In obstetrics, gestational age is a measure of the age of a pregnancy taken from the beginning of the woman's last menstrual period (LMP), or the corresponding age of the gestation as estimated by a more accurate method, if available. Such methods include adding 14 days to a known duration since fertilization (as is possible in in vitro fertilization), or by obstetric ultrasonography. The popularity of using this measure of pregnancy is largely due to convenience: menstruation is usually noticed, while there is generally no convenient way to discern when fertilization or implantation occurred.
Gestational age is contrasted with fertilization age which takes the date of fertilization as the start date of gestation. There are different approaches to defining the start of a pregnancy. This definition is unusual for saying that women become "pregnant" two weeks before having sex. The definition of pregnancy and the calculation of gestational age are also relevant in the context of the abortion debate and the beginning of human personhood.
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