1 week pregnant: symptoms, advice and what to expect

by Emily Thorpe |

Things are about to get exciting mama-to-be! There’s no embryo yet, just your egg and hopefully sperm ready to fertilise it but this will be the week immediately following your last period and your body is getting ready to ovulate.

So, even though you haven’t actually conceived at this point, you are considered 1 week pregnant. Here's everything you need to know...

What's happening in my body?

The average menstrual cycle lasts around five to seven days.

What you shed during this time is a combination of the lining of your womb (called the endometrium) and actual blood.

Here’s the scientific part: the hormone changes that are stimulating your period to start also encourage the brain to produce luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), both key to helping you get pregnant.

Getting pregnant timeline

Day 1: The first day of your period

Day 14: You ovulate. This could happen slightly before or after, depending on the length of your menstrual cycle.

24 hours after ovulation: If you have had sex in the last few days without using contraception, the egg is fertilised by sperm.

5-6 days after ovulation: The fertilised egg implants in the womb - you are now pregnant.

What should I be doing to help my body conceive?

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1) Start taking folic acid

To protect your future baby from spina bifida, medical experts recommend you start taking folic acid for three months before you want to conceive. Research also suggests women who get 300 micrograms of folic acid reduce the risk of neural tube defects by up to 70%.

Pregnancy symptoms week 1

When you're one week pregnant, you might experience the below symptoms. Don't worry if you don't though - it's early days and not all of these symptoms are unique to pregnancy either.

Vaginal bleeding - the vaginal bleeding will come as your body is now shedding the uterine lining.

Cramps and pain in the lower back - shedding your lining comes with some pain in your lower back as your uterus contracts.

The period feeling - you will feel a bloated tummy which you normally get before your period.

Mood swings - your emotions will be rather high, all thanks to your hormones.

Headaches - some women will experience headaches like they do with periods.

Acne or pimples - whether you had acne as a teen or not, you might get acne or pimples early on in pregnancy. Try natural solutions to treat it.

Fatigue - fatigue can happen any time in pregnancy, but it is most common early on.

What is my baby doing?

Right now, there is no baby and you won’t know for sure if your egg has been fertilised for another month.

Medical professionals will use the first day of your last period as the start of your pregnancy, as it’s impossible to know exactly when you conceived.

When to take a pregnancy test

You can take a pregnancy test up to five days before your period is due. During the early days of pregnancy, your hCG levels rise rapidly, so if you want as accurate a result as possible, do the pregnancy test on the day of your missed period.

How can I work out my due date?

If you're having trouble working out your potential due date, why not try out our due date calculator? All you need to know is the first day of your last period and how many days your menstrual cycle is.

Feeling excited? Take me to week 2

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