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HOW TO KNOW IF I’M PREGNANT: 11 EARLY SIGNS OF PREGNANCY

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early signs of pregnancy

Do you feel pregnant? Didn’t you take a post-pill, morning-after pill, or contraception? Or you just feel weird in funny ways? Well, check out these early signs or symptoms that are associated with the early stage of pregnancy as early as one week even before you miss your period. Perhaps you already experienced some of them, it’s best you visit a drugstore to get a PT-strip or see an OB-Gynecologist.

Table of Contents

11 EARLY SIGNS OF PREGNANCY

1. SORE BREASTS
One the very early signs of pregnancy are sore breast as they may feel extra tender or bloated. Some become really sensitive to touch and feel heavy. This is because, in early pregnancy, you produce more estrogen and progesterone; thus, the glands in the breast start growing too. The production of these baby hormones (i.e. estrogen and progesterone) makes the breasts retain fluids. This in turn causes the breast to swell and sensitive.

2. ‘PREGNANCY NIPPLES’
Baby hormones also alter the activities of the cells in the nipples of your breast responsible for color. Thus, the nipple appears darker than usual. For ladies with a darker complexion, this color difference may not show till later in pregnancy.

3. BLOATING
You can easily mistake bloating for a sign of PMS instead of pregnancy. This is because; it results from an increased level of progesterone in the body. However, in PMS, the bloating stops when your period comes. But, if the bloating doesn’t stop and your period still didn’t come be ready to get a test done. You may start finding it hard to fit in your skinny jeans, bodycon dress, and miniskirts.

4. FATIGUE
Your body works all round the clock daily to support the baby when you are pregnant. Thus, you get tired of practically doing nothing. You may sit down all day and still be tired. However, the fatigue is not as a result of any physical activity you indulged in; but from the pregnancy. Because you produce more baby hormones (progesterone), your basal body temperature increases and this causes lack of energy.
Another reason for fatigue during pregnancy is that your heart pumps faster to supply enough oxygen to both you and the baby. These internal workings tire you out.

ALSO, READ 14 Possible Benefits Of Drinking Coconut Water In Pregnancy

5. IMPLANTATION BLEEDING
After fertilization (when the sperm fertilize the eggs), implantation occurs. This may result in light vaginal spotting or implantation bleeding. And many times, people mistake it for a period but here are a few differences
• It is generally lighter than a normal flow
• Spotting takes less day than a normal flow
• Spotting is usually brown or pink while a normal flow is red

IMPORTANT NOTICE
In the first trimester, three major things may be the possible reasons for bleeding though there are more and they include
 Miscarriage
 Ectopic pregnancy
 Certain types of infections
Thus, we advise that you always notify your doctor when you think you are expecting so that you can get appropriate care.

6. CRAMPS AND BACKACHE

cramp

source; MOM356

It is certain that a large percentage of ladies tend to mistake early signs of pregnancy, for PMS symptoms. However, they are both caused by growth of the uterus and changes in the hormonal balance in the body. These cramps are actually triggered by IMPLANTATION (this is when the fertilized egg of the woman attaches to the wall of her uterus). Thus, the uterus stretches a little which in turn causes cramps or backaches and only about 30% of women experience this ‘Cramping After Conception.’

7. NAUSEA
This symptom also has to do with baby hormone (progesterone). Among the many other symptoms that accompany the increase of progesterone in the body, nausea is one of them. And this is because it causes a lot of things in the body to slow down. And this includes the digestive process in the digestive system which results in constipation and even indigestion. Because the digestive process is slowed down, the stomach attempts to purge some of it out either through the mouth or the other exit.
Nausea may also result from the increase of (hCG) human chorionic gonadotropin in the body. Note that hCG is also a baby hormone as you can find it in a mother’s blood or urine even before she misses here period.

