Early Sign of Pregnancy...
Pregnancy begins when the fertilisation of the ovum and sperm takes place, ususlly in the fallopian tubes.
It is only after the embryo (fertilised ovum) has implanted in the wall of the uterus that the signs and symptoms of pregnancy appear.
These early changes noticed by the mother are caused by the action of two female hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, produced by the ovary for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and then by the mature placenta.
Pregnancy is usually confirmed by using a simple urine test to detect 'Human chronic gonadotrophin (HCG)'.
This hormone is produced by the implanted embryo which is excreted in the mother's urine.
Breast changes which take place during pregnancy are summerised below...
Week 3-4: Prickling, enlarging sensation
Week 6: Breasts feel enlarged and tense
Week 8: Surface veins are visible; Montgomery's tubercles appear
Week 12: Darkening of the primary areola; fluid can be expressed
Week 16: Colostrum can be expressed; secondary areola appears.
Some women experience mild uterine cramping early in pregnancy.
Frequent Passing of Urine
Due to hormonal action and the enlarging uterus, women need to empty their bladders more often in early pregnancy.
Nausea and Sickness
Often referred to as 'morning sickness', nausea (feeling sick) can occur at any time of the day or night, or be present all the time. Sometimes nausea can be due to particular smells, or foods. This usually passes by the end of the third month.
The flood of hormones in your body in early pregnancy can make you unusually emotional and weepy. Mood swings also are common.
Lethargy (lack of energy) is common in early pregnancy but usually improves as the pregnancy progresses.
Fatigue also ranks high among early symptoms of pregnancy. During early pregnancy, levels of the hormone progesterone soar, which can make you feel sleepy.
A white, mucousy vaginal discharge, which is not offensive, is normal and is caused by increased hormonal activity.
Later signs are known as the positive signs of pregnancy - they are objective signs which can be detected by an observer - fetal parts, fetal movements and the fetal heart.
At 12 weeks, the uterus is above the pelvic bone and can be felt by a midwife or doctor.
At 16-20 weeks, you may begin to feel the baby move (quickening), and it is possible to feel parts of the baby when she is examined at antenatal clinic.
The fetal heart can be heard using a stethoscope.
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