Finding out whether or not you are pregnant can cause a lot of anxiety. The level of anxiety usually depends on whether you were ready for a baby and how long you have suspected you are pregnant. For most women, it is easy to tell whether they are pregnant within a few weeks (3 weeks at most) while others can tell a few days after conception. You can either tell by the essential signs or by doing pregnancy tests.
How to know if you are pregnant
1. Check the signs
Missing a period can be a sign that you may be pregnant.
If you are planning on having a baby, you need to keep track of your menstrual cycle. There are numerous ways to do this. It is best to know your time of ovulation. Ensure you remain sexually active as this is the time you are likely to get pregnant.
The best way to keep track of your cycle is to tie it to an event. You can have a personal calendar where you mark the dates, or remember it by tying it to a certain occasion. If you notice that it has been more than 30 days after you had your last period, and you are engaging in sex then you may be pregnant.
For individuals with irregular cycles, ensure you test for pregnancy as often as possible. This is especially important to women who smoke, take alcohol on a regular basis and those who use recreational drugs. This can go a long way in ensuring the fetus is not harmed.
When pregnant, one of the first signs is changes in your breasts. This is especially so if it is your first pregnancy. You will have a sour and tender feeling on your breasts. They will increase in size, and the nipples will become darker and larger.
Most women will experience morning sickness when pregnant. This is especially common during the first trimester. This sickness is characterized by enhanced sense of smell and a great dislike for some smells.
During your first trimester, you will also develop a sense of tiredness. Most of the time, you will be drawn to sleep earlier than normal or to take naps when you normally would not.
During pregnancy, the body goes through hormonal changes and this greatly affects the mood of some women. Most women go through mixed feelings mostly characterized by excess happiness of excess sadness. Women become very emotional when pregnant.
Spotting and cramps
This normally happens a few days after conception. It normally happens after the egg attaches itself to the uterine walls. The spotting is referred to as implantation bleeding. This can take place between 6 and 12 days after fertilization. The cramps are similar to the menstrual cramps. This causes most women to mistake the bleeding and cramps to the onset of their cycle. The only difference is that bleeding and cramps from conception are mild.
This will normally begin 6th or 8th week after conception. At times, this frequent urge can be as a result of UTI (urinary tract infection), overuse of diuretics, or even diabetes. However, in pregnancy the most common cause is an increase in the level of hormones.
The levels of progesterone, the female hormone, increase during pregnancy. This can cause constipation. This hormone causes food passage through intestines to slow down. To control this issue, you need to take in a lot of water, take in food rich in fiber, and exercise.
Headaches and back pain
Mild headaches are quite common amongst pregnant women. For others, the onset of pregnancy is characterized by severe back pain.
If you are experiencing frequent dizzy spells and occasional fainting, it could be because you are pregnant. This is caused by dilation of the blood vessels or decrease in blood sugar levels as well as blood pressure.
It is possible for you to feel all the above symptoms or go through one or two at least. In case these signs become too serious, consult your doctor to come up with a way to control them.
2. Test if you are pregnant
Home pregnancy test
These test kits are available in drug stores or in self service stores. They are normally located in the women products section.
It is important to take this test immediately after waking up in the morning. This should be done when you realize you have missed your period. The first urine in the morning gives more accurate results.
The kit package comes with directions, follow them to the letter. Some of these tests look like pens. They have a test strip extending from one end. You need to place this strip in the urine stream when in the bathroom.
You will be required to wait for a few minutes for the results. Normally, these kits come with instructions on how to tell if you are pregnant. In case you test negative and still no signs of your menstrual cycle, you can retake the test after a few days.
Test by a doctor
You have the choice between a confidential urine test at a family planning clinic or you can have your gynecologist help you through it. Even after you test positive on urine, the doctor will insist on a blood test to confirm. While urine tests may be accurate, they are not always perfect.
For more information on signs of early pregnancy, you can watch this video