Pregnancy Self-diagnosis: Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalances Vs. Pregnancy Signs
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Pregnancy Self-diagnosis: Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalances Vs. Pregnancy Signs

early pregnancy cannot be diagnosed without a test of some kind

Since pregnancy affects women in different ways, there is no sure way to tell if you are pregnant without a pregnancy test of some kind.  Blood tests are the most reliable, but even the ones that measure the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) through urine samples are usually just as effective.  The latter can be done at home or in the doctor's office, but it is advised that you wait to take a test until around the time you are scheduled to menstruate.  Unfortunately, nothing can be detected in the few days after you suspect you might have conceived, since conception might not occur immediately following intercourse, and if conception DOES occur the HCG levels will not be high enough to show up in a test yet.

Symptoms of Pregnancy

The most common symptoms of pregnancy you may experience starting from conception are:

  • swollen or tender breasts and nipples
  • fatigue
  • bloating and frequent urination
  • irritability
  • morning sickness
  • increased appetite
  • menstrual-like cramps
  • increase of vaginal discharge

Basically, when you are pregnant it can be easy to mistake its symptoms by thinking it is just your period about to happen.  But even if you miss your period, you might not be pregnant.  Likewise, there's always the chance that you will menstruate while not realizing you are pregnant!

If You Think You Might Be Pregnant

The first thing you want to do is keep track of where you are in your cycle, taking note of when you had intercourse.  Look on a calendar to determine when will be the first opportunity to take a home test.  This information will also come in handy if and when you go to your doctor for an exam, because he or she will ask you questions regarding when your last period was, any changes in your cycle, and the likelihood of your being pregnant.  Depending on how far along you are, your doctor will be able to tell from a physical exam whether or not you are pregnant, because your cervix will be blueish in color.  At around the 10th week of pregnancy will the doctor recommend a vaginal ultrasound to check for the presence of a fetus and a heartbeat.

A WORD ABOUT HOME TESTS: Their results are not the ultimate authority on whether or not you are really pregnant.  Many women receive "false positives" and "false negatives"; taking multiple tests will prove more accurate, but again, a blood test administered at your doctor's office is the most fool-proof choice.  It is advised that you make an appointment after you have taken a home test, or if you continue to have pregnancy-like symptoms, or if you have an abnormal cycle.  You could have hormonal imbalances due to an underlying disorder.

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Comments (2)

Very informative guide here, so helpful to many!

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[...] Pregnancy self-diagnosis: symptoms of hormonal imbalances vs. pregnancy signs – view page – cached early pregnancy cannot be diagnosed without a test of some kind. symptoms of hormonal imbalances can mimic symptoms of pregnancy. early pregnancy detection relies on the presence of HCG in the urine. Is there any way to tell if you pregnant at home without using pregnancy tests? — From the page [...]