Pregnancy also known as gestation, refers to the period in which a fetus develops inside a woman’s womb or uterus. This happens when a sperm fertilizes an egg after it’s released from the ovary during ovulation.
The zygote travels down the uterus where it gets implanted. A successful implantation results to pregnancy.
Normally, Pregnancy usually occurs by sexual intercourse , but can also occur through assisted reproductive technology procedures.
Pregnancy usually take about 40 weeks, or just over 9 months, as measured from the last menstrual period to delivery. The period is divided into three trimesters(first, second and third). Though some may lead to a spontaneous miscarriage, an induced abortion, or a stillbirth( fetal death after 20 or 28 weeks).
Signs And Symptoms Of Pregnancy
Signs of pregnancy in women differs, some may not even notice it until months after conception. Its important not to compare your pregnancy signs and symptoms to another as they vary dramatically between women.
Missed Period: Missing a period is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy, it could be the most classical one. When conception takes place, your body produces hormones that stops ovulation and shielding of the lining in the uterus.
Sometimes, missed period may not necessary mean pregnancy as stress, hormonal imbalance, diet and excessive exercise can cause a change in time of period.
Sore, Swollen Or Tenderness Of Breast: Hormonal changes that accompanies concept result in changes in the breast. It appears full and tender. The nipple becomes bigger and the areola darker.
The soreness may be similar to the way breasts feel before a period, The discomfort will likely decrease after a few weeks as your body adjusts to hormonal changes.
Frequent Urination: During pregnancy, a woman’s blood level increases, the kidneys filter your blood and remove the extra waste. This waste leaves your body as urine. The more blood in your body, the more you will have to urinate.
Fatigue Or Tiredness: The high level of progesterone in the blood during pregnancy makes women to feel tired. Though this happens more during the first trimester, it reduces in the second but reappears in some women in the third trimester.
Morning Sickness: Morning sickness, though can strike anytime ( noon and night) begins one month after taking in. In some women, nausea and vomiting accompanies it.
Though nausea during pregnancy is fairly normal, it can be a problem if dehydration occurs. Women who cannot keep down food and fluids because of extreme nausea could have a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum.
Spotting: This is otherwise referred to as implantation bleeding. Implantation can last for about seven days before the zygote gets attached properly (implantation).
Implantation bleeding will look like small drops of blood or a brownish discharge from the vagina. It can start around the time of your regular period and can last for a few days to a few weeks. Spotting can cause some women to think they have just had a light period and aren’t pregnant.
Cramping: Some women experience mild uterine cramping early in pregnancy. When these cramps are felt mainly on one side of your body or are severe, it’s important to contact your doctor as this could be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy or other complication.
Headache: During early pregnancy, headaches are come almost in all women. This is as a result of hormonal changes in the body.
Mood Swing: Hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy can make you unusually emotional and weepy.
Strange Taste In The Mouth: Some women complain of unusual taste often described as metallic taste at the early stage of pregnancy.
You may also become more sensitive to certain odours. This food preference can be linked to hormonal changes in the body.
Bloating: Hormonal changes during early pregnancy can cause you to feel bloated, similar to how you might feel at the start of a menstrual period.
Other signs and symptoms of pregnancy may include the following;
- Faster heartbeat
- Temperature changes
- High blood pressure
- Weight gain
Many of the signs of pregnancy, such as a missed period, nausea (morning sickness) or tiredness can also be caused by stress or illness, so if you think you are pregnant take a home pregnancy test (urine test) or see healthcare worker, who will administer a urine test, blood test or ultrasound scan.