What Are The Early Signs And Symptoms Of Pregnancy
For most people, the first sign of pregnancy is a missed period. However, missing a period doesnt always mean youre pregnant.
Other early pregnancy symptoms include:
Slight bleeding or spotting
Urinating more than usual
Nausea and/or vomiting
Not everyone has all of these symptoms, but its common to have at least 1. Premenstrual symptoms, side effects from hormonal birth control, and early pregnancy symptoms can look the same or similar bloating, sore or swollen breasts, feeling tired, and having mood swings. Many of these symptoms can also be signs of other conditions and dont always mean that youre pregnant. Even missing a period isnt always a clear sign, especially if youre on hormonal birth control, which can change or even get rid of your period while youre using it. Thats why the only way to know for sure if youre pregnant is to take a pregnancy test.
How To Tell If A Cat Is Pregnant
This article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years.There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 44 testimonials and 82% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 3,629,596 times.
The typical gestation period for cats is about 9 weeks, and a pregnant cat will begin to display telling physical and behavioral changes soon after becoming pregnant.XResearch source If you know how to spot these changes, it can help you determine if your cat is indeed pregnant. The best way to know for certain, though, is of course to take your cat to the vet. Unless youre a professional cat breeder, you should have your cat spayed–overpopulation among cats is a significant problem that results in many cats having to be euthanized when they cant find a home.
How Soon Can I Take A Pregnancy Test
Pregnancy tests work by detecting a certain level of human chorionic gonadotrophin in your pee. You can take a pregnancy test as soon as youve missed your period. However, its best to wait at least one week after youve missed your period to get the most accurate results. While some tests claim to give you accurate results before a missed period, taking a test too soon can result in a false negative .
Your healthcare provider can take a blood sample to test for pregnancy as early as one week before a missed period.
Other Early Signs Of Pregnancy
These early pregnancy symptoms tend to appear around or after the time that you miss your period, usually sometime between weeks 4 and 9. But again, every woman and every pregnancy is different, so you may not experience these symptoms at all, while other moms-to-be may notice them a little earlier.
What Is A Fetal Ultrasound
âA fetal ultrasound is a test carried out during pregnancy that uses sound waves to create an image of your baby in the uterus. An ultrasound is a normal part of prenatal care in the U.S. because it can help your doctor find out important information about your babyâs growth and development. It can also help your doctor check for any problems your baby could be having. â
During an ultrasound, you will lie on an examination table and some gel will be spread over your abdomen. A small device called a transducer will be moved over your skin and pressed against your belly, sending sound waves into your womb. Images are then collected and transferred to a screen. â
Once the test is over, the gel will be wiped clean and your doctor will discuss the results with you. You can get printed copies of the ultrasound to take away if you wish. Your doctor may sometimes ask for additional tests if he or she wants to collect more information about your baby’s health.
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Will You Notice Early Signs And Symptoms When You’re 1 Week Pregnant Or 2 Weeks Pregnant
Your journey through pregnancy has officially begun, but as mentioned above, youâre not actually pregnant yet. Remember that healthcare providers calculate your pregnancy as 40 weeks, or 280 days, from the start of your last period. So, if you have a typical 28-day menstrual cycle, the first two weeks are mainly just Aunt Flo doing her thing.
But after two weeks, other things start to happen.
One of your ovaries will release an egg around 14 days after the first day of your last period.
The egg will travel down one of the fallopian tubes where it may unite with sperm.
Itâs worth noting that sperm can live inside your body for up to five days, and your egg has a lifespan of up to one day. This means your window of fertility is about five days before you ovulate to one day after.What this all means is that you wonât feel any of those very early signs of pregnancy in weeks 1, 2, or possibly even 3. If you have yet to conceive, then it makes sense that you wouldnât notice anything!
When Should I Call My Doctor About A New Pregnancy
If youve missed your period and gotten a positive pregnancy test, your next step will be to call your healthcare provider for your first appointment. While scheduling, your provider may ask if you have already started taking a prenatal vitamin containing folic acid. Prenatal vitamins are important in early pregnancy because they help in the development of your babys neural tube. The neural tube will become your babys brain and spine. Many healthcare providers recommend that anyone who could become pregnant take folic acid at all times.
