How Pregnant Am I?

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Remember when you took your first digital pregnancy test and received that clear ‘Pregnant’ and then some numbers? There are a few numbers that you could have gotten 1+, 2-3, or 3+ I think are the most common.

So why then, when you went to your doctor for confirmation, were you told you were approximately two weeks further along than you thought?

The first thing to remember is that these types of pregnancy tests check your urine for human chorionic growth hormone, a hormone released by the female body only when pregnant. So basically, in order for the body to be releasing this, there has to be a fertilized egg somewhere along the line.

So why then, when you went to your doctor for confirmation, were you told you were approximately two weeks further along than you thought? Most times, if you had a fairly regular cycle prior to conception, physicians utilize your last menstrual period (LMP) dates to figure out how pregnant you are. This is the confusing part – there are two weeks prior to conception that are actually included in this calculation which makes many women wonder – why are these two weeks counted when I wasn’t even pregnant yet? Think about it this way. During those two weeks, the lining of your uterus is building up, making a nice place for the fertilized egg to implant and grow. If that lining wasn’t there, there would be nowhere for that egg to implant. Does that help?

Traditionally, a woman is pregnant for about 40 weeks, give or take a few weeks. Your due date is not an exact science which is why you might see people stating that they were further or not as far along as they were told along the way based on when they delivered, but this might not be the case at all. To make matters even more confusing, if you have an early ultrasound (ultrasound estimated due dates are more accurate in the early stages, usually at 8-10 weeks), your due date might be moved again. This is because there are a multitude of other factors to consider like if you ovulated early or late or implanted early or late. The moral of the story is that there is no way to know for sure (unless of course you did IVF ☺), so your estimated due date (EDD), is just that – an estimate give or take about two weeks. Happy calculating!