Becoming a mother is a beautiful moment for every woman. Initially, many women are uncertain about their pregnancy due date and wonder how to calculate the due date from conception. This is a common question, especially for first-time expecting mothers. If you have taken a pregnancy test and received a positive result, you may be wondering what to do next. This is where our due date calculator or due date estimator comes in.
By using some basic information about your last menstrual period and cycle length, our pregnancy calculator can help you determine your estimated due date. This information is helpful if you are considering the timing of your baby’s due date. Try using our EDD calculator and scroll down for more information on how due dates are calculated. As well as details on when you might have conceived and how far along you may be.
How to Calculate Due Date From Conception?
“The nine months of pregnancy are actually 40 weeks,” explains Dr. Charlsie Celestine, Flo board member, obstetrician, and gynecologist (OB-GYN). “The due date is 40 weeks from the first day of your last menstrual period. But some women can go beyond that to 41 weeks.”
You’ll likely notice when you inform your healthcare provider that pregnancy is measured in weeks rather than months. And your baby’s estimated due date falls on the 40th week when you’ll actually be around 10 months pregnant.
That’s to account for the fact that pregnancy is measured by gestational age, not fetal age. So, you count pregnancy from your LMP, adding an extra two weeks even though you weren’t technically pregnant then. Also, this method acknowledges that not all months have the same number of days. So, you’ll likely still be pregnant at nine months.
You may also see figures like 13/5 or 13+5 in your doctor’s notes. Pregnancy is counted in complete weeks, or a variation of this would mean you’re 13 weeks and 5 days pregnant. Learn more about how to calculate pregnancy weeks here.
Your healthcare provider will usually calculate your due date based on one or a combination of the following methods.
How to Calculate Due Date From Conception to Confirm Pregnancy?
If you know when you conceived, the pregnancy conception calculator can determine your due date to the conception date. This method may be more accurate than using your last menstrual period to calculate the due date. If you have irregular or consistently longer or shorter cycles than 28 days.
The conception date is the day when the egg and sperm fuse to form the zygote. Women who track their ovulation may know their exact conception date. However, for many women, it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact date of conception.
Sperm can live in a woman’s body for up to five days, and the egg can live for up to 24 hours after being released. In general, there is a six-day window in which you may potentially become pregnant each month. Do you already know your due date but want to know when you likely conceived? Try our reverse due date calculator.
What is an Estimated Due Date?
The estimated due date is a “best guess” as to when a baby may be born based on a due date calculator like this one. However, only 4% of babies are born on their due date. Whereas, 80% of babies are born within the window of two weeks before and two weeks after your due date calculator results.
How to Calculate Due Date From Conception with Period Wheel?
A pregnancy wheel or gestational calculator is a simple calendar that calculates your EDD. The baby’s birth date is based on various data inputs, such as your LMP. Obstetricians and gynecologists (OB-GYNs) can also use a pregnancy wheel to determine when you’ll have certain scans and screenings, along with your trimester dates.
There are various methods to calculate an expected due date, most of which involve the date of the woman’s last menstrual period. However, an ultrasound scan during the first trimester is utilized to ensure the accuracy of dating based on the last menstrual period, especially if the woman has irregular cycles.
“The last menstrual period is compared to an ultrasound scan because some women have unpredictable cycles, making their last menstrual period less reliable,” explains Dr. Celestine.
“In the first trimester, I measure the length of the fetus, known as the ‘crown-rump length,’ to determine the gestational age or due date. I then compare that date with the result obtained by solely using the last menstrual period.”
“If both dates are within five days of each other and the pregnancy is less than nine weeks along, we use the due date calculated by the menstrual period rather than the ultrasound. However, for a difference greater than five days, we rely on the ultrasound.”
What is Naegele’s rule on how to calculate the due date calculation from conception?
Naegele’s rule forms the basis of this due date calculator and pregnancy calendar. It is named after a German obstetrician who practiced in the mid-1800s. According to Naegele’s rule, childbirth is expected to occur 280 days after the first day of the last menstrual period.
Naegele’s rule assumes that your menstrual cycle lasts 28 days and ovulation occurs on day 14, which is not true for all women. Therefore, alternative methods of calculating your due date may be more accurate.
Current data suggest that women give birth a few days after their due date on average. Studies such as this one have found that Naegele’s rule consistently puts the due date too early by 2-4 days. So a better estimate maybe 40 weeks and 3 days from the last menstrual period.
Alternatively, you can use our Advanced Due Date Calculator, which employs the Mittendorf-Williams rule to calculate your due date, which has been proven to be more accurate.
What’s the Mittendorf-Williams rule?
This 1990 study demonstrated that pregnancy lasted an average of 288 days past LMP for Caucasian first-time mothers, whereas, for Caucasian women who were not first-time mothers, their date of delivery averaged 283 days past LMP. This finding is referred to as the Mittendorf-Williams rule.
Although Naegele’s rule is still the most commonly used formula for a due date calculator, the Mittendorf-Williams rule is becoming more accurate. However, it is a much more complex calculation, taking into account factors such as alcohol and coffee consumption during pregnancy, maternal age, race, and height.
How Long Can You Go Past Your Due Date?
It is typical for pregnancy to last between 37 and 42 weeks. A pregnancy lasting beyond 42 weeks is considered post-term, meaning the pregnancy is past its due date.
Depending on your healthcare provider, your pregnancy may reach 41 weeks with little intervention. However, doctors will often run tests on individuals who are 41 weeks pregnant to ensure that the baby is active and healthy. A non-stress test and ultrasound are among the tests a doctor might perform on someone who is beyond 41 weeks pregnant.
Your doctor will look for whether the baby has an adequate amount of amniotic fluid if the baby is active in the womb. If that is the case, the pregnancy may continue a bit longer until you possibly begin going into labor on your own. However, sometimes the tests might show the baby is in possible distress, and your doctor may discuss inducing labor.
The risks to both you and your baby increase as pregnancy reaches 41 to 42 weeks. At this point, your doctor may decide to induce labor as appropriate. This is especially true for pregnant individuals over the age of 40.
Will my baby definitely be born on my due date?
Your due date is the best approximate estimation, but unfortunately, nobody can say for certain exactly when your little one will arrive. In fact, approximately four in every 100 babies are born on their due date. However, it is most likely that your baby will arrive within a few weeks on either side of your estimated due date. Being aware of this can help you prepare for labor and birth, and have everything ready for your new baby.
Can I plan my Due Date?
Whether you’re trying to avoid being heavily pregnant during the hot summer months or are a teacher who wants to maximize time off with your little one, you can try to time when you conceive in order to plan your due date.
However, even if you’re one of the lucky ones who are able to conceive when she really wants to, just remember that you probably won’t be able to pinpoint exactly when you’ll give birth.
Nevertheless, you can try our Ovulation Calculator, which uses the date of your last menstrual period and your typical cycle length to determine the days you’re most likely to be fertile and increase your chances of conceiving.