8. FREQUENT URINATION

People often think that this symptom appears later; when the baby starts to press on your bladder. However, this is untrue for some ladies as this start almost immediately after conception.
Furthermore, frequent urination can also be as a result of the extra blood flow to the kidneys. And this causes them to produce more urine. Although this may be bothersome, it is advisable not to cut back on fluid intake.

9. CONSTIPATION
Food may not pass through as quickly as it ought to because your digestive process has slowed down in the digestive system. The same baby hormones responsible for bloating also cause constipation. This constipation may increase as the pregnancy progresses.

10. BASAL BODY TEMPERATURE
To measure your basal body temperature, use a special digital basal thermometer to check your oral temperature first thing in the morning. Your constant temperature rises by a degree when your egg is released and this remains till your period. Thus, if your basal body temperature has not decreased for more than a week, it should be a baby on the way.

11. NOSE NUISANCES
Because the blood volume is increasing, it puts more pressure on the very delicate vessels like the ones found in the nose. Thus, nose bleed, nasal congestion, and runny nose are quite common in pregnancy. The baby hormone (estrogen) makes the blood vessels dilate; therefore, contributing to the swelling off the mucous membranes found in the nose. Also, the increased progesterone in the body also contributes to it.

In conclusion, one of the most classic signs of pregnancy is a “missed period”. While a significant percentage of women keep tabs on their period cycle, others just don’t see the importance. Some of the symptoms above start to show up even before you miss your period. Although stress, mood, and temperature, can delay your period; it should not be mistaken for pregnancy. Thus, we advise you to check with a pregnancy test strip or any other apparatus at your disposal.

ALSO, READ 21 Useful Tips To Improve Your Chances Of Pregnancy

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Pregnancy

3 Professional Tips For Successful Pregnancy After Two Miscarriages

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a woman stained with blood after a miscarriage

 


Have you had several miscarriages, or you have lost hope of conceiving again, then this article will lighten you up, and help you get pregnant conveniently, and avoid frequent miscarriages.

Recurrent miscarriage can be your worst nightmare and experience, it invites fear, anxiety, and pains, but don’t give up on your motherhood dreams, the excitement that comes from being a mother has always been blissful. So cheer up because in this article you will find useful tips on how to plan a healthy pregnancy and stay safe without the fear of losing your baby.

ALSO, READ 18 REASONS YOU ARE NOT GETTING PREGNANT

COMMON CAUSES OF MISCARRIAGE


Miscarriage is the death of an embryo that occurs spontaneously before the 20th week of pregnancy. According to research, close to 10 to 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Chromosomal abnormality in the developing embryo is the commonest cause of miscarriage. Health conditions like uncontrolled diabetes or problems with the cervix or uterus can also cause miscarriage.
Miscarriage normally takes place once, and the majority easily conceive after it. A study shows that below 5% of women have two consecutive miscarriages, and only 1% of women have three or more consecutive miscarriages. It simply means that there is a high 75% chance to conceive again. After three miscarriages, there are still 65% chances of getting pregnant again without the fear of miscarriage.
Some major causes include:
⭐ Hormonal imbalance
⭐Chromosomal abnormalities
⭐ Thyroid disorder
⭐ Physical complication
⭐ Immunological disorder & chronic illness
⭐Use of drugs, alcohol, or tobacco during pregnancy. etc.
These are some of the major causes of miscarriages in women, some are caused by the activities you engage in or things you consume that could cause alterations, while others are as a result of the reactions or disorders in the body.

USEFUL TIPS TO PLAN A SUCCESSFUL PREGNANCY AFTER TWO MISCARRIAGES


1.Take a break

Miscarriage can cause a very deep feeling of loss, and internal pains both emotionally and physically. It’s painful to think that the baby you have been preparing for is no more, taking a break will help you recover from the shock emotionally and physically.

For conception to take place your entire body system must function properly so that you have a healthy and safe pregnancy. It is advisable you wait for two months or more before trying to get pregnant again. If you had a late miscarriage then you should wait for 6months or more before conceiving again, if you are 35 years or above, then you need to try soon because time is no longer on your side, waiting will not do you any good.

