Week 3 of Your Pregnancy

Week three is the week of conception, which is super exciting. Still, you won't know for sure whether you've conceived for another two weeks, when you can take a pregnancy test.

Week three of your pregnancy is a very exciting time, because this is the week that conception happens. That's right, around the end of the second week of pregnancy—or the very beginning of the third week—is when ovulation usually takes place, and conception follows soon after.

But even though you may now be officially pregnant, you are unlikely to notice many symptoms, and you won't know for sure that you're pregnant for another week. That's because at-home pregnancy tests don't work just yet.

The two weeks after ovulation and conception can be stressful, but you are far from alone, and you'll get your pregnancy results before you know it.

Pregnancy Week 3 Quick Facts

  • At three weeks, you're in your first month of pregnancy
  • You have 37 weeks until your due date
  • You're in the first trimester

Your Unborn Baby's Size at 3 Weeks

Ovulation happens about 14 days after your last menstrual period, give or take. After you've ovulated, your egg makes its way into your fallopian tube. Human eggs are extremely tiny, about 0.1 mm in diameter, or about the size of a pencil point.

Finger-like projections found on the ends of your fallopian tubes, nearest your ovaries, transport your egg into the fallopian tube. There, it waits for sperm to fertilize it. Your egg is only capable of being fertilized for about 12 to 24 hours.

After these 12 to 24 hours, your egg is swept through the fallopian tube by tiny cilia. If conception has occurred, your fertilized egg will be implanted into your uterine lining about five to six days after conception.

week 3

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 3

During this week, you may be on the hunt for pregnancy symptoms, but it's not typical to have many symptoms right after conception takes place. Remember, this is super duper early in your pregnancy.

Ashley Potter, mom of three and founder of ParentsWonder.com, shared that it took her 12 months of trying to finally get a positive pregnancy test. Her advice is to try not to stress too much about those initial pregnancy signs, especially the early, early symptoms.

"I honestly tried my best not to 'symptom spot' early on," Potter says. "I was in a couple of 'trying to conceive' forums and I would see people drive themselves bonkers, nit-picking every little symptom and hoping that would lead to the long awaited positive test."

Potter says that, looking back, she may have had some pregnancy symptoms soon after conceiving, such as sore breasts. But those were also her normal PMS symptoms, so it really was impossible to know for sure.

Shaghayegh DeNoble, M.D., OB-GYN, and minimally invasive gynecologic surgeon at Advanced Gynecology of North Jersey, says that it's pretty uncommon to experience symptoms this early in pregnancy and, if you do, they'll (more likely than not) be very mild.

Some possible symptoms you may experience, according to Dr. DeNoble include:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Breast tenderness
  • Light spotting (referred to as implantation spotting)
  • Frequent urination

When Might You Start to Have More Noticeable Symptoms?

"Most people will start having symptoms at about five to six weeks of pregnancy, although some women don't experience any symptoms aside from having a missed period," Dr. DeNoble explains.

Developmental Milestones

In the days following conception, your baby isn't quite an embryo yet. Instead, it's considered a zygote. Very soon after conception, your fertilized egg begins to divide into multiple cells, and those cells divide as well, a process called mitosis. Cell mitosis takes place over the course of three to five days, as your zygote makes its way through your fallopian tube.

Once it reaches your uterus, this little cluster of cells gets a new name: blastocyst. During this stage, more cell division takes place, and your blastocyst takes a ball-like shape. Finally—about five to six days after fertilization—the blastocyst implants itself into the uterus.

Prenatal Tests and Doctor's Appointments

At three weeks pregnant, you will not be having any prenatal appointments. However, if you get a positive pregnancy test in a week, you will be able to make your first appointment, though you may not see an OB-GYN, midwife, or other medical professional until you are eight weeks pregnant or so.

Still, early pregnancy—and even before you conceive—is a good time to be more aware of your health choices. It's recommended that anyone trying to get pregnant take a prenatal vitamin that contains a minimum of 400 micrograms of folic acid. Eating a well balanced diet with plenty of fruits, veggies, and proteins is also important, and make sure to add some healthy movement to your day.

Common Questions at This Pregnancy Stage

What are the chances of conceiving in any given month?

"It is very important that individuals trying to conceive understand that it can take several cycles before pregnancy is achieved," says Adi Davidov, M.D., associate chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Staten Island University Hospital in Staten Island, New York. As Dr. Davidov notes, each cycle, you have about a 30% chance of success and, even once conception occurs, there's a 30% chance of miscarriage. "These statistics can be very stressful,” says Dr. Davidov. “It is important to find ways to reduce anxiety.”

What is implantation bleeding and what symptoms might you experience?

Not everyone experiences it, but implantation bleeding is normal, says Faustina Nevarez, M.D., medical director of women's health, AltaMed Health Services in Los Angeles. "Light, non-painful, spotting is not uncommon at the time of implantation," Dr. Nevarez says. "This usually occurs eight days after fertilization of the ovum."

How to best support partners as you wait to find out if conception happened?

For couples, when one partner seems stressed about waiting to find out if they successfully conceived, one of the best things you can do is simply listen, says Dr. DeNoble. "Let your partner know that it is OK to express and feel whatever emotions come up during this time," she says. But support isn't just emotional; helping with errands or household chores can unburden your partner if they are feeling overwhelmed. Lastly, spending quality time together can help immensely. "Do things you both enjoy to help stay connected and distract from the waiting," Dr. DeNoble recommends.

If you don’t have a partner, finding comfort and support from other loved ones can be just as helpful during what’s often a nerve-wracking time no matter how you feel about a possible pregnancy. 

Things You Might Consider This Week

You should be able to take a pregnancy test by the end of next week, but even though this waiting time will be over soon, it can feel like an eternity. You should know that it's quite normal to find this waiting period stressful.

Potter says that even though it took her a full year to finally get a positive pregnancy test, she found some ways to stay hopeful. She suggests seeking out like-minded parents who understand where you are coming from, such as an online trying to conceive (TTC) forum or any real-life friends who have been there themselves. "I felt a sense of camaraderie with all the other women who were going through the same things I was," Potter shares.

Another Tip

"I found keeping busy with things my husband and I enjoy doing and getting out of the house helped the 'two-week wait,' fly by," Potter says. "You can use this time to connect and spend quality time together not on a specific time constraint."

Support You May Need This Week

Besides leaning on the support of good friends, fellow TTC-ers, and your partner if you have one, now is a good time to get your hands on some good pregnancy resources. There are several pregnancy books on the market, and many can be checked out of your local library. The most important aspect of a pregnancy book is that you find it easy to understand and that you connect with it.

There are also many online resources for pregnancy related info. Make sure that the pregnancy site you are looking at cites research studies and medical organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and is fact-checked by medical experts.

Now is also a good time to secure a few at-home pregnancy tests, which you can find at your local pharmacy, drugstore, grocery store, and some convenience or dollar stores. Pregnancy tests measure a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) which is secreted by the placenta starting in early pregnancy. Most tests don't work until the day that you expect your period, or about two weeks after you've conceived. But some will work a few days before a missed period.

Head over to week four of pregnancy

Watch Baby's Growth

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