If youre planning a pregnancy, a preconception appointment with your healthcare provider is a good place to start. A preconception appointment is especially important if you take medication for a chronic illness or have other medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure or lupus.
During this appointment, your provider will discuss any current medical conditions, as well as your general health before pregnancy. This appointment is meant to get you into the best place for a new pregnancy.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/26/2022.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.Policy
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Put Off Starting A Family Too Long
If you’re in your late 30s, you are a little less than half as fertile as you were in your early 20s. A decline in the quantity and quality of eggs and sperm with age makes it harder to conceive.Talk to your doctor about your age and your baby-making odds so you aren’t caught off guard. Men should keep this in mind, too. While the mom’s age plays the biggest role, guys over 50 are less fertile, too.
Your First Three Weeks Of Pregnancy
Hereâs the thing: Because of the way pregnancy is usually measured, youâre not actually pregnant during the first two weeks or so of your pregnancy. Healthcare providers calculate the length of an average pregnancy as 40 weeks, starting from the first day of your last menstrual periodâthis is known as the LMP dating method. So, when youâre 1 week pregnant, youâve only just started your period. At two weeks pregnant, youâre ovulating. And since ovulation happens about 14 days after the start of your period you canât really become pregnant until week 3 at the earliest.It can be mind-bogglingâwe get it. But, for the sake of calculation, and what you and your healthcare provider will consider as 1 and 2 weeks pregnant, youâre not actually pregnant! But although at 1, 2, or 3 weeks pregnant you may not notice any of those very early signs of pregnancy, there may be a lot happening on the inside.
RELATED PREGNANCY TOOL
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. This is also a great time to start looking into educational resources like the myHealthyPregnancy app.
At the first prenatal visit, youll get a physical exam and other tests to make sure everything is looking healthy, and youll learn about the rest of your prenatal appointment schedule. Youll also get to talk through any expectations and questions you have, such as which foods to eat and avoid while pregnant.
Questions or concerns about your symptoms? Our 24/7 nurse line is free for our members and patients.
Positive pregnancy test? Schedule a visit.
When Is The Best Time In Your Cycle To Test
Although your body begins to produce hCG 7 to 10 days after fertilization, waiting provides the most accurate results. In order to give your body enough time for hCG to build up to a detectable level in your urine by a pregnancy test, it is best to take a pregnancy test about 14 days after fertilization. For a woman who has a 28-day cycle and ovulates 14 days after her last period, this would mean testing on the day you expect your next period if you suspect you are pregnant. For the most accurate results, take a pregnancy test a couple of days after your missed period.
If your test is negative and your period does not start, you still might be pregnant, but your hCG levels are just not high enough to register on the test. Most testing kit instructions recommend you wait one week to take another test however, many women test a few days later. Contact a healthcare professional if you still have a negative pregnancy test or have further questions.
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If Its Been Less Than 5 Days Since You Had Sex
Ultimately, your move here is going to vary based on whether youre interested in becoming pregnant or not.
If you want to get pregnant, theres not much for you to do beyond twiddling your thumbs.
If you do not wish to be pregnant, you have two options to consider to reduce the risk of pregnancy.
The first option is to take a morning-after pill, like Plan B or ella.
Despite their name, oral emergency contraceptives can be taken up to 5 days after unprotected sex to reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancy.
Another option would be to get a copper IUD ASAP. When implanted within 120 hours of having unprotected sex, the copper IUD helps prevent pregnancy from a recent unprotected sexual encounter, as well as any future encounters you have with the IUD in place.
Worth mentioning: Some morning-after pills are less effective for people who weigh more than 155 pounds, so keep that in mind as you decide which emergency contraceptive option is best for you.
Whats Next If The Results Are Positive
Your next steps depend on two things: whether youre pregnant and whether or not you planned to get pregnant.
If your test results are positive and youve been planning to have a baby, take another test to make sure youre pregnant. Then, see your doctor before you reach the 8-week mark. You can ask them about prenatal care options or specialists who can help guide you through your pregnancy. Ask your doctor about any changes you need to make to your lifestyle, medications, or diet to keep yourself and your baby healthy for the next nine months.
If your test results are positive but you didnt plan to get pregnant, ask your doctor about available options, including:
- carrying the pregnancy to term for adoption
- what to do if you want to continue your pregnancy
You can also receive help from a clinic or health center that specializes in reproductive health and child care, like Planned Parenthood.
