Signs of Pregnancy/The Pregnancy Test
What are the signs of pregnancy?
The signs of pregnancy vary from woman to woman. Usually the most obvious sign is
when a woman has a missed period. But some women continue to have bleeding even while
pregnant. The following are the most common first signs of pregnancy. Each woman may
experience the signs of pregnancy differently. These may include:
Sore and swollen breasts
Nausea or vomiting (also called morning sickness)
Certain food cravings or aversions
Bloating of the belly
Darkening of the skin around the nipples (also called the areola)
These early signs may not mean a woman is definitely pregnant. They may actually signal
something else happening within the body. A pregnancy test can provide more accurate
What is a pregnancy test?
Pregnancy is confirmed with a pregnancy test. A pregnancy test can be done on either
urine or blood. Pregnancy tests look for the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone
(hCG). This hormone is made by the placenta about 10 days after fertilization. Pregnancy
tests that use the woman's blood are done by a healthcare provider. They are often
done to get a very early diagnosis of pregnancy or to confirm an at-home pregnancy
test. Blood tests are very accurate. They can find pregnancy by the second week after
Women can do an at-home pregnancy test by testing a sample of urine about 2 weeks
after conception, or about the time a period is due. Home pregnancy tests have become
more accurate in the last decade. If the test is used correctly, most home pregnancy
tests are 97% to 99% accurate.
Always talk with your healthcare provider to confirm a positive at-home pregnancy
test. Your provider will do a more reliable pregnancy test and physical exam. If your
at-home pregnancy test results are negative, and you think you are pregnant, you should
also talk with your healthcare provider.