A missed period is the most obvious sign that you may be pregnant,
although this is not always very reliable as many women experience
irregular cycles. Periods can also be affected by stress or anxiety,
often brought on through the desire to conceive. However, there
are many indications that you may experience, even before you miss
a period and ultimately do a pregnancy test.
These are some of the indications that you might actually be pregnant.
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms now is the
time to find out for sure.
- Missed or late period
- Feeling nauseous or actually being sick
- Feeling constantly pre-menstrual
- Your breasts may feel tender and heavy
- You feel unusually tired or irritable
- The loss of appetite for certain foods while developing a craving
- A strange metallic taste in your mouth
- There may be an increase in your normal vaginal discharge, without
- You may find that you need to pass water more often
- You may be constipated.
From the very early stages of pregnancy the placenta produces hormones
and pregnancy tests work by detecting the particular hormone, human
chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). This is best found in the first urine
you pass in the day, as this is the most concentrated.
Doctors' surgeries and pharmacies and family planning clinics offer
a free pregnancy testing service but you will probably have to wait
at least 24 hours for the results. Alternatively, home testing kits
are readily available and are even on sale in supermarkets. Positive
results from these kits are generally about 99% reliable and you
can do your test as early as four weeks after conception. However,
some more expensive kits can now detect pregnancy just a few days
after your period is missed. If the results of your test are negative
then it could be because there is not enough of the pregnancy hormone
to show up in a test. If this is the case and your period still
does not start, then do another test in a week's time.
It is important to make an appointment to see your doctor as soon
as you have confirmed that you are pregnant so that he/she can make
arrangements for your antenatal care and delivery.
Testing for pregnancy could not be easier with DIY kits, and all
are reputable, although quite expensive. Although these kits are
very accurate they can be affected if you are having hormone injections
containing HCG or IVF treatment. In these instances a false positive
result can occur.
This kit claims to be able to confirm pregnancy within just a day
of a missed period and includes two tests in one kit. For this test
you have to urinate over the end of a plastic sampler first thing
in the morning, when the pregnancy hormone is most concentrated.
The sampler is then inserted into two plastic wells in turn, for
ten minutes. It is then rinsed under a tap of cold water and examined
to see if it has turned deep blue. If it has, then you are pregnant.
If it is only light blue then you should do a repeat test in a few
This is a quicker test, consisting of just one step and should also
be done first thing in the morning. With the tip of the sampler
held downwards it is held in the stream of urine for five seconds.
The end of the sampler is then secured in its plastic cap and the
two windows in the side of the sampler are examined. A thin blue
line appearing in the bigger window confirms pregnancy. As with
the Clearblue kit, this test also claims to be able to detect pregnancy
on the first day of a missed period.
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This kit is very accurate and can confirm pregnancy as early as
two days after a missed period. A sample of urine is collected first
thing in the morning and is mixed with a reagent in a little tube,
following the instructions supplied with the kit. A plastic indicator
is dipped into the urine for a variable amount of time. Usually
thirty minutes if your period is two days late; five minutes if
it is more than five days late. However, the indicator should not
be left in for longer than forty-five minutes as this can result
in a false reading. A positive result is indicated by the indicator