Have Frequent Sex During Your Fertile Window
One of the most common questions among people trying to conceive is: How often should I have sex if Im trying to get pregnant?
The short answer is that it depends on your preferences as a couple, and whether there are any known fertility issues.
Overall, studies have shown that couples who have sex every day or every other day during the fertile window have the highest rates of pregnancy. Also, doctors often recommend sticking to just once a day during the fertile window.
If having sex every day or every other day isnt possible or enjoyable, set a goal to have sex throughout your cycle. This can get you and your partner into a regular sex routine, which can carry you into the fertile window.
How Do You Know Youre Pregnant
You may be asking yourself âHow do I know if Iâm pregnant?â If you think you may be pregnant, a home pregnancy test will confirm it. Thereâs no way to know that you are pregnant without taking a test.If youâre experiencing any of the symptoms of pregnancy and take a home pregnancy test but the test comes out negative, thereâs still a chance you may be pregnant. Wait until your period is a week late , and then take the test again.If the test comes out positive, make an appointment with your healthcare provider to confirm the pregnancy.Once your pregnancy is confirmed, check out our go-to pregnancy guide, which includes lots of pertinent information and tools you’ll need to navigate your pregnancy, including infographics, checklists, trackers, and more!If you like, use our due date calculator to find out how far along you are in your pregnancy:
Lasting Symptoms With A Negative Test
So, you’re feeling pregnant, and maybe you have even missed your period. But your over-the-counter pregnancy test is still negative. Are you or are you not pregnant?
The answer is it depends. Feeling pregnant doesnt mean you are, but a negative pregnancy test can be wrong. A recent study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine revealed that up to 5% of pregnancy tests return results indicating a person is not pregnant when, in reality, they are.
There are a few reasons you receive a false-negative test result. You may have tested too early, so the pregnancy hormones aren’t high enough to be detected by the test.
- There isnt enough pregnancy hormone hCG in your urine yet.
- The test has malfunctioned.
- Youre not pregnant.
- You are pregnant, but something is wrong.
There are other rare reasons you may get a negative test but actually may be pregnant.
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Normal Pregnancy Symptoms: Heres What To Expect
Pregnancy is an exciting time in a womans life, but it can also be overwhelming as your body changes in new ways. As your first trimester gets underway, you might start wondering: Am I supposed to feel this way, or is something wrong?
Many pregnancy symptoms arent enjoyable, but I want to reassure you they are completely normal. Most women tend to start experiencing symptoms about 3-4 weeks after conception at a gestational age of 5-6 weeks.
To help you know what to expect, Ive compiled this list of symptoms that typically accompany pregnancy.
Implantation Cramping And Bleeding
Women may experience cramps very early on in pregnancy. These are due to implantation, which is when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus.
Implantation cramps may occur a few days after ovulation, and many women say that they feel cramps around 5 DPO. These cramps may occur in the lower back, abdomen, or pelvis.
Around of women may notice slight bleeding around the time of implantation. This is called implantation bleeding, and it tends to be lighter in color and flow than a menstrual bleed.
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Other Early Symptoms Of Pregnancy
Pregnancy brings changes in your hormonal balance. And that can cause other symptoms that include:
- Frequent urination. For many women, this starts around the sixth or eighth week after conception. Although this could be caused by a urinary tract infection, diabetes, or using diuretics, if you’re pregnant, it’s most likely due to hormonal levels.
- Constipation. During pregnancy, higher levels of the hormone progesterone can make you constipated. Progesterone causes food to pass more slowly through your intestines. To ease the problem, drink plenty of water, exercise, and eat plenty of high-fiber foods.
- Mood swings. These are common, especially during the first trimester. These are also related to changes in hormones.
- Headaches and back pain. Many pregnant women report frequent mild headaches, and others experience back pain.
- Dizziness and fainting. These may be related to dilating blood vessels, lower blood pressure, and lower blood sugar.
A pregnant woman could have all of these symptoms, or maybe have only one or two. If any of these symptoms become bothersome, talk with your doctor about them so you can make a plan to offset them.
Slightly Elevated Waking Body Temperature
Fluctuations in body temperature during a womans cycle are extremely subtle with resting, or basal body temperature typically rising just ½ degree F at the time of ovulation. To catch a body temperature that might indicate early pregnancy, then, you have to be taking it every day.
