Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 1st and 2nd Weeks
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You may not realize it now, and you will probably know this news in 2-3 weeks, but the good news is that your body has taken the first step towards pregnancy!
The first two weeks of pregnancy are the period when the events that will start the biological pregnancy process take place. Although 1 week of pregnancy and 2 weeks of pregnancy are calculated as the development weeks of the baby, they essentially cover the fertilization period of the egg. So, what awaits you and your baby in the first two weeks of this adventure, which will last approximately 40 weeks?
1st Week of Pregnancy
It is not possible to talk about the development of the baby during the 1-2 week gestation period. We can only examine the adventure of its occurrence in these weeks.
The increase in the amount of estrogen and progesterone circulating in your blood stimulates your uterus. The movement of the uterus prepares the ground for the formation of a strong wall for the egg to be fertilized. With this wall formed by the uterus, it creates a suitable environment for the baby to hold on to.
At the same time, the egg (female reproductive cell) begins to mature in the fluid sacs defined as follicles in the ovaries. The mature egg leaves the follicle and moves towards the fallopian tube.
The sperm sent by the partner to the female reproductive system passes through the cervix and enters the uterus. The sperm reaches the fallopian tube and finally meets the egg. Only one of the sperm that survives this journey will be able to pierce the egg membrane and enter! Now comes the fertilization phase of the egg.
Developments Experienced with Fertilization in 1st and 2nd Weeks of Pregnancy
Within 30 hours after the sperm pierces the egg membrane, the cell nuclei of the sperm and egg unite. Fertilization takes place with the fusion of nuclei. With fertilization, the nuclei in the reproductive cells, that is, the hereditary information, come together, allowing the baby to inherit some of its characteristics from the mother and some from the father.
The sex of the baby is determined at the moment of fertilization. If the sperm reaching the nucleus of the egg carries the Y chromosome, the baby will be a boy, and if it carries the X chromosome, the baby will be a girl. Although this information is obvious from the beginning, you will probably learn this information after the 16th week.
The fertilized egg is now called a zygote. As the zygote progresses towards the uterus for 3-4 days, it simultaneously undergoes serial mitotic divisions, increasing the number of cells. The cell mass formed as a result of divisions is called the blastocyst. So, in this process, we can say that your baby is just a ball of cells. However, in the future, the blastocyst will form the placenta and embryo.
Mother at 1-2 Weeks of Pregnancy
During this period, the mother experiences the most active period of the egg. An egg that tries to fertilize or that is fertilized can cause some developments and changes in the mother. After fertilization is completed, it is in the mother’s body for the embryo to attach to the uterus.
There are unnoticeable changes. The first of these changes is the thickening of the uterine lining, called the endometrium.
The body, which is prepared for a newly born baby, will, of course, show its effects on the mother. The reason for the effects occurring in this period is the differentiation of hormonal values. Here are the hormones that are active in the first 1-2 weeks of pregnancy, preparing the mother and the baby for pregnancy, and their effects:
Luteinizing Hormone (LH):
The LH hormone is involved in sexual functions and reproduction. On the way to fertilization, this hormone becomes very active. The presence of the hormone is the most important part of the pregnancy period. Because LH stimulates the ovaries in women and causes the eggs to crack. Here you can understand how active the luteinizing hormone is at the onset of pregnancy. LH also regulates the release of estrogen and progesterone hormones.
Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH):
This hormone, which is secreted at puberty in women and men, comes to the fore during the fertilization period. Follicle-stimulating hormone is at least as important as LH because of its ability to trigger ovulation.
Estrogen hormone stimulates the uterus to attach the embryo to the uterus during pregnancy. This hormone begins to activate at the very beginning of the pregnancy process and remains active throughout the pregnancy.
HCG Hormone (Human Karionic Gonadotropin):
You can find out that you are pregnant thanks to this hormone. This level of hormones seen in the blood is the most definitive answer to a pregnancy test. HCG is secreted by the cells surrounding the newly fertilized egg. The hormone that rises after the pregnancy settles in the womb is the main cause of that famous nausea that is often seen in the first 3 months.
