For women and couples trying to have a baby, the two weeks after ovulation bring a little anxiety. Yet, it builds up a great deal of excitement too. The possibility of a missed period, mild cramping, and food aversions are signs that a woman may be pregnant. Moreover, many women experience these symptoms of pregnancy only a few weeks after conception.
Pregnancy tests, for good measure, help confirm these signs. A home pregnancy test will give reliable results when used up to seven days before your period is due. When you’re experiencing very mild symptoms, you can take a home pregnancy test first before going to a clinic to avoid financial stress.
What are the Early Signs of Pregnancy?
Pregnancy symptoms vary from woman to woman. If you feel you might be pregnant, there are other early symptoms aside from a missed period. Here are the most common signs.
- Lower abdomen cramps. You may feel pain in the lower abdomen, which means pain in the uterus. This feeling usually occurs 6 – 14 days after ovulation.
- Dizziness caused by dilution in the bloodstream.
- Nausea. It is commonly called morning sickness, but some women experience vomiting at different times of the day. Many also experience disliking certain food and smells.
- Increased bladder. High hCG levels sometimes irritate the bladder.
- Fatigue. You may get tired more easily. Headaches are common, too, especially in the first trimester.
When Should You Take a Pregnancy Test?
In the medical field, week 1 of pregnancy starts from the last menstrual period. A woman may not exactly be pregnant already at this stage. Yet this counting method is preferred to estimate her due date.
During pregnancy, a woman’s body develops a placenta. It is a temporary organ that provides your baby with nutrients and oxygen necessary for fetal development. The placenta forms a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). hCG is present in a woman’s blood and urine, especially in the first trimester. The hormone’s level decreases during the rest of the pregnancy. Pregnancy tests check a woman’s urine for the presence of hCG. It will identify if the level is considered negative (less than five mlU/ml) or positive (10 mlU/ml or greater). In other words, the presence of hCG in the blood and urine is a positive sign of pregnancy. The exact level of hCG can estimate the duration of a pregnancy.
These tests are done in clinics where they will examine your blood and urine in the laboratory. Your doctor will then advise you of the result. However, most women prefer to do tests in the comforts of their homes first. Afterward, they see their doctor for further confirmation. A home pregnancy test kit can still get you reliable results.
- When Visiting a Clinic
You can do a blood pregnancy test 11 – 14 days following ovulation. Your doctor will draw a blood sample from your vein and send them to a laboratory. The results take a few days.
A Quantitative blood test will measure the amounts of hCG in the bloodstream and approximate the pregnancy’s duration. A Qualitative blood test checks the presence of hCG only. Urine pregnancy tests in clinics are similar to home pregnancy test kits.
- When using Home Pregnancy tests
Home pregnancy test kits work by detecting hCG levels in the urine. While it does not reveal the exact level of hCG, it is sensitive enough to detect a level of 10mlU/ml of the hormone. Most kits recommend testing one to two weeks after the end of your period. The instructions indicate when you should take the test. A common mistake is using the kit too soon after missing your period. Home pregnancy tests are successful when instructions are followed properly.
Take the test in the morning after you get out of bed. Early morning urine is more concentrated, so higher hCG levels are detected. Test strips indicate hCG presence by a line or dot.
When you’re unsure about the signs and symptoms you’re experiencing, ease your worries with a pregnancy test. The sooner you get a confirmation, the sooner you can prepare your body and lifestyle for a healthy pregnancy.