Pregnancy is an amazing part of life which brings its share of changes known as pregnancy symptoms. Not all pregnancies are the same, and not everyone will experience the same symptoms. Women with multiple children may even tell you their first pregnancy was entirely different from their second or third and so forth. You may experience symptoms as early as one week into your pregnancy and, on the other hand, you may not even know you are pregnant until you deliver your child. All in all the miracle of pregnancy is a beautiful thing.
We have all heard the birds and the bees story, but pregnancy is a very detailed and molecular process. We typically call the woman’s reproductive cell the egg but the proper term for it would be oocyte. The ovary releases the oocyte which begins to travel through the fallopian tubes where it makes contact with the sperm. In women, only one egg is released, but men can release up to 1.2 billion sperm. Once the sperm is released, the race begins. Most of the sperm die due to the acidity of the vagina but the first sperm to reach the egg is the one that fertilizes it. Once the sperm enters the egg, it creates a barrier that prevents other sperm from entering.The entrance of more than one sperm is lethal and will not produce a viable egg. You may think the entry of more than one sperm would create twins or multiples, but an entirely different process, in fact, does that. The oocyte has now graduated to a zygote. It is at this point the cells begin to divide and create what we know as a baby. The egg is now ready to implant in the uterine wall where it will start to grow and develop.
What To Expect When You’re Pregnant
Now that you are officially pregnant, the hormones begin to flow. The hormones are the cause of the pregnancy symptoms. The primary hormone released is human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG for short. This hormone tells the body to stop the menstrual cycle and prepare for birth. The pregnancy test determines if you are pregnant based on the presence of the hCG hormone. If it detects the hormone, it will show positive and if the hormone is not detected it will show negative. Many women do not notice they are pregnant at first because the symptoms can be similar to symptoms you have during ovulation. Some women do not experience the symptoms at all; not even weight gain. There have been women who did not know they were pregnant until they were in labor.
Symptoms of Pregnancy
In the first trimester, pregnancy symptoms are commonly felt, but it may not be until the second or third semester that women know they are pregnant. The following is a list of pregnancy symptoms experienced in the first few days.
Initial Signs of Pregnancy –
- Nausea/ Vomiting
- Breast Swelling/ Tenderness
- Frequent Urination
- Food Cravings/ Aversions
It is also good to note that not everyone will experience these same symptoms during the same period.
Symptoms that mirror ovulation –
- Mood Swings
Based on these symptoms, many women think they are having a period. Most of the bleeding happen around the time you would expect your menstrual cycle. The bleeding is nothing to worry about; it can happen once the egg attaches to the uterus. This bleeding known as implantation bleeding is much lighter than menstrual bleeding but can easily be confused. For women that typically determine ovulation based on their basal body temperature, they will find that the typical increase in temperature will last longer than normal. Once you start your period, the basal body temperature goes back down. Now that you are pregnant, you will not have a period causing the basal body temperature to stay elevated.
These symptoms are not unique to pregnancy. They can also be symptoms of other things. If you think you are experiencing pregnancy symptoms, it is always a good idea to make an appointment with your OB/GYN or primary care physician. Once your pregnancy is confirmed, the physician will put you on a regimen and give you a list of things to avoid. To prevent defects, stay away from alcohol, smoking, and even certain medications. The health of the baby is the most important and for the baby to be healthy the mother also has to be healthy. Taking vitamins is an excellent way to keep you and the baby healthy. It is good to know your personal health history as well as your family history. If you have a history of anemia, high blood pressure, or diabetes, the doctors will take more precaution. Every pregnancy is different, and there are no particular set of rules for how your pregnancy will go. Pregnancy symptoms are just as diverse as the pregnancy itself. Just like every child is different, every pregnancy experience is unique and gives you an extraordinary story to tell.
FIND A Top10MD OBSTETRICIAN NEAR YOU
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