When To Take A Pregnancy Test
A pregnancy test measures the amount of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin hormone in the urine. This hormone is only present when a woman is pregnant. As the egg grows into an embryo, the cells that surround it and later become the placenta produce hCG.
Planned Parenthood indicate that it is best to take a pregnancy test as soon after a missed period as possible. A pregnancy test may return a positive result as early as 10 days after a person has had sex without contraception. However, it typically takes about 3 weeks before theres enough hCG in the urine to produce a positive pregnancy test.
There are many affordable and reliable pregnancy tests available over-the-counter or online. A home pregnancy test can tell whether you are pregnant in a few minutes, with most claiming to offer almost 99% accuracy .
If a woman takes the pregnancy test earlier than 1 week after a missed period, it may give a negative result, even if the person is actually pregnant.
If a person believes they are pregnant despite a negative test result, they should repeat the test after 1 week.
To avoid a false negative result, check the pregnancy tests expiration date, and carefully follow the written directions.
How Soon Do Pregnancy Symptoms Start
For some people, pregnancy symptoms can begin just a few days after conception. You may experience physical symptoms, or you may just sense that something is different in your body. Other people may not feel any difference in their body until well after seeing a positive pregnancy test.
If you have conceived at 2 weeks pregnant, these are the symptoms that could soon clue you in:
- Spotting. About 5 to 10 days after conception, you may notice a little spotting. This is caused by the embryo implanting itself into the lining of your uterus.
- Frequent urination. Pregnancy hormones can cause you to take more trips to the bathroom in the first weeks of pregnancy.
- Sore breasts and/or darker areolas. Pretty much as soon as those hormones appear, a womans body starts prepping her boobs for breastfeeding.
- Fatigue.Total exhaustion is some womens first clue theyre expecting. Thats because your body will use a ton of energy to grow baby.
- Morning sickness. Probably the most notorious pregnancy symptom, nausea usually begins to rear its ugly head around week 4 to week 9.
- Bloating. As your body starts to realize youre pregnant, it will probably slow down the digestion process in an effort to deliver more nutrients to baby. This can result in a bit of gas and bloatinghey, maybe it will even look a bit like a 2 weeks pregnant belly!
Pregnancy Week 2 Fetal Development
Complex hormonal changes are already preparing your body for conception. These hormones include estrogen, follicle stimulating hormone , and luteinizing hormone . They work together to make sure an egg or two, in some cases matures properly and is released for conception.
Youll probably conceive around the end of your second week of pregnancy. The chromosomes in each cell combine immediately after a sperm fertilizes the egg, resulting in your babys genes. Even during the first days of pregnancy, your babys gender and genetic features will already be determined.
In the event of identical twins, one sperm fertilizes one egg, which then divides and gives life to two organisms. This results in genetically identical children of the same sex.
In case of non-identical twins, two sperm fertilize two eggs, and the resulting babies can be of the same or different sex. They resemble each other no more than brothers and sisters born at different times.
Within 24 hours of conception, the fertilized egg or zygote will start dividing into multiple cells and traveling down the fallopian tube.
Recommended Reading: Can I Use Vagisil Wash While Pregnant
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 3
If your menstrual cycle is regular, then the first and most reliable indication that youre pregnant is likely to be missing your period after youve been having unprotected sex . However, there are many other reasons for a delayed or missed period and the only way to know for sure is to take a pregnancy test. These are cheap and accessible at your local drugstore, but you may prefer the discretion of your clinic instead.
You may also notice any one of the following general symptoms of early pregnancy:
- nausea or vomiting
What Precautions Should You Take If Youre Trying To Conceive And During Early Pregnancy
If youâre trying to get pregnant, you might need to make some healthy lifestyle changes. Since you wonât necessarily know you are pregnant during the first few weeks, itâs best to take some precautions as soon as you start trying to conceive and then continue with them during your pregnancy.
Your healthcare provider may also recommend you start taking folic acid when you start trying for a baby. Folic acid is a B vitamin that helps reduce the risk of certain birth defects that affect the babyâs brain and spine. Your healthcare provider will be able to recommend a prenatal vitamin that contains the 400 micrograms of folic acid needed.
Pre-pregnancy is also a great time to eliminate some less healthy habits. Quit smoking and drinking alcohol. Some healthcare providers may advise you to limit your caffeine intake, too. Secondhand smoke can be harmful to you and your baby, so if your partner is a smoker, itâs best if he or she quits, too.
You May Like: Can You Get Lasik Eye Surgery While Pregnant
Your Body At Week 3 Of Pregnancy
Its very early days in your pregnancy, so dont expect to feel too different. Remember that at week 3 you may not have missed your period yet and may have little idea that youre pregnant. Even if youve been trying to conceive with your partner, you wont find any physical signs of pregnancy to reveal that youve got a little person growing inside.
