Even if you don’t have a way to get your hands on a pregnancy test proper, there are still many presumptive signs of pregnancy without a test. A number of these signs can mean a lot of different things, of course, but any combination of these signs can mean that you are, in fact, pregnant and it’s time to consult a doctor.
Introduction To The Pregnancy Hormone
First, if you happen to have a test on hand, it’s important to know why it comes up positive or negative. More over, the counter pregnancy tests “look” for human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG for short. This hormone is produced when an egg is fertilized in a woman’s body. The body begins to produce it immediately; however the hormone is usually only detectable on home tests after week three or so, which is typically when an egg implants itself in the uterine wall. The hormone is secreted to help the body produce progesterone during the first trimester.
Progesterone helps pad the uterus with a lining and with the capillaries that will sustain the growing fetus in the next nine or so months. In addition, hCG actually repels the natural immune system response of the mother so that the baby can continue to grow without being attacked.
If you are more than three weeks pregnant, it is likely you will see a faint positive on almost any over the counter pregnancy test. A quick blood test can be done to confirm, if necessary.
Why Is My Period Late?
There are a ton of reasons your body could be making your period late, and a lot of them have nothing to do with pregnancy. However, if you think you may be pregnant – that is, if you have recently had unprotected sex – then you will usually test positive a few short days after your period should have started. If you don’t think you’re pregnant, here are just a few other reasons your period could be late or completely non-existent.
The first and most common reason your period might be late is stress. Stress doesn’t just affect us emotionally, but physically as well. Being stressed out about just about anything – our love lives, school, or just live in general – can trigger a response from our bodies that isn’t always positive. Sometimes this appears as a missed period because we didn’t ovulate that month. Relaxing and preparing yourself with meditation or another soothing practice in the morning can help immensely. In addition, being severely underweight or overweight can cause problems with your hormones, which may shift your period around on a monthly basis.
Double check to make sure that you didn’t simply miscalculate your appropriate menstrual cycle as well, as it is easy to do so, especially if your life is particularly busy at the moment. If you’re an older women, peri-menopause or menopause proper could also be on the list of possible missed period causes, though both of those stages of life will be accompanied by additional factors.
Early Stage Signs Of Pregnancy
Implantation bleeding can often be mistaken for a period, but it’s often very light and only lasts a few hours to a day or so. Another early sign of pregnancy is a nipple sensitivity. As your body “gets the picture,” it begins to prepare itself for the eventual birth of a child. One of the first things it does is begins to prepare the mammary glands for breastfeeding. This often results in very sensitive nipples just a few short weeks after a pregnancy has begun. Finally, the most condemning sign that happens early in pregnancy is morning sickness. If you suddenly can’t keep anything down in the mornings, this is often a sign that your body is prepping itself to carry a child for the next nine or so months.
Symptoms Of Morning Sickness
Morning sickness is a misleading term, simply because “morning” can be any time of the day. Some women get sick the moment they wake up in the morning, and some don’t get sick for hours. Some only get sick at night. No matter when your “morning” sickness happens, it’s an extremely common symptom of pregnancy. Sometimes you’ll simply get sick because you ate the wrong thing the night before, or because you didn’t drink enough water. However, if you consistently get sick no matter what you eat, feel nausea when you would usually otherwise feel perfectly fine, or become sick when certain you smell certain things, this could definitely be the beginnings of the classic first trimester morning sickness.
Constipation And Pregnancy
Constipation during pregnancy is incredibly common, unfortunately. This is because your body is producing oodles of progesterone, which helps relax the muscles in your body. This includes the muscles in your digestive tract, which are usually tight and working overtime to get food through your system quickly. With progesterone being produced in such large amounts, the digestive tract begins to work at a snail’s pace, which sometimes results in mild to severe constipation. If you’re having trouble with constipation, the only real cure is giving birth to your unborn child. However, a high fiber diet is often suggested for those who aren’t ready to deliver. This means tons of leafy vegetables and unprocessed wheat as well as brown rice, beans, and whole-grain foods. Make sure you are also bringing in plenty of water, as being dehydrated can make constipation much worse.
Above all, remember to keep moving your body, even when you don’t feel like it. A bit of yoga or a short walk can help you pass waste, especially if you’re eating well and drinking plenty of water.
What Does A False Positive On A Pregnancy Test Mean?
There are only a few reasons that false positives happen on pregnancy tests. Since the vast majority of over the counter pregnancy tests are checking for your hCG levels, a false positive rarely happens. However, if you improperly used the test or read it after the allotted amount of time, you can occasionally get a false positive. In addition, if you are undergoing any sort of fertility treatment, this too can cause a false positive. More rarely, hCG is being produced by a rare form of cancer, and you would need to see a doctor immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment, though false positives that are caused by faulty tests are more common (and still aren’t common at all).
You may not be able to tell if you’re pregnant without a test, but there are tell-tale signs that can give it away if you know what you’re looking for (especially if you’ve been pregnant before). Just remember that the only way to be positive that you’re actually pregnant is to see a doctor and have a blood test done. This can also help you make a prenatal plan so that the baby is as healthy as possible. When in doubt, simply ask a doctor or purchase a couple of inexpensive over the counter pregnancy tests.