It’s not unusual for a woman to contact our office asking a key question: “Am I pregnant?” The signs of pregnancy can vary from woman to woman, especially in early stages, and well-meant advice from family and friends can add to the confusion. So here is a quick review of some early signs of pregnancy, as well as some ideas of how Life’s Choices can help you confirm a potential pregnancy.
AM I PREGNANT?
A missed menstrual period is often the biggest and most familiar hallmark of early pregnancy. What complicates this “sign” is that no woman’s period is perfectly regular and her cycle can be disrupted by changes in health, birth control or other medications, an increase in stress or other factors. Some women do not experience regular periods at any time, making a “missed period” hard to spot. However, a missed period is a good place to start when considering if you could be pregnant.
What are some other early symptoms? They can include feeling nauseous or even throwing up (and not just in the morning!), breast tenderness, increased need to urinate, feeling more tired than normal and unusual mood swings. Sound familiar? That’s because these symptoms can also be signs of an impending period.
TAKE THE TEST
The best way to find out if you are pregnant is to start with a pregnancy test, which involves a simple trip to the bathroom and testing your urine. These tests look for hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), a hormone that is present in higher amounts when you become pregnant. HCG is usually detectable as soon as four days before your expected period. The test we use in our office is 99 percent accurate when taken the first day of your expected period.
In fact, coming to our office for a pregnancy test is a great idea! We make sure our tests are in date and stored at an appropriate temperature (to increase accuracy) and the test will be performed by a trained client rep.
CONFIRM WITH AN ULTRASOUND
What surprises some clients is that a pregnancy test, while a reliable indicator of pregnancy, is not considered verified proof of pregnancy. But no worries, we can help with that by performing a confirmation ultrasound at or after six weeks since your last menstrual period (LMP). This is the point in time that our technician can determine an embryo in the uterus, detect a beating heart and also give an estimated date of pregnancy. All of these factors are important as a woman plans what to do next with the news of a pregnancy, whether planned or unexpected.
By coming to our office to confirm a pregnancy, women not only get a solid confirmation of the pregnancy but also find an empathetic, professional person to talk over next steps with them.
SO … ARE YOU PREGNANT?
Not sure if you are pregnant? Contact our office for a pregnancy test appointment. We offer two options currently: coming to our Kutztown or Hamburg office for an in-person test, or arranging to pick up a take-home test packet. Either way, once the result of the test is available, we can help you decide what’s next on your pregnancy journey.
Let us know how we can help you or someone you know answer the question, “Am I pregnant?”
Schedule a (completely free) appointment with us today to confirm your pregnancy. Depending on what you need, we would love to provide you with a free pregnancy test, confirmation ultrasound or another one of our resources.
We’re continuing to take necessary precautions and abide by guidelines for the safety of you and our staff. At this time, we ask that you set up an appointment before coming in. Thank you!
**1. Herschorn, Sender. “Female pelvic floor anatomy: the pelvic floor, supporting structures, and pelvic organs.” Reviews in urology 6.Suppl 5 (2004): S2.
2. Huseynov, Alik, et al. “Developmental evidence for obstetric adaptation of the human female pelvis.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113.19 (2016): 5227-5232.
3. Dr. Eric Hazelrigg, OB/GYN, Oral Interview, 4/11/19
4. Napso, Tina et al. “The Role of Placental Hormones in Mediating Maternal Adaptations to Support Pregnancy and Lactation” Frontiers in physiology vol. 9 1091. 17 Aug. 2018, doi:10.3389/fphys.2018.01091