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Know About Early Pregnancy Sign, Symptoms and Tests

Early Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms

 

Pregnancy is a time when a new life is developing inside a woman's body, and she goes through a range of physical and emotional changes. Knowing the early signs and symptoms of pregnancy can better assist women in preparing for the journey ahead.

Here are some of the most common early pregnancy signs and symptoms:

Cravings and Aversions

Many women experience cravings and aversions to certain foods as one of the early signs of pregnancy. Hormonal changes cause these changes in appetite and can vary from woman to woman. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of green vegetables and fruits can help support a healthy pregnancy.

Missed Periods

One of the most obvious symptoms of pregnancy is a missed period. If a woman's menstrual cycle is regular, missing a period can strongly indicate that she may be pregnant. However, there are other crucial factors that can cause a missed period, such as stress or certain medications. It's essential to take home pregnancy tests to confirm pregnancy.

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting, also regarded as morning sickness, is one of the common early signs of pregnancy. They are caused by the hormonal changes that occur in the body during pregnancy. Vomiting can occur at any time of the day, and it can range from mild to severe. Eating small, frequent meals and avoiding foods that trigger nausea can help manage morning sickness.

Constipation

Constipation is a commonly faced problem by many women in early pregnancy. The hormonal changes can slow down the digestive system, leading to constipation. Drinking plenty of water, eating high-fibre foods, and getting regular exercise can help prevent constipation.

Spotting

Some women may undergo light bleeding or spotting in early pregnancy. This is often caused by implantation bleeding, which takes place when the fertilised egg implants itself into the uterine lining. However, spotting can also be a sign of a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. It's significant to talk to a healthcare provider if spotting occurs.

Changes in Breast

Breast changes are also a common early symptom of pregnancy. The breasts may feel sore, swollen, or tender to the touch. The nipples may also darken and become more sensitive. These changes are caused by hormonal changes in the body.

Read more: Breast Cancer : Myths vs Facts

 

Different Tests To Determine Pregnancy

HCG Blood test

The HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) blood test is often used to confirm a pregnancy, especially in cases where the results of a home pregnancy test are uncertain or inconclusive. It can also be used to observe the progress of a pregnancy, assess the health of the foetus, and diagnose certain medical conditions. It is a medical test that measures the amount of the HCG hormone in a woman's blood. There are two types of HCG blood tests:

Quantitative HCG blood test:  This test measures the exact amount of n the blood. It can detect even small amounts of the hormone in the blood. The high levels of beta HCG in the test convey that a woman is pregnant. However, it's important to note that HCG levels can vary widely in early pregnancy and are not always a reliable indicator of the health of the pregnancy.

Qualitative HCG blood test: This test only detects the presence of HCG in the blood. It is less sensitive than the quantitative test and is often used as a follow-up test to confirm a positive home pregnancy test or to rule out pregnancy in cases where the results of a home pregnancy test are unclear.

UPT Test

The urine pregnancy test (UPT) is a medical test used to detect the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) hormone in a woman's urine. The placenta generates the HCG hormone after a fertilised egg implants in the uterus, and its levels increase rapidly in the early stages of pregnancy. The UPT test is highly accurate and can detect pregnancy as early as 1-2 weeks after a missed period. It is often the first test used to confirm a pregnancy and is widely available over the counter at drugstores and pharmacies.

 

Different Tests Done During Pregnancy

NST Test

During pregnancy, the NST (Non-Stress Test) is used to evaluate the well-being of the foetus. The test is called a non-stress test because it is non-invasive and does not cause stress to the foetus or mother. The NST is typically performed in the third trimester of pregnancy, especially if the mother has a high-risk pregnancy or medical condition that could affect the health of the baby.

Read more: All women should undergo these health screenings

Group B Streptococcus (GBS) Tests

The GBS test is a swab test that checks for the presence of bacteria in the mother's vagina and rectum. GBS can be passed to the baby during delivery and can lead to serious infections. If the mother tests positive for GBS, she will be given antibiotics during labour to reduce the risk of infection in the baby.

Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)

CVS is another invasive procedure involving taking a placenta sample to diagnose genetic conditions. This test is usually only recommended for high-risk pregnancies or if there is a family history of genetic conditions.

Pregnancy involves various tests that are used to monitor the health of the mother and child, identify potential complications, and ensure safe delivery. These are a few of the tests that may be recommended during pregnancy. It is essential to follow the recommendations of healthcare providers and attend all scheduled prenatal appointments to ensure a healthy journey of pregnancy and safe delivery.

 

Final Thoughts

Recognising the early signs and symptoms of pregnancy is crucial for expectant mothers to take appropriate measures to ensure a healthy pregnancy. If anyone suspects they may be pregnant, it is important to consult the healthcare provider to confirm their pregnancy and receive the necessary prenatal care.

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