2.Recovering physically

After the miscarriage, the body is still weak and unstable, the uterus needs some time to be strong again and ready to nurture the embryo. It takes time for the lining of the endometrium to become healthy and strong again after a miscarriage.

If the body is not yet fit for conception then another miscarriage might spring up. Doctors usually advise that women should wait for some months before planning another pregnancy in order to have a safe and healthy pregnancy.

Taking a good decision and having a health plan to ensure your next pregnancy is safe aids your baby’s development and growth. You can take some folic acid supplements and prenatal vitamins some months before conception. Your weight should also be in check, excess weight affects conception and pregnancy, ensure to include physical activities in your day-to-day routine. Consume a healthy diet and reduce the quantity of caffeine intake, avoid drugs, smoking, drinking, and do not be exposed to radiations and stress.

3.Consult a medical Gynecologist
After a miscarriage or series of miscarriages consult a gynecologist, to give you medical guidelines on how to plan for a safe pregnancy and also recommend some tests to identify any health challenge that may cause further complications in the future. You may be placed under medication to prepare the body for conception and avoid further miscarriages.

CRITICAL DIAGNOSTIC TESTS
Here are some tests a doctor will recommend to detect any disorder or imbalance before trying to conceive again.

1.Blood Test
A blood test will indicate if there is an underlying problem with the immune system or the hormonal balance in your body.

2.Chromosomal Tests
Couples should undergo this test. It helps to detect any chromosomal abnormalities, that may cause a miscarriage.

3.Ultrasound
An ultrasound test makes use of sound waves to produce images of the internal organs. The doctor may recommend an abdominal scan to get the images of the uterus.

4.Hysteroscopy
Hysteroscopy is a test whereby the doctor inserts a small telescope, through the cervix into the uterus. He examines the openings of the Fallopian tubes and the wall of the uterus to check for any underlying effects or alterations.

5.Sonohysterogram:
During this test, a doctor injects fluid into the uterus through the cervix. It’ll enable him to identify any issue in the lining of the uterus.
The outcome of your test results determines the medical advice and treatment that will be given by your doctor to ensure that your next pregnancy is safe and healthy. You can always have a safe and healthy pregnancy if you are in a state of peak health and a sound mind.

ALSO, READ PREGNANCY AT AGE 50; IS IT ADVICEABLE?

REFERENCE:

1. 3 Expert Tips For Successful Pregnancy After Two Miscarriages

2. All About Pregnancy After Miscarriage | Parents

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18 REASONS YOU ARE NOT GETTING PREGNANT

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Why you're not getting pregnsnt




To an extent, the sight of pregnant women and babies on screen and in your neighborhood could even Intensify your cravings to become pregnant (usually as a married person). You are ready to conceive or give birth and pregnancy is not forthcoming, it becomes something to worry about, and finding the cause and possible solution is paramount. The joy of motherhood, conceiving and carrying your own baby, is what almost every woman craves.

There are many reasons why a woman of reproductive age would find it difficult to get pregnant. These reasons differ among individuals, depending on your body mechanism. Apparently, most people don’t get pregnant at their first attempt. Whether this is your first attempt at conceiving or you’re beginning to count months of futile efforts, be aware that there are some infertility mysteries that could cause havoc to pregnancy. Below are some that may be stopping you from getting pregnant.

1. Stress

stress
This can be as a result of undue pressure on the body which then causes internal tension. Stress causes the body to wear out. You burn out a lot of energy that could mediate the hormones in the body to be very active and perform their various functions in the body, both sexually and metabolically. It affects you emotionally, mentally, and physically, you can’t function under stress, your body too. Conception requires stability, for proper hormonal activities to take place.

