By now your egg has been implanted with sperm, and it’s possible that you could see a tiny bit of spotting – known as implantation bleeding. This is where the egg burrows into the lining of the uterus and is nothing to worry about. Your body also emits an immunosuppressant protein called Early Pregnancy Factor (EPF) to prevent your body from seeing the baby as an invader.
The journey from the fallopian tube to the uterus takes about a week or more, and cell-splitting occurs throughout this time, having begun immediately after implantation. At this stage, the baby is between 0.1mm and 0.2mm in diameter. You couldn’t draw that life size even with a very sharp pencil!
As the cluster of ever-dividing cells grows in the wall of the womb, it produces root-like outgrowths that help to keep it attached to the uterine lining. These cells will eventually grow into the placenta, the tube-like organ that connects mother to baby, and feeds and protects the baby until birth.
Some women say they know immediately when they become pregnant. You can do a urine pregnancy test but it’s not completely accurate at this stage. In some cases, a blood test at your GP’s surgery may be used to detect pregnancy 6-8 days after conception. You can alternatively get a test at your family planning clinic.
While the dads are often blissfully aware of what’s going on at this stage – and more than likely saying things like, “Of course you’re not pregnant!”, this is an anxious time for the mum-to-be. Unfortunately as many as 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, and it is particularly likely in first pregnancies. Considering all the things the fertilised egg has to go through to develop, it’s easy to see why early stage miscarriage is not uncommon. The important thing is not to let anxiety take over. The more relaxed and happy you are, the less stress you are putting on your body.