A term which is a very amazing and challenging phase in every woman’s life. To get pregnant and have those tiny tiny feet is indeed a boon. It is a life changing experience , which binds the whole family and especially both the partners. Pregnancy is full of surprises be it from initial phase of conception till full term. It is important to understand the signs and symptoms, because sometimes it could be confusing.
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However, pregnancy technically is little complicated process that has several steps. It all starts with a sperm and an egg. So, if you consider the main actor and actress of the movie they are the egg and the sperm. Egg being the female lead, sperm as male lead.
Sperms are microscopic cells that are made in testicles in a man. Sperm mixes with other fluid to make semen. Semen comes out during ejaculation. Millions of sperms are present in semen . However only one sperm can meet the egg for pregnancy to happen. Rest other get destroyed.
Egg is released every month from ovaries after ovulation phase of menstrual cycle. Sperm meets egg , fertilizes the egg and embryo develops.
Fertilization occurs and embryo develops, developed embryo gets implanted in the lining of the uterus and gradually start growing and forming the organs and body parts, and thus develops a fetus . When implantation is completed so , the pregnancy has begun, technically.
The wonderful and new phase of life has started, For some people it may be a long wait, while for some a cute surprise. The road might be little bumpy but the end result would always be cute and loving.
However, this new change in body also causes changes in hormones. Here are the few changes in hormones that occur during pregnancy, they are as follows;
Estrogen and Progesterone are considered to be main female hormones.
Normally during menstrual cycle , there is a change happening in hormone levels.
But, in pregnancy, the levels of estrogen and progesterone increase drastically during pregnancy.
Estrogen increases and reaches peak in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy.
Progesterone increases to larger degree in pregnancy.
The function of increased pregnancy during pregnancy is as follows;
Estrogen helps in improving the formation of blood vessels.
Transfers nutrient to the fetus.
Supports the developing baby.
Progesterone causes laxity or loosening of ligaments and joints.
It is one of the important cause of increasing the size of uterus during pregnancy.
Confirmation of pregnancy is usually done by Ultrasonography or other pregnancy tests. However, there are other signs of pregnancy. The earliest sign usually noticed by the female is Missed period; but , however there are other symptoms as well which indicate that female is pregnant. In some cases when a woman has irregular menses, confirmation about pregnancy can be achieved by performing tests or Ultrasonography. Also in such cases other signs and symptoms may be prevalent.
When do the pregnancy symptoms start?
Symptoms may start as early as first week of conception. First week of conception is usually considered to be the last menstrual period, even if fertilization has happened or not. Symptoms may start in first week itself but, may become noticeable after missed period, which is noted in 4th week.
There are many myths associated with signs and symptoms of pregnancy, but the question is 'How to understand whether you are pregnant? What are the common first signs of pregnancy?' So here is the answer, Lets , understand the common signs of pregnancy, which may not be giving you a hint towards pregnancy but are actually considered as signs of pregnancy.
Cramping and Spotting
Raised body temperature
Changes in bowel and bladder habits
Sensitivity to smell or foods
Acidity like symptoms
Let us now understand the individual symptoms mentioned above, which would give us an idea as to how one would really feel if she is pregnant.
1. Cramping and Spotting : From first to fourth week, pregnancy is still at cellular level. Fertilized egg creates blastocyte which develops the organs of baby. Bleeding or spotting occurs during implantation. Bleeding may be very light or spotting may be noted which may be mistaken as period. Colour of the bleeding may be pink, red, brown. It may last for 3 days and usually does not require doctor. Pain could be cramp like and intensity could be mild , moderate, severe.
2. Missed Period : Once implantation has happened, there is increase in HCG hormone level. There could be no period noted, usually considered as the first noticeable sign of pregnancy. If periods are irregular then pregnancy test could give a confirmation. Missed period is often a common and famous sign of pregnancy. So missed period in a way is considered as a Good news. periods occur because the released egg has not been fertilized , but if sperm fertilizes the egg then, one may not get periods and missed periods would be noted.
3. Raised body temperature : After conception, there is lot of up and down in the hormonal levels. These levels affect various metabolisms of body, one of them being increased body temperature. So initially, a woman may note increased body temperature or feeling of feverish, but it can be due to pregnancy or conception. It is very important to keep hydrated at this point of time . It can correspond to fatigue or tiredness too, but , if you have doubt then its always better to get checked for pregnancy.
