Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful phases of a woman’s life. Pregnancy occurs when a sperm fertilizes an egg after it’s released from the ovary during ovulation. The fertilized egg then travels down into the uterus, where implantation occurs. A successful implantation results in pregnancy. On average, a full-term pregnancy lasts 40 weeks.
Here is a list of few signs and symptoms that indicate that a woman might be pregnant:
Early signs of pregnancy
As most early pregnancy symptoms may be nonspecific, they might be mistaken for other health issues. Therefore, it is important to know when to go for a pregnancy test. Here is the list of various early clues and signs of pregnancy that the body shows to let women know that they are expecting:
- Missed period: A missed period is one of the first signs of pregnancy. The woman must get a pregnancy test to confirm it.
- Nausea and vomiting: Nausea and vomiting or morning sickness is one of the common early signs of pregnancy. Women tend to notice these signs of pregnancy between the second and eighth week of it.
- Sick feeling: Sick feeling and mood swings are the possible signs of 1-week pregnancy. Hormonal changes during pregnancy are the main cause behind it. If a woman doubts regarding the likeliness of pregnancy, she should get a pregnancy test.
- Sensitive Breasts: The level of progesterone (the hormone that stimulates the uterus to prepare for pregnancy) starts increasing when one conceives, and the milk ducts start preparing themselves for breastfeeding. Tender breasts accompanied by tingling and soreness of nipples are one of the early pregnancy symptoms.
- Spotting: Some women may experience light bleeding and spotting in early pregnancy. It takes place when developing embryo implants itself onto the lining of the uterus. Implantation usually occurs one to two weeks after fertilization.
- Bloating: The increased progesterone in the body during pregnancy slows down the process of digestion and causes bloating.
- Strong Sense of Smell: During pregnancy women often get a strange metallic taste that lingers in their mouth and also becomes sensitive to all forms of taste and smell.
- Fatigue: Of several signs of pregnancy, one is body fatigue. It’s common to feel tired during pregnancy, especially during the first 12 weeks due to hormonal changes taking place in the body.
- Headache: One of the common early signs of pregnancy is a headache, and it is usually caused by altered hormone levels and increased blood volume.
- Back pain: Hormones and stress on the muscles are the biggest causes of back pain in early pregnancy.
- Hip pain: It is very common during pregnancy and tends to increase in late pregnancy. It can have a variety of causes including pressure on ligaments, sciatica, changes in the posture, a heavier uterus.
- Acne: Many women experience acne in early pregnancy because of increased androgen hormones. Pregnancy acne is usually temporary and clears up after the baby is born.
- Constipation: Hormone changes during early pregnancy can slow down the digestive system.
- Pregnancy-induced Hypertension: High blood pressure, sometimes, develops during pregnancy. A number of factors can increase the risk, including being overweight or obese, smoking, having a family history of pregnancy-induced hypertension.
- Food cravings or dislikes: During pregnancy, women develop unusual likes or dislikes for different food items. Although it is common in the first trimester, sometimes, it lasts through the entire pregnancy.
What is a pregnancy test?
A pregnancy test can tell whether a woman is pregnant by checking for human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in urine or blood. hCG is made in a woman’s placenta after a fertilized egg implants in the uterus. It is normally made only during pregnancy.
Blood tests: These tests are performed only at the doctor’s clinic or at a laboratory but are less common as compared to the urine tests. These tests can detect pregnancy earlier than a home pregnancy test, about 6 to 8 days after ovulation. It takes longer to get the results than with a home pregnancy test. There are two types of blood pregnancy tests:
- Qualitative hCG test: This type of evaluation checks to identify the presence of hCG. The test is generally taken to confirm pregnancy as early as 10 days after conception.
- Quantitative hCG test: This pregnancy test measures the precise amount of hCG in the blood. It may help track problems during pregnancy and also rule out an ectopic pregnancy.
Urine tests: This is a qualitative test and identifies the presence of hCG in the urine. The presence of hCG in the urine is considered a positive sign of pregnancy.
If women notice any of these signs, they should conduct a pregnancy test at home, and if the test result comes positive, then they must see a doctor immediately to get proper guidance for prenatal care.