The first symptoms of pregnancy usually appear shortly after it occurs, but it is not the case for all women, nor does the presence of symptoms necessarily indicate that a woman is pregnant. Therefore, you should take a home pregnancy test to know for sure. Then you can go to the doctor to confirm the result if it is positive and start considering the possible steps to take.
Method 1 of 3: Recognize Early Pregnancy Symptoms
Step 1. Consider when was the last time you had sex
The only type of sex that can result in pregnancy is vaginal sex, not oral sex. Also remember if you used protection when having sex, as your chances of getting pregnant will increase exponentially if you had sex without using a condom or diaphragm or without having been taking birth control pills.
The implantation process will only begin between 6 and 10 days after the sexual act and this is considered the official beginning of the pregnancy, since it is also the moment in which the body begins to release the hormones typical of this stage. Therefore, it is best to wait at least until after the day your period should have started to take the test so that it can give you an accurate result
Step 2. Pay attention to the periods that do not occur
This is usually the first sign of a pregnancy. Therefore, consider whether a week or more has passed since the date your period should have started, as this could indicate that you are pregnant.
- It will be easier for you to know the date of your last period if you monitor them regularly. Otherwise, just try to remember the approximate date of your last period, and if it hasn't happened again after more than a month, it could indicate that you are pregnant.
- Keep in mind, however, that this detection method is not infallible, especially if your periods are not regular in themselves.
Step 3. Pay attention to changes in your breasts
These will experience changes at an early stage apart from the changes in size that they will experience throughout the entire pregnancy. For example, they could become more sensitive or inflamed due to fluctuations in hormones during pregnancy, but these discomforts should lessen after you get used to the hormonal changes.
Step 4. Pay attention in case you feel excessively tired
Fatigue is often a side effect of pregnancy, as your body is exhausted due to the effort of developing another life within you. However, during the early stages of pregnancy, this symptom is caused mostly by the increased level of progesterone in your body, which can make you drowsy.
Step 5. Pay attention to an upset stomach
Another common problem during pregnancy is morning sickness, so called because it tends to occur more frequently in the mornings in many women (although it can actually be experienced at any time of the day). Nausea usually occurs about two weeks after conception and tends to decrease after the first trimester.
- You may also experience cravings for certain foods and aversions to others or strong smells.
- You could also become constipated (among other digestive problems you may experience).
- It is important to note that, although it is something that is seen frequently on television series and in movies, not all women feel nauseous in the morning or experience disgust towards certain smells or foods.
- In some cases, pregnant women's sense of smell can be sharpened so that they are more sensitive to harmful odors, such as waste, smoke, or body odor, without causing nausea.
Step 6. Pay attention to how often you urinate
This is also one of the first symptoms of pregnancy and is due to hormonal changes (as with many of the other symptoms you will experience).
Then, as the baby grows inside you, it will put more pressure on the bladder, thus increasing the frequency of urination. On the other hand, in the early stages of pregnancy, this higher frequency is mainly due to hormonal changes
Step 7. Pay attention to implantation bleeding
This occurs in some women close to the date on which their period should start and is manifested by a little blood on the underwear or a brownish discharge from the vagina that can last for several weeks. However, keep in mind that it will be a much lighter flow than a regular period.
Step 8. Pay attention to mood swings
These are caused by hormonal changes and are manifested by making you go from euphoria to crying in a matter of seconds (although keep in mind that not all women experience them). Therefore, pay attention to whether you cry more frequently or tend to be more irritable than usual with your loved ones, as this could indicate that you are pregnant.
Step 9. Pay attention to dizziness
These are also common throughout the entire pregnancy. When they occur in the early stages, they are usually mainly due to the body having started to create more blood vessels, causing your blood pressure to change, but they can also be due to lower blood sugar.
Method 2 of 3: Take a Pregnancy Test
Step 1. Take a home pregnancy test
However, keep in mind that to be more accurate, it should be done after you miss your first period. These tests are easy to get either in pharmacies, department stores or supermarkets, in the family planning section or feminine hygiene products. There are also tests that you can do before the first time you miss your period, but you should read the packaging carefully to make sure you buy the correct product.
