Pregnancy is a time of great joy and excitement, but as soon as you become pregnant, you might be experiencing various pregnancy symptoms. After unprotected sex, you may conceive as early as ten days and start experiencing early signs of pregnancy within a few weeks. You may start feeling nauseous, also known as morning sickness, which can happen anytime throughout the day or night. However, not everyone feels these early pregnancy symptoms. One more evident sign you would notice is a missed period; it is the most reliable and earliest pregnancy symptom. So, if you're thinking about when to take a pregnancy test? You may take one as soon as you have missed a period after having unprotected sex. But remember that missed periods can also occur due to hormonal imbalance, stress, excessive exercise, and a diet deficient in nutrients. Therefore, taking a pregnancy test is important. By 10-15 days, the at-home pregnancy test kit may detect the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels in the urine, resulting in a positive pregnancy test. Once you get a positive result, go to a healthcare provider for a blood test and ultrasound to confirm pregnancy (1) (2).
With every passing week during different stages of pregnancy, you may experience several pregnancy-related symptoms and other effects, such as pregnancy insomnia, headaches, nausea, stretch marks, mood swings, food aversions, and cramping. You may also experience implantation bleeding, which may occur as light bleeding or spotting during pregnancy. It happens after ten days of conception (2). However, if you're bleeding heavily, it is best to contact a physician, as this might be a sign of a miscarriage. The risk of pregnancy loss is higher during the first trimester and may occur due to conditions such as ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, and chemical pregnancy. But do not fret, as these cases are rare (3).
After the first trimester, the risk of miscarriage drops to 1-5% (4). However, there are other pregnancy complications you must be aware of. This may include difficulty sleeping due to a growing belly, frequent urination, body aches, stress, heartburn, and pregnancy acne. However, following a healthy lifestyle and well-balanced diet, along with taking prenatal vitamins and regular check-ups, can help manage these conditions and complications. Using a pregnancy pillow under your growing pregnancy belly or between your legs, and lying on the left side when sleeping or resting is very helpful (5). A good pregnancy massage can also provide relief from pregnancy-related muscle and joint pains, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve blood circulation. However, make sure to get a massage from a professional who knows prenatal massage techniques. Also, avoid getting a massage during the first trimester or in the case of a high-risk pregnancy, or talk to your physician before getting a massage (6). There are also some conditions, such as cholestasis of pregnancy (7), hyperemesis gravidarum, preeclampsia, and pregnancy diabetes (gestational diabetes) which may occur specifically in pregnant women (8). These are diagnosed clinically and require medical assistance and treatment along with lifestyle changes.
As your pregnancy progresses, there are also various apps that work as pregnancy calculators to keep you updated about your pregnancy trimesters. These apps can provide information regarding the progression of your pregnancy week by week, including how the fetus is growing and developing, the signs you may experience, and may even work as a pregnancy due date calculator (9). Some apps also help to track your pregnancy weight as per the pregnancy weight gain chart. There are also several pregnancy care centers and resource centers to help pregnant women with every information and assistance they need.
In our pregnancy category page, we've included expert-written articles to help you assist in your journey of pregnancy. From knowing how to get pregnant to learning the earliest signs of pregnancy and even some useful pregnancy tips to have a healthy pregnancy, the page has all the pregnancy-related information. You may even find articles on pregnancy announcement ideas, pregnancy photoshoots, and clothing tips to ensure that you enjoy this beautiful journey to the fullest. So, explore the different articles with your partner or family as you begin your pregnancy journey.
Essential oils and their soothing aroma may alleviate pregnancy-related symptoms
Lack of research on its effect raises doubts about its safety for pregnant women.
Nosebleeds can be scary but do not panic, for they are mostly benign.
Stay hydrated and maintain proper dental hygiene to avoid this bothersome oral problem.
Pick the right sour cream during pregnancy to avoid infectious diseases, including listeriosis.
Probiotics are not just for better digestion but also help prevent severe pregnancy complications.
Safely alleviate stiffness, aches, and tension by applying heat to specific body areas.
See a chiropractor when pregnant, but observe caution if you have complications.
Fermented tea may offer some benefits, but it might not be safe during pregnancy.
A temporary drop in the body temperature after ovulation might indicate pregnancy.
A healthy and savory option to add to your pregnancy meals with a dash of caution.
A reliable contraceptive method with a relatively lower risk of side effects.
While the timing of the pregnancy test to read positive may vary, it typically takes around ten days after conception for home pregnancy test kits to detect hCG levels in urine and, thus, test positive for pregnancy (10).
You can take an at-home pregnancy test after 10-14 days of unprotected sex or as soon as you miss your period (10).
You can start experiencing signs of pregnancy, including vomiting and morning sickness, as early as four to six weeks of pregnancy. However, the missing period occurs at around 14 days of conception (1).
Yes. There are cases where the women started feeling pregnant right from the first week of pregnancy, even before they missed their periods (2).
Having a pregnancy discharge is common. In fact, it protects the mother and the baby from several vaginally transmitted infections. The healthy vaginal discharge is usually thin, clear, or milky white in color and does not smell bad (11).
After a medical or surgical abortion, you start ovulating again less than a month, even before you have your next menstrual cycle. However, it is advised to refrain from having sexual intercourse at least after two weeks of abortion or until your bleeding stops ( 12).
In general, most women gain around two to four pounds (1-2kgs) of weight during the first trimester and then one pound (0.5kgs) per week for the rest of the pregnancy term. However, the recommended weight gain may vary for different groups. While it is recommended to gain at least 10-25 pounds or (4-11kgs) of weight for overweight women based on their pre-pregnancy weight, underweight women are advised to gain at least 28-40 pounds (13-18kgs) of weight. Similarly, women with twin pregnancies should gain 37-54 pounds (16.5-24.5kgs) (13).
During early pregnancy (first trimester), a woman may experience implantation bleeding, which appears as spotting or small drops of blood or brownish vaginal discharge. This may last for a few days to a week and is perfectly normal (2). However, if the bleeding is soaking a sanitary pad within a few hours, you must consult your obstetrician.