Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy – Urine or Blood Test?
The signs and symptoms of pregnancy are not always specific and can be associated with other medical conditions. If you suspect that you are pregnant, then you should consider a pregnancy test to confirm your state.
When a sperm cell fertilises an egg cell (ovum), an embryo begins to develop. This will then implant on the wall of the uterus and you are now pregnant. If there is no complications or intervention, the embryo should grow and develop into a foetus.
Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms
It is important to bear in mind that any signs and symptoms associated with pregnancy are not unique. Other conditions like the gastric flu, hormonal disorders and stress can mimic some of the symptoms of pregnancy.
If you have been having unprotected sex and show any of the signs and symptoms below, first conduct a pregnancy test.
- Morning sickness – nausea with or without vomiting especially in the morning.
- Breast swelling and tenderness.
- Spotting with or without abdominal cramps.
- Tiredness or fatigue for no known reason.
- Dizziness and even fainting.
- Missed period.
- Cravings for or aversion to certain foods. Just the sight and smell of certain foods may trigger nausea and vomiting.
- Other non-specific symptoms include a headache and constipation.
If you think you are pregnant, you can conduct a home pregnancy test. These tests are available from all pharmacies and will test your urine for the presence of a hormone known as beta-HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). In women, this hormone increases during pregnancy although it can also be present in cancer of the ovaries or uterus.
You should use your morning urine when conducting a home pregnancy test. The first urine in the morning has the highest concentration of beta HCG. If it is positive, you will need to confirm the result with a pregnancy blood test. This will be ordered by your doctor who may also conduct an ultrasound scan.
A blood test is more conclusive than a urine test. A qualtitative beta HCG blood test will conclusively confirm that you are pregnant. Your doctor may also conduct a quantitative beta HCG blood test which will measure the level of beta HCG in the blood. The hormone increases exponentially day by day if you are pregnant. In case of a miscarriage, the quantitative beta HCG will show a slight increase but not to the same extent as when you are pregnant.