Category Archives: Top Pregnancy Questions

What Pregnancy Test is Best?

Are Some Pregnancy Tests Better Than Others?

Whether planned or unplanned, with any suspicion of pregnancy the first thought is usually about getting a pregnancy test. For planned pregnancies, one of the most anxious moments is knowing that you are absolutely, positively pregnant. Seeing that ‘red plus’ sign can be nerve racking and exciting – but testing too early without the best pregnancy test will more than likely provide you with an inaccurate result.  However, many women are so anxious they tend to take a pregnancy test before there is any detectable trace of pregnancy hormone in their system which would give the correct result.

Understanding how pregnancy tests work and knowing what pregnancy test is best can put a stop to the anxiety and worries. Firstly, there are two main types of pregnancy tests, the urine test and the blood test. The blood test is done in a doctor’s office while the urine test is usually the one the woman can do herself at home. HCG is detected once implantation occurs, that is the fertilized egg has been attached to the uterus.

Conventional wisdom is that it is best to wait at least one to two weeks after you have missed your period to perform the test. This makes it less likely that you will get a negative result if you are indeed pregnant.

How Pregnancy Tests Work

Pregnancy tests work by checking the level of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), the pregnancy hormone present in urine. Once upon a time, pregnancy tests could only give a positive result after a woman had missed her period. This was the case because these early tests could only read HCG of over 120 mIU and were not very sensitive. All of that has changed in recent times with the creation of some very sensitive and highly efficient pregnancy tests.

Early Pregnancy Test

For those anxious for a response, there is definitely a difference in early pregnancy tests. Some manufacturers claim that their test can measure HCG after just 6-12 days post ovulation. Only one test has been proven to pick up HCG levels when they are as low as 20 mIU. Even with this, only about 80-85 percent of women who are pregnant will get a positive result about one week past ovulation.

While most tests will give a correct result one week after a missed period, we have chosen through our own research what pregnancy test is best. First Response, according to a number of surveys is 95 percent accurate before other pregnancy tests. In fact, First Response can be generally be used even before the first day of a missed period. Some reviews posted online state that First Response can detect the presence of HCG a few days after implantation occurs, that is up to three days before the due date of your next period.

Some other highly rated pregnancy tests include Clear Blue Digital Test, e.p.t Pregnancy Test and Equate Pregnancy Test. These and other early pregnancy tests have registered positive results after an average of 10 days past ovulation or a few days after a missed period. However, for best results, pregnancy tests should be done with first morning urine which would have the full concentration of HCG in it.

There is one negative to testing early, and that is undergoing an early miscarriage and knowing it. In many cases, most women who suffer an early miscarriage that is before or around the time of their menses would not know that they have miscarried.

Of course it is worth remembering that the more efficient the pregnancy test, the more expensive it is. This is however a negligible cost compared to other related expenses. It does however act as a caution against testing too early. In a negative result is produced and the pregnancy symptoms persist, then the woman would have to test herself again. In this context, it may be better to start with one of the more efficient tests such as First Response.

How Do you Get Pregnant?

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting Pregnant

Some women get pregnant at the drop of a hat, while others have significant difficulty. Surprisingly very few women understand the basic mechanics of getting pregnant. Women are fertile for only about 7-8 days each month. These days are about 2-5 days before fertilization, the day of ovulation and 2 to 3 days after. This is especially noteworthy since the female egg remains viable for between 24-48 hours and sperm can remain viable inside a woman’s body between 4 to 7 days.

Ovulation Period

One of the biggest mistakes someone trying to conceive can make is accepting the common belief that ovulation occurs every 14 to 16 days, that is, midway between cycles. This method isn’t recommended because very few women have the 28-day cycle which this method assumes. Couples trying to get pregnant erroneously think that they are most fertile mid cycle, so they miss having intercourse at the right time.

Physical Health

While persons who are not perfectly healthy can get pregnant, being in good health increases the chances of pregnancy occurring. Also, seeing a doctor, preferably an OBGYN, ensures that any problems such as infections or other threats to fertility are caught early. In addition to treatment, the OBGYN will start you on prenatal vitamins, especially folic acid. Folic acid is extremely important for the prevention of disorders such as spina bifida and is recommended especially for women over 35 who are trying to get pregnant.

Maintaining a healthy weight is also important. Being overweight or underweight decreases your chances of getting pregnant.

Avoid alcohol, smoking, drugs and other lifestyle practices that are unhealthy. Both persons should do this so as to increase chances of getting pregnant.

Knowing Your Fertility Signs

Improving your chances of getting pregnant also calls for knowing your body. There are some subtle and sometimes not so subtle signs when your body is at its most fertile – that is – during that minute window of time when it is possible to become pregnant. These signs, the result of hormonal changes, can be easily identified once you know what to look for.

