If you think you might be pregnant, you’re probably looking early for pregnancy symptoms. This can be an anxious time for those possibly experiencing unplanned pregnancy, but the first step is to take a few steps back and try to relax. Sometimes, stressing out too much or looking for specific symptoms can trick your body into actually having those symptoms, even if you’re not pregnant. Before evaluating these early signs, give yourself a reasonable amount of time to evaluate your normal body changes and any other events going on in your life.
Listed below are common early symptoms of pregnancy, when you are likely to experience them, and at what point you should take a pregnancy test.
Listed below are early pregnancy symptoms. Keep in mind that there are several other factors in your body and life, like stress, change in appetite, PMS and illness that can cause you to experience these same symptoms. It’s important to take into consideration your normal body changes during these occasions and to what extent you usually experience them.
Conception is the process of the sperm and egg meeting and a new, unique life is created. Conception occurs after intercourse, usually a few days after ovulation, which is about 14 days after the first day of your period. At this point, a woman is technically pregnant even though the baby is not implanted and attached to the uterus.
As noted above, some early pregnancy symptoms include spotting, cramping or light bleeding. One of the reasons for this can be the process of implantation, where the baby starts development and attaches to the uterus. Implantation usually happens about nine days after ovulation (ovulation is when the ovaries release eggs, usually in the middle of your cycle, around day 14). Because of this, implantation is often mistaken for a period.
Before any pregnancy test, you should wait until you’ve missed your period. This eliminates any possibility that the early signs of pregnancy you might have are not actually tied to something other than being pregnant. Also, think back to your previous cycles: if you’re extremely regular, you can tell when a period is missed. If your period start date usually changes every month, give yourself a couple days before taking a test.
In addition, at-home pregnancy tests are most effective a few days after your missed period. So, if you don’t have a regular cycle and are giving yourself a couple extra days to verify, add a couple more days before taking the pregnancy test. This way, you can be sure that the test is as accurate as it can be.
It is also possible that you can receive a false-negative, meaning that the test will come back negative even though you actually are pregnant. False-negatives usually occur because a woman does not have enough pregnancy hormones yet to show up on the test that should indicate she’s pregnant. Rather than spending money on another pregnancy test, visit a local pregnancy resource center, like First Care, to receive a free and confidential lab-quality pregnancy test.
If the pregnancy test comes back positive, it is very likely that you are pregnant. False-positives are extremely rare. At this point, it’s important to stay calm and understand what to do next. First, to verify the pregnancy, you’ll need an ultrasound before anything else. Most pregnancy resource centers, like First Care, offer free and confidential limited-obstetric ultrasounds. After the pregnancy is verified, a friendly and professional staff member will talk with you and answer any questions you may have about your options.
If you are experiencing pregnancy symptoms, we’re here for you. First Care Women’s Clinic offers free lab-quality pregnancy testing, ultrasounds and other additional resources to serve you. Contact First Care to learn more about our services and to make your appointment.