If your body is feeling a bit strange and you have had unprotected sex recently, you might be wondering if you could be pregnant. There are loads of signs that your body will be giving you, but they may also be explained away by other things. You need to be absolutely sure what you are dealing with so make sure you know what to look for and how to look for it.
This is usually the first sign that something might be up – a late period can really get you wondering. There may be many reasons why your period is late so don’t assume it’s a pregnancy. If you are more than a week late then it’s probably as well to carry out a pregnancy test.
For reasons known only to itself, the body’s early signs of pregnancy are very similar to those of pre-menstrual tension. Sore, swollen and achy breasts, changes in mood and a tendency to cry at the smallest of things can all be indications of pregnancy or PMS. If you find yourself snappy, and reaching for the chocolate it’s best not to assume that it is one or the other until you know for sure.
A Gut Feeling
Many women report that they ‘just know’ that they are pregnant. If you feel like this then don’t dismiss it – your body has a way of being able to tell you things, and if you are in tune with your body then this may well be the case. You need to get your pregnancy confirmed to be sure, so do a pregnancy test.
Although not usually visible until you are three or four months’ pregnant, your belly will start to swell. This is not the baby as it is still too small to show, but your body will be building up its resources in that area so water retention and swelling is common.
What to Do Next
If you suspect that you might be pregnant you need to get this confirmed by a doctor. Only go and see your doctor if you have already had a positive pregnancy test as this is the first thing they will ask you to do. You may be thrilled by your pregnancy, or it could be a real shock, but either way you will have some thinking to do. If you weren’t expecting it then don’t panic – as long as the pregnancy is detected early enough you will have plenty of time to decide what to do. If you need some help then tell your doctor and he or she will be able to offer you access to a trained counselling service.
Discovering you are pregnant is a strange experience and all sorts of emotions will run through your mind. Your body undergoes many changes very quickly so be gentle with yourself and make sure you explore all of your options thoroughly. There is plenty of help out there should you need it – your doctor can help you.
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Ella Stephen is a gynecologist by profession. According to her, an abortion ‘procedure’ should be the last option if one fails to stop the pregnancy using abortion pills.