Hi, I am Dr. Parul Chopra Buttan. I am a gynaecologist and obstetrician with 18 years of experience. I am also the co-creator of the conceive effortlessly online program to help you get pregnant faster, naturally, easily & most definitely. 😊
How to know whether you’re pregnant or not?
The one most unmistakable sign of a pregnancy is you miss your periods. They may skip completely or you may have only a mild spotting or a very light flow around the time your periods were expected.
The changes you usually feel when your periods are about to start may get exaggerated. Some of these are..
- Your breasts may feel sore, sensitive, swollen. Your nipples may feel tender.
- You may feel more bloated than usual.
- You may experience nausea, aversion to certain foods or certain smells.
- You may notice low energy, tiredness or a sense of lethargy, like you don’t feel like getting out of bed, you want to lie down all day.
- You may experience usual period pains like abdominal cramps, backache, leg pains minus the flow.
- You may experience mild indigestion, low appetite, your tummy may feel sensitive, your stool frequency and consistency may change.
- You may experience emotional changes like feeling overly sensitive, crying spells, mood swings. They can be wild!
You may experience some of these, all of these or none of these apart from the delay in arrival of your periods.
What to do if you experience any of the above symptoms?
The first step is to get a home urine pregnancy test kit. If you’re trying for a baby, I recommend buying a few kits and keeping them handy at home. It's one less thing to worry about when you could be emotionally charged.
The best time to do a home urine pregnancy test is early morning with the first morning urine sample. Although it can be done at any time of the day too.
How to do home a urine pregnancy test?
You need a clean cup and a kit. Go to the washroom and pee in the cup. Wash your hands. Open the kit. Lay it flat. With the dropper, fill the urine. Pour a few drops in the area/slot designated S. you will notice it starts travelling along the trough.
There are 2 letters – C &T. C is for control. T is for Test.
Here are the possible results.
1 line. C shows 1 dark line. T shows no line. This means NOT pregnant.
2 lines. C & T show 1 line each. The C line may be dark. The T line may be equally dark or lighter depending on how many days overdue you are and how concentrated your urine is at that time. 2 lines means you are PREGNANT.
There may be no line, or C may show no line and T may show a faint line. This means that the kit is likely defective. You should repeat the test with another kit.
How reliable is this home urine pregnancy test?
This depends on the result. If the test result is positive, it is fairly accurate. You ARE indeed pregnant.
If the test is negative, you may still be pregnant.
What are the reasons for a negative test?
You are not pregnant. It is too early in the pregnancy right now or the urine is very dilute and does not have enough concentration of a hormone called beta hCG, which is what we are detecting.
How does the test work?
When you get pregnant, the pregnancy releases a hormone called hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) in the blood. This also filters out in the urine of the pregnant woman. HCG has alpha and beta sub-units. Its alpha sub-unit is similar in structure to other hormones in your body like TSH. But the beta sub-unit is unique. And beta hCG is what we use to detect pregnancy, in the blood as a blood test, or in the urine by the home urine pregnancy test. The urine pregnancy kit (UPT) kit has antibodies that bind to the beta hCG. If the urine has these the T or test area shows a line.
What are normal levels of hCG?
When you are not pregnant, the levels of beta hCG in your blood are almost negligible, 0-5 units per litre. When a pregnancy occurs, the levels rise rapidly and double every few days, based on the health and location of the pregnancy. When the level of beta hCG exceeds 100 units per litre, it is detectable by most kits.
What to do if the test is negative?
Take a deep breath and relax! It just means that likely the pregnancy has not happened this month. It is only a matter of time before the stork visits! You will get your period in a few hours or days. If not, repeat the test, preferably with the 1st morning urine sample. If your periods are overdue by a week and the test is still negative, you should consult a doctor.
What to do if the test is positive?
Take a deep breath and relax! Just be with yourself for a moment to soak it in. Next, book a consultation with a gynaecologist. You may book an in-person or an online consultation. You may have thoughts rushing in, a flurry of questions or you may feel blank, numb. Any emotions that you feel ranging from fear, anxiety, terror to joy, happiness, bliss are all fine and natural. One of the best things to do at this time is to journal. Pick a pen and paper and write down all your thoughts, doubts, questions, feelings.
There are 2 advantages to maintaining a journal.
It will help take the negative emotions off your mind. Writing has some magical alchemy of sorting and calming your mind.
It will serve as a ready reckoner of questions you might want to ask your doctor when you meet her. You will derive more value from the consultation.
What typically happens in a first consultation for pregnancy?
Your doctor will take a detailed history if she’s meeting you for the first time. She will ask you questions about your periods - their regularity, bleeding patterns, date of your last menstrual period.
This is the date your periods began the last time. She will want to know if you’ve had any pregnancies in the past, what was their outcome, how was your experience through them, if there were any complications.
She will ask about your past medical history, if you’ve had any diseases like diabetes, hypertension, epilepsy, PCOS, hypothyroidism, etc and are you on any medication currently. Have you had any surgery or procedure? Are you allergic to anything, especially any medication? She will review your recent investigations, if you have any. She will ask you about your current symptoms, how you are feeling, and do an abdominal examination if needed. She will answer your questions and prescribe some prenatal vitamins and tests. These tests typically include an ultrasound scan, some blood and urine tests. And she will give you a date for a follow up consultation. With this, you are on your way! 😊
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Love and good health,
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