Pregnancy: Early Signs
Many women, whether planning for it or surprised, wonder if they may be pregnant. Maybe a form of birth control failed, or you have been trying to get pregnant for months. Pregnancy determination is a waiting game that no woman wants to play. In order to take a little control back from Mother Nature, you can determine pregnancy by learning about the early signs of pregnancy.
Start with the Basics
First off, let’s start with the basics; if you are sexually active and your period is late, it’s time for a pregnancy test. Most retailers, pharmacies, drugs stores, and even gas stations carry a large variety to choose from.
Picking out the right pregnancy test is key to ensuring accurate results. If you have already missed your period, look for tests where the directions state to take after the first day of a missed period. If you want to take a test before your missed period (up to five days!) there are tests for that, too.
In fact, as the medical community advances with new technologies and research, so do pregnancy tests. Right now, most pregnancy tests are looking for the hCG hormone which is naturally produced when a woman is pregnant. In the near future, pregnancy tests will not only be able to determine if you’re pregnant, but they will be able monitor your pregnancy health, evaluate risk factors for your baby developing with Down ’s Syndrome, predict pre-eclampsia, and much more. The best part is that all of it will still be tested through the hormones in a small urine sample.
If you’re not ready to take a pregnancy test, or you took one and it came up negative but you’re not sure that’s right, here are some clues to look for when it comes to early signs you’re pregnant.
- Do your breasts or nipples ache?
- Do you feel like your urinating more frequently than usual?
- Are you experiencing moodiness?
- Are you experiencing constipation?
- Are you suffering from more heartburn than what you’re used to?
- Does your skin seem to be more prone to pimples than usual?
- Are you experiencing frequent headaches?
- Have you noticed more vaginal discharge than usual? Perhaps even with a hint of pink? (sometimes during implantation a minute amount of blood is visible when you wipe)
- Are you experiencing any unusual nausea (this can also happen around Tax Season)
If you were able to answer yes to a majority of those early pregnancy signs, then there is a pretty good chance you will be expanding your family soon! However, the definitive answer should come from your doctor. Your doctor can meet with you, discuss if your symptoms are pregnancy related or not (if not it’s still good to know what is causing you not to feel like your ‘normal’ self) and perform definitive tests.
A definitive test that you doctor will perform is a blood test that pretty much looks for the same hCG hormones as a home pregnancy test. Blood tests are more accurate because they are able to pick up even minuscule traces of the hormone where in the same case a urine test may not be sensitive enough to catch.
Your doctor may even give you an ultrasound. Many cases when it’s so early in the pregnancy a pelvic ultrasound does not give clear pictures, so a vaginal ultrasound is used to perform early pregnancy confirmations.
If the results come back as positive for pregnancy, congratulations and don’t forget to take your prenatal vitamins. Also, don’t forget to have fun with the new life growing inside of you! If the results come back as negative for pregnancy, print off these early pregnancy signs for future reference, every month brings you new possibilities!