For mom

It is around this period, at pregnancy week 5, that you might discover that you’re pregnant.  You can confirm your pregnancy (99% of the time) by using an over-the-counter pregnancy test kit to detect the HCG levels in your urine.

Most accurate day and time to test for pregnancy at home

The most accurate time to do the test is usually the first day after your missed period, although you can test your urine as early as 6 days after ovulation.

Usually, the best time of the day to test for pregnancy would be during your first toilet trip in the morning. Why? Your HCG levels would be highest due to the reservoir you have accumulated in your bladder overnight.

After testing positive your pregnancy, it would be a good idea to book an appointment with an obstetrician.

Blood test to confirm pregnancy

Generally, blood tests for HCG are more accurate in detecting HCG and can also measure the actual levels of the hormone. This test will be helpful in assisting your medical practitioner to monitor your pregnancy as certain patterns of HCG fluctuations could alert them to the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage.

Pregnancy symptoms at week 5

You may experience early symptoms of pregnancy at week 5. However, these are rather vague and non-specific. They are similar to the symptoms you experience when you are expecting your period. They include:

  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness
  • Light vaginal bleeding

Light vaginal bleeding may sometimes be accompanied with cramping. Usually, the bleeding is harmless but at times may also signify other problems e.g. miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. It is important to seek medical advice if you are unsure.

The rest of the pregnancy symptoms e.g. the infamous morning sickness usually peak later on in the first trimester.​

Tip: Dealing with the news

Up till now, the idea of being pregnant has been exactly that, a thought. As it morphs from a mere thought to reality, you may find yourself dealing with complex emotions especially if it's your first time. Among many things, you may be thinking about how to share the news to your loved ones. Our advice is to take some time to think about how to approach things. There's a first time for everything. Book an appointment early at KKH. Some doctors may want you to come in early at week 7 to 8 of your pregnancy, so check accordingly. For those who are expecting once again, congratulations, you already know the drill!

Do take note of the following:

  • Folic acid! - You should know what to do by now if you have been reading this religiously.
  • No raw food or unprocessed dairy products to avoid gastrointestinal infections
  • Tone down exercise to moderate intensity.
  • Cut out cigarettes and alcohol
  • If you have any bleeding, see our doctors at KKH early. We have a O&G (24-hour) Clinic available.

For baby

Forming a human being from mere cells takes a lot of development and planning. In the weeks to come, organogenesis will take place. It is a sensitive period where cells are telling each other where to go, and mapping out who's forming what. The slightest defect can result in a malformation. Sometimes, the error margins are too wide and this is not compatible with life. In such cases, the embryo will cease to develop and an early miscarriage would occur.
Mere cells are aligning themselves and obtaining symmetry. One end will develop into the head, while the other gives rise to the tail end.

Organ development begins!

By the end of this week, the beginnings of organ development would have taken place. It starts with 3 special layers of tissue called germ layers. They are the

  • Ectoderm,
  • Mesoderm, and the
  • Endoderm.

Each layer will develop into a certain set of organs.

The ectoderm is the outermost layer and will become the outermost skin, backbone, brain and nervous system.

The middle layer, or mesoderm will give rise to parts of the body such as the deeper layer of skin, bones, muscles, as well as the circulatory (including the heart) and immune systems.

The innermost layer, known also as the endoderm, grows into most of the digestive tract (stomach, liver, pancreas, intestines), urinary system and respiratory system.

All organ systems would have been formed by week 10, albeit they would be immature and not fully functional.

Ref: L20

Click the link for the complete listing of articles for Pregnancy Week 1 - Week 40.