If youve been trying for a baby, or even if you havent but think you might be pregnant nonetheless, why not take a pregnancy test to make sure? Nowadays, home testing kits are as accurate as a urine or blood test at the clinic and a lot more convenient. Just be sure to carefully follow all the instructions for doing the test and reading it afterwards. If the result is negative, don’t assume you’re not pregnant you may have just tested too early.
Metallic Taste In The Mouth
Many women find that in the first few weeks of pregnancy their taste buds are affected. Some people say it’s a metallic taste, others say it’s more sour. The taste is actually something called dysgeusia, and it is caused by pregnancy hormones, particularly oestrogen. It isn’t dangerous and usually disappears after the first trimester.
Studies say this usually improves after the first trimester, but if you’re looking for ways to combat, you could try:
- eating sugar-free mints or gum
- chewing on ice chips
- eating foods high in citrus or vinegars to drown out the taste
Also Check: Can You Donate Plasma While Pregnant
First Signs Of Pregnancy
Each pregnancy is unique, but you might even experience certain signs of pregnancy from even before a missed period. Take this âAm I Pregnant?â quiz and read up on some of the early pregnancy signs:
Missing a menstrual period. One of the very early signs of pregnancy is a missed period, though if you have an irregular menstrual cycle, this sign can be misleading.
Implantation bleeding. Spotting can actually be a very early sign of pregnancy, as it may be implantation bleeding, which happens when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus.
Cramping. Some moms-to-be experience mild uterine cramps during the first trimester. To soothe your lower abdomen, place a hot water bottle, wrapped in a towel, on your belly or take a warm bath.
Feeling hot. Elevated pregnancy hormone levels and a metabolism that has sped up can both lead to an increase in your core body temperature, so you might be feeling a little warmer than usual. Your body compensates for this by sweating more to help cool you down.
Heart racing. Hormonal changes can also cause heart palpitations, but if they last more than a few seconds, or if they happen frequently, contact your healthcare provider for a checkup to make sure everything is OK.
What Is Naegele’s Rule
For example, if the first day of your last period was August 11, 2019, you would:
- Add 1 year
- Add 7 days
- Move the date back 3 months
- Your due date would be May 18, 2020.
If your fertility app gives you a different date than the one calculated by your doctor, it most likely because it was based on the ovulation date and not the date of your last period. If you ovulated earlier or later than day 14 of your cycle, this would shift your due date accordingly.
Read Also: Can You Donate Plasma While Pregnant
How Do You Track Ovulation
A womans monthly cycle is measured from the first day of her menstrual period until the first day of her next period. On average, a womans cycle normally is between 28-32 days. Ovulation is calculated by starting with the first day of the cycle, which is the day the menstrual period begins.
Most women ovulate on any one day between Day 11 Day 21 of their cycle. This is what many refer to as the fertile time or fertility window of a womans cycle because sexual intercourse during this time increases the chance of pregnancy.
For more information on tracking ovulation please see:
If you are taking prescription drugs, check with your health care provider to see if such medication is safe to take during pregnancy. For more information on nutrition during pregnancy, please see our information on pre-conception nutrition.
Early Signs Of Pregnancy Before A Missed Period
Although every woman is different, these early symptoms can first appear before you even miss your period.
Raised basal body temperature
If you’ve been using a special basal body thermometer to track your first morning temperature, you might notice that it rises around 1 degree when you conceive and stays elevated throughout your pregnancy.
Though not a foolproof early pregnancy symptom , it could give you advance notice of the big news.
A heightened sense of smell is an early pregnancy symptom that makes previously mild odors strong and unappealing. Since it’s one of the first symptoms of pregnancy many women report, babies might be in the air if your sniffer’s suddenly more sensitive and easily offended.
Tender, swollen breasts and darkening, bumpy areolas are among the breast changes you might experience early in pregnancy. The hormones estrogen and progesterone deserve most of the credit for this early pregnancy symptom. The breast tenderness is pain with a gain, though, since it’s part of your body’s preparation for the milk-making to come.
Your areolas may get darker and increase in diameter. You’ll also likely start to notice tiny bumps growing in size and number on your areolas. These bumps, called Montgomery’s tubercles, were always there, but now they’re gearing up to produce more oils that lubricate your nipples once baby starts nursing.
Changes in cervical mucus
Recommended Reading: Can I Use Vagisil Wash While Pregnant
What Happens During Week 5
The embryo is less than 1/5 inch long.
A very basic beating heart and circulatory system develop.
Buds for arms and legs develop.
The neural tube begins forming. The neural tube will later form the brain, spinal cord, and major nerves.
The bud of a tail develops.
- The umbilical cord begins developing.