There is no specific temperature that indicates an early pregnancy, states the period-tracking company Clearblue. However, basal body temperature is highest during ovulation and soon starts falling if an egg is not fertilized. If your basal body temperature has risen and stays up for the next 18 days, thats a sign you may be pregnant, the company says.
To track basal body temperature, keep a thermometer on your nightstand because this temperature must be taken every morning, ideally at the same time, before getting out of bed. Record the temperature on a paper chart or a tracking app for easy comparison with prior days.
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Herbs And Supplements To Take During Pregnancy
Even though theres a large variety of healthy foods containing key nutrients during pregnancy, it can be hard to get as much of those nutrients as you need from food alone, particularly folate and iron. Because of this, your doctor or midwife will likely recommend or prescribe certain supplements.
Prenatal vitamins are a common example. As the name implies, prenatal vitamins are made specifically for pregnant people and people planning to get pregnant. Prenatal vitamins provide a combination of vitamins and minerals that support healthy pregnancies , and are available over the counter in a wide range of stores.
Your care provider may also prescribe supplements based on other factors, like dietary restrictions. If youre lactose intolerant and cant eat dairy, for example, you may be prescribed a calcium supplement.
You may also want to use herbal supplements to help provide relief from pregnancy symptoms. Peppermint leaf and ginger root are commonly used to help with nausea and morning sickness. However, there are some herbs to avoid.
When Do The Early Pregnancy Symptoms Start
The first week of pregnancy starts with the last menstrual period. You count the pregnancy weeks by calculating them through the last day of the previous menstrual period.
However, some pregnancy symptoms manifest even before you miss your period, and some women can feel early pregnancy symptoms in the first week of conception. The week of the last menstrual period is usually considered the first week of pregnancy, even if you havent missed a period.
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Morning Sickness Nausea And Vomiting During Early Pregnancy
Although its called morning sickness, it can occur anytime during the day or night. Its unclear exactly what causes nausea and morning sickness, but hormones may play a role.
During the first trimester of pregnancy, many women experience mild to severe morning sickness. It may become more intense toward the end of the first trimester, but often becomes less severe as you enter the second trimester.
Cramping And Spotting During Early Pregnancy
From weeks 1 to4, everything is still happening on a cellular level. The fertilized egg creates a blastocyst that will develop into the fetuss organs and body parts.
About 10 to 14 days after conception, the blastocyst will implant in the endometrium, which is the lining of the uterus. This can cause implantation bleeding, which may be mistaken for a light period. It does not occur for everyone. If it does occur, it will usually happen around the time you expect your period.
Here are some signs of implantation bleeding:
- Color. The color of each episode may be pink, red, or brown.
- Bleeding. Implantation bleeding is usually much less than your usual period. Its often described as light bleeding that never turns into a flow or enough to need a tampon.
- Pain. Pain is usually milder than your usual menstrual pain. It may involve some cramping. It can be moderate or severe, but its most often mild.
- Episodes. Implantation bleeding is likely to last less than 3 days and does not require treatment. It can sometimes last only a few hours.
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How Do I Work Out My Due Date
Most babies are born about 38 weeks after conception. Since many women ovulate and conceive about 2 weeks after their last period, this is often about 40 weeks since the beginning of their last period. Thats why people often talk about pregnancy lasting for 40 weeks.
Women with a regular 28-day cycle can calculate an estimated due date for their baby by counting 40 weeks from the first day of their last period. This may not be so simple or accurate in other situations, such as if you have long or irregular cycles, dont remember when you had your last period, or if you became pregnant while taking contraception that affected your cycle.
Use the due date calculator to calculate your estimated due date.
Folate And Folic Acid
Folate is a B vitamin that helps prevent birth defects in your babys brain and spine. Generally, people who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant need about 600 micrograms daily, starting at least one month before conception.
Foods high in folic acid to eat during pregnancy include fortified grain products , as well as foods like spinach, beans and asparagus. Its hard to reach 600 mcg through food alone, so a supplement containing at least 400 mcg folic acid is usually recommended to help reach the ideal daily dosage.
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How To Deal With It:
Youll probably want to invest in some different kinds of bras, which could be larger, made out of cotton, and underwire-free. Wearing a bra to bed might help ease the pain as well. Though your larger twins might look enticing to your partner, make sure you let them know that they are welcome to look, but touching should be kept to a minimum.