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You Haven’t Missed Your Period Yet
If you haven’t missed your period yet, mark down the day that you think you may have conceived on, and wait at least six days before the day you are expecting your period to take a First Response pregnancy test. If you think you might be pregnant and do not want to be pregnant, there are emergency contraception methods that are effective within five days of having unprotected sex, so you may want to explore those options.
You can also choose to take a pregnancy test after you miss your period. In fact, some recommend not taking one until one week after your missed period in order to ensure accurate results.3 Be sure to follow the instructions of the brand of pregnancy test that you buy.
Bloating And An Enlarging Belly
Early pregnancy is not when you will begin to show, but some people report an enlarging belly as a pregnancy symptom. This is typically caused by bloating as opposed to the baby.
Weight gain in the first trimester is generally not very noticeableusually only a pound or two. In fact, you may even lose weight from a combination of not feeling well, food aversions, and a better diet as you make lifestyle changes.
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Double Up On Your Vitamins
If you’re thinking about getting pregnant, take a prenatal vitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. It helps prevent birth defects called neural tube defects.
But don’t take handfuls of megavitamins or supplements. Too much vitamin A, for example, is linked to problems in a growing baby.
When To Call The Doctor Or Midwife
If you have questions, it’s important that you call your doctor or midwife. Even if you don’t have an appointment, they can address your concerns and make sure everything is okay.
They understand that you have a lot of questions and are willing to give you the answers, but you have to . Many practitioners have someone available who just answers patients’ questions all day long.
It’s not unusual for the answers to lead to more questions. It is appropriate to ask clarifying questionsdo not feel like you are taking up too much of your doctor’s time. They are there to help.
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When Can I Take A Home Pregnancy Test
Although you may start to feel early pregnancy symptoms before your period, most women have to wait for an average of two weeks from the time they ovulate for a positive home pregnancy test result. Home pregnancy tests measure levels of human chorionic gonadotropin in your urine.
This placenta-produced hormone makes its way into your urine almost immediately after an embryo begins implanting in your uterus, between six to 12 days after fertilization. You can start using most home pregnancy tests as soon as hCG can be detected in your urine and hCG levels usually arent high enough to be picked up by a home pregnancy test until your periods expected.
Cant wait until then? Some HPTs promise 60 to 75 percent accuracy four to five days before you expect your period. Wait until your period and the rate jumps to 90 percent wait another week and the results are 99 percent accurate.
Know that false negatives are much more common than false positives, so if the time for your period comes and goes without your monthly flow, check in with your health care provider. Either way, youll want to get a blood test to confirm your pregnancy status.
No matter what symptoms you’re having, the only way to know for sure that you’re pregnant is to make an appointment with your OB/GYN.
If You Did A Frozen Embryo Transfer:
The beta hCG quantitative blood test is ordered 9-13 days after your embryo transfer, depending on the developmental stage of the embryo when it was transferred. For blastocysts , its recommended to take the pregnancy test 9 days after embryo transfer.
After that initial pregnancy, comes a series of if/then procedures:
. If the initial pregnancy test is positive, the test is repeated two days later.
. If the hcG levels have doubled and are rising appropriately, then then the first OB ultrasound will follow about two weeks later. This is when your doctor can confirm an intrauterine pregnancy, check the size, and confirm a fetal heartbeat.
. If your BhCG levels are not adequately rising, your fertility doctor will continue to administer blood tests to determine whether the pregnancy is viable and rule out the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy.
. If the pregnancy test is negative, you will be directed to stop all medications, and your doctor can discuss considering a new IVF cycle to try again.
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Lose Or Gain A Lot Of Weight
Weighing too much or too little lowers your chances of becoming pregnant. Either can cause irregular menstrual cycles. When you don’t have a period every month, your ovaries won’t release an egg, or ovulate. When this doesn’t happen, you can’t make a baby.
Sometimes, weight changes cause swings in hormone levels that lead to infertility. Also, obesity makes you more likely to have:
- Gestational diabetes, a type that only happens during pregnancy
- A baby with a high birth weight and certain birth defects
Your goal is to have a healthy weight before and during pregnancy. Experts suggest moms-to-be aim for a body mass index between 18.5 and 27.