What are the Signs of Being Pregnant?
- One of the most obvious sure signs of being pregnant is a missed period.
- Some women experience light bleeding around the time of their expected period.
- A pregnancy test will confirm if you are pregnant by measuring the levels of the hormone hCG which are elevated by 2 weeks after ovulation.
- A simple urine test or blood test will confirm.
- There are many other subtle signs of being pregnant that are less measurable and vary from woman to woman. You may experience all or even none of these.
Some common early signs of being pregnant
- Tender breasts
- Nausea and vomiting
- Enhanced sense of smell
- Unpleasant taste
- Needing to urinate often
Some of these can be experienced in early pregnancy week 1 (after implantation). You will be right to think some of these signs are subtle and can be easily missed. Approximately six days after fertilisation the egg implants into the wall of the uterus, this can cause slight cramping and bleeding, known as spotting. Some women mistake this for normal menstruation. Soreness, tingling, or a feeling of heaviness in the breasts can be another early sign of pregnancy, as can a feeling of fatigue and moodiness. These changes are all due to fluctuating hormones.
What is the most reliable sign of being pregnant?
These signs are also very similar to the symptoms many women experience immediately before menstruation. Whilst many couples can be impatient to know if they are pregnant as soon as possible, it is worth remembering that the most reliable indicator of pregnancy is a missed period and a positive pregnancy test.
Is white discharge an early pregnancy symptom?
White discharge is secreted by most women throughout their normal menstrual cycle which makes it easy to overlook it as one of the common pregnancy symptoms. Often pregnant women find they have a white sticky discharge early on in the first trimester and and this continues throughout the length of the pregnancy. One of the reasons there is an increase in white discharge is to prevent infections during pregnancy as the cervix and vaginal walls soften.
How to know if you are really pregnant?
A missed period occurs 15 days after ovulation (don’t forget some women experience light bleeding around the time of their expected period). At this stage, a pregnancy test will give a reliable result. Pregnancy tests measure the levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the blood or the urine. hCG is produced once the fertilised egg attaches to the wall of the uterus. Once implantation has occurred, levels of hCG double every two to three days, until they reach detectable levels, approximately two weeks after ovulation. There is a common misconception that the urine pregnancy test in a doctor’s office is more accurate than that found in your pharmacy. This is not true! While most doctors and midwives will repeat the test to confirm your pregnancy, this is often only done because tests have been known to be misinterpreted at home.
If you have any concerns don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor. It is recommended to see a healthcare professional right away if you experience symptoms like heavy vaginal bleeding, chronic pain, high temperature, severe headache or vision loss.
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- “Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy.” NHS, www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/signs-and-symptoms-pregnancy/.