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Your Pregnancy – Week 4


Pregnancy Videos: First trimester

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    Its week 1 of your pregnancy and you are not even pregnant yet, but theres still lots going on. Find out about your first trimester of pregnancy.

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  • Your Pregnancy – Week 4

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  • Your Pregnancy – Week 9

    Suffering with sore and sensitive breasts during your first trimester of pregnancy? Get advice from Dr Carol Cooper on what you can do at week 9 here.

  • Your Pregnancy – Week 10

    What types of cheese should I avoid now that I’m pregnant? Dr Carol Cooper answers your first trimester pregnancy questions here and explains what your baby is doing at week 10.

  • Your Pregnancy – Week 11

    Are antenatal tests harmful to my baby? Click here to learn about week 11 of your pregnancy and what tests to expect during your first trimester.

  • Your Pregnancy – Week 12

    What are the symptoms of miscarriage? Dr Carol Cooper offers information and advice on first trimester pregnancy here, and what to expect at week 12.


Your baby’s first trimester development – week 4

By week four of your pregnancy the fertilised egg has embedded into the lining of the womb, triggering your ovaries to produce the hormone progesterone, which will stop menstruation.

What should I expect in week four of my pregnancy?

Light bleeding or spotting is common during this week of pregnancy and is caused by your fertilised egg burrowing further into the lining of your womb1. Some women report feeling early signs of pregnancy symptoms like nausea and tiredness in week four of their pregnancy. You may also find that your tastes change. Going off coffee and noticing a metallic taste in your mouth is common during week four1.

How soon can I take a pregnancy test?

Despite all of the changes happening inside of your body and the rapid development of your baby, week four is likely to be too soon to get a positive result on a pregnancy test2.

This is because pregnancy tests work by detecting a pregnancy hormone called HCG which is present in your urine during pregnancy. Your body will start to produce HCG around the time your fertilised egg embeds into your womb1. Whilst this has happened by week four of your pregnancy, it will take another week or sometimes more for the levels of HCG to build up in your blood stream and be detected in your urine by a pregnancy test.

As a rule of thumb, waiting until one or two days after your missed period will save you unnecessary disappointment for a false-negative result2.

Dr Carol Cooper, General Practitioner

Author of Pregnancy Essentials

References:

1. Cooper, C., 2008. Pregnancy Essentials. London: Ryland Peters and Small.

2. NHS, 2010. NHS Choices – The pregnancy care planner. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 March 2012]

 

10553 Revised November 2012

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