Have you just found out that you are pregnant? Congratulations! Do you know how far along are you? How can you tell? Well, it all depends on how well you kept track of your cycle. Health care providers and OBGYNs count pregnancy from the first day of your last menstrual period. That would make you approximately 4-5 weeks pregnant by the time your next period is late, around the time you took your home pregnancy test. Gee, that went fast, right?
But, you have not technically been pregnant that long! You’re most likely 2 weeks pregnant, if measured by the actual date of ovulation and conception. The pregnancy really began when your egg was fertilized, 10-14 days ago.
How To Know You’re 2 Weeks Pregnant
When a woman conceives, it is within a 24-48 hour window either before or after ovulation occurs. This is usually around day 14-18 of a woman’s cycle. But let’s go back to the beginning of this cycle. You’re 2 weeks pregnant, so when did your cycle start?
The first cycle day is the first day of the menstrual period. It may last 5-7 days. Then, in another week, the ovaries prepare to release an egg. Ovulation typically occurs between day 14 and 18 of that cycle. If there is sperm at the top of the fallopian tube waiting for the release of the egg, (sperm can survive for up to 5 days), the egg could be fertilized.
It takes another 6-8 days for a fertilized egg to implant in the uterus. Then, the hormones are released that will cause the body’s temperature to be higher than usual and create a warm, protective environment for the fertilized egg. These hormones can be detected about 10-14 days after ovulation and fertilization. So, do the math, you are 2 weeks pregnant counting from the date of conception.
However, because most women don’t keep track of when they have ovulated, OBGYNs count from the first day of the last menstrual period, assuming that a woman’s cycle is normally about 4 weeks. That, however, is a broad generalization because women’s cycles vary greatly from that average.
So, if you know the approximate average length of your cycles, you can better adjust the time frame for your pregnancy. If you have a 5-week cycle typically, then you would say that you are 4 weeks pregnant, even though it has been 5 weeks since your period began, in order to be more accurate with the way your OB will measure your pregnancy.
Pregnancy is approximately 40 weeks in length, counting 4 weeks since your last period started, but not taking into account a woman who has longer cycles than 4 weeks. So, if your period was just late, consider yourself 4 weeks pregnant rather than 5, and add time to account for how long you waited to test after your period was due. Congratulations! You are 2 weeks pregnant! But, tell your ob that you’re 4 weeks pregnant (or more)!