Am I Pregnant?
Am I pregnant is a question asked by many. It’s discussed between two friends, mother and daughter, lovers, doctor and patient and of course it’s all over Yahoo Answers. I must admit I myself to have asked “Am I pregnant?” on a number of occasions.
Whether you are trying to concieve or are worried about failing contraceptives and wondering if there is a surprise in your near future. Either that missed period or a sudden onset of weird symptoms has got you thinking…. “Could I be pregnant?”
What is Conception? Conception is the actual process of becoming pregnant or, in other words, fertilization. This occurs when the male sperm meets the female egg.
So At What Point in my Cycle Am I Most Likely to Conceive? Many women ask this when they are trying to work out how to get pregnant fast but unless you are in tune with your body and are doing some charting or you have purchased an ovulation test. It may be difficult to pin point the exact date of ovulation. However, using an ovulation calendar can give you an idea on when you ovulate.
Say you have a 28 day cycle and the first day of your last period happened on the first of the month. Your most fertile day would be approximately 14 days later, so on the 15th of that month.
However, this does not mean that you won’t get pregnant if you do not engage in sexual intercourse on that day. As you are still quite fertile for approximately 3 days before. And there is no 100% guarantee that you will ovulate exactly 14 days after the first day of your menstrual period. But if you did have unprotected sex around day 14 and are now experiencing pregnancy symptoms. Then yes, there is a good chance that you are pregnant.
Can I Get Pregnant During Menstruation? Odds are you won’t get pregnant if have unprotected sex during menstruation. However, if for what ever reason your body decides to release another egg around this time. And the male sperm and egg meet in the fallopian tube. Then yes, you could possibly get pregnant. Therefore, if you are trying to prevent pregnancy from occurring it is best to use the proper protection at all times.
Birth Control Effectiveness
Not all methods of birth control are the same. Between the method of prevention and how well that type of birth control works with your body. The percentage of effectiveness differs. Other factors my also effect how your birth control works.
- Are you using your birth control correctly? Incorrect usage of your birth control and effect how well it’s going to work.
- Have you discussed with your doctor or pharmacist how any new medications will effect your birth control? Some medications, such as antibiotics, may significantly lower the effectiveness of your birth control.
- Do you remember to always use your birth control? Forgetting even just one day can lower the effectiveness of your birth control.
Types of Birth Control and Their Effectiveness Against Pregnancy
- Abstinence. Refraining from sexual intercourse is the only 100% effective form of birth control.
- IUD, Tubal Ligation and Vasectomy. These methods of birth control are approximately 99% effective against pregnancy.
- The Patch, the Shot, the Pill and the Ring. These methods of birth control are approximately 91-98% effective against pregnancy.
- Sponge, Male/Female condom, the “Pull out Method, and the Diaphragm. These methods are approximately 76-85% effective against pregnancy.
- Spermicides. This method is approximately 75% effective against pregnancy.
These numbers are based on correct usage of each method. Incorrect use will increase the chances of pregnancy. Please speak to your doctor about correct use and which method is best for you.
Early Pregnancy Symptoms
The thing about early pregnancy signs or symptoms is that they can also be something other than pregnancy. They can, in fact, mean that you are pregnant or you may have a problem with your hormones, be a result of convincing yourself you are pregnant, be signs of PMS or many other issues.
That being said, if you are experiencing some or all of these signs/symptoms you might be pregnant….
- Swollen, Sore or tender breasts and/or nipples– this symptom may be a result of oncoming menstruation. Or a sign of your hormones changing due to pregnancy. You may also notice that your areola (or area around your nipple) has also become darker.
- Implantation Bleeding– Spotting due to irregular periods may be mistaken for implantation bleeding. It is said that once the egg begins to burrow in your uterus, 6-12 days after conception, you may experience some light cramping and maybe even some spotting. Not all pregnant women experience implantation bleeding.
- Fatigue– Fatigue is a symptom of many things including pregnancy. This is due to the higher levels of progesterone your body is now experiencing and may be one of your very first symptoms.
- Nausea– Also known as morning sickness in pregnancy can also be explained by many other things. However, if you are pregnant this nausea is due to the increased levels of estrogen in your body. Some lucky women never experience morning sickness while other suffer with it throughout their whole pregnancy. Morning sickness does not necessarily have to be in the morning. It can be at any point in the day or it can be an all day nausea.
- Backaches– Backaches can actually start in the very beginning of pregnancy. However, they are more common near the end when the woman is carrying a lot of extra weight. There are also many other explanations for a backache. For example, a poor mattress.
- Frequent Urination– You may find yourself making more trips to the washroom than usual. However, make sure this is not a urinary tract infection you are dealing with.
- Dizziness– Dizziness in pregnancy is usually do to your blood pressure and your blood sugar being lower than usual. A low blood pressure and/or low blood sugar may be a result of other conditions as well.
- Mood Swings– Mood swings in early pregnancy are the result of your rapidly changing hormone levels. However, different life situations may also result in mood swings.
The biggest early pregnancy sign or symptom is a MISSED PERIOD.Of course there are also other explanations for missing a period. But if there is any reason you suspect you could be pregnant and you miss your next period. It is time to take a test.
Pregnancy tests are becoming more and more accurate. As a result you can even take a pregnancy a few days before your expected period and have it give you an accurate result. So if you have already missed your period and are wondering if you are pregnant or not. Get a test. It will give you a result.
When to Test
All pregnancy tests basically work the same whether you take one at your doctor’s office, buy one at your local pharmacy, or even buy one from dollarama. Both urine and blood pregnancy testing tests for the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone, or hcg. However, it is more easily picked up be a blood test. Therefore, a blood test will pick up this hormone sooner than a urine test.
Most tests claim to work approximately 3-4 days before your expected period. However, they are basing this on a particular cycle length. Usually 14 days between ovulation and your period. Therefore, if you normally ovulate later in your cycle a pregnancy test is less likely to pick up hcg than if you ovulate earlier in your cycle. So this 3-4 days before your missed period is just an estimate.
The later you wait to test the lower the chance of a false negative. For best results wait until at least one day after your expected period. If you have irregular periods wait for at least one day after your longest cycle. For example, if your cycle ranges anywhere from 21-30 days in length, it is considered irregular. And therefore, for the best results you should test on day 31.
And remember, a faint positive is still considered a postive.