The main fertility signs to look out for are:

  • Basal body temperature

Your basal body temperature (BBT) is your temperature before getting out of bed or doing anything. Unless you are sick, your basal body temperature starts to rise as you approach your ovulation period. It is highest after you ovulate.

  • Cervical fluids

Your cervical fluid which is also known as cervical mucus changes throughout your cycle. At your most fertile, cervical fluid becomes stretchy and almost like egg whites. Doing a simple search online will guide you to additional information on the topic.

In addition to those listed above, there are some minor signs worthy of knowing when trying to get pregnant. The most obvious of these are:

  • Breast pain or tenderness

Breast tenderness is another indicator of pending ovulation.

  • Ovulation pain

Although not every woman feels this pain, some do and it is a good indicator of ovulation. When used with other monitoring tools such as an ovulation kit, ovulation pain can be a helpful indicator.

Also known as mittelschmert (middle pain), ovulation pain occurs near the ovaries during ovulation. Some women use this pain to identify which ovary an egg is being released from.

  • Ovulation spotting

Although not a very common occurrence some women will see some amount of spotting during ovulation. This is an indication that they are in their fertile period.

Get an ovulation kit to help you know when you are ovulating. This is important as only at this time is it possible to become pregnant.

Usually there is no need to worry about not conceiving until after a year of trying. If after a year, following the advice given above, you are not pregnant, it’s time to visit a fertility expert for tests and answers.

Good luck on the trying to conceive journey.

How Long Is a Pregnancy?

Typically, pregnancy lasts for 40 to 41 weeks. Of those weeks, at least two of them in the beginning you are not really pregnant. The doctor calculates your due date according to your last menstrual period. But for all intent and purposes you can say that pregnancy lasts for 9 months.

The Three Trimesters

There are three trimesters of pregnancy. The first is calculated from when you conceived to twelve weeks or the first three months. The second trimester of pregnancy is from week thirteen until week twenty eight. This will be months three through six. The final or last trimester of pregnancy is from the twenty eighth week until the baby is born. So from six months on you will be in your third or final trimester of pregnancy.

The First Trimester

During the first trimester of your pregnancy you will be experiencing many changes in hormones. You may feel fatigued, experience nausea or vomiting and your emotions will be heightened. You may cry easily one moment and be laughing the next. Your breasts will begin to feel swollen and tender, especially around the area of your nipple. Your bathroom habits may change as you might become constipated during this period and feel the frequent urge to urinate.

You will experience cravings for certain types of foods and absolute repulsion towards others. You can also have heartburn and indigestion as well. Some women feel dizzy, while others feel perfectly fine.

To combat the nausea, heartburn and indigestion, you can eat smaller meals more often. Perhaps six small meals a day will suit you. Be sure you are drinking plenty of fluids, especially water and if you are involved in an exercise program, it should be okay to continue as long as it is not too strenuous. Walking or swimming is an excellent form of physical activity during pregnancy.

If you smoke, now is the time to quit and you should avoid alcoholic beverages, caffeine and diet soft drinks during the whole of your pregnancy. Also be sure you are getting the proper amount of rest.

The Second Trimester

Some of the problems that plagued you during the first trimester such as morning sickness and nausea will soon abate during the second trimester of pregnancy. One of the most exciting events during this time is feeling the baby quicken or move inside of you. This will make you feel that all the misery of the first trimester was well worth it the first time you feel your baby kick and move about in your body. You should begin to feel more energetic, your complexion typically glows, though you will still feel the need to frequently use the bathroom. The baby is growing rapidly now and the umbilical cord is thickening in order to carry the nourishment and oxygen that baby needs to survive. Keep to a light fitness program and eat a nutritious diet so that you and the baby will stay healthy. Continue to rest whenever you feel tired and pamper yourself a little; you deserve it.

The Final Trimester of Pregnancy

As you enter the last third of your pregnancy you may experience pressure that is uncomfortable. There are lap bands you can utilize that will lift the baby up and off the organs that she may be pressing upon. It won’t hurt the baby and you will feel a bit more comfortable. Your belly will be getting large and the baby is growing quickly. You may be having sonograms that give you a clearer picture of what your baby looks like now. Practice some deep breathing exercises to calm you and to provide a good supply of oxygen to the baby.

You may be feeling a bit anxious about the birth at this time, but going to birthing classes may help to ease your disquiet. As you move further along towards your due date, typically women are feeling so uncomfortable that their fears surrounding the birthing process subsides as they are looking forward to meeting their new baby and getting their bodies back. Avoid lifting heavy objects, stay off your feet as much as you can and get plenty of rest as you will need it; not just for the birthing process, but because it will be the last peaceful sleep you will have for some time to come.

