Discuss Medications With Your Doctor
Let your pregnancy care professional know about any medications or supplements youre taking. Not all of them are safe to take during pregnancy because they can pass through the placenta.
However, you should never discontinue a medication before talking with your doctor either. Many medications, like antidepressants, can cause severe side effects if you stop them cold turkey.
A healthcare professional can help you make a plan for safely tapering any medications that arent recommended during pregnancy.
Some pain medications, such as ibuprofen are not safe to take during pregnancy. Your provider can also tell you which OTC medications you can take.
For example, if you have a headache or run a fever while youre pregnant, you can take acetaminophen . If you have allergies, you can take certain OTC medications, according to ACOG.
Your best bet, though, is asking your doctor what they recommend for your specific situation, so you can make sure its safe for both you and baby.
What Precautions Should You Take During Early Pregnancy
Even if you havenât spotted any signs of pregnancy very early on, youâll want to do everything you can to stay healthy and safe. In fact, itâs always wise to take some precautions as soon as you start trying to conceive or learn that youâre pregnant.Even simple adjustments can help support you as you start your pregnancy! Though youâll want to consult your healthcare provider to determine whatâs best for you, some worthwhile lifestyle changes and precautions include
taking folic acid.
When you start trying for a baby or learn that youâre pregnant, folic acid is essential, as itâs a B vitamin that helps reduce the risk of certain birth defects that affect the babyâs brain and spine. Your healthcare provider can recommend a prenatal vitamin that contains at least 400 micrograms of folic acid. Pre-pregnancy is also a great time to eliminate some less healthy habits, including
exposure to secondhand smoke
In addition, your provider may recommend limiting your daily consumption of caffeine. Talk with your healthcare provider about the best ways to stay healthy and safe when youâre pregnant. For more general advice, download our pregnancy guide!
Pregnancy Testing At The Doctors Office
When should I visit the doctor for a pregnancy test?
More often, you may take a home pregnancy test to quickly determine pregnancy. If a home pregnancy test is positive and you have decided to continue with the pregnancy, you should call an obstetrician as soon as possible. The doctor can use a more sensitive test such as blood testing along with a pelvic exam to make sure you are pregnant. Seeing the doctor early in your pregnancy will help you and your baby to stay healthy.
If a home pregnancy test is positive and you have decided not to continue with the pregnancy, you should call a clinic as soon as possible. The doctor will do another urine pregnancy testing for their records and a sonogram to determine how far your pregnancy has progressed and discuss termination options that best suit your circumstances. Click here for help in choosing a clinic.
How do urine pregnancy tests work at the doctors office?
All pregnancy tests, whether it is EPT, First Response, ClearBlue or at your local doctors office, work by detecting a particular hormone in the urine that is only there when a woman is pregnant. This hormone is called human chorionic gonadotropin , or hCG, also called the pregnancy hormone.
The question often arises what is the difference between a home pregnancy test done at home and a urine pregnancy test performed at a doctors office? The difference is not in the test itself but in the ability of the person who reads the test confidently.
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Get A Preconception Checkup
Before you officially start trying, get a checkup. Ask your doctor aboutprenatal vitaminsthat havefolic acid, which helps protect against some birth defects, such asspina bifida. Folic acid works during the early stages of pregnancy, so that’s why it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough folic acid even before you get pregnant.
“Do this the cycle before you start trying,” says Paula Hillard, MD, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford University. “If you have any underlying medical problems, they need to be under control before you can safely become pregnant.”
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.
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You Might Be Pregnant Heres How To Tell For Sure
Your last period shouldâve started a week ago, and youâre starting to get worried. Are you just a little late, or is it possible a baby is on the way?
Having a child of your own is a big responsibility, and being overwhelmed at the thought of parenthood is common. In fact, more than a few women enter into denial and intentionally avoid taking a test to confirm their pregnancy. But knowing youâre pregnant for sure is the first step before seeking out the information, resources, and relationships youâll need to thrive during this next season of life. So before you start narrowing down baby names, what are the signs you might be pregnant?
Early Changes To Breasts: Tingling Aching Growing
Breast changes can occur between weeks 4 and 6. Youre likely to develop tender and swollen breasts due to hormone changes. This will likely go away after a few weeks when your body has adjusted to the hormones.
Nipple and breast changes can also occur around week 11. Hormones continue to cause your breasts to grow. The areola the area around the nipple may change to a darker color and grow larger.
If youve had bouts with acne before your pregnancy, you may experience breakouts again.
