Am I Pregnant / Could I be Pregnant FAQ
Am I Pregnant? Could I be Pregnant?
When a woman is concerned about the possibility of being pregnant, many emotions can swirl about confusing and frustrating them. Relax. It's hard to, but after having had intercourse you can't change that past event, and need to focus on what to do next. Although any sexual contact has the potential of leading to pregnancy (even pre-ejaculate on fingers can potentially inseminate a woman) it's genital penetrative intercourse (penile-vaginal sex) that has the highest likelihood of leading to pregnancy.
Over the counter urine pregnancy tests are similar in accuracy to the ones we physicians have in the office, and they are not accurate generally until 2 weeks after intercourse. There are options to reduce your risk of pregnancy before a pregnancy test could possibly be positive, and you should talk to your doctor about those.
More accurate than urine pregnancy tests is a blood test for the hormones that rise in pregnancy, and those are accurate over the first few months. The blood test is not routinely done unless a physician is:
1) concerned about the risk of an ectopic pregnancy (implantation in a place other than uterus)
2) after a miscarriage, following the beta HCG level to zero, showing that there is no remaining fetal tissue left in the uterus
Could I be pregnant?
If you had sexual contact, yes, you could be pregnant. It doesn't mean you are pregnant, but there is always a possibility. The list of symptoms below will give you a better idea if you're pregnant, but there are only a few way to be 100% sure you are pregnant, and these require time and a doctor's assistance.
MAYBE: It's possible you're pregnant if you have these symptoms:
- Missed period, this is the way that many women find out they're pregnant, but only works if they're very regular with periods
- Unusual or changed periods
- "Feeling pregnant"
- Nausea and vomiting, this is most common in the 1st 12 weeks.
- Feeling kicks of the baby in your belly
- Change in your sex drive
- Sore & enlarging breasts
- Peeing more
- Appetite changes, with regard to type and amount (when extreme this is called "pica")
- Extra small bumps on your nipples, called "Montgomery's Tubercules"
- Stretch marks and other skin changes
- Breast discharge, called "colostrum"
PROBABLY: Here are signs and symptoms that show you're probably pregnant:
- Gradually increasing waistline
- Positive urine pregnancy test (over the counter tests are about as good as ones in the doctor's office)
- Gradually increasing uterus or changing uterine shape
- Pressing on the abdomen and feeling a baby-like shape
- Braxton-Hicks contractions, false labor
YES: Here are ways to be sure you're pregnant (again, these should ONLY be done with a doctor's supervision):
- Hearing baby's heart beat using a portable ultrasound across your belly
- Seeing a baby using ultrasound, with a beating heart
- Seeing a baby on xray. This way is not preferred and is found on accident when someone is getting an abdominal xray for a different reason
- Lab test showing a normally doubling Beta HCG level after 48 hour interval
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