The primary sign of pregnancy is missing a menstrual period or two or more consecutive periods, but many women experience other symptoms of pregnancy before they miss a period.
Missing a period does not always mean a woman is pregnant. Menstrual irregularities are common and can have a variety of causes, including taking birth control pills, conditions such as diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome, eating disorders, and certain medications. Women who miss a period should see their health care provider to find out whether they are pregnant or whether they have another health problem.
Pregnancy symptoms vary from woman to woman. A woman may experience every common symptom, just a few, or none at all.
In the first few weeks of pregnancy, various physical symptoms and new emotions arise. Although many women felt some anxiety during these early weeks, and some found it hard to believe it was really happening to them, there was also joy and excitement.
Unpleasant physical symptoms affected people's feelings in the early weeks of pregnancy. Nausea and sometimes vomiting is well known as 'morning sickness', but these symptoms can happen all day, and can occasionally be very severe.
Another common symptom is feeling tired or run down. Some people are surprised to feel so exhausted. Others include getting a strange taste in your mouth, having tender breasts, feeling dizzy or faint, and abdominal cramps or twinges. To some people it felt a bit like premenstrual tension at first. But some women we talked to felt physically fine during the first few weeks, or noticed only minor changes.
Pregnancy is actually a pretty complicated process that has several steps. It all starts with sperm cells and an egg.
Sperm are microscopic cells that are made in testicles. Sperm mixes with other fluids to make semen (cum), which comes out of the penis during ejaculation. Millions and millions of sperm come out every time you ejaculate but it only takes 1 sperm cell to meet with an egg for pregnancy to happen.
Eggs live in ovaries, and the hormones that control your menstrual cycle cause a few eggs to mature every month. When your egg is mature, it means it's ready to be fertilized by a sperm cell. These hormones also make the lining of your uterus thick and spongy, which gets your body ready for pregnancy.
About halfway through your menstrual cycle, one mature egg leaves the ovary called ovulation and travels through the fallopian tube towards your uterus.
The egg hangs out for about 12-24 hours, slowly moving through the fallopian tube, to see if any sperm are around.
If semen gets in the vagina, the sperm cells can swim up through the cervix and uterus and into the fallopian tubes, looking for an egg. They have up to 6 days to find an egg before they die.
Download this app and learn more about pregnancy symptoms & signs of pregnancy.