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Your doctor starts counting your pregnancy from the first day of your last period. That means that during the first two official weeks of your pregnancy, you won’t really be pregnant at all.
But even before conception, your body is getting ready for pregnancy. Many changes occur during these early days of pregnancy, and they’re essential for a healthy pregnancy.
A complex of hormones triggers monthly changes in a woman’s body, which prepare her for the upcoming pregnancy. During your second week of pregnancy, you’ve already had your last period before pregnancy and your body is preparing to ovulate.
In the ovary, an egg ripens (sometimes, there can be two, either in the same or different ovaries), which by the end of the 2nd week (approximately on the 14th day of the 28-day cycle) leaves the follicle and enters the fallopian tube. Then comes ovulation, the most favorable time for conception.
Read on to learn more about the first days of pregnancy and exactly what’s happening during the second week of pregnancy.
During the second week of pregnancy, there’s still no embryo. But your body has been preparing for pregnancy from week 1, when it shed its old uterine lining and expelled last month’s unfertilized egg.
As the second week of pregnancy progresses, you approach ovulation. This is the time when you’re most likely to conceive, and it’s a good idea to keep track of your cycle so that you know your fertile days. There are several signs that will tell you when your body is preparing to ovulate.
How big is your baby at 2 weeks pregnant?
During the early days of pregnancy, there’s still no baby. It can be confusing, but doctors calculate pregnancy weeks this way because it’s very difficult to pinpoint conception. Conception might not even happen on the same day of your ovulation, and intercourse on different days can still lead to pregnancy. That is why doctors use this method to count your pregnancy weeks. So by the time you find out you’re pregnant, you could be around 4 to 6 weeks pregnant - even if there was no baby during the first two weeks!
On week 2 of your pregnancy, one egg has become dominant. It releases estrogen, which stimulates the thickening of your uterine lining. Once your estrogen levels are high enough, they trigger a surge of LH, or luteinizing hormone. This hormone causes the mature egg to burst from its follicle and into the Fallopian tube. The egg lives for 12-24 hours.
Pregnancy week 2 fetal development
Complex hormonal changes are already preparing your body for conception. These hormones include estrogen, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH). They work together to make sure an egg — or two, in some cases — matures properly and is released for conception.
You’ll probably conceive around the end of your second week of pregnancy. The chromosomes in each cell combine immediately after a sperm fertilizes the egg, resulting in your baby’s genes. Even during the first days of pregnancy, your baby’s gender and genetic features will already be determined.
In the event of identical (monozygotic) twins, one sperm fertilizes one egg, which then divides and gives life to two organisms. This results in genetically identical children of the same sex.
In case of non-identical (dizygotic) twins, two sperm fertilize two eggs, and the resulting babies can be of the same or different sex. They resemble each other no more than brothers and sisters born at different times.
Within 24 hours of conception, the fertilized egg or zygote will start dividing into multiple cells and traveling down the fallopian tube.
It’s still the early days of pregnancy, and changes are subtle. During the second week of pregnancy, your body will provide signs that it’s getting ready to ovulate. Keeping track of these symptoms can help you determine your fertile window and improve your chances of conception. Some of the most common ovulation symptoms include:
- Changes in your basal body temperature: your BBT drops to its lowest point exactly as you ovulate, and then it rises by about half a degree. Tracking your BBT is a good way to determine the exact moment you ovulate.
- Different cervical mucus: many women examine their cervical mucus to know when ovulation is approaching. As your ovulation approaches, your cervical mucus will become clear, thin, stretchy, and “egg white-lie”. These changes allow sperm to travel up the cervix more easily.
- Increased sense of smell: due to the hormonal changes that trigger ovulation, some women might notice a heightened sense of smell around these first days of pregnancy.
- Breast tenderness: it’s not uncommon for women to have sore breasts as they approach ovulation.
- Abdominal pain: some women feel slight discomfort or twinge in their abdomen when they release an egg. This symptom is called Mittelschmerz.
- Spotting: as the egg ruptures the follicle and bursts into the Fallopian tube, you might see some very light spotting.
- Increased sex drive: since your body knows now is the best time for a baby, you might notice your libido increases around ovulation.
2 weeks pregnant belly
Most women don’t experience 1 to 2 week pregnancy symptoms. Since it’s the first days of pregnancy, any symptoms are more likely to be caused by ovulation. Inside your belly, your uterine lining is thickening up to make sure it’s ready for a fertilized egg.
If you do conceive by the end of week 2, your body will start making some changes - like slowing down your digestion - that could cause some abdominal bloating.
Pregnancy symptoms, week 2
It’s unlikely that you’ll experience any pregnancy symptoms from day 1. Some symptoms of ovulation, like breast tenderness, are identical to early pregnancy symptoms and can occur during the first days of pregnancy.
Some women, however, have reported experiencing 1 to 2-week pregnancy symptoms. After conception, these symptoms happen due to the hormonal changes that your body goes through.
It’s very unlikely that you’ll need an ultrasound during the second week of pregnancy. In some cases — especially for women with fertility issues — an ultrasound during week 2 of pregnancy allows doctors to measure the thickness of your uterine lining. An ultrasound can also be used to determine whether your follicles are maturing correctly.
Even before you conceive, you can adapt your lifestyle to improve your chances of having a healthy pregnancy. Some of the best lifestyle habits for pregnancy include:
- Track your cycle: an app like Flo can provide tons of useful information. By the end of your second week of pregnancy, a menstrual calendar will be able to determine your fertile days and advise you on when to have intercourse.
- Get an ovulation test: if you suspect you’re about to ovulate, a home ovulation test can measure certain hormones and confirm whether it’s time to try for a baby.
- Keep (or start) taking your prenatal vitamins: ideally, you’ll have started taking a prenatal supplement when you started trying to conceive. This can boost your fertility and prevent neural tube defects. Even if you weren’t taking your vitamins, you can still start now!
- Check your cervical mucus: the changes in your cervical mucus are usually a tell-tale sign that your ovulation is coming.
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle: habits, like eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, drinking tons of water, and getting enough sleep, can help you conceive faster.
Sex at week 2 of pregnancy
Once you’re familiar with your menstrual cycle, try to have sex on the days leading up to your ovulation. Since the egg only lives for 12 to 24 hours, having sex before you ovulate will give sperm a better chance to swim up your Fallopian tubes while the egg is still viable.
Sperm can live up to 6 days in your reproductive system, so have sex regularly during your second week of pregnancy. After sexual intercourse, millions of sperm rush to the uterus. Several hundred of them get to the fallopian tube with only one or two reaching the target.
These are some of the things you can do during the early days of pregnancy:
- track your fertile window
- keep an eye out for ovulation signs
- take an ovulation test
- have sex regularly
- take your prenatal supplements
What to ask your doctor?
Even during these first days of pregnancy, your doctor can provide lots of information. They are the best person to explain how to count your pregnancy weeks, and how to determine your fertile window. If you suffer from fertility issues, they can also keep track of your uterine lining growth and the maturation of your eggs. You should also go to your doctor if you experience any abnormal symptoms, such as excessive abdominal pain or bleeding.
Your body is in full preparation mode for pregnancy during the second week of pregnancy. If you’re trying to conceive, keep track of any ovulation symptoms to boost your chances of conceiving — and then, wait for that positive pregnancy test