Your Pregnancy: Week 3

Do you feel pregnant yet? It’s hard to know for sure, but soon a pregnancy test will show you one way or the other.

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Photo: iStockphoto

Photo: iStockphoto

How pregnant would you be?

Did you know that week 3 of pregnancy is different than week 3 from conception? Yes, it is confusing! Because women often don’t know the exact date of conception, caregivers date your pregnancy from the first day of your last period.

So week 3 is equivalent to week 1 from conception, which is why we’ve started you off here.

Time to conceive

Why can’t you find out right away if egg and sperm have happily united? It‘s not until about two weeks after conception that the fertilized egg (called an embryo) implants itself in the wall of the uterus. (Learn more about the mechanics of babymaking.) After that happens, your body starts producing a hormone called HCG. As conception progresses, the HCG levels rise.

Home pregnancy tests

Most home pregnancy tests can detect the low amounts of HCG present the first day you’ve missed your period. Testing earlier may just leave you frustrated (and broke – those tests are pricey), though some tests claim to provide results even before you’ve missed your period. Either way, read the instructions carefully and, for best results, use your first morning urine — that’s when HCG concentrations are highest and most easily detectable.

Read more: Due date calculator>

Signs of pregnancy

Are your breasts tender? Do you feel nauseous, irritable or very, very tired? Check out the top 15 signs you might be pregnant.

Read more: 15 signs you might be pregnant>

Medication alert

Should you stop taking any medications while you await your pregnancy news? Most medications will indicate if they shouldn’t be taken during pregnancy, but others have not been evaluated fully for risks to pregnant women. If you’re trying to conceive or think you’re pregnant, talk to your doctor or pharmacist to be safe.

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