This question - Am I pregnant? - is one that most women ask,
whether they're trying to conceive or trying not
to conceive. Among those who are TTC
(trying to conceive), it's usually a crazy two
weeks between their ovulation or the fertility
treatment they've gone through until the pregnancy
test. (If you've already gotten a positive, see
our early pregnancy
Every little thing can become a 'definite'
sign in either direction - "I'm not nauseous, so
I couldn't possibly be pregnant." or "My breasts
are sore, I must be pregnant."
Surviving the two week wait is tough.
You try not to think about it, but you can't get it
out of your head & everything reminds you of it...
Often, it seems like that's the only thing
happening in the world.
Unfortunately, it takes time to find out.
In this world where we're so used to having phenomenal
amounts of information instantly at our fingertips,
it seems odd that to find out something so important
takes so long...
After fertilization (which generally happens
in the fallopian tubes), it takes time for implantation.
Even after IVF, implantation doesn't take place immediately.
Some embryos begin to implant and then don't develop.
Some begin to develop but aren't strong enough to continue.
This is why, even though some HPTs (home pregnancy tests)
or EPTs (early pregnancy tests) say you can test even
before your missed period, it isn't always the best
idea... You could get a faint positive 2 days before
you miss your period & then get your period a few
days later because the pregnancy didn't take. If this
happens, it's not usually a sign that anything's wrong
& it doesn't mean anything about what will happen
TTC without fertility treatments:
You can know pretty accurately when your ovulation is.
If your period is regular, you can calculate that it's
between 11-16 days before you expect your next period
(generally around 14 days) & if it's not regular,
you can buy ovulation
& use them to find out when your ovulation is. You
can test for pregnancy 15-16 days after a positive ovulation
test, or 14 days after ovulation.
TTC with fertility treatments:
Since you'll know the exact day of your treatment, you
can test 14 days later. Be careful not to test too early,
since medication containing Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
(hCG) can give a false positive if it is still not out
of your system. These medicines include Novarel, Profasi,
and Pregnyl. Make sure to ask your doctor how soon you
can test! Usually after fertility treatments, the clinic
will want you to perform a quantitative hCG test --
(blood test). It's a very good idea to test even if
you have no pregnancy symptoms. Think of it as closure.
It's how I found out I was expecting twins... (see my
It's rare to have any
symptoms until at least a week after
ovulation or embryo transfer.
If you're taking progesterone, it can
mimic pregnancy symptoms or it can also make you feel
like you're period is on its way.
You might be pregnant if
you're having symptoms that keep getting stronger
Tenderness in the breasts
A general feeling of "something different"
A sensitivity to scents
Note that morning sickness frequently starts only in
the 5th or 6th week of pregnancy!
You might be pregnant even if:
You don't have any symptoms
You feel like you're getting your period (though
strong cramping is usually not indicative
In the meantime:
Plan fun things to do
Enjoy the fantasy that you might be pregnant
Take good care of yourself -- eat healthy, drink
enough water, sleep well
Disclaimer: The information
on this page is provided for informational purposes
only and is not intened to be medical advice. If you
have any questions, make sure to consult with your physician.
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questions & simple answers:
Q - My stomach hurts - does this
mean I'm pregnant?
A - It definitely doesn't mean you're pregnant.
It's probably not related & if anything, it may
have to do with stress or something you ate.
Q - I feel bloated. Could I be
A - It could be a sign of pregnancy, but a 'bloated'
feeling is too common to draw any conclusion based on
Q - I've been really nauseous
in the morning - does this mean I'm pregnant?
A - No. Usually pregnancy won't make you nauseous so
Q - I’m nauseated but haven’t
missed my period yet. Is it too early to take a pregnancy
A - It is probably best to wait until you have missed
your period, but testing a day or two beforehand can
sometimes work as well.
Q - I threw up twice. Am I pregnant?
A - See the previous answer.