- To make the test more accurate, take it as soon as you wake up in the morning. While you should refer to specific instructions, you will generally need to urinate on the test device, which has a stripe at one end where the results will be displayed. Then place it on a flat surface.
- Wait approximately 5 minutes for the test to take effect. Check the packaging to see how the results will be displayed, as in some tests positive results are shown by two lines, while in others, by just one blue line.
Step 2. Determine if you should retest if the result is negative
In general, negative results will indicate that you are not pregnant, but it may be the case that you have taken the test too early (for example, before you did not have your first period) and therefore the result is negative even if you are really pregnant. Therefore, you must determine if it is necessary to take the test again to know for sure what the result is.
Wait until after you haven't had your period to get tested again
Step 3. Go to the doctor to confirm a positive result
Nowadays, home pregnancy tests are quite accurate, but it is still important to be 100% sure of the result so that you can determine the steps to follow, such as deciding if you want to have the baby and start prenatal care. Therefore, you should have a urine test at a local family planning office, or at your doctor's or gynecologist's office.
Your doctor may also need to do blood tests even after you have a positive urine test result. After this, you can determine together with your doctor what will be the steps to follow
Method 3 of 3: Take the Next Steps
Step 1. Determine if you are capable of having a child
In cases where the pregnancy has not been planned, the first thing to decide is whether you want to have the baby or not. To do this, you must consider whether you are capable both financially and physically to have a child and, if not, consider whether it is feasible to make the necessary changes to make it possible. Keep in mind that having a child comes with enormous emotional, physical, and financial responsibility, so at the very least, you should want this responsibility (although, of course, no parent is perfect).
Step 2. Discuss it with your partner
You should consider whether raising your child together with his father is something you would be willing to do. However, to do this, both of you must have a relationship mature enough to take on all the responsibilities that come with raising a child. If this is the case, it is important for both of you to talk about the situation in order to make a decision together on what to do next.
If you don't have any kind of relationship with your baby's father, try talking about it with someone who cares about your well-being, like a parent or sibling
Step 3. Prenatal care begins
This is the next step after determining that you want to have the baby. This type of care basically focuses on keeping the baby healthy through regular medical check-ups. The first time you go to one of these check-ups, your doctor will examine your own health (for example, test you for sexually transmitted diseases and diabetes), as well as your baby, and then schedule the next check-ups.
Step 4. Consider terminating the pregnancy
Keep in mind that it is also valid to choose not to have the baby. In this case, the main option at your disposal is abortion, or the morning-after pill in case five days have not yet passed since the sexual act.
- Research the offices in your area where abortions are performed. However, keep in mind that, depending on the legislation in the place where you live, doctors will be obliged to give you certain information with the intention that you give up. So if you really want to have an abortion, don't let this information have the desired effect and just use it to make sure you understand the risks very well. Depending on where you live, you may also need to have an ultrasound before the procedure and need to get your parents' consent if you are a minor.
- If you are in the first trimester of pregnancy, the two types of abortion that are performed are medical abortion and surgical abortion. The latter, despite its name, does not involve any type of cut but simply uses a tube or forceps to open the cervix and then the embryo is suctioned.
- On the other hand, medical abortion is induced by a pill.
Step 5. Research adoption
This is another option at your disposal in case you do not want to terminate the pregnancy, but still do not feel capable of raising your child yourself. Keep in mind that this is a very difficult decision to make and that, as soon as you have signed the corresponding paperwork, you must fully comply with what you have agreed to. Therefore, if you consider that this is the best option for you, start by reading books on the subject, researching the Internet and talking to adoption lawyers, your friends or professionals in the field.
- Check with the father of your child. Depending on where you live, you may need the consent of the father of your child to be able to give it up for adoption, as well as you will need to consult with your parents if you are a minor.
- Determine the type of adoption you prefer. You can do this through an adoption agency or arrange an independent adoption through an attorney.
- Be careful when choosing parents. For example, you can choose a family of the same religion so that your child grows up with the same traditions or choose an open adoption that allows you to be part of your child's life. You should also discuss who will cover medical expenses, such as prenatal care, as in many cases these will be borne by the adoptive parents.