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Are you feeling nausea every morning? Did your pregnancy strip test come positive? If yes, then congratulations, you are pregnant! A slightly-experienced person in pregnancy can easily connect nausea and morning sickness as the early symptoms. Well, these are not all, there is much more to know about the onset of pregnancy and changes that happen hence forth. If you’ve discovered you’re pregnant, or have a teeny bit of doubt- here’s something to help you. Here are few important precautions during first month of pregnancy.
Little Known Facts about Pregnancy:
What is considered as the first month of pregnancy is actually the time gap before you ovulate. In medical parlance, to make calculation easier the first day of your last menstrual period is taken into account while calculating the expected due date.
Conception occurs within 24 hours of ovulation, about 14 days before the start of your next menstrual cycle. The egg and the sperm mee
[ Read: 12 Pregnancy Symptoms Before Missed Period ]
The fetus when it implants on the uterus wall is referred to as a blastocyst and it measures 0.1-0.2 mm. At the end of the fourth week of pregnancy the chorionic villi are formed. The yolk sac helps to sustain the pregnancy until the placenta has fully formed. You get some signs to prove that you are pregnant. When you find out that you’re pregnant, you will feel a little overwhelmed or shaken. This is a very common feeling for all moms-to-be! Some keep information to themselves and some declare it proudly to all her relatives and friends!
Some women keep it to themselves because it is during the first trimester maximum miscarriages occur for various reason, sometimes there are natural and spontaneous abortion. So it is always better to inform others when you are in the second and third trimester of pregnancy, as this time the chances of miscarriage become nil.
Diagnosis of Pregnancy:
Pregnancy is one of the most confusing times for a woman, especially if she is pregnant for the first time. It is okay to do a pregnancy test at home using a test kit available in the pharmaceutical store, but it is always advisable to visit your doctor and confirm your pregnancy. Make sure the symptoms you are having are not false alarms!
The diagnosis of pregnancy requires a multifaceted approach. There is a history and physical examination, laboratory evaluation and ultrasonography.
a. History and Physical Examination:
It is important for the doctor to gather information regarding the last menstrual cycle. The diagnosis will be successful only if correct information is provided. So please give all details regarding the onset of last menstrual cycle, the flow, duration and frequency. The use of any contraceptives and history of irregular menstrual cycles have to be told at the very outset. Many women have vaginal bleeding during the first week of pregnancy making diagnosis really tough. Further, it is important to check the levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). Since the chances of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy are high, the diagnosis should be done thoroughly and carefully. Any mistake in diagnosis can be dangerous. So don’t hide any information.
The physical and historical examination can also reveal whether the woman had tubal manipulation and tubal disease, tubal ligation, inflammatory disease and ectopic pregnancy in the past. Also these physical tests reveal whether the woman used intrauterine devices for contraception and underwent fertility therapies. Nowadays chemical assays and ultrasonography helps to detect pregnancy even before the symptoms like nausea starts.
b. Laboratory Evaluation:
Some hormones can be measured to diagnose pregnancy. Human chorionic Gonadotropin is one such hormone, it is a glycoprotein bearing similarities in structure with Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Thyrotrophic. HCG is composed of alpha and beta subunits. The beta subunits are disintegrated in the kidney by macrophage enzymes to create beta subunit core fragment, this can be detected by examining urine samples.
Generally, 4 main HCG assays are used, they are: radioimmunoassay, immunoradiometricassay, enzyme-linked immunosorbentassay (ELISA) and fluoroimmunoassay. Urine devices are often used to detect hyper glycosylated HCG, which is a key molecule in early pregnancy. Dimeric HCG and the alpha and beta units are produced by the pituitary glands of non-pregnant woman. Though the level of dimeric HCG is higher in post-menopausal women, it is below the sensitivity mark of the most sensitive clinical assays used to monitor pregnancy. 5% HCG can be detected in women eight days after conception and about 98% on the eleventh day.
The levels of HCG also determine whether the woman has ectopic pregnancy. If the rise and decline of HCG values in women is slow for those who had ectopic pregnancy or had spontaneous abortion. If the HCG levels are very high there are chances that the woman has molar pregnancy, chromosome abnormality and multiple gestations. Measuring Serum Progesterone is important to detect chances of any early abnormal pregnancy. A dipstick ELISA is effective in determining the level of progesterone
Early Pregnancy Factor is an immunosuppressive protein that has been isolated just after conception and it helps to indicate fertilization. It can be detected 36-48 hours post fertilization and the levels shoot up in the first trimester. EPF is used to determine the success rate of in-vitro fertilization embryo transfers. EPF can’t be detected after delivery or in cases of ectopic pregnancy.
[ Read: 11 Ways to Confirm Pregnancy without Doing a Test ]