If you’re pregnant, your body is working hard to make another human, so you’re feeling tired for many reasons!
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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Kicking Your Smoking Habit
Smoking and taking other drugs is one of the most dangerous things you can do to your future baby. Smokers usually have a more difficult time getting pregnant than do non-smokers, and also have a higher rate of miscarriages.
If you smoke while pregnant, you also expose your unborn baby to toxic chemicals. This increases your babys risks of being born too early or with a low birth weight. We dont mean to scare you, but on a very serious note, smoking also increases risk of sudden infant death syndrome .
If you live with someone who smokes, ask them to smoke outside and away from you so youre not exposed to secondhand smoke.
Quitting smoking is tough! Let week 1 of your pregnancy be your motivator to stop.
Talk to your doctor about how to quit, or join a support group or program. You can learn more about your options by calling 800-QUIT-NOW.
What If I Have A Positive Pregnancy Test And Then Start Bleeding
About 25-30% of pregnant women experience some type of spotting or bleeding in early pregnancy. This can be a result of many different factors including implantation bleeding, infection, cervical irritation, ectopic pregnancy or a threatened miscarriage.
Many women who have this light bleeding go on to have normal pregnancies and healthy babies. About half of the women who experience some light bleeding will go on to have heavier bleeding that will ultimately result in miscarriage.Unfortunately, there is no way to predict whether or not vaginal bleeding will progress to miscarriage. If you experience light bleeding that continues to get heavier, accompanied by painful cramping, back pain or stabbing pains, then you would want to seek medical attention right away.
If you experience some very slight spotting that then goes away, you would want to make sure to share this with your healthcare provider so that they are fully informed of everything you are experiencing in your pregnancy.
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Food Aversions Cravings And Constant Hunger
Food aversions occur during pregnancy and are experienced by most women. You may enjoy some foods before pregnancy, but you may not like the same taste during pregnancy.
Moreover, it also happens that you may start to like foods that you have not liked before. Food cravings for certain tastes increase during pregnancy. However, these food aversions can happen throughout the pregnancy, and food cravings are more unstable during the early stages.
Will You Notice Any Pregnancy Symptoms During Weeks 1 2 Or 3
During weeks one, two, or three, you may not even suspect youâre pregnant and you might not notice any pregnancy symptoms at all, as itâs still very early. Donât worryâthis is common .Missing a period is often the first clue that you may be pregnant, and around the time you miss a periodâor a little laterâyou may start noticing those very early pregnancy symptoms. One common early pregnancy symptom is implantation bleeding, which is light spotting that occurs when the tiny ball of cells attaches to the uterine lining. Not everyone experiences it, but this light bleeding is normal and can sometimes be mistaken for menstrual blood. It usually happens 10 to 14 days after conception.Other signs of pregnancy in the first month can include
Morning sickness is another common symptom of early pregnancy, but it usually crops up between weeks 4 and 9.Now that you know these early signs of pregnancy, take our quiz to test your knowledge!
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Contact Your Obgyn As Soon As You Think You Are Pregnant
Call your OBGYN clinic as soon as you find out youre pregnant. When you call in, your provider will review your medical history to determine the timing of your first prenatal visit. If you are a woman with no medical problems and under the age of 35, your first prenatal appointment will likely be 3-4 weeks after your missed period.
Some women should be seen sooner than others. For instance, if a woman has a history of ectopic pregnancy , she should be seen within a couple of days. Certain other medical conditions warrant an immediate visit with the provider.
Note: Ectopic pregnancy is when a fertilized egg grows outside of the uterus, such as in the fallopian tube. The earliest symptom of ectopic pregnancy is typically light vaginal bleeding soon after a positive pregnancy test. If this happens, call your OBGYN to schedule an ultrasound right away. The ultrasound will identify if the fertilized egg is growing in the uterus or if it has attached somewhere else.
An ectopic pregnancy cannot be moved to the uterus and requires treatment such as medication or surgery. If the ectopic pregnancy continues growing to 5 or 5.5 weeks after conception, it could cause more serious complications, such as a ruptured fallopian tube, which can result in life-threatening internal bleeding. Symptoms of a ruptured fallopian tube include sudden and severe pain, abnormal bleeding, lightheadedness, and shoulder pain.