You missed your period. You may have panicked a little, taken a test, and confirmed you’re pregnant. Now what? It’s time to determine how far along your pregnancy is.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, that might seem like the last thing you want to know, but actually it’s very important. In this blog we’ll talk about why it’s important to know how you can determine how far along you are, and what next steps you can take.
Why it’s important to know how far along your pregnancy is.
Whether you’re excited about being pregnant or not, you’re likely experiencing waves of emotion as a result of finding you’re pregnant. This is normal! Your body is producing way more hormones than usual and it’s good to acknowledge that a lot of what you feel is related to that.
As you sort through all of your emotions about the pregnancy, it’s a good idea to figure out how far along you are. Here are some reasons why:
1. It will determine what options you have. If you’re considering abortion at all, it’s very important to figure out how far along your pregnancy is because timing will determine what procedures you can pursue. If you’re less than 10 weeks into your pregnancy, you’ll be eligible for a medication abortion. If you’re past 10 weeks, you’ll have to have a surgical abortion, and depending on the exact week, there are different surgical procedures to choose from. In Florida, you can’t have an abortion past 24 weeks except in cases of a medical emergency, so it’s important to know the timing for that as well.
2. Timing reveals a lot about pregnancy. A pregnancy is divided into three different trimesters, and the pregnancy symptoms can vary throughout the three of them. Many women experience the most morning sickness in the first trimester, about of energy in their second trimester, and exhibit “nesting” tendencies in their third. Of course, you can experience any of those symptoms throughout your entire pregnancy. Knowing how far along you are can help explain some of the differences in symptoms.
Okay, so now you know some reasons why it’s important to know how far along you are. Let’s talk about how to determine how far along your pregnancy is!
How to determine how far along your pregnancy is.
There are a few different ways you can figure out how far along your pregnancy is! Here are the most popular and most accurate methods:
The first way is to calculate using your last menstrual period (LMP). This method requires figuring out the day you started your last menstrual cycle and adding 280 days (40 weeks), the typical length of a pregnancy. Make sure you’re measuring when your last actual period started, not when you may have bled last. It’s normal to experience a little bit of light bleeding at the beginning of your pregnancy, but this is not what you’re looking for here.
Once you have that date, the formula for calculating how far along you are is simple!
Days since LMP / 7 = # of weeks pregnant
The second way to figure out how far along you are is by getting an ultrasound. This can be especially helpful if you don’t remember when you started your last period. The ultrasound will measure the length of the fetus to determine how many weeks into your pregnancy you are.
If you’re considering an abortion, the state of Florida actually requires that you receive an ultrasound before the procedure. This is because timing determines what kind of an abortion you can get for your own safety.
We offer free ultrasounds! If you’re having trouble dating your pregnancy, or just want to confirm and learn more about your pregnancy, an ultrasound is a great way to do that. Schedule your free appointment today for the location most convenient to you. All appointments are always confidential. You’re welcome to bring someone with you to view the ultrasound if you’d like!