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By the end of this week you should be able to get a positive pregnancy test. If you get a negative result, try again a few days later.
Your developing baby has travelled down the fallopian tube and is starting to implant itself in the lining of your uterus.
Most women don't feel anything until they've missed a period, but you may notice bloating, cramping, or spotting this week.
Baby development at 3 weeks
Your developing baby is a tiny ball (called a blastocyst) of several hundred cells that are multiplying and burrowing into the lining of your uterus. The cells in the middle will become the embryo. The cells on the outside will become the placenta, the pancake-shaped organ that delivers oxygen and nutrients to your baby and carries away waste.
Your baby at 3 weeksTap the plus for more details
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Here come the hormones
The cells that will become the placenta are pumping out the pregnancy hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). It tells your ovaries to stop releasing eggs and keep producing progesterone, which prevents your uterus from shedding its lining – and its tiny passenger. Once there's enough hCG in your urine, you'll get a positive pregnancy test result.
Your body at 3 weeksTap the plus for more details
A cushy home
Amniotic fluid is beginning to collect within the amniotic sac. This fluid will cushion your baby in the weeks and months ahead.
Connected to you
Your little blastocyst is receiving oxygen and nutrients (and discarding waste) through a primitive circulation system made up of microscopic tunnels that connect your developing baby to the blood vessels in your uterine wall. The placenta will eventually take over this task.
See what fraternal twins look like in the womb this week.
Pregnancy symptoms during week 3
Some women feel pregnant even before the test is positive, but most don't notice anything yet. If you have symptoms this week, some of them may feel like PMS.
Bloating and cramping
Progesterone relaxes muscles throughout your body, including your digestive tract. These relaxed muscles slow down digestion, which can lead to gas and bloating, and create uncomfortable sensations in your gut.
Many women say that the tenderness they feel is an exaggerated version of how their breasts feel before a period.
Some women notice a small amount of spotting this week. This is known as implantation bleeding because it happens around the time the fertilized egg implants in the uterus. (If you have pain along with bleeding, call your healthcare provider immediately because this can be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy.)
Basal body temperature stays high
If you're charting your temperature, it should stay elevated this week.
Pregnancy checklist at 3 weeks from last period
Buy a pregnancy test
Around the end of this week, you may be able to see a positive result on a home pregnancy test. If the result is negative, don't assume you're not pregnant – you may have just tested too early. Tests are more likely to give an accurate result after you miss your period (which should be at the end of next week).
Cut down on coffee
While you're trying to conceive and once you get pregnant, experts recommend limiting your intake of caffeine to one cup of coffee a day.
Get help quitting
If you need help quitting smoking, drinking, or any other addiction, talk to your provider and ask for a referral to a program or counselor.