So you’ve missed your period and you’re probably done waiting for it. You contemplate taking a home pregnancy test. But even before you take the test, if your period is late by a week or more, you’re probably 5 weeks pregnant. Your body is probably sending you some signals that you are indeed in the family way.
But how can you be five weeks pregnant if your period is only delayed by a week? Shouldn’t you be three weeks pregnant? Well, this is where pregnancy math comes in. For the convenience of medical professionals, the course of the pregnancy is charted from the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP) as it is difficult to pinpoint the exact date of conception. However, as you progress through the pregnancy, ultrasounds become a far better indicator of gestational age.1
What’s The Size Of The Baby At 5 Weeks?
According to American Pregnancy Association, your baby is about 3 millimeters long–that’s about the size of a sesame seed!2
8 Signs Of Pregnancy At 5 Weeks
Weeks four through seven are when most women find out they are pregnant. Here are some pregnancy symptoms at week five.
1. Changes In Your Breasts
Breast changes are something you can notice as early as five weeks of pregnancy. Your breasts may begin to feel sore and tender. Gradually you will also experience a darkening of the nipples and areola. This happens as your body is preparing your breasts to produce milk for the baby.3
2. Feeling Fatigued
By the time the 5th week of pregnancy rolls in, you may start to feel fatigued. Going through your day with the same energy levels as you had before might begin to seem challenging. If you catch yourself feeling tired, sleepy and drained (or yawning at work) it’s probably a symptom of pregnancy at 5 weeks.4
3. Strong Urge To Pee
Yes, frequent urination is something you will experience throughout the entire pregnancy as your uterus expands and presses against your bladder. In the first few weeks of pregnancy, the body produces the hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which ends up increasing blood flow to the pelvic region, causing women to have to visit the loo more often.5
4. Nausea And Vomiting
Commonly known as morning sickness, NVP or nausea and vomiting of pregnancy affects approximately 80 percent of expecting women. It is generally a mild, self-limited condition that may be controlled with conservative measures. However, a small percentage of pregnant women may experience it in a more amplified way, with the most severe form being hyperemesis gravidarum. This can be harmful to fetal and maternal health as you are unable to keep any food or drink down.6
You can handle morning sickness smartly by having small and frequent meals throughout the day. Nibble on a cracker as soon as you wake up for relief.
5. Aches And Pains
Expect headaches, too, especially during the early weeks. This is also due to the hormonal fluctuations created in your body. Headaches generally improve with rising estrogen levels and worsen with falling levels. Therefore they are more commonly experienced in the early weeks.7
You may also experience lower back pain and cramps, similar to those you feel before your period. According to a study, lower back pain is something many women experience throughout pregnancy, with nearly 30 percent having to stop at least one daily activity because of it.8
6. Minor Bleeding And Spotting
Bleeding during pregnancy at 5 weeks could spell trouble. It may signal an early miscarriage, infection or ectopic pregnancy but if it is minor, it can be prevented. Slight bleeding and spotting are common during pregnancy, especially the first trimester. If you notice any bleeding or spotting, even if it is minor, do not hesitate to inform your OB/GYN.9
It has been suggested that a percentage of women who miscarry may not make enough of the hormone progesterone. Supplementing with progesterone has been suggested as a possible way to prevent miscarriage. Though scientific evidence is lacking, most doctors prescribe progesterone supplements to sustain the pregnancy as it prepares the uterus to receive and support the newly fertilized egg.
7. Major Mood Swings
Early pregnancy can be a time of great hormonal changes. No prizes for guessing that this hormonal havoc causes mood swings in most women. You may feel that all your emotions are amplified–whether you’re elated, irritated, angry or emotional.11
8. Food Cravings And Aversions
You may find yourself wanting chocolate chip ice cream and not feel satisfied until you get it. You may also want to barf at the smell of some of your favorite foods or don’t want to be around them during the cooking stage.
According to a study, food cravings and aversions were reported by 61 percent and 54 percent of 99 women who were interviewed about their pregnancy. There seemed to be a positive correlation between the onset of nausea and of aversions. In 60 percent of women reporting both nausea and food aversions, the first occurrence of each happened in the same week of pregnancy. As far as cravings were concerned, the pattern seemed random.12
With these symptoms giving you enough reasons to suspect pregnancy, have you been to a doctor yet?
|↑1||Taipale, Pekka, and Vilho Hiilesmaa. “Predicting delivery date by ultrasound and last menstrual period in early gestation.” Obstetrics & Gynecology 97, no. 2 (2001): 189-194.|
|↑2||Pregnancy Week 5 . APA|
|↑3||Meyer, Lesley C., Janet L. Peacock, J. Martin Bland, and H. Ross Anderson. “Symptoms and health problems in pregnancy: their association with social factors, smoking, alcohol, caffeine and attitude to pregnancy.” Paediatric and perinatal epidemiology 8, no. 2 (1994): 145-155.|
|↑4, ↑5, ↑11||What are some common signs of pregnancy?. NIH|
|↑6||Quinla, J. D., and D. ASHLEY Hill. “Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy.” American family physician 68, no. 1 (2003): 121-128.|
|↑7||Marcus, Dawn A., Lisa Scharff, and Dennis Turk. “Longitudinal prospective study of headache during pregnancy and postpartum.” Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain 39, no. 9 (1999): 625-632.|
|↑8||Wang, Shu-Ming, Peggy Dezinno, Inna Maranets, Michael R. Berman, Alison A. Caldwell-Andrews, and Zeev N. Kain. “Low back pain during pregnancy: prevalence, risk factors, and outcomes.” Obstetrics & Gynecology 104, no. 1 (2004): 65-70.|
|↑9||Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms at 5 Weeks. ACOG|
|↑10||Haas, David M., and Patrick S. Ramsey. “Progestogen for preventing miscarriage.” The Cochrane Library (2008).|
|↑12||Bayley, Tracy M., Louise Dye, Susan Jones, Martin DeBono, and Andrew J. Hill. “Food cravings and aversions during pregnancy: relationships with nausea and vomiting.” Appetite 38, no. 1 (2002): 45-51.|