Your pregnancy begins on the first day of your last period so if you are five weeks pregnant you have just missed your period. It is during this time that you or may not (depending on the regularity of your periods) notice that you are week or so late. It is also during this time that you may begin to notice other “pregnancy symptoms” and ponder whether or not you could actually be pregnant. This is especially true if you are trying to conceive. During the third week of pregnancy, your embryo implants into the uterus and by the fifth week of pregnancy, your embryo is settled into its new home and beginning to develop.
When you are five weeks pregnant, your human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) blood levels (pregnancy hormone) range from 18-7,340 mIU/ml. By five weeks, a home pregnancy test HPT) may be positive, but do not be alarmed if it is not. Many women miscalculate their ovulation date or they test before their bodies have had a chance to accumulate HCG in their blood. Your HCG level doubles every 24-48 hours so if your test is negative, do not fret just retest in a few days. Most pregnancy tests are considered positive when they detect an HCG level of: 12-50 mIU/ml.
Why am I so tired?
One of the first symptoms you will experience if you are pregnant is extreme fatigue. By the fifth week the fatigue increases and you may feel too tired to do much of anything but sleep. This is common and normal. This may be due to a decline in your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels as your embryo receives nutrients from your body, an accumulation of excess fluid in your body and/or rapidly increasing progesterone levels. Higher-than-normal progesterone levels can cause you to feel extremely tired and sleepy. It is important to get as much sleep as possible during those early weeks of pregnancy.
Frequent Potty Breaks
Why do I constantly have to go to the potty?
During your fifth week of pregnancy, your body begins to produce excess fluid to help support your growing embryo. The excess fluid travels from your kidneys to your bladder. When the accumulated fluid enters your bladder it puts extra pressure on your burgeoning uterus. The excess fluid along with the extra pressure placed on your bladder cause you to spend quite a bit of time in the bathroom.
Tender and Swollen Breasts
Why are my breasts so tender and swollen?
Tender and swollen breast can arise as soon as two or three weeks after conception. Not all women will experience tender and swollen breast, hence some women may experience tender and swollen breasts during ovulation, prior to menstruation or during menstruation.
During your fifth week of pregnancy, your body starts to prepare for the growing embryo by increasing the amount of milk glands your body has. The additional milk glands can cause your breasts to become painful, achy and/or engorged with blood and later milk. In addition, during this time your nipples may become swollen and more prominent and your areola (the area around your nipple) may change colors and widen.
I am spotting – Am I having a miscarriage?
Another symptom that you may experience during your fifth week of pregnancy is implantation bleeding. If you notice pink, brown or even red spotting during your fifth month, do not fret many women spot or lightly bleed during early pregnancy. Bleeding does not always signal an impending miscarriage, although it is important that you contact your obstetrician in order to rule out any other causes. Implantation bleeding tends to be shorter in length then your normal monthly period. This type of bleeding occurs when your fertilized egg implants itself into your nutrient-rich, cushy uterine wall. Approximately a week after you experience implantation bleeding you may be able to get a positive result on a HPT test.
Why can’t I keep my food and liquids down?
A common early pregnancy symptom is morning sickness, also described as “all day sickness.” Although this early symptom is called morning sickness, it can actually occur at any time of the day. One out of two of women has or had this symptom during their first trimester of pregnancy. Morning sickness occurs as a result of readily fluctuating estrogen levels. Your body slows then increases the amount of estrogen your body produces as a way to prepare your body for pregnancy and support your growing embryo.
The decline estrogen, which typically begins in your fifth week of pregnancy, causes delayed digestion. It is the delayed digestion that makes you feel nauseous, vomit and/or have diarrhea. If you do experience morning sickness, rest assured that it will probably decrease or disappear around the second trimester (13th week).
I’m late! Am I pregnant?
A missing period is one of the most important symptoms of early pregnancy. You typically will notice that you are late around your fifth week of pregnancy. You may have also already experienced the symptoms listed above or you may not notice any other changes in your body until well after the fifth week. You may experience some light spotting or bleeding during your fifth week so does not be alarmed. As long as it is not as heavy as your normal monthly period and does not progress at time goes on, then more than likely the spotting and/or bleeding is probably impanation bleed. It is important to context your obstetrician about the bleeding or missed period as soon as possible.
What is happening with my baby?
At five weeks, your embryo resembles a curved pole with a tail. During this stage in development, your embryo’s ectoderm, endoderm and mesoderm are developing. Your embryo’s ectoderm (outside layer of cells) develops into your baby’s skin, nails, neural tube (spine) and hair, while your embryo’s mesoderm (middle layer of cells) develops into your baby’s muscles, heart and bones. Lastly, your embryo’s endoderm (inner layer of cells) develops into your baby’s internal organs.
Five Week Ultrasound
What happens at the five week ultrasound?
During your fifth week ultrasound, a sonographer, your obstetrician or an ultrasound technician will insert a transducer (a probe that resembles a probe) into your vagina. Once inside your vagina, the transducer is placed near your uterus (on your vaginal wall) in an effort to record high-frequency sound waves. These sound waves create an image of your embryo including the yolk sac, gestational sac (the sacs that provide nutrients to your embryo), fetal pole (the disks that will develop into your fetus) and possibly the heart (which will appear to flutter on screen as it beats).
It is important to note that having an ultrasound before the fifth or sixth week of pregnancy is useless because your embryo has not developed enough to be seen on an ultrasound. During week 5, your embryo is approximately 2-4 millimeters, which is the size of one piece of uncooked rice. At this stage, your embryo may look like a small black dot on the screen. A fifth or sixth week ultrasound is important because it confirms your pregnancy, helps determine a due date, and detects early abnormalities (such as an ectopic pregnancy).
Allred, J. (2011). Pregnancy symptoms. New York, NY: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
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