Could I be Pregnant?
For most women, this is a very exciting time! You may be counting the days, the hours, the minutes until you can take that pregnancy test…only to "hover" over it, praying that a line will appear!. On the other hand, this can be a very frightening time; especially if you were not planning a pregnancy. My goal is to guide you through your stages of pregnancy, and give you the tools and the knowledge you need to make informed decisions during your labor and delivery.
Q. What symptoms could indicate that I am pregnant?
A. Early pregnancy symptoms include: Links
- Breast tenderness and swelling Pregnancy Tests
- Nipple discharge hCG levels in pregnancy
- Fatigue Urine versus blood test?
- “Food cravings”
- Frequent urination
- Mood swings
Q. When is the earliest I can take a pregnancy test?
A. There are an abundance of pregnancy tests on the market, some claim that you can test “five days before your missed period”. See the link “Pregnancy Tests” for more information
Q. What pregnancy test should I use?
A. This depends on how soon you are testing. If you are late for your period, you should have enough hCG in your urine to test positive with most pregnancy tests. See the link “pregnancy tests” for more information.
Q. What is hCG?
A. Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a human hormone made by chorionic cells in the fetal part of the placenta.
Q. Can I get a false positive result?
A. A false positive is rare. It is possible to see an “evaporation line” that may look like a “weak positive”, that is why it is important to read the directions on the particular test that you are taking. Evaporation lines can appear after 10 minutes or so after taking a pregnancy test and can be mistaken for a positive result. This is why most tests instruct you to read your results after approximately 3 minutes.
Q. Can I still get pregnant even if we didn’t have intercourse?
A. Yes. I recently spoke with a young woman who is 36 weeks pregnant, and she is a virgin. When she told her mom that she was “pregnant” she tried to explain to her mom that she did not have sex with her boyfriend, and that she was still a virgin. Her mom accompanied her to her doctor’s visit, and sure enough her “hymen” was still intact, her doctor assured her mom that she was in fact a virgin. If sperm comes in close contact with the vaginal area, it is possible for the sperm to “propel” themselves up into the vaginal canal.
Q. I am cramping, but I still haven’t started my period… what is wrong? Could I still be pregnant?
A. Cramping is very common in early pregnancy. This is normal, and does not necessarily indicate that there is a complication. I would wait a couple of days and then repeat a pregnancy test. Not every woman has a 28 day cycle, nor does every woman ovulate at exactly the same time each month.
Q. I had a very “faint” positive pregnancy test, does this mean that I am pregnant?
A. Even a “faint” line indicates that you are pregnant. The line may be faint due to a number of reasons, you may have just started to produce hCG, and your levels are not that high yet.
Q. I had a positive pregnancy test, but I am having some light bleeding and cramping, is this normal?
A. Yes. In early pregnancy, some women experience implantation bleeding, and some experience “spotting” throughout their first trimester. See “Bleeding in Pregnancy”. Cramping is also a common symptom, some women feel as though they are getting ready to “start”, and the cramping can get quite uncomfortable. This usually subsides in your second trimester (12 weeks) or so.
Q. I have taken several pregnancy tests, they are negative but I still haven’t had my period and I feel pregnant…what is going on?
A. It is possible that you conceived later than expected and you haven’t produced enough hCG to show a positive pregnancy test. I recommend waiting a couple of days and testing your first morning urine. If you continue to get negative pregnancy tests, you should talk to your doctor about a blood pregnancy test (a serum hCG).
Q. I have had a positive pregnancy test, now what?
- You need to call to set up your first OB appointment. This appointment takes place at approximately 8 weeks, although some offices do vary, some women do not have their first OB appointment until 10-12 weeks.
- If you are smoking, this is a great reason to stop! You also want to avoid all alcohol.
- Until you see your doctor you can purchase prenatal vitamins over the counter, or you can call your doctor for a prescription. You want to take your prenatal vitamin daily.
- Ensure that you are eating a healthy, well-balanced meal at least three times a day; and drink plenty of water!