Few years ago, I met a lady who had a history of two to four months delay of her menstrual cycles, for which I advised her an ultrasound pelvis suspecting her to have Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. She was a busy corporate woman and was unable to find the time to go for the ultrasound for a couple of months. And finally after three months when she did get the time for the test, what did the ultrasound show? Well, she was eight weeks pregnant! She just was not aware of the pregnancy!
This type of situation is not very common, however one should be aware of the signs. The first indicative sign is when you miss your menstrual period. Most women are quite aware when they are going to start with their menses. Today, you have mobile apps that calculate the expected date for the next menses. So, if you miss your menstrual period for more than five days it could be the first sign of pregnancy. A simple blood test can confirm the pregnancy. And if your menstrual date is up by more than a week then the urine can be tested for pregnancy.
Now, if we talk of symptoms and signs of early pregnancy then some symptoms usually show up around three to four weeks from the day of conception or five to six weeks from your last menstrual period. Commonly, the woman starts feeling some distaste or dislike for some food items. Some may start liking a particular food, which they otherwise used to dislike. Few experience a constant bitter taste in their mouth. While many want to eat sour or spicy food like raw mango (as it is or in the form of pickle), golguppas, lemon and other similar things, a few women just do not want to eat anything as they are just not hungry.
Most pregnant women start gaining weight from their fourth month. Some may even loose few kilos in the first three months of pregnancy.
Secondly, a lady who is pregnant might feel tired the whole day. She would just not want to go to work and wish to sleep more or may feel like lying down the whole day.
Around the sixth week of pregnancy, the nausea with or without vomiting comes up. This could be felt just on waking up, commonly known as morning sickness, or it could be a nauseous feeling all through the day. Although rare, there are cases where there is too much vomiting with inability to eat or drink anything, as a result leading to the need of visiting a hospital for I/V drip to give fluids to the suffering woman. A blood test may be needed to find out if there is any electrolyte imbalance. Usually, the nausea and vomiting reduces once the woman crosses the first three months of your pregnancy.
A few women in their early pregnancy are unable to sleep. I have seen pregnant patients who are awake the whole night and this problem may continue throughout the pregnancy. Most of these women do not have a medical problem to justify this lack of sleep.
These are some of the common signs seen during the first three months of pregnancy. When in doubt, just buy a pregnancy home test kit from a chemist shop and do the test with the first, morning urine.
Dr. Anita Gupta
Gynae Laparoscopic Surgeon