The main task of progesterone, whose level rises immediately after ovulation, is to help build the uterine wall to implant and protect the fertilized egg. In other words, progesterone delicately prepares the uterine wall for the development of the embryo. In doing so, it gets help from the estrogen hormone.
Are Pregnancy Symptoms Seen in 1-2 Weeks of Pregnancy?
The most well-known early pregnancy symptom is a delayed menstrual period. But usually, mothers do not realize that they are experiencing a menstrual delay during the first 2 weeks of pregnancy. In other words, the mother does not menstruate after fertilization, but the delay in this cycle may not be noticed in the first 1-2 weeks of pregnancy.
Pregnancy symptoms are activated from fertilization, but the most obvious symptoms are experienced at 3 and 4 weeks. But it should not be forgotten that the way of experiencing pregnancy symptoms is not the same for every pregnant woman. In other words, it is possible to experience the symptoms early in terms of fertilization.
Pregnancy symptoms at 1-2 weeks of pregnancy can be listed as follows.
- Light Bleeding and Discharge: Unlike menstrual bleeding, bleeding that comes in the form of discharge can be seen. The reason for bleeding is the embryo’s effort to attach to the uterus. Unlike menstrual bleeding, it comes at irregular intervals and is light in color. Rarely, this bleeding can also be experienced in the form of a heavy discharge during early pregnancy.
- Groin Pain: Cramps may occur as the uterus prepares for the baby.
- Tenderness in Breasts: Growth in the breasts will be clearly visible in the following processes. But it is also among the early pregnancy symptoms. The breasts become tender and feel slightly painful when touched.
- Fatigue and Weakness: Progesterone, the amount of which increases with pregnancy, can cause a person to feel tired. Fatigue and weakness can be among the first pregnancy symptoms. It is very normal to get tired quickly and not get enough sleep during this period. Because your body is very busy with your baby right now.
Morning sickness and vomiting: Due to beta HCG and estrogen hormones, morning sickness and vomiting can be seen at the beginning of pregnancy. This situation, which is likely to be experienced during the first 3 months of pregnancy, may manifest itself in the 2nd week.
What You Need to Know About the Ovulation Period
The ovulation period is a condition that occurs in the menstrual cycle, which is repeated every month in women who have gained the ability to reproduce. Ovulation usually takes place 12 to 16 days before the start of the next period.
Ovulation in the menstrual cycle: It is the condition that occurs when the follicle containing the egg, which is found in every woman from puberty to menopause, is released into the fallopian tubes. After sexual intercourse, when the egg in the fallopian tubes meets the sperm, which is the male’s reproductive cell, fertilization begins, and together with fertilization, hormones prepare the woman for pregnancy.
If fertilization does not occur, the egg prepares for pregnancy again in the next menstrual cycle.
From the very beginning of the event, the main event was to coincide with the ovulation period in order to bring the sperm and egg cells together. So, if you want to get pregnant, it is useful to have some important details about the ovulation period first.
- As you get closer to ovulation, the body begins to produce increasing amounts of the hormone called estrogen. The increase in the amount of this hormone causes the uterine lining to thicken. Thus, the body creates a sperm-friendly environment during this period.
- High estrogen levels trigger a spike in another hormone called luteinizing hormone (LH). The ‘LH’ surge causes the mature egg to be released from the ovary.
- Ovulation normally occurs 24 to 36 hours after the LH surge, so the LH surge will mark the peak of fertility.
- If your average menstrual cycle is 28 days, you’re expected to ovulate on the 14th day after your last period.
- The best time to have sexual intercourse is between 72 hours before ovulation and 24 hours after ovulation.
- The egg must be fertilized within 24 hours of ovulation. If fertilization occurs, the beginning of the menstrual period is considered the beginning of the pregnancy. In other words, even if fertilization occurs 2 weeks after your period, you will be considered to have entered the 1-week gestation period on that date.
- If fertilization does not occur within this time, the thickened uterine lining is shed to prepare for pregnancy. Thus, menstrual bleeding begins, the egg disappears and is thrown out of the body with bleeding. But there is no need to despair, because on the 14th day following the start of menstruation, a new ovulation period will occur.
