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How to Calculate Your Pregnancy Due Date
A pregnancy is considered to last 40 weeks so your initial pregnancy due date is calculated 40 weeks from the date of conception. Unfortunately, this can lead to a fairly inaccurate due date. One of the most common reasons for this due date to being incorrect is that many women do not have regular menstrual cycles. The pregnancy due date is calculated using an average menstrual cycle of every 28 days and the ovulation date being 14 days. For many women this will men that the estimated due date can be as much as a month out. So it is important not to rely too much on the first due date that your health professional gives you. Many pregnancies do not last for exactly 40 weeks and it is quite often that the actual pregnancy due date is longer than this by up to two weeks.
A rough pregnancy due date is sufficient for most women to plan when they are going to give up work. Even if the due date is inaccurate it can be used as a good indicator of when the women can decide to stop work. As the pregnancy progresses the pregnancy due date can be calculated much more accurately by either a blood test or an ultrasound scan.
A blood test can be used to calculate the amount of hCG a woman has in her blood which can indicate how far along the pregnancy is and indicate a pregnancy duedate. This will result in a much more accurate pregnancy due date than the one using a calculation based simply on the date of the woman's last menstrual cycle. This is often the first due date that a woman can actually begin to rely on with regards to planning for the new arrival. Of course, this blood test cannot be carried out in the initial stages of a pregnancy as there is not enough hCG present.
An ultrasound scan is the most reliable way of calculating a pregnancy due date. This is because babies develop at a fairly uniform rate in the second trimester. The ultrasound technician will take pictures of the unborn baby and take a number of measurements needed to calculate the pregnancy due date. The pregnancy due date can then be calculated by the length of the foetus and the circumference of its head amongst other points of reference. This pregnancy due date is likely to remain the same or vary only by a day or so as the pregnancy progresses. Of course, the pregnancy due date is only a guide and it is more often the case that the baby will be born before or after the pregnancy due date rather than on the exact pregnancy due date that has been predicted.
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