Your Baby At Week 3 Of Pregnancy
Youll notice from what weve already mentioned that its very difficult to tell exactly when conception has occurred. You know that an egg will be released from your ovary around 2 weeks before your next period, but theres no way to know the precise time that this happens. On top of this, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few days for your partners sperm to make its way up to your fallopian tube.
The problem of not knowing when conception has taken place is solved by doctors timing pregnancy from the beginning of your last menstrual cycle. Odd though this may seem, it means that your doctor starts the clock on your pregnancy before youve even conceived!
You May Like: Can You Donate Plasma While Pregnant
What Are The Signs Of Pregnancy
For a lot of people, the first sign of pregnancy is a missed period. Most pregnancy tests will be positive by the time youve missed your period. Other early pregnancy symptoms include feeling tired, feeling bloated, peeing more than usual, mood swings, nausea, and tender or swollen breasts. Not everyone has all of these symptoms, but its common to have at least 1 of them.
If You Have An Existing Mental Health Problem
If you have a pre-existing mental health condition and take medication, tell your doctor and the person who prescribed the medication that youre pregnant as soon as possible.
They will talk to you about whether your medication is safe in pregnancy or whether you should consider a different treatment.
Find out more about your mental wellbeing in pregnancy.
You Get Inexplicably Tired
Any of us would expect to be exhausted after a long and difficult day. This is totally normal, and, when considered by itself, is probably not a sign youâre pregnant. However, pregnancy causes women to experience fatigue, even when theyâre taking things easy and slow. The hormone responsible for making you tired goes off the charts when youâre expecting a baby, so your significantly lower energy levels may be something to look into. This intense fatigue can begin as early as one week after conception.
What Are Early Signs Of Pregnancy
Your symptoms likely wont begin until your fourth week. This is when you may experience mild blood spotting and cramping and when you can expect to miss your period. But, if you are asking yourself, How do I know if Im pregnant, see if you can relate to any of these early indications:
1. Missed Period
According to an American Pregnancy Association survey, approximately 29 percent of women claimed their first sign of pregnancy was a missed period. Missing your period is a common symptom of pregnancy and it often leads women to do a pregnancy test. You may notice some bleeding even if youre pregnant, but it will usually be lighter and shorter than your normal menstrual period.
2. Urinating Frequently
A couple weeks after you conceive, you may have to urinate more. This is because of your pregnancy hormone hCG. This hormone causes an increase in blood flow to your kidneys, which helps them eliminate waste from your body more efficiently. As your uterus is growing more quickly the pressure on your bladder is greater. The amount of urine storage space you have decreases which causes you to urinate more often.
3. Swollen, Tender Breasts
4. Nausea and Sometimes Vomiting
Nausea was the first pregnancy indication 25 percent of women experienced. Although morning sickness doesnt usually hit women until around a month of becoming pregnant, nausea is often felt earlier. Its thought that your pregnancy hormones are what cause nausea, but it isnt quite clear.
Read Also: Can You Take Nutraburst While Pregnant
Slight Bleeding Or Cramping
Sometimes a small amount of spotting or vaginal bleeding is one of the first symptoms of pregnancy. Known as implantation bleeding, it can happen when the fertilised egg attaches to the lining of the uterus – about 10 to 14 days after fertilisation. This type of bleeding is usually a bit earlier and lighter in colour than a normal period and doesn’t last as long.
A 2010 study published in Annals of Epidemiology revealed that one in four pregnant women experienced bleeding. Only eight percent of those reported heavy bleeding, and most episodes lasted less than three days and occurred between five and eight weeks gestation.
Some women also experience abdominal cramping early in pregnancy. These cramps are similar to menstrual cramps. If you are ever concerned about bleeding or cramping, speak to your medical provider.
What Is The Best Way To Confirm Pregnancy
The best way to confirm pregnancy is to do a blood test measuring the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone. Women can also take a home pregnancy test. Home pregnancy tests are fairly reliable but may occasionally be a false-positive. This can occur for a number of reasons, including having a chemical or ectopic pregnancy or even taking certain medications. Following a positive home pregnancy test with a doctors visit for a urine or blood test to confirm the pregnancy is the best way to confirm a pregnancy.
Recommended Reading: Can I Use Vagisil Wash While Pregnant
When Should You See A Doctor About A New Pregnancy
If youve taken a pregnancy test and its positive, go ahead and make your first prenatal visit right away.
At the first prenatal visit, youll get a physical exam and other tests to make sure everything is looking healthy, and youll learn about your pregnancy timeline. Youll also get to talk through any expectations and questions you have about your pregnancy.
Questions or concerns about your symptoms? Our 24/7 nurse line is free for our members and patients.
Positive pregnancy test? Schedule a visit.