Pregnancy tests

The pregnancy test is the most common and available method to confirm or deny pregnancy.

There are two types of pregnancy tests:

–         the pregnancy tests using urine samples: these tests, also referred as urine home pregnancy tests or dip tests, are commonly used because they may be easily purchased from the drugstores and used at home. Usually a first – morning sample is preferred because it is the most concentrated. The home pregnancy tests based on urine are around 98-99% accurate when done properly, following the instructions. The urine home pregnancy test shall be stored at the room temperature and shall not be opened before using it.

–         the pregnancy tests using blood samples imply a visit to the medical office or to a health clinic and the collection of a blood sample to be analyzed. The accuracy of these tests is over 99,9%, allowing thus a quick and reliable confirmation or denial of pregnancy.

Both pregnancy tests are based on checking and measurement of the HCG hormone (human chorionic gonadotropin), also called the pregnancy hormone, which is produced only during pregnancy. After the conception, the placenta produces this hormone which may be found in blood and urine. The presence of the HCG hormone is detected through a blood pregnancy test as early 11 days after conception, and through the urine pregnancy test, after 12 to 14 days following the conception.

Sometimes the results of the urine pregnancy tests are negative because they are taken too soon, before the term when the pregnancy may be detected. This situation is common especially in young women and adolescents where the ovulation occurs later.

First early signs of pregnancy

Although your gynecologist may certainly and 100% confirm your pregnancy, there are several signs, symptoms and changes of your body that may indicate that you are pregnant.

However, it is extremely important to know as soon as possible whether you are pregnant or not because all vital organs of the child are formed during the first three months of intrauterine life.

Among all pregnancy signs, we have chosen 10 of the most frequent symptoms:

1. Delayed or missed period

However, this is not a reliable sign because the delayed or missed period may be brought about by several causes, such as hormonal issues, sudden weight gain or loss, fatigue, daily stress, etc.

If you are pregnant, your period is supposed to stop; however, you may experience, especially during the first 3 or 4 months of pregnancy, certain bleedings that might be easily taken for the period.

2. Enlargement of breasts

This sign is also a clue of pregnancy, especially if this occurs in a different period, other than the menstrual period. You may also experience breast itching.

3. Fatigue

The fatigue may occur even during the first pregnancy week due to the progesterone hormone. If you’re feeling exhausted, especially during the day, and you cannot find a plausible reason for your tiredness, this may be one of the first signs that you are probably pregnant.

4. Morning sickness  

The morning sickness occurs during the second pregnancy week and lasts until the eight pregnancy week, although there have been cases when the pregnant women claimed no such symptoms. Whereas most of the pregnant women start to feel the sickness especially during the morning, the nausea may also occur anytime during the day.

5. Frequent urination

During the pregnancy, your body produces larger volumes of blood and fluids and this leads to frequent urinations, especially during the night. Another cause thereof is also the development of the baby who starts pressing your urinary bladder.

6. Cravings or food aversions

Your appetite may be subject to significant changes during pregnancy. You may also experience the lack of appetite, although a typical sign of pregnancy consists in the increase of appetite or sensibility or evenadversity to certain food you used to eat.

7. Increased sensitivity to odors  

It is possible that during pregnancy, certain odors (such as gas, perfumes, etc.) may cause you significant states of discomfort or even nausea.

8. Mood swings

Due to the hormonal changes, you may experience different moods, such as extreme happiness, sadness, depression or joy. These mood swings are normal during this period and all you need to do is to look for and accept the support given by your partner and family. Read more about how to cope with mood swings and other early pregnancy symptoms.

9. Headaches and backaches  

While the headaches may chiefly occur during the first pregnancy weeks, the lower backaches may last over the entire pregnancy period, reaching higher intensities during the last pregnancy trimester.

10. Constipation

This is another pregnancy symptom brought about by the hormonal changes that slow down your digestion.

There are also several other pregnancy signs, such as the shortness of breath, nose bleeding, insomnia, a metallic taste in your mouth, darkening of your skin, etc.

It is also important to know that the presence of these symptoms and signs differs from woman to woman and from pregnancy to pregnancy. Also, some signs may indicate certain medical conditions and this is the reason we always recommend a thoroughgoing medical investigation.