How Long Does It Take to Find Out If You are Pregnant
*This is a guest post by Susy Richards who is a pregnancy researcher, freelance writer and mommy blogger.
How Long Does It Take to Find Out If You are Pregnant?
So, it has been a few weeks since you last engaged in intercourse, and although you have yet to miss your period, you are experiencing what you feel may be early signs of pregnancy.
These symptoms include:
- sensitive breasts;
- cravings for strange foods;
- body aches;
- shortness of breath.
You may be wondering how soon can I take a pregnancy test?
While the only sure way to find out if you are pregnant is to take a blood test at your doctor’s office, most doctors will not do a pregnancy test until after you have missed your period. Therefore, you may want to take a home test first. The accuracy of these test will depend on the type you are using.
Here are some tips for choosing a pregnancy test. At home pregnancy tests measure the amount of the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) in your urine. The sensitivity of the test is described on the package. Tests range in sensitivity from 10mlU/ml to 40mlU/ml – the lower the number, the more sensitive the test is. More sensitive tests will be able to detect a positive pregnancy earlier. However, the best time to test is around the time your period is due.
Your chances of getting pregnant have a lot to do with your age. Those in their early 20’s are most likely to become pregnant. However, chances of conceiving are still high up until your mid-30’s. However, a woman at any age can maximize her chances of conceiving by tracking her cycle and figuring out when she ovulates. Then, engaging in intercourse up to five days before and two days after your ovulation date. Most women ovulate about 14 days after their period, but everyone is different.
How Far Along am I?
Once you are certain you are pregnant, you may be wondering exactly how far along you are in your pregnancy. There are many pregnancy due date calculators available on the internet to help you figure out your due date. Of course, your doctor can also help you figure out how far along you are. To figure out your due date, your doctor will begin counting about 28 days from your last missed period. If you are tracking your cycle as recommended above, this will also help you and your doctor figure out how far along you are.
Pregnant – now what?
First of all, congratulations! Pregnancy is a wonderful thing, and a magical experience. There is nothing quite like growing a new life inside of you.
After you determine your child’s due date. You will want to choose your doctor or midwife. Ask yourself, what kind of birth experience would you like to have? Many women choose to go to a hospital for their birth. However, home births are becoming more popular.
Next, you will want to determine when you should announce your pregnancy to others. Many women choose to announce some time during their first trimester. Most families and friends will be very excited for you and may even want to throw you a baby shower. Announce at least mid-way through your pregnancy to give those who love you time to plan this event. Also, it is helpful to be able to talk to friends and family about your pregnancy.
One of the most exciting parts of pregnancy is tracking your child’s development. Growing fetuses change incredibly fast. Try tracking your child’s growth each week; this will help you keep your spirits up and help you connect with your baby.
Brainstorm some baby names and begin “nesting” – designing and planning your child’s nursery. Many women find this incredibly satisfying and comforting while pregnant. Planning ahead for your child will help you to feel more sure and secure. Therefore, it is important that you begin tracking your finances and planning for your child’s arrival.
What to Do When Pregnant
The first thing to do when you find out your pregnant is to try and live a healthier lifestyle. If you are a smoker, drinker, or someone who engages in recreational drug use, end these behaviors immediately! You don’t want to harm the little life growing inside of you!
Learn more about what to expect during your pregnancy. You will experience many body changes and early pregnancy symptoms, especially during your first trimester. Being prepared for these symptoms will help you manage them.
Take note of your overall health, and learn about things to avoid eating and drinking during pregnancy. It is important to begin eating a balanced pregnancy diet and engage in an appropriate exercise routine. Begin taking a prenatal vitamin and try to ensure you are getting enough folic acid. Remember to stay hydrated and get plenty of sleep. However, avoid drinking tap water.
You may experience common health problems, such as a sinus infection during pregnancy. Learn about medicines which you can take that will not harm your child. For example, acetaminophen is considered safe to take while pregnant, and may help alleviate symptoms of colds and sinus infections. There are also many natural, gentle remedies available which will be safe for both you and your child while you are pregnant. Your doctor and midwife can help guide you towards choosing appropriate medications and natural remedies for many ailments.
They can also help alert you to things you personally need to steer clear of during your pregnancy, such as tobacco, caffeine, various toxins. Certain activities should also be avoided, such as extreme sports, or anything that could raise your body temperature too high, such as a hot tub, sauna, or electric blanket. Other things to avoid include x-rays and exposure to pesticides.
Depending on the pets you have in your household, you may need to change your engagement with your animal friends. Avoid contact with reptiles and fish, and never clean a litter box while pregnant.
Overall, pregnancy is a wonderful experience. Your healthcare provider can help guide you towards healthy behaviors which will ensure that the little life inside of you will come out healthy and happy.