“When you’re stressed, your adrenal system takes a hit. Your body isn’t going to say, ‘Okay, let’s get pregnant.’ Learning to say no and to take time for yourself is important for improving your chances of having a baby.” Says Via Bitidis, co-director of the North Toronto Naturopathic Clinic. The naturopathic doctor opines that balance and calm are a crucial part of trying to conceive.

Megan Karnis, medical director of The ONE Fertility Clinic in Burlington, Ont., agrees with a word of caution: “A lot of women think the best thing to do when you’re stressed is to take time off work. In my experience, that doesn’t help, because it makes a woman feel she has to get pregnant in that time, and then the stress to get pregnant is so much higher,” she says. Instead of altering your day-to-day routine entirely, Karnis recommends counseling, art therapy, meditation, and exercise to reduce stress levels.

2. Lack of Sleep
Sleep is the state of reduced consciousness during which a human or animal rests in a daily rhythm. It’s also an act of total body shut down for adequate rest. Inadequate sleep delays menstruation as a result of induced stress and will also alter your ovulation.
Some chemical substances stimulate sleep. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that stimulates sleep response, and if this is missing one could find it difficult to sleep well. Lack of sleep (or its inadequacy) induces stress which affects and weakens the immune system. This reduces the strength of the immune system to release antigens and antibodies that fight against infection or other foreign bodies that invade the body. It also limits the chances of getting pregnant.

Karnis adds that “This applies to men as well. Infections can cause fever and that excess heat can damage the sperm temporarily.” Furthermore, she said, “Women who don’t get enough sleep can also start to feel anxious, which may cause missed periods.”
Keeping yourself healthy is the baby bottom line, so set the PVR to record Mad Men and enforce a new bedtime.

3. Unstable Cycle
“A lot of women don’t understand their own cycles,” says Bitidis. Most people were taught the normal 28-day cycle in high school, but women are different and cycles differ in duration. You will find it easier to conceive if you observe your ovulation and have sex at the right time.
“We teach women that ovulation is two weeks before your period. Most people think that it’s two weeks after, but that’s only if you have a four-week cycle. The biggest thing is timing.
“We also teach people about sperm life—they can live for three days in the cervix, so you don’t have to have sex on the day of ovulation, it could be the day before. We also find that a lot of people don’t know that lubricant decreases sperm motility and transfer, so you shouldn’t use lubricant when you’re trying to get pregnant,” says Karnis.

4. Weight Problem
Weight can actually affect conception. Underweight or overweight individuals find it pretty difficult to get pregnant. “An undernourished body can cause a change in ovulation and alter ovulation.” Says Bitidis. “In the same vein, too much weight can have a great effect on fertility.”
“Just being over your ideal weight decreases your chance of getting pregnant even if you are ovulating regularly.” Says Karnis. “The further you stay above 25 on the Body Mass Index, the worse it gets,” Bitidis adds that maintaining a healthy diet and developing a reasonable exercise routine will do wonders for both your mind and body.

5. Bio-Feedback
Planning for pregnancy in a year’s time might be a good decision if you’re preparing to raise a family soon. It could help you adjust your lifestyle. If you want to try it out now, note that it can take time. Experts say it takes up to a year to get pregnant, but If you are worried that it’s been long enough, speak to your healthcare personnel about your alternatives, for fertility counseling and treatment.
There are people who struggled and battled with pregnancy, but they eventually conceived when they calmed down and allowed it to come on its thought. Just have a positive thought, relax, and conception will take place. Most times pregnancy occurs when you least expect it, be sure to worry less.
If you want to have sex, do it right and the right number of times. Dr. Curtis recommends having intercourse every day or every other day during your most fertile period. Try to know your most fertile period and stick to it, more than that could exhaust your spouse’s sperm count. Less than that and you may miss that crucial fertility timing.

