How far along am I, a question asked frequently by pregnant mothers, refers to the amount of time that has elapsed since the start of a woman's last menstrual period (LMP).
Pregnancy is normally counted from a woman's last menstrual period which is about two weeks before baby is actually conceived.
Our how far along am I calculator uses your due date or last period to calculate how many weeks, months, and days you are pregnant.
How Long is Pregnancy?
Pregnancy - from start to due date - is either 40 or 38 weeks' long, depending on the start date used.Counting from Last Menstrual Period:
This method of measuring pregnancy adds an extra two weeks since counting starts approximately two weeks before baby is conceived.Counting from Conception:
Actual Length of Pregnancy: The actual length of pregnancy varies greatly among women. Just 4% of babies are born on their due date while 70% are born within 10 days of the estimated due date. The remaining 30% are born more than 10 days before the due date or more than 10 days after the due date.
Why Pregnancy is Counted from the Last Menstrual Period (LMP)
The start of a period is easily observable and usually known to a woman whereas the date of conception is much less likely to be known.
Historically, the first day of the last menstrual period (LMP) became the date from which pregnancy is counted even though conception occurs about two weeks later.
The LMP formula is good for working out an initial age of pregnancy but ultrasound is more accurate. Age of pregnancy may be revised following your ultrasound scan.
No LMP Date?
If you don't have a valid last menstrual period date for any reason, your doctor will provide one for you, most likely based on ultrasound measurements.
Irregular menstrual periods are generally calculated by early ultrasound.
Generally obstetricians or physicians initially calculate pregnancy from your last period without adjusting for an irregular cycle length. This initial estimation may then be superseded or confirmed by an ultrasound.
How Far Along Am I Formula
LMP + Time Passed = How Far Along I Am (Gestational)
LMP = Last Menstrual Period
How to Calculate How Many Weeks You Are
- Start by counting the recurring day of your last menstrual period
- Stop counting recurring days when you reach the present time.
- The number of recurring days you count is the number of weeks you are now.
If your last menstrual period started on a Wednesday, count one week to the next Wednesday. Now keep counting Wednesdays until you reach the present date.
LMP = December 2, 2020
Current Date = February 4, 2021
1st Wed = December 9, 2020 = 1 Week
2nd Wed = December 16, 2020 = 2 Weeks
9th Wed = February 3, 2021 = 9 Weeks
You are 9 Weeks and 1 Day pregnant
Another method to calculate how many weeks pregnant you are, is to:
- Count the days from the first day of your Last Menstrual Period (LMP) until you reach todays date.
- Now divide the counted days by 7.
- The answer will be how many weeks you are now.
(LMP + Days Passed Since LMP) / 7
LMP = Last Menstrual Period
Each of these methods will give you the gestational age of your pregnancy.
How to Calculate How Many Months You Are
- Start from the first day of your last menstrual period
- Now count forward one month and repeat until you reach todays date.
If your LMP date falls on a day after the 28th and the numerical day of your LMP is not in the month you are counting, then you must count to the last day of that month. Example here.
LMP = December 2, 2020
Current date = February 4, 2021
1 month = January 2, 2021
2 months = February 2, 2021
Months counted = 2. You are 2 Months and 2 Days pregnant.
LMP = January 30, 2020
1 month = February 28, 2021
2 months = March 30, 2021
3 months = April 30, 2021
And so on..
Note: Our months are calendar months but in the pregnancy world a month may be any of the following:
- 4 weeks
- 5 weeks
- A lunar month
Any reference to how many months pregnant you are contains this uncertainty unless the type of month is specified.
How Far Along Am I Based on Ultrasound
Ultrasound in the first trimester is the most accurate method of dating pregnancy. During the scan, baby is measured and the age of pregnancy is estimated by comparing baby's size against recorded averages. If there is a significant difference between gestational age according to LMP and gestational age according to the ultrasound, you may be given a new gestational age and due date based on the ultrasound measurements.
Your pregnancy may also be dated by ultrasound measurement if an LMP formula was not appropriate for your pregnancy for any reason. LMP formulas are not suitable in a number of situations including the following: LMP is not known or is not certain, birth control pills were taken in the two months before LMP, the menstrual cycle is irregular, you are carrying multiples (twins or more).
Although age of pregnancy based on ultrasound measurements is more accurate than age of pregnancy based on LMP, both are estimates and not definitive statements.
How Far Along Am I Using hCG Testing
Age of pregnancy can also be estimated by measuring the levels of hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) in the mother's blood. The results of this test indicate how far the pregnancy has progressed. Home pregnancy tests are available which can be used in the early stages of pregnancy to measure pregnancy progress.
Other Methods of Pregnancy Dating
Other, less important methods (used by health professionals) for assessing age of pregnancy include measurement of fundal height (size of mother's belly), age of baby's first heart- beat, and time when mom first feels baby's movement.
Notes About the Calculator
Our calculator strives for the highest accuracy, but your pregnancy progress may differ from the calculator's results for a number of reasons including possible miscalculation; errors in input data; individual variations in timing of ovulation and/or conception.
The information provided regarding pregnancy progress and fetal development is a guide through the weeks. It is not specific information for a specific individual but serves as a general guide only. In addition, each pregnancy differs, so any dates, weights and lengths should be considered general information for interest only.
Our guides through the weeks use both standard and metric units of measure including pounds and kilograms.
SummaryWhat does how far along am I mean? An expression or phrase referring to the time passed during pregnancy. Generally used to ask how many weeks am I or how many months am I.
How long is pregnancy? 280 days or 40 weeks (when counted from a woman's last menstrual period).
How can I tell how far along am I? Ultrasound measurements, a pregnancy calculator or counting calendar days from the last period to the present time.
What information does this calculator need? Our how far along am I calculator is based on both due date or last menstrual period (LMP).
- Committee Opinion No. 611. Method for estimating due date. Obstet Gynec. 124 (2014): 863-6. doi: 10.1097/01.AOG.0000454932.15177.be
- A. Jukic et al. Length of human pregnancy and contributors to its natural variation. Human Reproduction 28 (2013): 2848 2855. doi: 10.1093/humrep/det297