Pregnancy is a 40-week period, starting on the first day of your last menstrual cycle. If ovulation and fertilization take place at the right time, then you should be able to conceive by the end of the second week or the beginning of the third week (1). However, it all depends on the length of your menstrual cycle.
So, how would you know if you have conceived during the second week? MomJunction explains the pregnancy at two weeks, the signs to look out for, and the baby’s development.
What Is Happening In The Second Week Of Pregnancy?
If the sperm meets the egg successfully, fertilization takes place in the second week. You may experience physical discomfort due to hormonal fluctuations in the body. But you may not yet realize that you are pregnant. You will still have to wait two more weeks before you can confirm the pregnancy
2nd Week Pregnancy: The First Step Towards Conception
The first week of the menstrual cycle is associated with the shedding of the uterine lining. If you have a regular 28-day cycle, you can ovulate by the end of the second week.
How To Know You Are Ovulating?
A woman with a 28-day cycle generally ovulates on the 14th day. Depending upon the length of the cycle (shorter or longer), the ovulation may vary between the seventh and the 21st day (2). Here are some signs of ovulation (3):
- Consistency of vaginal discharge: Cervical fluid resembling egg whites and greater than usual fluid discharge, are indications of ovulation. But these are not sure shot signs because every woman has discharge typical to her and different than other women.
- Basal body temperature: Tracking the basal body temperature can help you determine the day of ovulation. As you near the day of ovulation, there is an increase in the temperature and on the day of ovulation it could be half a degree higher.
- Change in the cervix: During ovulation, the cervix is soft, high open and wet. But woman may take time to feel the changes between normal and ovulation cervix.
- Light spotting or brown discharge: It happens when the maturing follicle grows, ruptures, and causes bleeding.
- Tenderness and soreness of nipples: A fluctuation in the level of hormones just before and after ovulation cause this soreness.
- Mittelschmerz: It is the term for the pain in the middle or one side of the lower abdomen and the pelvis during ovulation. The mild, twinging effect lasts for a few minutes to hours (4).
- Ovulation test kit: This kit helps determine your ovulation time by tracking the level of luteinizing hormones in the urine sample. If the test is done correctly, the results are about 99% correct.
So, if you have ovulated in this week, and had unprotected sex three days before ovulation and on the day of ovulation, you are likely to conceive.
[Read: 1st Week Pregnancy]
How Is Your Baby Developing During The Second Week?
The second week marks the fertilization of the egg that later develops into an embryo and a fetus.
During ovulation, one of the mature follicles will rupture and release the egg into the fallopian tube. If intercourse happens during this time, the sperm ejaculated into the vagina will swim upward into the fallopian tube. Out of the million sperms traveling into the uterus, only one gets the chance to fertilize the egg.
Each sperm has a sticky end that attaches to the protective shell of the egg and then penetrates into it and fertilizes it. Fertilization occurs within 12 to 24 hours after ovulation (2)
Capacitation Of The Sperm
Sperm can live inside the fallopian tube for three to six days (5). So, if intercourse happens two or three days before ovulation, the sperm gets enough time to mature inside the fallopian tube.
This process, wherein the sperm undergoes various physiological changes (6) to penetrate and fertilize the egg as soon as it is released, is termed as capacitation.
Over the next few days, as the fertilized egg travels down into the uterus through the fallopian tube, it undergoes cell divisions to form a blastocyst that finally implants on the uterine wall.
If the fertilization doesn’t take place, then the egg is ejected through the vagina during the next menstrual cycle. If you do conceive, you might experience common pregnancy symptoms, although they differ from woman to woman. Read on to know more about the symptoms of 2nd-week pregnancy.
[Read: 4th Week Pregnancy
Pregnancy Symptoms At Two Weeks
Here are some early symptoms you might notice if you get pregnant during the second week of your menstrual cycle:
- Mood swings
- Tender breasts
- Frequent urination
- Bloating and gas
Since the second week is just the beginning (you just conceived!), the zygote cannot be seen even through an ultrasound scan. So if you do get pregnant in the second week of the menstrual cycle, is there any way to confirm it? Keep reading to know about it.
Can A Pregnancy Test Confirm The Pregnancy At Two Weeks?
Soon after the conception, the level of hCG hormone may not be at a detectable level. So the possibility of getting a positive result on a pregnancy test is relatively low. However, highly sensitive pregnancy test kits claim to detect it.
Tips To Follow During This Week
Take these below measures to stay fit and be hopeful:
- Keep track of the ovulation period using an ovulation kit, and monitor the change in the consistency of the vaginal discharge.
- Have sex every day during the fertile window.
- Take prenatal vitamins and folic acid supplements every day.
- Eat lean protein like fish, tofu, nuts, whole grains, curd/yogurt, paneer, fruits and vegetables of different colors; avoid processed food; and engage in regular exercises like swimming, walking, and yoga for 30 minutes a day. It keeps you fit.
- Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, and taking illicit drugs.
There are no definite signs to let you know you are pregnant in the second week of pregnancy. But you will know your ovulation cycle. So if you are planning to conceive, track your periods on the calendar for five to six months and make a note of the probable ovulation period. In addition to that, switch to a healthy lifestyle to increase your chances of conception.