How Can You Tell If Youre Pregnant
The most effective way to confirm youre pregnant is via a pregnancy test. These can be bought for at-home use, or you can take a test at your GPs office. Pregnancy tests check for the presence of the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotrophin , in your urine, which the body produces after you conceive.
GPs can also test for pregnancy via a blood test, as they can check for the hormone in your blood as well as urine. Blood tests can tell if you are pregnant about six to eight days after you ovulate.
What Does Your Stomach Feel Like In Early Pregnancy
What does your stomach feel like in early pregnancy? Because a woman who is carrying a baby is sharing her body to help that baby develop, her body becomes protective of the baby. Stomach muscles tense up and seem to make the stomach harder. However, this is also to help the woman when she goes into labor.
Alternative Ways To Check For Pregnancy
If you dont want to buy a test yet, there are other ways you can find out whether its likely youre pregnant or not. But keep in mind that this is in no way accurate, and pregnancy tests are the best way to confirm your pregnancy.
All of the symptoms listed above can be early signs of pregnancy, but dont always mean that you are. If youre experiencing several of them at once, it could be a sign that its time to take a test.
Clearblue has a free online quiz which asks you about any symptoms, as well as what contraceptives youve been using, if applicable. It takes minutes and they can give you advice on whether or not to use one of their tests.
You also know your own body better than anyone, so you might identify significant changes to your mood, physical changes to your body especially around the stomach. If you have regular periods, any changes to that routine could indicate youre expecting too.
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How To Tell If You’re Pregnant Right Away
The only way to tell if youre pregnant right away is by taking a home pregnancy test according to its instructions. Waiting can be difficult, but you can usually take a test three to four days before a missed period though youre more likely to get a false negative if you test too soon. If its negative, wait a couple more days and test again if Aunt Flo doesnt come to visit.
Be sure to test first thing in the morning, when your urine and the hormone that the test is measuring are most concentrated. If you see a line indicating a pregnancy, youre almost certainly pregnant . Pregnancy tests with false positives are rare.
When Will You Experience Pregnancy Symptoms
One factor to consider is the fact that many of the earliest signs of pregnancy are the same symptoms you might have right before your period.
With that in mind, you probably won’t experience significant symptoms before your missed period. Most classic pregnancy symptoms dont start until one or two weeks after conception at the very earliest. Many women dont notice anything until one or two weeks after their missed period .
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Is Sex During Pregnancy Safe
If your pregnancy is going smoothly, its safe to have sex and orgasm while youre pregnant.
You might worry that sex will harm the baby. But your baby is well protected and sealed off in the amniotic sac, so you cant hurt your baby by having sex.
There are some situations where sex might be unsafe during pregnancy. These might be if you:
- have shown signs of a possible miscarriage or preterm labour
- have a history of cervical weakness
- have been experiencing severe abdominal pain or cramps
- are diagnosed with placenta praevia
- have vaginal bleeding, or the bleeding has stopped but the cause is unclear
- think your waters have broken.
If youre showing signs of problems in your pregnancy and youre unsure about sex during pregnancy, talk with your GP, midwife or obstetrician. Theyll tell you whether its OK.
Abdominal Aches And Pains During Pregnancy
So many new sensations come along with pregnancy, and not all of them are pleasant. One of the pains you might experience? Abdominal discomfort. During pregnancy, your uterus expands to accommodate your growing baby, which means that some abdominal achiness is to be expected. Here are some of the types and causes of abdominal pain during pregnancy, plus tips for relief, and information on when you should call your provider.What does abdominal pain typically feel like?
Abdominal pain associated with pregnancy can feel dull, aching, throbbing, pulsing, or sharp, and it can happen in short bursts or persist for long periods of time. It can also be worse in one area of your body, like the sides of your stomach.
What does this sort of abdominal pain typically feel like?
What causes these aches and pains?
What can help?
If youre suffering from abdominal pains, here are a few tips that may be able to provide you with some relief:
But how can you know whats normal and when should you call your provider?
There are a few causes of pregnancy-related abdominal pain that can indicate complications. If certain symptoms accompany your abdominal pain, including vaginal bleeding, back pain, body swelling, fever, vomiting, or painful urination, or if the pain becomes sharper or is so severe that it becomes difficult to function, you should contact your health care provider right away.
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How Soon Can You Get Symptoms And Signs Of Pregnancy
Most pregnancy symptoms will start to appear around five or six weeks after your last menstrual period. Usually symptoms wont appear immediately, as it takes a few weeks to develop them. Having symptoms a few days after sex isnt usually a sign of pregnancy, and can actually be due to something else such as PMS.