6. You Are Too Preoccupied
No matter what you do, pregnancy cannot be planned. Lots of women take about six months or more to have a regular cycle after they quit contraceptives. Ovulation would likely not take place until the cycle is normal or regular.
Pro Tip: Take some months to study and monitor your cycle, and note your ovulation. If there’s no ovulation, then seek medical attention. Conception becomes easier when you know your cycle.

ALSO, READ Ovulation Symptoms: 7 Signs of Ovulation

7. You Depend On the “Good Enough” Idea.
Thinking you are “good enough” will not help you get pregnant.
Can you monitor and understand your ovulation? It will be difficult to conceive if you can’t because some women have their ovulation in their mid-cycle. Cycles are peculiar to every woman. Some have 21 days, 28 days, and others as far as 31.

A lot of women ovulate 14 days before their periods, for instance, if you have a 24-day cycle, ovulation would be within day 10. If you have irregular periods or you can’t remember the last time you menstruated, this info can be quite confusing for you.
Another regular mistake is not counting from the first day of your cycle. The first day of menstruation is the day you start bleeding –not the second or previous day. Fertility can come down to hours, you should know the accurate timing of your cycle.
Dr. Curtis suggests using ovulation predictor kits, available over the counter. Keeping a calendar to track your cycle can be helpful. Using an online ovulation predictor or a mobile phone app works too.

8. Turning Blind Eyes to Your Worries
Settle down and resolve any health challenge before you try to conceive. You might be concerned about your constant irregular cycle or ovulation issues. You may have diabetes or other health challenges. It’s ok to be worried, more importantly, don’t try to ignore those worries. You should put everything in check before trying to get pregnant. Seek medical attention from your doctor.

9. Keeping an Unhealthy Lifestyle
A lot of women expose themselves to risk factors, especially ones that promote infertility; alcohol, smoke, drugs. The early stage of pregnancy is a very sensitive period of foetus development and you have to be mindful of what you consume. When it comes to alcohol, smoking and drugs behave as if you are already pregnant, because they are dangerous for you and impede conception.

10. Anovulation
Conception needs a sperm and an egg; If you don’t ovulate you can’t conceive. Anovulation is always an issue for conception, it can be stimulated by changes, conditions, and hormones.
Posterior Capsular Opacifations (PCOs) is one cause of anovulation. Others could be underweight or overweight, thyroid dysfunction, primary ovarian insufficiency, excessive exercise, and hyperprolactinemia.
Many women suffering from ovulation problems always have an irregular cycle. Nevertheless, a regular period does not guarantee ovulation. If you are having irregular cycles, see a doctor immediately for medical advice.

11. Too Quick to Move Out
There is a scientific and anecdotal backing here. You do not need to rush to the bathroom to wash off or douche; it’s better to lie flat on the bed, hips elevated, within 20 to 30 minutes after sexual intercourse to allow the sperm to go in well. This can be a remedy to about 80% of infertility issues.
Although douching might seem like a natural next level in your pregnancy making procedure, it’s obviously not nice. Douches can act as a spermicide, changing the PH of your vagina. “This has been shown to impair fertility,” Dr. Curtis says.

12. You Are Not Trying Long Enough
The question of how long have you tried, maybe a factor. For some, conception comes easy, but most women don’t conceive as easy as it is pronounced — it may take a longer process before conception can occur. You might want to check how long and consistent you have been. It could be that you really have not done much.
Close to 80% of women conceive after 6 months of trying, about 90% get pregnant in 12 months of trying to conceive. This can occur if you have a well-timed and planned intercourse monthly.

13. Your Man Is the Problem
Women are to conceive but it takes two to make it work, yeah? 20 or 30% of couples having fertility problems, notice fertility issues in the man, while 40% discover infertility in both couples.
One Important thing to note is that male infertility is usually asymptomatic; they rarely show symptoms of any underlying conditions. Without analyzing the semen, a test that checks or measures the quality and quantity of semen and sperm, one would not know there’s a problem. If you are seeing a doctor, make sure the both of you are properly tested.

