How do I Know if I’m Pregnant?

If you have been regularly having sexual intercourse without contraceptives and trying to have a baby, then one of the biggest questions you may be asking yourself is, how do I know if I’m pregnant? The early signs of pregnancy can be quite subtle, and knowing what to watch out for is a good way to make sure that you don’t miss it when you do actually become pregnant!

What are the early signs of pregnancy?

The very earliest signs of pregnancy tend to vary from woman to woman as no two bodies are exactly the same. However there are a number of particular signs to watch out for, and these include:

  1. Morning sickness is possibly the most well known sign of pregnancy. Some women don’t actually vomit as a result of morning illness, and just feel nauseous. Morning sickness is caused by a number of different changes that take place as a pregnancy takes place. Hormones like oestrogen and human chorionic gonadotropin are produced in much larger quantities as the pregnancy begins, with oestrogen levels increasing as much as 100-fold, and that is thought to be a major factor in morning sickness.
  2. You might find that you need to urinate more often than usual, which is a very common sign of pregnancy. This is actually a sign which will continue for months, and is a classic sign of pregnancy. At the beginning of a pregnancy this need to urinate more frequently is a consequence of an increase in the amount of blood passing through your kidneys, while in later pregnancy this sign is actually just caused by the weight of the baby applying extra pressure to your bladder.
  3. Increased breast sensitivity is also a typical sign of pregnancy, and occurs as a consequence of increased hormone levels. Oestrogen and progesterone are two female hormones which are produced in abundance during pregnancy, and one of their effects is to cause the breasts to grow larger, and often, nipples to protrude and areolas to darken. This is in preparation for breast-feeding a few months down the line.
  4. Constipation is also a sign of pregnancy, if perhaps a less flattering one. It is however perfectly natural, and can carry on intermittently throughout a pregnancy. Progesterone, one of the key hormones which is elevated during pregnancy changes how your body processes food. Basically the rate at which food passes through your digestive system is slower, and an effect of this can be constipation.
  5. Changes in appetite are another consequence of hormone activity. You may find you suddenly lose your taste for food and drink that you otherwise love, or vice versa, you may suddenly find yourself craving foods that you otherwise wouldn’t.
  6. Fatigue is another common sign of pregnancy. As your body undergoes massive changes to prepare for the development of a baby, you may find yourself running low on energy which presents as increased tiredness.

Confirming a pregnancy

If you observe some of these signs in yourself, then the next step is to confirm the pregnancy through easy to access pregnancy tests. Pregnancy tests are now a standard provision at most chemists and supermarkets. They are easy to use, and are fairly accurate with about 90% of their results proving accurate. If you test positively for a pregnancy on one of these home tests, you will usually need to follow the result up with a doctor who will schedule a more conclusive screen, and arrange the various other medical preparations needed for a pregnancy.

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