Dating Your Pregnancy - How Many Weeks Are You Pregnant
Now that you have stepped into the nine months journey termed “Pregnancy”. It's important that you keep track of the number of weeks of your pregnancy, to understand how the baby is growing and how your body is changing. In most cases, pregnancy lasts for about 40 weeks or 280 days, yes, close to 10 months and not 9. However, it may also last for about 37-38 or even 42 weeks for some moms. And it’s always good to know about your due date and be knowledgeable about your pregnancy in general. Keep reading to learn more about what you should know and keep a track of during pregnancy.
Confirming Your Pregnancy
Missed your period? Well, time for you to get a pregnancy test done dear mom. The sooner you get the test done, the better it is for you to start taking proper steps in light of your pregnancy. You can do a pregnancy test either at home or in a clinic under the supervision of a medical practitioner. The majority of these tests entail putting a few drops of your urine on a dipstick that contains chemicals. Retesting three to five days later is recommended by several pregnancy tests. This is because a negative result could simply indicate that you haven't produced enough Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) to appear on the test yet. If your periods are irregular, your chances of getting a false result are increased. The benefits of doing a pregnancy test at home include privacy and practically instantaneous results. The main disadvantage is that a false negative result may cause you to delay visiting your doctor. In a clinic, a urine test or a blood test can be done to confirm your pregnancy. The urine test checks the levels of hCG in your urine just like the home pregnancy test kit. A blood test tracks the progression of your pregnancy by measuring the exact level of hCG in your blood.
Understanding the Key Terms
There are specific key medical terms used in pregnancy that you must know about. Listed below are the key terms.
1. LMP and Due Date
LMP stands for last menstrual period. Pregnancies are traditionally dated in weeks, beginning with the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP). If your cycles are regular and if you ovulate on the 14th day of your cycle, conception will happen in about 2 weeks following your LMP. 2 weeks after your first missed period, you are said to be 6 weeks pregnant.
The due date is the estimated date of the arrival of your baby. Most pregnancies last for approximately 40 weeks (or 38 weeks from conception), so counting 40 weeks (or 280 days) from the initial day of your last menstrual cycle is conventionally considered the finest way to get an approximation of your baby’s delivery day. You might alternatively subtract three months from your last period's beginning day and add seven days. But remember it is not the final date. Only 4% of the babies are delivered on their due date.
2. Conception Date
It's possible for you to use your conception date in order to calculate your due date if you track the symptoms of ovulation or use ovulation test strips. Simply add your expected due date by 266 days.
3. IVF Transfer Date
You can use your IVF transfer date to calculate your due date if you conceived through In Vitro fertilization (IVF). After egg retrieval and fertilization, most embryo transfers take place three to five days later. Count 263 days from the transfer date to compute your due date if you had a day-three transfer, and 261 days if you had a day-five transfer.
4. LMP and Early Ultrasound
The question of how accurate your LMP is to calculate your due date is predicated on having regular cycles and assuming you ovulated (produced an egg) on day 14 of your cycle and conceived straight away, neither of which is necessarily true. Because few women know when they ovulated or conceived, ultrasounds performed during the first trimester of pregnancy have been proved to be the most accurate technique to date a pregnancy.
It’s best to go with the ultrasound if an ultrasound date in the first trimester differs by seven days or more from your LMP date. It’s better to stick with your LMP date if the ultrasound date is within seven days of your LMP date. Because ultrasounds performed later in pregnancy are less accurate for dating, your due date should not be modified if it was set in the first trimester.
1. Can I plan my due date?
You may want to avoid certain times to give birth for whatever reasons - the weather can be adverse, you may be busy, or just any other reason. So moms, don’t worry. The answer is that you can definitely try for the same. But, even if you're one of the fortunate ones who can get pregnant whenever she wants, keep in mind that you won't be able to plan out your exact due date (or even the week or month!).
2. Can my due date change?
Yes, your due date may shift. While it's nothing to be concerned about, your doctor may adjust your due date as your pregnancy advances for a variety of reasons. It's possible you have irregular periods and your early ultrasound dates were inaccurate, or your first ultrasound was in the second trimester.
It could also be that your fundal height is abnormal, or that your levels of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), a protein produced by the baby, are abnormally high. For further concerns, it's advisable to speak to your practitioner.
Pregnancy Week and Due-date Calculator
As we mentioned earlier, it’s always great to be familiar with the number of weeks or days you are currently in. Here’s the easiest way to calculate the number of weeks of your pregnancy. https://americanpregnancy.org/resources/pregnancy-calculator/
Figures and numbers are always intimidating, right? We completely get you. While keeping a track of the number of weeks and dates may get tedious and confusing to some extent, it’s also equally important to know them. When you have a proper idea about when your due date is, you will be mentally prepared to go into labor, and give birth. However, don’t let the numbers trouble you much. Keep taking care of yourself, the way you have been since you have received the good news, and be happy. You are strong and beautiful, and you can do it.