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What Is a Trimester?

What Is a Trimester?

The word trimester means "3 months." This can be confusing, because a normal pregnancy is 40 weeks, a bit longer than 9 months. Yet, health care providers and pregnant women often use trimesters to give pregnancy a beginning, middle, and end. In fact, most providers talk about pregnancy in weeks, rather than months or trimesters.

The first trimester takes place from conception through week 14. The second trimester is from week 14 through week 28. And the third trimester is from week 28 through labor and delivery. Of course, delivery varies a lot, but it averages at week 40.

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Review Date: 7/4/2019

Reviewed By: John D. Jacobson, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda Center for Fertility, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.


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