WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — What is happening in pregnancy at week 6?
WPTV examined why some doctors said they won't even schedule ultrasounds until after six weeks.
Doctors say usually a missed period is the first sign that leads a woman to take a pregnancy test.
"So, if they are not trying to get pregnant, they may not remember when their last period was, and five weeks comes by and they don't realize that, hey, they should have had a period," Dr. Jeffrey Litt said.
But before we get into when most women might learn they are pregnant, OBGYN Dr. Lata Santa Ines at St. Mary's Medical Center helped us understand what is happening in early pregnancy.
"A woman is actually not pregnant the first two weeks of the actual pregnancy," Santa Ines said.
Doctors said the first two weeks of a 40-week pregnancy is your body preparing to get pregnant.
In week three, sperm meets egg and fertilization begins.
But it's not until week four that the fertilized egg implants in the uterus.
"By week four the neural tube, which is the spinal cord and brain, start to develop," Litt said. "By week five, the heart starts to form and often times by week six we can just barely see a pregnancy in the uterus."
When asked the same question, Litt and Santa Ines both said most patients will not have a scheduled ultrasound until after week six of pregnancy.
"If the pregnancy ultrasound is done too soon, where the hormone count is not appropriate or of a certain number, we will not be seeing anything on the ultrasound," Santa Ines said.
"So, the average time for a woman to confirm a pregnancy would be anywhere between week six and eight, correct," WPTV reporter Michelle Quesada asked.
"The average gestational age that a woman really usually realizes they're pregnant is about eight weeks," Litt replied.