Congrats, You’re Pregnant! So, When Is Your Pregnancy Due Date? by 30Seconds Health
Pregnancy is an exciting time. "When am I due?" just may be the No. 1 question you’ll ask when you find out you're pregnant!
Each month, approximately 14 days before the first day of your menstrual period, one of the ovaries releases an egg (ovum). A sperm has 24 to 48 hours to fertilize the egg. If the egg is not fertilized during that time, conception will not occur and you’ll get your period as usual. If you don't, it’s time to celebrate! One of the first things that happens once you learn you’re pregnant is that you find out when Baby is due.
Your healthcare provider will probably refer to that magic date as your estimated due date (EDD). Remember that this date is only an estimate, and only about 5 percent of babies actually show up on the date they're due (seriously)!
How to Determine Your Due Date
The typical way to calculate your due date is to count ahead 280 days from the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP). Another way to calculate your due date is to take the date (day number) of your LMP and add seven, then subtract three months. For example:
LMP: May 1
Add 7: May 8 (1+7)
Count back three months: February 8
These methods assume you have a 28-day menstrual cycle:
Day 1: Your period begins (LMP)
Day 14: Conception
Day 28: Your next period is due. If it doesn’t come, you may be one month pregnant!
This is not accurate for everyone, because if your cycle is typically 31 days, for example, you may expect Baby to arrive three days later. If your cycles are shorter, you may deliver sooner.
Other Ways to Determine Your Due Date
You also can try to determine your baby's gestational age and your due date in the following ways, though there are no guarantees:
- Determining your date of conception based upon basal body temperature (BBT), cervical mucus, timing of intercourse.
- Noting when you first got a positive pregnancy test through urine (using first morning urine with the strongest concentration of hCG, home tests can detect pregnancy as early as 10 days after conception).
- Testing the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels in blood (should be at least 5 mIU/ml in early pregnancy; the level doubles about every two days).
- Having your healthcare provider perform an internal cervical exam.
- Noting when your pregnancy symptoms (breast tenderness, nausea) first began.
- Analyzing results of certain prenatal tests, such as ultrasounds and AFP screenings.
- Remembering when Baby’s heartbeat was first heard with a Doppler.
- Measuring the height of your fundus (top of uterus) at various stages of your pregnancy.
- Noting when you felt the first Baby move.
- Remembering when you first felt Baby kick.
Note that if this is your second or later pregnancy, you may experience certain symptoms sooner. There’s no perfect way to predict when you will deliver your baby. The best thing you can do is try to enjoy your pregnancy and know that no matter how far away your due date seems, pregnancy will be over before you know it. So, don’t blink!
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