You think you may be pregnant, and you want to know. The first and best sign is a missed period and then a confirmed test by the doctor in the form of either urine or blood. However, there may be no missed period. There are early signs and symptoms that may be noticed almost immediately after conception, due to the hormone changes occurring within the body. Some women experience some of these symptoms, none, or all of these symptoms. Some symptoms go undetected until after the missed period. At times women may be showing signs of pregnancy, but not be pregnant. The best way to know for sure is confirmation from your doctor.
EARLY SIGNS OF PREGNANCY
Signs are different for every woman. The signs and symptoms listed are the more commonly experienced.
- Headaches, light headed or faint feelings.
- Tender, swollen breasts, tingling of the nipples, darkening of the aureola.
- Nausea or vomiting
- Lower back or abdomen ache( sometimes felt as sharp menstrual type cramps)
- Increased or frequent urination
- Increased vaginal secretions.
After a missed period, a home pregnancy test may be taken, followed by confirmation from your doctor.
Your doctor may ask you for a urine sample, the best one to give is the morning urine as it holds the highest concentration of the hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) a hormone produced only in pregnancy.
Your doctor may also request a blood test; this is more accurate than a urine sample.
Other ways a midwife or doctor can confirm pregnancy is by internal examination. The care provider inserts two fingers into the birth canal, under the cervix and places one hand on the abdomen, by pushing their two hands together can feel if the uterus is enlarged. (Gaskin, 2002)
There will also be detectable changes to the birth canal and cervix during pregnancy. These are,
- Cyanosis (bluish color) of the birth canal and cervix at 6 weeks
- Soft cervix at 4-5 weeks
- Softening of the junction at 5-6 weeks
For more information, or if you have any questions regarding pregnancy, talk to your doctor or other care provider.