4. Increased Heart rate : Because of lot of hormonal changes occurring during pregnancy, slightly irregularities may be noted in a woman. Arrhythmia or palpitations could be felt by the woman when she is pregnant., So it is very common to feel, palpitations or raised heart rate and that could be one of the signs of pregnancy. One very common phenomenon noted is increased body temperature causes increase in heart rate, hence it is also associated with increased body temperature.
5. Fatigue : Implantation and growing embryo can cause a feeling of tiredness or fatigue. Also, development of placenta needs lot of nutrients from body of female, hence, even development of placenta may cause fatigue in the females. Increased levels of progesterone is also one of the cause of fatigue. Important tip here is, take rest whenever you feel like, eat proper food and remain healthy.
6. Mood changes : If you are pregnant you, may feel, anxious, irritable or depressed. The reason behind these mood swing is hormonal change. Raised estrogen and progesterone caused changes in mood frequently. Anxiety, depression or fear could be felt owing to the changes occuring in the body due to pregnancy and overall hormones.
7. Changes in bowel and bladder habits : The amount of blood pumped during pregnancy increases , due to that there is increase in fluid levels . Thus, there increase in frequency of visit to the washroom. Constipation , bloating is a common symptom noted during menstrual cycle, however, Constipation could be due to hormonal changes . So always check if u miss period n also feel bloated , you may be pregnant.
8. Morning Sickness : One very famous symptom noted in pregnancy. Morning sickness is feeling of vomiting or nausea after fertilization, specially in the morning. Increased levels of HCG hormone could be one of the main reason for feeling, dizzy, nausea or vomiting sensation. Sometimes, female may notice morning sickness before any Other symptom. So try to think if you are pregnant.
9. Sensitivity to smell or food : Growing embryo and hormonal changes lead to loss of sensitivity or increased sensation of smell. It is commonly seen that during pregnancy, female may develop liking towards food may be she has never had or liked or vice versa. All this is because of the hormonal shift causing changes in senses. So developing some likes and dislikes towards special food , pregnancy could be a possible cause of that.
10. Weight gain : Gaining weight is very common and essential too during pregnancy. It is essential for having a normal and healthy child. A woman may gain almost 10 kgs during the full term of pregnancy, however, in the initial period, you may feel heavy , bloated and may stuffed especially around breast or abdomen. This usually because of changes that are occurring in the normal breast size and shape. So changes in shape of breast or change in bra size could also be considered as sign of being pregnant.
11. Acidity like symptoms : Menstrual cycle shows many signs and symptoms that may mimic pregnancy. Heart burn is a very common feature noted during conception. Burning sensation in chest region Is noted very commonly. So acidity if present, while you are on diet then it could be due to pregnancy. So you can get checked for pregnancy.
12. Skin changes : Hormonal changes causes change in the pigmentation of skin and may also cause changes in the color or shade of the skin, Very common sites of pigmentation or rashes are neck, abdomen and face. Pregnancy related skin irruptions or rashes or boils may also be noted. Acne, oily skin may be seen, so if you are noticing changes in skin ,get yourself assessed for pregnancy test, it could be positive.
Notable changes during pregnancy
These are commonly noted changes , but, sometimes, these symptoms that have been mentioned can mimic some other health conditions. However, according to some cultural or traditional considerations, there could be other associated changes noted, which give a hint towards pregnancy. The hints may be as follows:
1. Glow on the face of female
2. Increased hunger
3. Feeling sleepy
4. Feeling like eating sour or sweet foodstuff.
5. Swelling in lower limb, specifically foot.
There needs to be a research on how true or false these traditional symptoms are but some of the aspects like feeling sleep or tired, swelling in lower limb could be true.
The reason being, placenta formation takes up lot of energy and hence, it may be very tiring for woman, which may make her sleep for long. Due to fluid retention swelling may be noted in feet.
So, traditionally people may consider you pregnant , even if you are not if they notice such symptoms. However, missed period is very classical symptom noted by female and her family. But, as mentioned earlier, pregnancy can give surprises any time, so the above mentioned symptoms along with other regular symptoms. So congratulations and enjoy the road ahead
The conclusion is that, pregnancy is a beautiful journey. There can be ups and downs, even there could be symptoms which would cause some major or minor changes in body. Woman may always get confused with these different body changes, and have dilemma whether its pregnancy or something else. Hence its a knowledge share to understand whether you are pregnant or no.