Dating Your Unexpected Pregnancy
While it’s advisable to confirm your pregnancy suspicions with a medical professional, you may have already begun to notice some physical symptoms. Between the fourth and seventh weeks of pregnancy is when most women realize they may be pregnant, as they begin to experience symptoms such as morning sickness, or perhaps a missed period. You may be uncertain about how you want to proceed, and dating your unexpected pregnancy can be relevant to your decision. Depending on how far along you are may affect your choices of abortion, adoption, and parenting. There are several ways to calculate pregnancy age, and this important step can provide you with pertinent information.
Calculating the age of an unexpected pregnancy and committing to a pregnancy decision can be difficult, but Avenue Women’s Center is here to assist in any way we can. Throughout our six locations in the Chicagoland area, we offer clients free, medical-grade pregnancy tests and limited ultrasound services to assist in your pregnancy decision-making process. Our expert pregnancy consultants will even take the time to meet with you for a discussion about your options, listening to your concerns and answering any questions you may have about your unexpected pregnancy. Schedule an appointment today to receive free information about your pregnancy!
Calculating Your Unexpected Pregnancy’s Gestational Age
Last Menstrual Period:
A health care professional may use the first day of your last menstrual period to measure the age of your unexpected pregnancy. The gestational age often cannot be calculated from the date of conception, as the exact moment you conceived is often not known, making ovulation difficult to pinpoint. Ovulation refers to the process of a mature egg being made ready to be fertilized after it’s released from the ovary and pushed down the fallopian tube. Based on the date of your last menstrual period, the gestational age is measured at approximately two weeks before the fertilization of the egg by sperm. For women who have irregular periods or cannot remember the first day of their last menstrual period, gestational age may be difficult to calculate. If this is the case for you, you may want to consider another method in order to determine your unexpected pregnancy’s age.
As early as 5 or 6 weeks after your last menstrual period is usually when your pregnancy’s age can be measured. An ultrasound exam is typically the most accurate method for determining the gestational age of an early unexpected pregnancy. Generally, the measurement from the ultrasound exam will be combined with the last day of your menstrual period to confirm gestational age. Ultrasounds can also supply you with reliable information regarding the early pregnancy risks of miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. You may want to schedule an ultrasound exam to ensure you’re receiving relevant communication from a medical professional about your unexpected pregnancy, regardless of whether or not you’re considering abortion.
Your Feelings Matter During an Unexpected Pregnancy Decision
An unexpected pregnancy may lead to you having a lot of personal questions you’d like to have answered. You may be surprised that you’re in this situation, but help is available to you! If you’re unsure about your options, you may want to pursue more than one avenue of support in order to discuss your feelings and potential decisions about an unexpected pregnancy.
Avenue Women’s Center is here to answer your questions about an unexpected pregnancy. Our limited medical services can supply you with relevant information about your pregnancy, regarding age and early pregnancy risks, in order to assist with your pregnancy decision. We provide clients with a compassionate environment to discuss their options with a pregnancy consultant through a confidential session. Our services are available at no cost to you, and are geared towards offering you support during an unexpected pregnancy. Call, chat, email, or text to schedule your appointment today!
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). (2017, June). Ultrasound Exams. Retrieved from: https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Ultrasound-Exams?IsMobileSet=false
- American Pregnancy Association. Pregnancy Wellness, Your Developing Baby. Retrieved from: https://americanpregnancy.org/while-pregnant/calculating-conception-due-date/
- American Pregnancy Association. Days of the Average Menstrual Cycle. Retrieved from: https://americanpregnancy.org/getting-pregnant/understanding-ovulation/
Reviewed by Patricia Kuenzi, APN-CNP, MSN, ANP, PNP.