“How did I get pregnant? When did it happen?”
If you’re facing an unexpected pregnancy, it’s natural to wonder when exactly you conceived and when you are due. And whether you’re looking forward to being a parent or you don’t know what to expect, it’s important to have a good idea of the time frame so you can plan your next steps. You also need to know approximately how far along you are to see what pregnancy options are available.
Calculating Your Conception Date
There are several methods you can use to calculate your approximate conception date. However, you should know that these methods all give an estimate – it’s very difficult to determine the exact date of conception for several reasons (which we’ll mention later).
The first method for calculating conception is simply to count forward two weeks from the first day of your last menstrual period. This gives you an estimate for when you started ovulating – in other words, when your body released an egg into your fallopian tubes to be fertilized. However, this method can be inaccurate since not all women ovulate at the same time in their menstrual cycles.
Another method for determining conception is to go to a doctor and get an ultrasound. Ultrasounds are safe and simple medical procedures, and with one you can get an accurate estimate of the gestational age of your baby. However, not all embryos develop at the same rate, so your estimate may not be entirely accurate. You also have to wait longer for this method to work, since early in your pregnancy your embryo will be too small to accurately judge in terms of age.
The final way to estimate your conception date is to count backwards from your estimated due date. Your conception date will be 266 days (approximately) before you are due. Again, this is just an estimate, and it could be off by several days depending on your specific circumstances.
Factors that Influence Conception Dates
There are several ways to estimate your conception date, but none of them are 100% accurate. This is due to several factors, such as:
- Differences in ovulation between women. Not all women ovulate on the same schedule, so it’s impossible to generalize across all women when estimating conception dates.
- Menstrual regularity. Not all women have regular menstrual cycles. Some women have cycles that are irregular in terms of timing and length. This can affect your conception date because it’s harder to pinpoint when your cycle begins and ends.
- Sperm longevity. A man’s sperm can survive inside your body for several days, so the date you had sex is not necessarily your conception date. This can complicate matters if you have multiple partners.
- The accuracy of medical equipment. Currently, it’s impossible for doctors to pinpoint your conception date with 100% accuracy. In general doctors can give estimates with about a week of range, but it’s not possible to give an exact conception date unless you track your ovulation cycles yourself.
Pregnancy Information and Support
If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy and you aren’t sure what to do next, we can help. At Calaveras Door of Hope, we provide support, guidance, and educational resources for pregnant women in need. Call us today at (209) 736-9600 to schedule an appointment and discuss your pregnancy options and next steps.