By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Know the basics

What is pregnancy?

Pregnancy is the period of time in which a woman carries a fetus inside. In most cases, the fetus grows in the uterus. Pregnancy usually lasts about 40 weeks, or just over 9 months, counting from the first day of your last normal period. Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters. Most women feel differently, both physically and mentally, during each trimester. In addition to weight and body shape, other alterations in your body chemistry and function also take place during pregnancy. Your heart works harder, your temperature registers slightly higher, body secretions increase, joints, and ligaments are more flexible and hormones are altered.

  • First Trimester (week 1 to week 12).During this period, your baby’s body structure and organ systems develop. Most miscarriages and birth defects occur during this period. Your body also undergoes major changes during the first trimester. These changes often cause a variety of symptoms, including nausea, fatigue, breast tenderness and frequent urination.
  • Second Trimester (week 13 to week 26). The baby grows rapidly and the second trimester often marks the ability to move and hear of the baby. You’re likely to experience decreased nausea, better sleep patterns, and an increased energy level. However, you may experience a whole new set of symptoms, such as back pain, abdominal pain, leg cramps, constipation, and heartburn.
  • Third Trimester (week 27 to week 40). By the end of 37 weeks, a baby is considered full term and its organs are ready to function on their own. As you near your due date, your baby may turn into a head-down position for birth.

How common is pregnancy?

Pregnancy is extremely common. It can affect women since they have the first menstruation – menarche. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Know the symptoms

What are the symptoms of pregnancy?

The common symptoms of pregnancy are:

  • Missed monthly period;
  • Tender, swollen breasts;
  • Fatigue;
  • Headache;
  • Mood swings;
  • Nausea and vomiting in the morning;
  • Peeing often;
  • Changes in appetite;
  • Heartburn;
  • Spotting and Cramping;
  • Constipation;
  • Weight gain or loss.

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

You should contact your doctor if you have any of the following:

  • Severe abdominal pain;
  • Significant bleeding;
  • Severe dizziness;
  • Rapid weight gain or too little weight gain;
  • Very young age or older than 35;
  • Overweight or underweight;
  • Problems in previous pregnancy;
  • Health conditions you have before you become pregnant, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, cancer, and HIV;
  • Pregnancy with twins or other multiples.

Know the causes

What causes pregnancy?

Pregnancy is caused by semen getting inside the vagina when having sex. Normally, a woman will have menstruation monthly which is operated by hormone. One of the ovaries releases an egg – the ovulation. A woman becomes pregnant if the egg is fertilized by a man’s sperm cell and attaches to the uterine wall during the 3 days before or on the day of ovulation. If the egg is not fertilized, the lining will break, leading the menstrual flow.

Know the risk factors

What increases my risk for pregnancy?

There are many risk factors for pregnancy, such as:

  • Women in reproductive age;
  • Having sex regularly without pregnancy prevention method.


Understand the diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is pregnancy diagnosed?

You will be required test to diagnose pregnancy:

  • Urine tests. It can be done at home or in a doctor’s office. Many women first choose a home pregnancy test to take about a week after a missed period.  Urine tests look for the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone which is also called the pregnancy hormone. Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a special hormone in the urine or blood that is only there when a woman is pregnant.
  • Blood test. Blood tests are done at your doctor’s office but are used less often than urine tests. These tests can detect pregnancy earlier than a home pregnancy test, or about six to eight days after  Two types of blood pregnancy tests are available: A qualitative hCG test and A quantitative hCG test.
  • Ultrasound can determine how old is your baby and some defected birth signs.

Throughout your pregnancy, your doctor or midwife may suggest a number of other tests, too. Some tests are suggested for all women, such as screenings for gestational diabetes, Down syndrome, and HIV.

How is pregnancy treated?

Your doctor will do tests above to determine whether you are pregnant. If you are pregnant, he or she might give you some vitamin supplements containing folate, zinc, vitamin D, iron, calcium, and other vitamins.

Lifestyle changes & Home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage pregnancy?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with pregnancy:

  • Eating a nutritious diet, including protein, vitamin c, acid folic, iron, calcium.
  • Taking prenatal vitamins for the well-being development of your baby.
  • Exercising 30 minutes a day is proven to help circulation, strengthen muscles, and decrease stress.
  • Stop smoking and reduce the amount of alcohol intake.
  • Attending all prenatal care checkups will help your doctor carefully monitor you and your growing baby throughout your pregnancy.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: October 4, 2016 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019

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