When you first realize you may be pregnant, there are probably a lot of emotions you are feeling. And one thing that can add to your frustration and confusion is trying to determine exactly how far along you are in pregnancy.
Pregnancy dating can be confusing, but there are a few reasons why having an accurate count for how far along you are is important.
First, some women who aren’t in committed relationships find that the father of the baby may demand to know exactly how far along the pregnancy is. In some cases, the father of the child may want to find an “out” – a way to try to deny the child could be his. Having an accurate understanding of how far along your pregnancy is can help you.
If you are contemplating abortion or other options, it is crucial to know how far along you are. Knowing this can determine which type of abortion is available to you. This is important so that you can know and understand the risks and side effects associated.
You may have heard the terms “gestational age” and “fertilization age.”
Gestational age is the term used most often by medical professionals. This term tracks the pregnancy back to the first day of the woman’s last menstrual period.
Fertilization age tracks the pregnancy based on the date of conception. Most women will ovulate in the middle of their monthly cycle, or typically about 14 days after their last period began. Conception, when the sperm meets the egg, occurs at this time.
Gestational age will include the two weeks prior to conception, whereas fertilization age will only refer to the conception date.
So, a baby that is 10 weeks gestational age will only be 8 weeks fertilization age.
Knowing and understanding the how far along you are can impact choices that you may need to make during your pregnancy. Many woman may not know the date of conception, so counting the pregnancy from the date of the last menstrual period is often the most reliable.
At Options for Women, we date pregnancy by the last menstrual period, but we also use ultrasound exams to help determine exactly how far along you are. If you are pregnancy, and aren’t sure about what to do next, call Options for Women Pregnancy Help Clinic today for a FREE pregnancy test and ultrasound exam.