Things to Consider During the Fertilization Period for a Healthy Pregnancy
Women who want to become pregnant should follow the menstrual cycle and ovulation period well. At the same time, couples should have a regular sexual intercourse program, with the intensity of ovulation.
Of course, other than that, you can facilitate fertilization with the measures you take and the actions you take, and you can have a comfortable pregnancy period starting from the first days of your pregnancy. These are the things you should pay attention to before pregnancy in order to have a healthy pregnancy process:
- Take Folic Acid Supplement: Experts recommend that all women aiming to become pregnant take a daily folic acid supplement. Folic acid reduces the risk of neural tube defects that are likely to be experienced in the first weeks of pregnancy. A neural tube defect is a condition in which the spinal cord and brain structure of the fetus do not form normally. In addition, folic acid will ensure a healthy reproductive balance.
If you are considering getting pregnant, you can consult a specialist and take a folic acid supplement. Your doctor will determine the dose to be taken. If your pregnancy begins unexpectedly, it is likely that you are not taking folic acid supplements. But don’t worry, you can make up for the deficiency by taking this supplement during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
- Quit Smoking and Alcohol: If you are a smoker, you should give up this harmful habit as soon as you think about pregnancy. Because smoking harms the baby and you. Cigarettes cause premature birth, low birth weight, respiratory and miscarriage problems for the baby.
Even if you don’t smoke, smoking around you makes you a passive smoker. That’s why you should ask your spouse, friends, and family not to smoke near you.
The smoking cessation rule also applies to prospective fathers. Because this harmful habit seriously reduces the number and quality of sperm in men. The probability of pregnancy is weakened as the probability of the sperm meeting the egg adheres decreases.
Parents who are considering having a baby should also apply the smoking cessation rule to alcohol and similar harmful habits. Addictive substances harm fertility in the mother, testosterone hormone production in the father, and sperm quality. If you are pregnant and continue these harmful habits, you should know that the substances you use will also have harmful effects on your baby.
- Control Your Weight: Being overweight or underweight harms ovarian function and ovulation. Weight problems also complicate fertility treatment. For this reason, you should take care to stay at a healthy weight and control the process with healthy diets and regular exercise.
- Be Sensible About Medication Use: Some medications can impair the ability to ovulate and fertilize. Therefore, research the drugs you use or will use. Do not use any medication without consulting your doctor.
- Eat Healthily: An unhealthy diet leads to nutrient deficiencies. Not getting enough nutrient content also reduces the chances of fertility. In particular, you must maintain the vitamin and mineral balance of the body. According to experts, B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc increase fertility. For this reason, you can increase the probability of getting pregnant by eating foods that will make it easier to get pregnant.
Among the nutrients that increase fertility, walnuts, hazelnuts, and green leafy vegetables, which are strong sources of magnesium, take the lead. Red meat, poultry, shellfish, and dairy products help you get the zinc you need. Garlic, which will be beneficial in terms of B vitamins, lentils, which are a source of folic acid, and eggs, the strong protein heroes, should be the main heroes of the fertilization and pregnancy period.
Try to Reduce Stress Level: Typical daily stress may not prevent conception, but high-stress levels and the pressure of trying to conceive can negatively affect fertility. Eating a regular and healthy diet, exercising, and getting enough sleep can help you fight stress by feeling good.
How is the Week of Pregnancy Calculated?
Pregnancy calculation is known as an event that is always confusing. Because the expectant mother essentially becomes pregnant 2 weeks after fertilization. The first week of pregnancy and the second week of pregnancy are the processes of preparing for pregnancy. In other words, we can say that the official start of the pregnancy is considered the end of the 2nd week.
According to experts, the first week of pregnancy is the beginning of the last menstrual period. Because during pregnancy calculation, the beginning of the last menstrual bleeding is taken into account. For this reason, although the pregnancy period is known as 38 weeks, experts calculate the pregnancy period at over 40 weeks.
You can determine where you are in the process after you get detailed information about calculating the week of pregnancy or from a specialist doctor.
The first step of your family’s new little member to join you. The 1-week pregnancy and 2-week pregnancy periods are the times when fertilization is at the forefront. For a healthy pregnancy, you should follow the 40-week process from the fertilization to the details week by week.
Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 3rd Week