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Newsletter - Week 3

Welcome To Week 3

3 Week Old Fetus

Your Baby: How Old Is Your Baby

When conception takes place, it happens midway in your menstrual cycle or at approximately 2 weeks after your last period. When you calculate your due date, that 2 weeks is counted in the calculation, therefore your estimated due date will span 40 weeks (dating back to your last period), instead of the 38 weeks since conception.

Your Body: The ABCs Of Conception

Some women have no idea they've conceived at this early date, while others can tell the exact moment it happened. Either way, conception is a magical moment for a couple, and for the woman, whose body is going to grow and change in ways she never thought possible.

If you're curious about conception, here's what you need to know in a nutshell. During ovulation, which usually happens mid-cycle (on day 14 of a 28-day cycle), one of your eggs is released from the ovary and is carried into the nearest Fallopian tube. If a man's sperm makes its way to the same spot in the Fallopian tube within the next 12 to 24 hours, it may fertilize that egg. You're not actually pregnant until the fertilized ovum, called a zygote, travels the rest of the way down the Fallopian tube and attaches itself to the wall of your uterus.

The catch: The average egg lives only 24 hours and the average sperm lives for 72 hours, so they have to get acquainted during the first few hours after sex if you're going to conceive. The moral of the story: If your goal is to get pregnant, you should aim to make love at least every other day during the middle of your cycle (days 10 - 18).

On That Note: Getting Graphic

The Female Reproductive System Tour shows just how far a woman's egg and a man's sperm have to travel before they actually meet up and connect to conceive a baby.

Weekly Tip

It might be a few more weeks until you miss a period - or notice one of the other signs of pregnancy -- and suspect that you're pregnant. So have a home pregnancy test on hand, but hold off using it until you would expect your period to begin (that is, if you miss your next period). Waiting it out will help ensure that you get the right results. If the test is negative, but you don’t get your period, try taking the test again a few days later. Sometimes, the first test is too early to pick up the first traces of pregnancy hormone in your urine.

Updated: 12/9/2012

Irina Burd, MD, PhD, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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