Q - I suddenly can't stand the
smell of coffee, does that mean I'm pregnant?
A - Pregnancy can make you sensitive to smells and can
make you feel like you don't want to eat or drink something
you normally enjoy. This feeling could also be caused
by other things.
Q - I have heartburn. Does that
mean I'm pregnant?
A - No. You can have heartburn because of any number
of reasons. It is rare to have pregnancy-related heartburn
prior to a positive pregnancy test. Take an antacid
& feel good!
Q - Is it possible for me to
be pregnant even if I haven't noticed any changes?
/ My home pregnancy test is positive,
but I don't feel anything different at all. Is this
A - Absolutely. Some women are spared the infamous morning
sickness (known by some of its sufferers as all-day-sickness).
Some even report not feeling anything different for
the first few months.
Q - Can you feel like you are
getting your period and be pregnant?
A - Absolutely, many women find the symptoms to be identical.
That's one of the reasons it's so hard to guess if you
are or aren't.
Q - Can i feel implantation?
A - Some women report "knowing" that
they are pregnant from the moment of conception. I have
searched medical journals but have not found any evidence
that this is possible.
Q - If I missed my period, how
long should I wait until I take a pregnancy test?
A - If you've already missed your period, a home pregnancy
test should be sensitive enough to show positive if
you are pregnant. Remember that sometimes ovulation
is delayed, so that a negative test is not conclusive,
until you get your period. If your period is very late
and your pregnancy test is negative, consult with your
Q - How can I tell if I'm pregnant
without taking a pregnancy test?
A - You'd probably be certain within a few months, but
if you want to know any time in the first few weeks
of the pregnancy, it's pretty hard to be sure without
taking a pregnancy test.
Q - How early can an EPT (early
pregnancy test, also known as HPT - home pregnancy test)
A - Some women report positive results as early as 8-9
days after ovulation. Normally, a day or two before
your missed period (assuming your cycle is regular and
depending on the sensitivity of the test), an EPT done
early in the morning will show at least a faint positive
if you are pregnant.
Q - I got a faint pink line on
my EPT. Am I pregnant or not?
A - A faint pink line on an EPT (early pregnancy test)
is considered a positive result. An EPT should always
be followed up by a visit to your doctor to make sure
the pregnancy is developing normally.
Note: If you have taken any fertility
drugs containing hCG, make sure that you have
waited a sufficient amount of time (usually 7-8 days)
before using an EPT. Testing too early can give you
a very disappointing false positive.
Q - How long should I wait before
taking a home pregnancy test (also referred to as HPT
A - Ideally, you should wait until
your period is due (see the note above). Some tests
are able to detect a pregnancy a few days earlier. A
negative result on a test taken early is considered
inconclusive because the hormone level may be too low
to detect a pregnancy. If your result is negative and
you believe you might be pregnant, wait 2-3 days to
allow the hormones to rise and then test again. As always,
a positive test needs to be followed up by your doctor.
Q - I'm not sure if I'm pregnant
or not - is it safe to get the H1N1 vaccine against
swine flu? / Is the swine flu vaccination safe for pregnant
A - the NHS (UK National Health
(see exact text here)
states that both types of vaccines (Pandemrix and Celvapan)
are licensed for use in pregnant women. "Licensed
vaccines, including influenza vaccines, are held to
a very high standard of safety and would not be licensed
if they were unsafe."
They go on to say that "the seasonal flu vaccine
has been given to millions of pregnant women at all
stages of pregnancy and has an excellent safety record,
with no reported safety concerns. This is why in the
UK, and many other countries, vaccination against seasonal
flu is recommended for pregnant women, whatever the
stage of the pregnancy."
Research conducted by Jamieson
et.al (2009) and funded by the US CDC (Center for
Disease Control) has shown that "pregnant women
might be at increased risk for complications from pandemic
H1N1 virus infection". Additionally, pregnant women
seem to be at increased risk of contracting the virus.