However, a missed period, fatigue or morning sickness before this five-week mark could indicate pregnancy,Lesley Gilchrist, registered midwife and co-founder of My Expert Midwife, says. The most common early signs are missing a period and feeling out of sorts and not yourself- often feeling overwhelmingly tired and needing to sleep a lot.
Morning sickness is also common and can take on several forms for different people, such as feeling nauseous at certain times of the day or all day, vomiting, dizziness or a combination of all these. The need to wee a lot can also be common and is caused by changing hormones in the early days, as are tender, swollen breasts which are sensitive when touched.
Pregnancy Stomach Pain And Discomfort
Nausea during pregnancy is normal and usually nothing to be concerned about. Morning sickness can begin as early as 2 to 4 weeks following fertilization, peak around 9 to 16 weeks, and typically subside at around 22 weeks gestation.
Symptoms of morning sickness include nausea and vomiting. Many women with morning sickness don’t need medication however, prescription medications are available that treat morning sickness like Diclegis.
If you experience cramping or pain in the stomach this may be a sign of digestive issues but isn’t likely to be a miscarriage symptom. Digestive problems are common during pregnancy but call your doctor right away if your stomach pain leads to flu-like symptoms that go beyond your typical morning sickness.
Pregnant women are prone to food poisoning and other infections in the GI tract. Some infections can cause complications for the baby even if they aren’t especially dangerous for non-pregnant individuals, so it’s good to be checked out if you suspect you might be sick.
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Vulva Change In Colour
One of the early signs and symptoms of pregnancy can be a change in colour of your vulva and vagina. Your vulva and vagina are usually pink, but this changes to dark purplish-red as your pregnancy progresses. This happens because more blood is needed in that area to build the tissue, a change which midwives refer to as Chadwicks sign.
What else could it be?All of the maintenance we perform on our vaginas can contribute to a change in colour. If you have been using razors or hair removal creams you could be suffering from reddening or a rash. Also, watch out for washing products that arent sensitive to the hormone balance as this can have an effect too. Look for gentle products to prevent irritation to your vagina.
When Does Your Uterus Start To Hurt During Pregnancy
You get these pains when your uterus starts to stretch and your body starts to get more and more adjusted and ready to deliver. By you being 16 weeks, its the perfect time for your pains to start. I know because I am 18 weeks pregnant myself, and I started dealing with my abdomen pain about 2 weeks ago. Theres nothing to be worried about.
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How To Cope With It
It is always a very good idea to get in touch with your healthcare provider when you discover sharp pain during your pregnancy.
When you are experiencing stabbing or sharp pain during your pregnancy, there are certain steps, which you can carry out in a bid to try and alleviate this pain:
- Take a walk
- Experiment with different sitting and sleeping positions
- Controlled breathing/breathing exercises
Avoiding Indigestion And Heartburn
If your symptoms are mild, it’s possible that changes to your diet or lifestyle may help prevent indigestion and heartburn. You could try:
- eating smaller meals, more often
- avoiding eating just before bed
- avoiding foods and drinks that you suspect give you heartburn
- not drinking a lot of coffee at the end of the day
- avoiding eating and drinking at the same time, which can make your stomach more full
- sitting up straight while eating, and not lying down after a meal
- chewing gum, which may cause you to produce more saliva to help neutralise the acid
- stop smoking
- raise the head of your bed by 10 to 15cm
- sleep on your left side
If your indigestion is not helped by diet and lifestyle changes, or your symptoms are more severe, your doctor or midwife may suggest that you take a medicine for indigestion that is safe to use during pregnancy. Medicines can neutralise the acid in your stomach, reduce the amount of acid produced by your stomach and stop the acid rising into your oesophagus.
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Indigestion And Heartburn In Pregnancy
Many women experience indigestion and heartburn while they are pregnant, which can be painful or uncomfortable. There are ways to help avoid or treat indigestion and heartburn, especially if it is mild. Sometimes the feeling of heartburn can be confused with a more serious condition called pre-eclampsia.
Indigestion, also called ‘dyspepsia’, is a feeling of pain or discomfort in the stomach . This mostly occurs after eating or drinking but can happen some time after.
If you have indigestion in the early stage of your pregnancy, this may be caused by changes in your hormone levels. In the second or third trimester, indigestion becomes more common and may be caused by your baby pushing up against your stomach. As many as 8 in 10 women may have indigestion during their pregnancy.
Symptoms of indigestion may include:
- reflux or regurgitation
- feeling heavy, bloated or full
- feeling sick
Heartburn is a burning pain in the throat or chest, behind the breastbone, caused by stomach acid coming up the oesophagus and irritating the lining.
In pregnant women, indigestion and heartburn can be caused by:
- eating a big meal
- drinking fruit juice or caffeinated beverages
- doing physical activity soon after eating
- bending over
- feeling anxious
It’s a good idea to take note of the particular foods, drinks or activities that give you indigestion while you are pregnant.
