Pregnancy, also known as gravidity and gestation, is the time during an offspring forms and develops inside a woman. Multiple pregnancy occurs when more than one offspring is involved, such as with twins. Pregnancy can occur by sexual intercourse or with the aid of modern assisted reproductive technology. Pregnancy lasts a span of 40 weeks from the last menstrual period and ends in childbirth (9 lunar months), each month measured about 29 and a half days, about 38 weeks after fertilization.
Pregnancy is typically divided into three or as they call it the trimester. The first trimester including the conception or the fertilization is from week 1 to 12. The fertilized egg travels to the fallopian tube and attaches to the uterus where it begins to form the fetus and the placenta. Also, the first trimester is the highest risk of miscarriage (natural death of fetus). Around the middle of the second trimester weeks 13 through 28, you may feel the fetus moving. At 28 weeks, 90% of the babies can survive outside the uterus with the use of high quality medical care. And the last trimester is the remaining weeks of 29 to 40.
In the Philippines, one in ten Filipino teenagers aged 15 to 19 years old has experienced early pregnancy. According to the 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) results, 8% of these teenagers are already mothers while 2% of them are pregnant with their first child. Meanwhile, among young adult women age 20 to 24, 43 percent are already mothers and 4 percent are pregnant with their first child.
Pregnancy may be a scary thing if one is not prepared. But, with proper knowledge one can surely plan it in the right time. So, how will you know if you are pregnant? Here are the following early warning signs you can look out for.
- Missed period
- Vaginal bleeding or spotting
- Breast tenderness - Your breasts sensitive and sore due to hormonal changes. Also, your breasts might feel fuller and heavier.
- Nausea also known as "Morning Sickness" - This may occur as early as three weeks after conception.
- Fatigue - During early pregnancy, levels of the hormone progesterone soar which can make you feel sleepy.
- Frequent urination
- Constipation - Hormonal changes will cause your digestive system to react which will eventually lead to constipation.
- Mood swings - The flow of hormones in your body may make you emotional and weepy.
- Back pain
- Cravings - During pregnancy, one's food preferences will suddenly change due to hormonal changes. This may lead to several food cravings.
However, these signs and symptoms may not also result to pregnancy. Some signs may indicate that you're getting sick. It is highly recommended that once should seek the medical assistance of an expert to confirm whether you are pregnant or sick. The sooner it is confirmed, the sooner you can begin with the proper care or treatment.
Mayo Clinic. (2013, July 12). Symptoms of Pregnancy: What happens right away? Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/getting-pregnant/in-depth/symptoms-of-pregnancy/art-20043853?pg=1
Emmons, S. 16 Early Signs of Pregnancy. Parenting. Retrieved from http://www.parenting.com/gallery/early-signs-of-pregnancy