14. Age-Related Infertility
Age affects fertility too. For women above 35 and men above 40, it could take a longer time to conceive. Some think having regular and normal cycles means they are safe, but it’s far from the truth. Your age affects egg quality and quantity.

15. Underlying Medical Problems
Some underlying medical conditions. For instance, undiagnosed diabetes, hormonal changes or imbalance, or a thyroid imbalance could cause infertility. When it’s not properly comprehended, depression is likely to occur in infertility. Autoimmune diseases, like undiagnosed sexually-transmitted infections and lupus, can lead to infertility.

Prolonged Untreated Infection
Infection is also one of the major causes of infertility. A prolonged infection destroys the endometrium and fallopian tubes, reducing your chances of conceiving. It affects both the man and the woman. In cases like this, early diagnosis and treatment help to prevent further damage and infertility.

• Blocked Fallopian Tubes
Ovulatory issues account for almost 25% of infertility in women. Others can be issues with uterine structural problems or endometriosis and blocked fallopian tubes.

The fallopian tubes happen to be the footpath between the uterus and ovaries. The fallopian tubes do not connect to the ovaries directly. The Sperm must swim up from the cervix, through the uterus, and then into the fallopian tubes.

When an egg is released from the ovaries, hair-like projections from the fallopian tube go close to the egg internally. Conception occurs in the fallopian tube, where the egg and sperm finally meet. If something stops the fallopian tubes from functioning very well, hindering the sperm and egg from meeting, you can’t conceive.

There are so many causes of blocked fallopian tubes. Most women with blocked fallopian tubes have pains in the pelvic region, others do not have or rarely have symptoms. Only fertility tests can ascertain for blocked fallopian tubes. An HSG is a special type of X-ray used to check if the fallopian tubes are opened. It can be requested by your Obstetrician or Gynecologist (OB/GYN).

• You Have Endometriosis
Endometriosis occurs when the endometrium-like tissue (a mucus membrane that lines the uterus) is found in other places outside the uterus. It has been evaluated that 59% of women with this medical condition will find it difficult to conceive.
The commonest symptoms of endometriosis are pelvic pains (besides menstruation), and painful period. Nevertheless, not all women that experience this majority discover it during their infertility checkup.

16. No Testing or Treatment
Most couples with infertility issues, delay testing and treatment. The majority sit back and wait for miracles to occur. This is a mistake because most causes of infertility worsen as the undiagnosed disease progresses. The earlier you discover the cause, the easier for fertility treatment to work for you and for you to conceive. If you have been trying to get pregnant for a year, please seek medical attention.

17. Unexplained Infertility
About 10 to 20% of couples find no cause for their infertility. Some doctors would attribute this to a lack of proper diagnosis. To them, there is no such thing as “unexplained” infertility.
The truth is, even if there is no explanation for your infertility, you should still take medication to boost your fertility rate and avoid things that could expose you to infertility.

18. You’re Blaming Yourself
When infertility issues surface, we normally ask if the woman is the cause. According to Dr. Curtis, “cases of infertility are about 40 percent male, 40 percent female, and 20 percent a combination of both partners.”
Often the expectant woman runs to see her doctor for medical diagnosis, which is the wrong ¬– diagnosis should be done on both couples. The truth is it takes a healthy couple an average of 6 months to one year before conception can take place.

MEDICAL REFERENCE

  1. https://www.todaysparent.com/getting-pregnant/5-reasons-youre-not-getting-pregnant/
  2. https://www.parents.com/getting-pregnant/trying-to-conceive/get-pregnant-fertility-help/

ALSO, READ 21 Useful Tips To Improve Your Chances Of Pregnancy






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Online Ovulation Calculator & Calendar- Calculate your fertile window

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ovulation calculator




OVULATION CALCULATOR

Calculate ovulation

First day of your last period

Length of your cycle

ALSO, READ Ovulation Symptoms: 7 Signs of Ovulation






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