Having a baby is both a frightening and exciting time for the first time parents. Forty weeks may seem like a long time, but it will go quickly and before you know it, you will be cradling your brand new baby in your arms.

When to Take a Pregnancy Test

Maybe Baby? When to Take a Home Pregnancy Test

You’re experiencing some of the symptoms of pregnancy. Maybe the smell of fish makes you run for the bathroom. Or perhaps your breasts are swollen and tender. In those agonizing days before your menstrual period is missing, you may be wondering when to take a pregnancy test and expect accurate results.

There is no simple answer, unfortunately. Every woman is different and varying ovulation cycles can mean the test results will be different for every woman. Some women can get an accurate result from a home pregnancy test just days before their menstrual periods are due, while others may have to wait until a week after their missed periods to find out.

Just as every woman is different, no two home pregnancy tests are created equally either. Some tests claim to provide 99% accuracy up to five days before a missed period. Generally, however, pregnancy can be detected from a home pregnancy test a week after the missed period.

Home pregnancy tests work by detecting the levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (or hCG) in the potentially pregnant woman’s urine. Some tests can detect hCG, which is a hormone secreted by the embryo a short time after conception, three to five days after the missed period. Even so, depending upon the date of conception, the level of hCG may not be strong enough for detection until a few days or a week later.

Once your period is overdue, it’s time to pick out the right pregnancy test. Some women may want to buy a few different varieties of pregnancy test, just to be safe. Some are more sensitive to hCG than others. The more time that passes between the missed period and the day you take a pregnancy test, the more accurate the results will be because the hCG levels double at least every 72 hours.

When you’ve picked out a test, it’s very important to read the instructions, even if you’ve taken dozens of pregnancy tests before. Every test has its own set of instructions, so it’s important to make sure the test directions are followed carefully. Most tests can either be used in the urine flow or in a cup of urine.

The test directions will generally advise you to take the test in the morning, with the first urine of the day. The concentration of hCG tends to be higher with the first urine.

Many tests take three to five minutes to register their results. The tests should be placed flat and left undisturbed to avoid affecting the results.

Should the test come back positive, it’s time to set up an appointment with the doctor. It is possible to get a positive reading and not be pregnant. Pregnancy tests can be impacted by a variety of medications, so seeing the doctor will solidify the results. Most obstetricians will not see pregnant patients until they’re at least six weeks along, counting back from the last menstrual period. This means it could be two weeks before a doctor can give you a blood test to confirm the pregnancy.

If the home pregnancy test comes back negative, this does not necessarily mean you’re not pregnant. You could have tested too early. Sometimes it takes longer for the embryo to attach to the uterine wall, so give it a few days or a week and try another test. It may help to test again with a different brand of pregnancy test

Whether you’re trying to get pregnant and are eager to find out as quickly as possible, or if you’re worried that you’ll be surprised by the pitter-patter of little feet, home pregnancy tests are fairly accurate, but it’s all in the timing.

What is Pregnancy?

Preparing for Pregnancy: All You Need to Know

Pregnancy can be a time of great joy, but for new parents-to-be it is also a period of doubts and fears. However, with the knowledge of what to expect, most doubts can be set aside and you can spend time enjoying this important lifetime milestone.

What is Pregnancy?

Ovulation and Getting Pregnant

Pregnancy, when it occurs naturally from sexual intercourse, is when a mature egg comes in contact with viable sperm during the time when a woman is ovulating. With assisted reproductive methods, mature female eggs are artificially inseminated.

How long is a Pregnancy?

The average full term period lasts for 40 weeks, although it is generally known that a healthy pregnancy birth can occur at anywhere from 37-42 weeks. Doctors use 40 weeks as the way to estimate delivery date by counting from the last day of your last period.

Births that occur before 37 weeks of pregnancy are referred to as preterm births, while those after 42 weeks are called post term.

A pregnancy is broken down into three trimesters of three months each.

During pregnancy a number of changes take place. These include weight gain averaging 25 to 30 pounds; of course some persons gain more or less. Respiration, renal and cardiac functions also change in response to pregnancy. It therefore benefits the developing fetus and the mother-to-be if she takes care of herself while pregnant.

Pregnancy Testing

The first question someone who suspects that they are pregnant normally asks is, ‘how soon can I test? Confirming a pregnancy can be a long wait, but scientific breakthroughs have lessened the wait period tremendously. Now, most home pregnancy kits can confirm a pregnancy within 7 -15 days of a missed period.

