(Closed) Why do most women not know they're pregnant until 6 weeks?

posted 4 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 2
528 posts
Busy bee

One thing to note – pregnancies are dated from the first day of your last period.  So you’d be four weeks pregnant on the day that your missed period was due, just FYI.

Post # 3
941 posts
Busy bee

I actually didn’t know I was pregnant until I was right around 8 weeks. My periods have never been “consistent” and I actually bled through an entire cycle. When I did the math I was only 10 days late from My last period. When I had my first ultrasound I thought I would be 4 weeks max, color me shocked when they said I was 8 weeks.

Post # 4
1445 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Sometimes periods can be thrown off by various factors like late ovulation, stress, etc, so the automatic assumption isn’t necessarily that pregnancy is the culprit. In fact, oftentimes it’s not. 

Also, you’re unlikely to find most of those women who don’t realize they’re pregnant until later on TTC boards because for those who aren’t actively trying to conceive, sometimes, life just gets busy and they look up one day and realize that their period is late. They’re probably not using ovulation trackers or apps, so it’s all a guess regarding when their period is really due. 

Post # 6
570 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2017 - France

I know from very very early because I get Hyperemesis Gravidarum and once I start vomiting and having nausea all day everyday I know what’s up. I wish I could go past 6 weeks without knowing. 

Post # 7
862 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

I do think women confuse implantation bleeding for their period, but from what I’ve read it is nothing like a normal period (for most women). I think this happens when they ovulate later than normal (like me…they say people ovulate cd14 but I don’t ovulate until cd19 and I have a regular 30 day cycle). It gets tricky if someone has an irregular cycle. However, I’ve chosen to be super in tune with my body since we’re TTC. I had a chemical pregnancy last month but I felt “off” right after conception so I knew something was up.

Post # 8
9817 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

I’m pretty sure most women don’t really understand the reproductive cycle that well and how ovulation works. They might have a general idea but overall I think most aren’t as knowledgable as you would think. I know I wasn’t, mostly because I was on BCP for so long (16 years) that I never had to think about my cycle or ovulation. It just wasn’t something I had to worry about (missing periods).

Assuming you have a 28 day cycle and ovulate on day 14, you would “miss” your period when you are 4 weeks pregnant (doctor’s date by last menstrual period). Dating by last menstrual period leaves room for error because it is just a guess as to when a woman ovulated. But since most women do not know when the ovulate, it is the best doctor’s have to go on without an early ultrasound (which many don’t do unless you don’t know when your last period was).

So obviously, not all women have 28 day cycles and they don’t all ovulate on day 14. This alone probably leaves room for error on dating. One woman might ovulate on day 9 and the fetus might be a week ahead of what doctor’s think (based on 28 day cycle, 14 day ovulation) or someone might not ovulate until day 30 and based on LMP the doctor’s would show farther along than she really is. Lots of things like that go into differences that could happen in dating.

Other people don’t track their cycles closely and maybe they didn’t notice they missed their period until it was a week late. Other people might have more variable, irregular cycles (5-7days +) and not realize they haven’t had a period in a while and should probably test. Other people might have implantation bleeding and just assume it is a period and not find out until they miss the next period. Others might just assume vacation or stress delayed it and that it will show up soon and since they were using condoms maybe they weren’t as worried. I’m sure lots of things can go into finding out later than the exact day of your missed period.

Your tracker tells you when you’re ovulating but it’s just a guess- it’s very likely it’s not accurate to the day. It has no way to know the day you actually will ovulate. You can only know when you ovulate if you’re temping and charting. Not all women use trackers to track their periods, either. A lot of them probably just expect a period around a certain time each month and that’s good enough for them without counting days.

Anyway, I didn’t find out until I was 8 weeks along because I had heavy implantation bleeding which resembled a light period like I had had when I was on BCP (3-4 days, bright red, heavy enough for me to use my cup, amount was similar to previous periods, menstrual like cramps). I wasn’t tracking or temping otherwise I might have realized it showed up slightly earlier than my period but I figured it had been about a month since the last one so it was my period. Didn’t find out until I missed the “next” period.

Post # 11
668 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Its different for everyone. I remember my friend had been TTC’ing with her husband for about a year and she swore to me that she was pregnant even before her missed period. And she was right! She said she just knew.

Post # 12
1624 posts
Bumble bee

I found out I was pregnant at 6 weeks. I had taken my IUD out the month prior and had no idea when I ovulated or when to expect my period. I randomly took a test at work and was floored that it was positive.

Post # 13
2540 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I found out about 3 weeks after I had truly become pregnant but with the way the doctors date it I was considered 5 weeks. Anyway, I had a feeling I was pregnant about one week in but I was afraid of getting my hopes up. It was pretty easy to convince myself that the sore breasts and cramps were PMS, and because I have endometriosis, nausea has always been pretty normal for me. My period was a week late when I tested but I told myself it was just stress.  I think the bottom line for me was that while it was extremely likely that I was pregnant, it’s so hard to actually believe that it’s real and I could have come up with a million explanations for my symptoms. 

Post # 14
3092 posts
Sugar bee

That’s when the morning sickness set in for me and I knew something was awry.

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