In fact, the pregnancy still hasn’t actually begun. It might sound a little confusing, but this is because pregnancy is counted from the first day of your last period – in other words, the last period before fertilisation. To make things even more confusing, you count differently with IVF, when pregnancy is considered to have begun two weeks before insertion of the egg. But hang in there during these confusing weeks, because later in the pregnancy, your midwife or doctor will calculate the due date via ultrasound, and you’ll have a more precise idea then. This date is also an approximation: only 5% of people give birth on their due date. Simply put, it’s the baby in your belly, along with hormones, heredity and previous pregnancies that determine when it’s time to come out. But you won’t have to wait forever: most babies are born before week 42.
Over the course of the next two days, you may become pregnant. Sperm are persistent little fellows and take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days to reach the egg. At first, a whole bunch of sperm may be battling side by side to get there – but it won’t necessarily be the quickest sperm that fertilises the egg. Rather, it will probably be the one that best matches the egg. Will you notice anything? Some people say they knew they were pregnant from the moment the sperm reached the egg. But if you had no idea until the pregnancy test was positive, you’re in good company. Most people don’t notice anything and it usually takes at least three to five days before any sign of pregnancy is detectable. Things to watch out for include a metallic taste in your mouth, increased thirst, nausea, fatigue, or breast changes. If you’ve done IVF, you have a little head start and you’ll know the exact day of fertilisation. You’ll take a pregnancy test two weeks after the egg is inserted.
During the first, second and third weeks, you probably won’t know that you’re expecting. Some people say they knew they were pregnant the moment the egg was fertilised, but usually it takes at least three to five days after fertilisation before you can detect any signs of pregnancy. If your partner has started mentioning a metallic taste in her mouth or wants to vomit after a mere glimpse of her favourite dish, a fertilised egg could be the cause – these are two common signs of pregnancy. If you are getting pregnant through IVF, this is when the egg is inserted. It doesn’t matter how your baby is made – all that matters is that it happens. The only difference is that if you’ve done IVF, you will know much earlier that you’re expecting a child than people who get pregnant the old-fashioned way.