Pregnancy Symptoms and Dealing with Them

For most women, the first three months of pregnancy can be difficult. This is the time when morning sickness kicks in. However, don’t be fooled by the term morning sickness – this can occur at any time of day. The good news for most women is that morning sickness will disappear by the beginning of the second trimester. For a small percentage of women morning sickness will continue until the end of the pregnancy.

In addition to morning sickness, there are other pregnancy symptoms you should be aware of. These include:

  • Fatigue

As your body adjusts to being pregnant, you may feel tired a lot more since your body is working for two or more. Some women start to feel tired within the first week of becoming pregnant.

  • Backaches

Contrary to popular belief, backaches during pregnancy may start early for many women. In many cases backaches continue throughout the entire pregnancy, but are rarely more than dull aches.

  • Food cravings

You must have heard of some of the strange cravings that pregnant women have. The hormonal changes that the body goes through are partially responsible. For example, a vegetarian may suddenly start craving meat. Some experts believe that the body recognizes the need for certain nutrients hence the strange yen for something else.

  • Tender breasts

This is always one of the first notable signs of pregnancy. As hormonal changes occur, the breasts not only become tender but also get bigger. This change begins from one to two weeks after implantation and is sometimes the first pregnancy symptom to be noticed.

You may not experience all these symptoms with your pregnancy. Every woman’s body is different and therefore will react differently during pregnancy. Not experiencing any symptoms or only a few is not an indication of problems, although early signs such as breast tenderness disappearing within the first three months can signal the end of a pregnancy.

Pregnancy, especially if planned, can be a most enjoyable time once you know what to be prepared for.

How to Deal with Pregnancy

Unexpected, or unplanned, pregnancies leave many with the same question – “How am I going to deal with this pregnancy?”  You will find a multitude of guides, via internet or library searches, guiding you through this life altering question, and that specialize in, precisely, how to deal with pregnancy.  We have written this article in the hopes that you will find all of the answers you need – right here – as you don’t need anything else, like the overload of information, weighing on your mind.  Regardless of your age, relationship or career status, our goal is to help you wrap you mind, and emotions, around the news of becoming pregnant.

Keep in mind, dealing with pregnancy is not an overnight process.  This will take time, probably a lot of tears, some possible anger, and many other emotions.  The key, here, is to remember that you are not alone in your feelings, many – if not most – women go through this same roller coaster, at some point in their life.

A common, and possibly obvious, emotion, at this point, is fear.  Whether this is your first pregnancy or third, an unexpected pregnancy will bring a degree of fear into your life.  Fear is one of those emotions that will cloud your thinking and potentially hinder any decision you are about to make.  Unfortunately, fear is not an easy emotion to dismiss, or it wouldn’t exist.  A helpful tip, for eliminating this fear, is to determine – what about your new found pregnancy scares you.  Once this fear has been conquered, the remainder of your decisions, from this point forward, will be more clear and precise.

Now that fear is out of the way, let’s talk about your options, and dealing with pregnancy.  Depending on your political or morale standings, you may have more options available to you than others.  Write your options down, for future reference, and draw up a list of pros and cons for each option.  This step is crucial!  First, only write the options that you could actually follow through on; if you would not consider adoption, there’s no point in hindering on that, at this phase in your life.  In this step, you may want to consider researching, and writing down, different clinics, doctors, etc. that you believe would fit your lifestyle.  (This helps you for future reference, and allows you to see, visually, what each option has to offer.)

Surely, this last step, brought up some emotion, or even frustration – it’s okay!  Considering your options, writing and researching them, is one of the most difficult processes in the entire pregnancy.

Reflecting on the list you’ve already made, it’s time to look deeply into how you feel about having a child.  Again, whether this is your first, second, or third, a baby will change your lifestyle.  Picture yourself, baby in tow, throughout the daily events of your life.  Try to imagine taking your child to dance lessons, soccer practice, gymnastics, or boy scouts.  You might even try picturing what your baby will look like, whose hair will he have, what color eyes will she have, or will he/she be tall?  (This last part is more for fun, but it sure helps.)

We’ve all heard horror stories about babies keeping us up all night, demanding all of our attention, and much more.  Don’t let these stories get to you and effect your decision.  Remember, having a baby means you will, eventually, have a toddler, school age child, teenager, and life-long confidant.  When imagining your life, with your baby, attempt to look into the future at the later years as well.

Most importantly and not yet discussed, find a place where you can take special time for you to go through this process!  The less distraction you have, the easier this initial phase will be.  The more relaxed you are, the better you will feel about the decisions you are making and the adventure that you are on.  Many will try to tell you how to deal with pregnancy; walking through these simple steps will give you the confidence that you need – ensuring you that you are dealing with your pregnancy in the healthiest way for you.