Think you may be pregnant? If yes, then likely you’re looking for every little symptom to confirm your suspicions. The important thing is, don’t panic! Adding stress to the mix can affect the way your body functions, making it seem like you’re pregnant when you actually aren’t.
One of the first steps to figuring out whether you are pregnant is to learn how pregnancy works, from implantation and conception to common pregnancy symptoms. Then, you’ll want to know how early you can take a pregnancy test and what happens next if you find out you’re pregnant. Listed below you can find some helpful information to guide you through the process of confirming a pregnancy.
How Conception and Implantation Works
The process of conception is the fertilization of an egg, or where the sperm meets the egg in your uterus. The fertilization turns the egg into an embryo that will continue to develop into a fetus as the pregnancy continues. Conception can only occur after ovulation. Ovulation is on average a 24-hour cycle of the egg being released. Sperm can live in the woman’s body for 3-5 days. If sperm is present during the time of ovulation, then conception can occur. If you are not currently ovulating, then conception cannot occur.
After fertilization, the process of implantation occurs, where the embryo actually attaches to the uterus, which is needed for further development. During this stage, women are likely to experience symptoms similar to periods, including cramping and light bleeding. Because of this, it is often confused as a period.
Common Symptoms of Pregnancy
While the symptoms listed below are all signs of early pregnancy, it’s important to consider your menstrual cycle, as well as current events and possible stressors in your life. Many of these symptoms may stem from something other than pregnancy. In addition, the possibility of being stressed or anxious about pregnancy can cause you to have these symptoms, even if you are not pregnant.
- Spotting or light bleeding. If you are pregnant, this is likely due to implantation.
- Missed period. The most common sign of pregnancy, but it’s also possible to still get your period in the early stages of pregnancy.
- Frequent urination. This is due to an increase in blood supply during pregnancy.
- Swollen breasts.
- Fatigue. This can be because of increased hormones in your body after conception.
- Nausea. Similar to fatigue, increased hormones also heighten your senses, like increased sensitivity to smell.
When Can I Take A Pregnancy Test?
Before taking a test, it’s extremely important to wait until you’ve missed your period. First, this eliminates the possibility that the symptoms you may be experiencing are from something else. Second, urine pregnancy tests are most effective after a missed period. Urine pregnancy tests identify the pregnancy hormone hCG that is present after conception, so the more time after your missed period you give yourself to take the test, the more accurate it will be.
While at-home pregnancy tests can be accurate, it is still possible you can receive a false-negative, meaning that the test appears negative even if you are pregnant. While false-negatives are rare, this usually occurs because the pregnancy is still in the early stages, resulting in not a high enough level of hormones to be detected on a urine test. To eliminate the possibility of a false-negative and increased accuracy of test results, visit a pregnancy resource center, like ABBA, for a no-cost and confidential lab-quality pregnancy test.
Your Next Steps
If you do find out you’re pregnant, the next thing you’ll want to receive is an ultrasound. Ultrasounds are used to confirm the pregnancy and determine how far along you are. This information is extremely vital in considering your next steps and pregnancy options. In addition, ultrasounds are needed to determine the viability of your pregnancy and identify the risks of miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. You can receive a no-cost and confidential limited obstetric ultrasound from ABBA after a pregnancy test.
After your confirmed pregnancy, you’ll need to spend some time thinking about and becoming educated on all your options. This part of the next steps can be intimidating with so much information to be considered, but it’s important to remember that this is your choice and this isn’t a decision that needs to be rushed. If you would like more information and unbiased advice on your options such as parenting, adoption and abortion, contact ABBA for an appointment with our professional and nonjudgmental staff to have all your questions answered.
No matter what happens, don’t panic. Stress can lead to rushed decisions and adverse health effects. Always remember that you have the time and resources to make an informed decision, and the support of the ABBA staff during your journey.
If you are or think you may be pregnant, ABBA is here for you. Our professional staff offers no-cost and confidential pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and options information to help you make the best decision for your body and health. Contact ABBA to learn more about our services and to make an appointment.
ABBA A Women’s Resource Center does not perform or refer for abortions.