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The Excitement And Fear Of Good News
You’ve most likely been trying to get pregnant for years. You may have even gone through many cycles of fertility treatments. Finally, you’ve achieved a pregnancy. Youre likely really excited and happy. But you may also feel anxious. You may even wonder if its all really happening. If you have friends who are still trying to get pregnant, you may experience some survivors guilt. All of this is completely normal.
Feeling nervous and not too hopeful about the pregnancy is understandable. If youve experienced miscarriages in the past, this is especially true. Don’t feel guilty for feeling the way you do. Do try to find someone, whether a friend or a therapist, to talk to about your feelings. It will help.
Women who have experienced infertility are at-risk for developing pregnancy and postpartum depression. The sooner you talk to someone, the more likely it is you’ll feel better.
Where Can I Get A Pregnancy Test
You can buy a pregnancy test at your local pharmacy, drugstore, grocery store, and some convenience or dollar stores. Pregnancy tests are usually inexpensive they can cost as little as a dollar. Sometimes you can get a free pregnancy test at certain health centers.
You can also get a pregnancy test from your nurse or doctor, community clinic, or local Planned Parenthood Health Center. Most health centers use the same urine pregnancy tests that you can buy in stores. Sometimes they use a blood test to test for pregnancy, but thats usually only under special circumstances.
But be careful when looking for a reliable health center, because there are fake clinics out there called Crisis Pregnancy Centers. Crisis Pregnancy Centers give free pregnancy tests and claim to offer information and help. But theyre run by people who may not be medical professionals, and dont believe in giving you honest facts about pregnancy and all of your options. Crisis pregnancy centers are often located very close to Planned Parenthood health centers or other real medical centers, and have similar names they do this to confuse people and trick them into visiting their center instead.
Your nearest Planned Parenthood health center can help you find a safe place to get a pregnancy test in your area.
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Don’t Worry About The Best Positions For Getting Pregnant
Myths abound about the best positions for getting pregnant, but they are just that — myths. There is really no scientific evidence saying that the missionary position is better than the woman being on top when it comes to maximizing your chances of making a baby.
“Very rarely, a woman’s cervix is in an unusual position where certain positions can make a difference,” Goldfarb tells WebMD.
Certain gravity-defying positions, such as sitting or standing during intercourse, however, may discourage sperm from traveling upstream. “It’s a matter of gravity you don’t want all the semen to run out — and semen are quick little critters,” Hillard says.
Carrying The Baby High
One of the most common myths surrounding a babys sex is that having a higher bump means youre having a girl. However, this is not true.
The biggest factors that determine the way your bump looks are your physical condition, the number of pregnancies youve had, your abdominal muscles, and your total weight gain during pregnancy.
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Healthier Hair And Skin
This is the opposite of the myth that having a girl will take away your beauty. Many people believe that if youre carrying a boy, your skin will look healthier, and youll have thick, lustrous hair.
In reality, these changes depend solely on pregnancy hormones. Some people develop skin pigmentation or acne, while others will have thicker hair and a pregnancy glow.
Youve Missed Your Period
If youâre in your childbearing years, sexually active, and more than a week has passed since the day your period was expected to start, itâs very possible youâre pregnant. If you have an irregular menstrual cycle, have recently experienced significant weight loss or weight gain, or stopped taking your birth control pills, a missed period may not be a reason to worry. However, missed periods are perhaps the most tell-tale sign of a potential pregnancy, so be sure to take a pregnancy test if youâre in this situation. Many pregnant women experience some bleeding around two weeks after fertilization and mistake it for a light period, but a missed period on their next cycle will indicate a pregnancy. â
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When To Get A Blood Test
You might be wondering if you should also have a blood test to check if youre pregnant. It is something to consider if you get a positive or negative result. Your doctor may order a test, or you may be thinking about ordering one yourself. Many labs now allow people to order and pay out of pocket for their blood work.
Before you do that, there are a few things you should know. First of all, there are two types of pregnancy blood tests: qualitative and quantitative.
- Qualitative tests measure whether hCG is present in your blood or urine. They pretty much give a yes or no answer as to whether youre pregnant. Or, more accurately, whether you have enough pregnancy hormone to get a positive result. Home pregnancy tests are qualitative.
- A quantitative pregnancy test measures the amount of pregnancy hormone in your blood. This is sometimes called a beta hCG test. These are usually done to see how a pregnancy is progressing. For example, your doctor may order a beta hCG test on Monday, and then another test on Wednesday or Thursday. The purpose would be to see whether the level of hCG is increasing as expected or not. This might be important if you had trouble conceiving, have a history of early miscarriage, or an ectopic pregnancy is suspected.
