take a pregnancy test. Pregnancy tests are available at your local pharmacy or grocery store without a prescription.
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What Can I Do To Stay Healthy During A Multiple Pregnancy
Eating nutritious foods, getting enough rest, and visiting the doctor regularly are important steps for any pregnant woman to take toward a healthy pregnancy. These steps are especially important during multiple pregnancies.
If youre expecting multiples, you have additional dietary needs to meet. Getting enough protein and enough hydration is important. Youll also need to make sure you get enough extra calories for the developing fetuses. One rule of thumb is to eat an extra 300 calories a day per baby. That means that if youre pregnant with twins, you will need to add 600 calories to your daily diet. Talk to your healthcare provider about your diet and the specific amounts youll need for a healthy pregnancy.
Moms of multiples might also experience the typical discomforts of pregnancy more intensely. Its important to take good care of yourself and get plenty of rest to help ease the stresses of pregnancy.
In some cases, you might want to find a healthcare provider who has experience with multiple births. Specialized healthcare can help ensure that you and your babies are receiving the best care available. The need for frequent, intensive prenatal care is very important in a multiple pregnancy. Talk to your family doctor or OBGYN about their recommendations for specialists.
How Pregnancy Tests Work
Think you might be pregnant?
Even with the most effective birth control methods, theres always a chance for error. After all, it takes just one sperm to fertilize the egg. Finding out whether or not thats happened is as easy as taking an over-the-counter pregnancy test.
OTC pregnancy tests typically test your urine for a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin . HCG is only present if youre pregnant. The hormone is only released if a fertilized egg attaches outside the uterus or to your uterine lining.
There are different ways to collect your urine for the test. Depending on the test you choose, you may have to:
- collect your urine in a cup and dip a testing stick into the liquid
- collect your urine in a cup and use an eyedropper to move a small amount of fluid into a special container
- place the testing stick into the area of your expected urine stream so that it will catch your urine midstream
According to Cleveland Clinic, most tests are 99 percent effective if taken after a missed period. The best part is that you can do it in the privacy of your own home. Simply open the test, follow the instructions, and wait for the recommended amount of time to view the results.
After the recommended waiting time has passed, the tests will display your results in one of the following ways:
- a change in color
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Why Do I Calculate From The First Day Of My Last Period Not Conception
Before we understood the physiology of ovulationand that women dont ovulate until a couple of weeks after their period, so they really cant get pregnant until that timethe only thing that primitive physicians and midwives knew was that from the first day of the last period, it was about 280 days before a woman gave birth, says Scurfield. All of the research and medical literature have been based on that formula being used.
Conception Calculator Based On Lmp
The other method of using the pregnancy conception calculator is to provide the first day of your last menstruation and the average length of your menstrual cycle. The majority of cycles last around 28 days. However, typical values range between 21 and 35 days.
In cycles of 28 days, ovulation happens around 14 days before the beginning of the next cycle. So, if a cycle lasts 28 days, ovulation occurs the 14th day after the first day of the cycle . If it’s shorter, you subtract the corresponding number, e.g., for a 22 days cycle – ovulation occurs on the 8th day. If it’s longer, you add some days, e.g., for a 34 day cycle – ovulation is on the 20th day. For cycles longer than 35 days or shorter than 21 days, these calculations are not applicable and you should consult by a doctor. If you’re not sure how long your cycles are, leave the default number of 28 days.
When does conception happen? How long does conception take? The fertile window begins 3-5 days before the ovulation date, and ends one day after it. It means, to get pregnant, you should have intercourse within this time. Although sperm can survive up to 7 days inside a woman’s body, conception does not happen until ovulation. Therefore, conception day is the day of ovulation and might last for 24 hours after the egg is release. Therefore, the formula to estimate the conception date based on the LMP:
LMP + cycle length – 14 = conception date
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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%.
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.
What About Your Ovulation Date
After implantation, the most accurate method for dating pregnancy is to use your ovulation date. If you know when you ovulate, you have a much greater chance of accurately answering the question how many weeks pregnant am I?
But this isnt a foolproof method eitheryou could be off by a few days, or you could make a miscalculation when trying to figure out when you will ovulate.