Had sex without a condom or any other contraceptive? Have you missed your period? Or doubting if you are pregnant? Then, this article is for you. Surf through this article to get to know the early signs of pregnancy and about when you can have your pregnancy test.
Am I pregnant? Well, this is a question that has come into every woman’s life at one point or another. You might have one now or might have had it a few days back.
Pregnancy tests can only confirm pregnancy if it happens so. However, there are also a few signs and symptoms that occur in a woman's body during the early stages of pregnancy which can be beneficial in clearing your doubt, at least to some extent. This article is about to clear or confirm your suspicions, whatever the case may be.
It is the most common symptom for a woman who is pregnant. Be aware that sometimes even if you are not pregnant, you can have a missed period due to various reasons like stress, unhealthy diet, and thyroid problems. On the other hand, you can have slight bleeding or spotting, known as implantation bleeding, even when you are pregnant. It can be confused for a regular period.
Like it is depicted in movies, It is pretty standard in pregnancy, but this is no definite sign of pregnancy as vomiting can be due to many causes like eating out, infection, malaria, typhoid, early hepatitis, or simply excessive eating.
Unprotected sex can lead to pregnancy but remember that unprotected sex does not always lead to pregnancy. Just because you had unprotected sex once or twice, it might not lead to pregnancy. But regular unprotected sex has a high chance of pregnancy. Having unprotected sex on the days of ovulation or in the mid-cycle between days 10 to 18 increases the risk of conceiving. Because during these days, the egg is available for fertilization, and when the sperm enters the vagina, there are chances for conception. It is also essential to keep in mind that contracting sexually transmitted infections is high with unprotected sex despite unwanted pregnancy.
Although not a concern, white vaginal discharge, also called leucorrhea, is common during pregnancy and requires attention. It can be present in pregnancy due to increased levels of estrogen. However, it can also occur in other conditions, which can be easily distinguished from the discharge during pregnancy with the help of the appearance and smell. While you are pregnant, th white discharge appears thin or thick and odorless with milky white color. Clear and stretchy white discharge from the vagina is a sign of ovulation. Clear and watery discharge can be seen after strenuous exercise and is common to occur at any time of the cycle. In the case of yeast infection, the discharge is white, has the appearance of cottage cheese, and is associated with itching. Trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted disease, exhibits thick green or yellow discharge accompanied by a foul smell.
Abdominal cramps similar to that of menstrual cramps can occur with pregnancy. Though many women mistake it for the start of periods, the bleeding associated with it is minor, and the pain is also comparatively less. In addition, pain in the lower abdomen can be due to an aborted pregnancy, an ectopic pregnancy, appendicitis, or just a urinary bladder infection.
It is a meaningful sign to note and is seen even before you experience a missed period. Since the blood supply increases during pregnancy, kidneys have to work harder to remove the waste from the blood. It, in turn, increases your urinary output. Frequent urination can also be seen in other conditions like increased intake of caffeine, urinary tract infection, anxiety, diabetes, interstitial cystitis, urinary incontinence, overactive bladder syndrome, renal stones, stroke, sexually transmitted diseases, etc.
Fatigue or feeling tired is also a common symptom during pregnancy attributed to the increased production of progesterone. Fatigue is also associated with other conditions like anemia, arthritis, infections, hypothyroidism, diabetes, liver disorders, cancer, etc. Certain lifestyle factors like strenuous exercises, insufficient sleep or physical activity, obesity, alcohol, caffeine intake, emotional stress, poor diet, drug abuse, etc., can make you feel tired.
Due to hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, breasts increase in size and show tenderness on touching. There is also darkening and enlargement of nipples. You may feel that your bra seems tighter than before. However, breast tenderness is also seen before the menstrual cycle, and it improves during or after the cycle.
Slight bleeding or brown vaginal discharge can be an alarming sign for pregnancy because it is called implantation bleeding. It occurs when the fertilized embryo is implanted onto the wall of the uterus. It can also misguide women to be menstrual bleeding and think that they are not pregnant.
The constant feeling of hunger, craving for food, and food aversions like disliking your favorite food can occur during pregnancy. Few women also experience a metallic taste in their mouths. It is due to the hormonal changes which happen during pregnancy. Food aversions can also be a sign of an eating disorder that needs medical attention.
It is also a sign of pregnancy due to the changes in the hormone levels associated with pregnancy. However, it is also a premenstrual symptom that is present before the menstrual cycle.
If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, you can wait for about a week after you miss your period to take the home pregnancy test. It is ideal to do your pregnancy test only after a week of missing your period because only then will there be detectable levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine.
Yes, blood tests to detect the hCG level are available, which can be taken in the hospital. These are generally not preferred because it takes about two to three days to get the results. However, these tests can show the result early before a home urine pregnancy test, around 6 to 8 days after ovulation.
When trying to get pregnant, these symptoms are surely a piece of happy news for you. Get a pregnancy test and enjoy your new phase of life. If that is not the case and you are not trying for pregnancy, get yourself checked with a gynecologist at the earliest. All the complaints mentioned above should be taken seriously, and any delay in consultation can be harmful.
Last reviewed at:
09 Dec 2021 - 4 min read
Query: Hi doctor, I have had a history of irregular periods and now I am failing to get pregnant. To highlight about my past, I started having my periods from the age of 14 and had irregular periods always. Sometimes, I had heavy flow for 7 to 8 days and sometimes it was scanty for only 2 days. I was put ... Read Full »
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Query: Hi doctor, I have a query about my period. My actual due date for my period was 28th of last month. I had unprotected sex on the 27th. I waited two days for my period and I took emergency contraceptive on the last minute to 72 hour. My period got delayed for eight days and got it on the 5th of thi... Read Full »
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