Testing When You Feel Pregnant
You may decide to take a pregnancy test because youre having early pregnancy symptoms, including:
- Breast tenderness
- Mood swings
- Slight morning nausea
Depending on whether a positive pregnancy test would be good or bad news, symptoms like these may fill you with dread or excitement. But heres the good news: pregnancy symptoms dont mean youre pregnant. In fact, you can feel pregnant and not be pregnant, or not feel pregnant and be expecting.
The same hormones that cause pregnancy symptoms are present every month between ovulation and your period.
Many symptoms similar to pregnancy symptoms can be caused by other things, like a cold, the flu, or even a few nights of poor sleep.
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Your Pregnancy Tests Are Negative But You Still Think You Might Be Pregnant
While false positives are very rare, false negatives with pregnancy tests are more common. Here are some reasons you could be getting a negative pregnancy test.
If you’ve gotten negative results multiple times but are experiencing the signs of pregnancy, and especially if you’ve missed your period, then you should see a doctor who will be able to conduct additional tests and see what might be going on.
Your First Prenatal Visit
During your first prenatal visit, you will be screened for potential medical issues or other concerns that could affect your pregnancy. Ideally, you will make an appointment for your first prenatal visit as soon as your pregnancy has been confirmed.
Your doctor will likely schedule the appointment around 6 to 8 weeks into your pregnancy. However, they may see you sooner if you:
- have an existing medical condition
- have had prior problems with pregnancy
- have certain symptoms, such as vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, and severe nausea or vomiting
At your first visit, your doctor will check your vital signs and take your medical history. They may perform certain examinations and tests, including blood and urine tests.
Its important to ask your doctor questions and to address any concerns you may have about your pregnancy.
They will also describe the importance of eating a balanced diet, exercising, and taking certain prenatal vitamins during pregnancy. Make sure to ask your doctor about any over-the-counter medicines or supplements you might want to take while youre pregnant. They can advise you whether they are safe to use during pregnancy.
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How Accurate Are Urine Tests
Urine tests or home pregnancy tests are around 97% accurate when done correctly. Home pregnancy tests are great to use because they can be done at home, they are usually low in cost , private, they give a fast result, and are easy to use.
However, if done incorrectly or taken too early, the result can be inaccurate. If you get a negative result and still have symptoms of pregnancy , wait a week and take another test or contact your doctor so you can have a blood test done.
Your Best Days For Making A Baby
Brandi Jeter Riley and her husband, Terrence, were ready to give their 8-year-old daughter a baby sister or brother.
When Riley didn’t get pregnant right away, she worried about infertility. But before seeing a specialist, she tried something she hadn’t done before — tracking her cycle and timing it right.
It was a success. Less than 2 months later, Riley, who lives in Oakland, CA, was pregnant. “Nine months later, I was giving birth to my little baby boy,” she says.
“When a couple is having issues getting pregnant, the first step is to make sure they’re doing it right,” says Kara Manglani, a certified nurse midwife and fertility expert in New York. They need to learn about the woman’s menstrual cycle and ovulation — that time every month when one of their ovaries releases an egg.
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Could I Have The Symptoms Of Early Pregnancy And Not Be Pregnant
Many of the symptoms of early pregnancy overlap with other medical conditions, as well as your typical menstrual cycle. Premenstrual symptoms can be very similar to pregnancy symptoms. This can make it difficult to tell the difference. You can also miss a period without being pregnant. This can happen when you exercise in extreme amounts, lose or gain a lot of weight, or even are stressed. Breastfeeding can also cause your period to stop for a while.
The best way to know youre pregnant is to take a pregnancy test. If you have missed a period and think theres a chance you could be pregnant, consider taking a test.
How Soon Can You Find Out If Youre Pregnant
The symptoms of pregnancy explained above are the most common ones but often the signs and symptoms experienced are very mild and easily attributed to other reasons.
If you frequently experience headaches and can confidently chalk your mood swings up to, say, a social media article that just set you off, looking for stronger indicators like morning sickness and changes in discharge would be a good start.
If you do notice a cluster of symptoms, following up with a home pregnancy test is your best next move.
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Pregnancy Tests And Accuracy
A positive pregnancy test is almost always correct. Some negative tests may not be correct if you tested too early.
This is called a ‘false negative’ result. The result will present as negative, but you are actually pregnant.
This happens for a few of reasons, because:
- you did the test too early
- you didn’t wait long enough before checking the result
- your urine is very diluted because you have been drinking a lot of water
- there is a fault with the test
If the result of the test is negative, and you think you might still be pregnant, repeat the test a few days later. If symptoms persist after a few negative tests, make an appointment with your GP.