Warning Symptoms And Signs
Although sharp pain may be caused by normal pregnancy-related changes, there exist certain warning signs you should be on the lookout for, in case this sharp pain you are experiencing is because of a complication. They include:
- Pain accompanied by change in vaginal discharge, vomiting, heavy bleeding, chills, or fever
- If you experience sharp continual pain after adjusting or resting
- If this stomach pain makes it difficult for you to speak, breathe, or walk
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What Are Sharp Stomach Pains During Pregnancy
It can be difficult and stressful for pregnant women to tell the difference between normal pregnancy pains and signs that something is wrong. As your body adjusts to accommodate the fetus, some discomfort or pain is natural.
While some abdominal pain can be normal, it can sometimes be a symptom of pregnancy complications. If youre experiencing unfamiliar, sharp abdominal pain, contact your doctor who can help you tell the difference. During routine check-ups, you also should update your healthcare provider on any pains youre experiencing.
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When To See Your Doctor
Continue to visit your doctor for ongoing prenatal appointments. Usually, these occur about once a month. Ask your doctor questions about the process and tell them about any concerns you have. Contact them if you have unusual changes or symptoms, especially if you have vaginal bleeding, leakage of clear fluid, burning with urination, leg swelling, or abdominal pains.
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Case & Commentarypart 2
The patient again returned to the ED within 24 hours with persistent complaints. She now appeared more ill, with increased abdominal pain on examination. Magnetic resonance imaging of the abdomen was performed and revealed a ruptured appendix with signs of peritoneal inflammation. The patient was taken immediately to the operating room and was found to have diffuse peritonitis secondary to the ruptured appendix. An emergent laparoscopic appendectomy was performed, which the patient tolerated well. Unfortunately, 3 hours after the operation, she had a spontaneous abortion and subsequent severe bleeding requiring multiple transfusions. She was discharged home days later.
In retrospect, it may not have been appropriate to discharge this patient from the ED after her initial presentation without further evaluation, and she experienced a tragic adverse event.
In the above case, in the initial visit, pregnancy location and gestational age should have been documented, and a further investigation into the patient’s signs and symptoms should have prompted imaging of the abdomen and pelvis and consultation with an obstetric specialist. When the patient returned with worsening symptoms, appropriate imaging was pursued and revealed acute appendicitis. The error led to a catastrophic adverse eventthe loss of the fetus. A checklist highlighting the warning signs above or an algorithm for early and safe imaging may have led to an earlier diagnosis and a better outcome.
Pregnancy Bleeding And Swollen Gums
You may not have expected pregnancy to affect your mouth. But your blood circulation and hormone levels can make your gums tender and swollen, and you may notice they bleed more easily. You may also develop nose bleeds.
- Get a dental checkup early in your pregnancy to make sure your teeth and mouth are healthy. See your dentist if you notice a particular problem.
- Brush your teeth, floss regularly and rinse daily with an antiseptic mouthwash.
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How Reliable Are Home Pregnancy Tests
According to the NHS, home pregnancy tests are reliable as long as you follow the instructions correctly. It may not be reliable if you didnt follow instructions or youve taken the test too early.
Most pregnancy tests can be taken after the first missed period, with any tests taken before this time running the risk of being inaccurate. Professionals also recommend avoiding drinking too much fluid ahead of doing a test, as it can dilute the level of HGC.
Negative tests may not be reliable if youve taken it too early, as the level of HGC might not be enough at the time of taking it. Tests can also vary in their sensitivity and so its recommended you read instructions thoroughly before using one, as theres no guarantee each one will be the same.
Causes Of Stomach Pain During Pregnancy
In addition to round ligament pain and cramps, other conditions may cause stomach pain during your pregnancy. Many women who are pregnant can experience:
Any of these conditions can cause sharp stomach pain. In addition, women may experience completely unrelated issues. For example, kidney stones occur as frequently in pregnant women as in women who are not.
While plenty of stomach pains are normal during pregnancy, if the pain is sharp and sudden, call a doctor. Sharp stomach pain is also one of the primary symptoms for the following serious pregnancy complications:
In an ectopic pregnancy, the egg implants outside of the uterus, most often in the fallopian tubes. Ectopic pregnancies are not viable. If they are not caught in time, the eggs may cause the fallopian tubes to rupture, which can cause severe abdominal pain. A ruptured fallopian tube is a life-threatening emergency and requires immediate medical treatment.
Early pregnancy loss
Also known as a miscarriage or spontaneous abortion, early pregnancy loss can occur during the first trimester. The fetus may be damaged, have an abnormal number of chromosomes, or fail to develop correctly. Early pregnancy loss affects about one in ten pregnancies.
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