Pregnancy at 6 weeks: your pregnancy week by week

Pregnancy at 6 weeks: your pregnancy week by week

At 6 weeks, embryonic development begins. During week 6 of pregnancy, the embryo will undergo huge developmental changes; vital organs and body systems start forming or are continuing to grow.

In this article, we will discuss the symptoms you can expect at 6 weeks pregnant, what your hormones are doing, the embryo's development, and any other factors you need to be aware of.

Symptoms at 6 weeks pregnant

Nausea usually starts at around 6 weeks, but it can begin as early as 4 weeks.

At this stage of the pregnancy, you may not feel pregnant because there are few visible body changes. You may, however, begin to experience pregnancy symptoms such as:

  • Morning sickness, or nausea and vomiting that can occur at any time of the day
  • Changes in appetite - you may dislike some foods and crave others
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal Bloating
  • Breast tenderness and swelling
  • Urinary frequency and nighttime urination
  • Changing emotions

Your hormones at 6 weeks pregnant

Throughout your pregnancy, you will have variations in certain hormones, which contribute to many of pregnancy's symptoms. Listed below are some of the major contributors at this stage:

Human chorionic gonadotropin

Following implantation of the fertilized egg, your body begins to secrete the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG); HCG is measured in urine and blood to diagnose pregnancy.

HCG is responsible for regulating estrogen and progesterone and contributes to the need to urinate more frequently.


Progesterone is initially produced by the corpus luteum, a temporary structure within the ovaries; its level rises throughout pregnancy and continues to do so until the birth of your baby.

In early pregnancy, progesterone is responsible for increasing uterine blood flow, establishing the placenta, and stimulating the growth and nutrient production of the endometrium (lining of the uterus). Also, progesterone plays a vital role in fetal development, preventing premature labor and lactation, as well as strengthening the muscles of the pelvic wall to prepare your body for labor.

In addition to progesterone, the placenta secretes vital hormones during pregnancy such as:

Human placental lactogen

Human placental lactogen is believed to play a part in breast changes that are necessary for lactation following the birth of the baby. It also plays a role in increasing nutrient levels in your blood, which is vital for embryo growth and development.

Corticotrophin-releasing hormone

Corticotrophin-releasing hormone is not only responsible for determining how long you will be pregnant, but it is also responsible for embryo growth and development. Later in pregnancy, the rise in both corticotrophin-releasing hormone and cortisol complete fetal organ development and provide the mother with a surge of cortisol. This surge has been linked with maternal attentiveness, increasing the mother-baby bond.


Estrogen is responsible for embryo and fetal organ development, placental growth and function, and preparing the breasts for lactation.

Additionally, estrogen is needed for the regulation of other hormones produced during pregnancy.

Because of the rise in progesterone and estrogen, you may experience some pregnancy symptoms such as mood swings and morning sickness.


This hormone relaxes maternal muscles, ligaments, and joints to allow for the growing uterus and prepare the body for labor and delivery. Relaxin can cause physical symptoms such as pelvic pain, balance difficulties, and constipation.

Embryo development at 6 weeks

At 6 weeks pregnant, baby's heart will be beating around twice the rate of yours.

At 6 weeks, there are many changes in embryo development. Overall, the embryo is less than one-fifth of an inch in length. The following features, organs, and body systems are forming:

  • The neural tube, which forms the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and spine
  • Large head and smaller C-shaped body
  • Facial features including the eyes, nose, jaw, cheeks, and chin
  • Inner ears, arm and leg buds, and tooth buds
  • Kidneys, liver, lungs, the pituitary gland
  • Trachea, larynx, and bronchi
  • Heart dividing into four chambers and pumping blood
  • Primitive germ cells responsible for the formation of male or female genitalia

A very basic heart can sometimes be seen beating in ultrasound exams at this stage - it will currently be beating at around 150-160 beats per minute - about twice as fast as your heart.

Things to do in week 6 of pregnancy

Even though it is early in your pregnancy, your task list is beginning to grow. This is when you should have your first prenatal visit; your healthcare provider will examine you and obtain necessary tests to confirm your pregnancy, and also evaluate your health.

Tests may include:

  • Gynecologic exam including Pap smear
  • Breast exam
  • Blood work such as blood type, Rh factor, iron levels, and certain genetic disease testing, German measles immunity, and more
  • Sexually transmitted infection testing, which may include tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV
  • Urine testing to evaluate for high glucose (sugar) levels and infection

Lifestyle changes at 6 weeks pregnant

You may need to make some lifestyle changes during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

General health

During pregnancy, you will need to take care of yourself and your developing baby. Do not drink alcohol, use any drugs, or use tobacco during pregnancy. There are no safe levels.

Be sure to discuss all medications you are taking with your doctor to ensure that they are safe to take during pregnancy. To nourish yourself and your baby, make sure you eat a healthy diet and take prenatal vitamins.


Everyone wants to look their best, but using permanent hair color is not recommended during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy; instead, consider using a semi-permanent dye.


  • While it is safe to eat most fish during pregnancy, some seafood contains high levels of mercury, which may be harmful to the embryo or fetus. Ask your doctor about limiting your intake of certain fish and shellfish.
  • If you plan on eating albacore tuna or tuna steak, ask your healthcare provider how much is safe.
  • Make sure all meat, chicken, turkey, and eggs are well-cooked to avoid food poisoning.
  • Wash all fresh fruits and vegetables before eating. They may have bacteria or chemicals on their skin.
  • Be careful with coffee, tea, and other caffeine-containing drinks. Your healthcare provider may recommend that you avoid some herbal teas and limit caffeine.

And, of course, if you have questions regarding your pregnancy overall, be sure to contact your healthcare provider.

Call your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Spotting or a small amount of vaginal bleeding
  • Feeling faint or dizzy
  • Pelvic cramping

Get immediate medical help if you have:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Leaking of vaginal fluid or tissue
  • Loss of consciousness or fainting
  • Pelvic pain

6 Weeks Pregnant: A Complete Guide on Fetal Development (Video Medical And Professional 2020).

Section Issues On Medicine: Women health