Early Pregnancy, especially after
You may not be sure yet, you might be
in the middle of the
two week wait or you may have just gotten your first
faint pink line. Maybe it's your first beta and you're
not sure what to make of it, not sure what the next
If you're in the middle of the
week wait, you might want to read one (or
both) of these:
If you were given one or more injections containing
hCG (e.g., Profasi, Novarel, or Pregnyl) you
can get a false positive on a pregnancy test if you
wait less than 14 days. It is possible to test in order
to determine when the hCG is out of your system. A positive
result obtained after two consecutive negative results,
using early morning urine, will usually indicate that
new hCG is being produced.
Symptoms of the impending arrival of the famous
'Aunt Flow' (AF, as it is called in infertility
circles, or - in everyday terms - your period) don't
necessarily mean that that's in fact what's going on.
Bloating and light cramping are very common in early
pregnancy. If you've just gotten a faint pink line,
stop panicking :-) whether you feel cramping, nausea
or nothing at all, it's likely that everything is just
Does a faint pink line mean positive?
Actually - unless you have hCG in your body from another
source - yes. It doesn't say anything about the chances
of a live birth, whether you're having multiples, how
far along you are, etc., but it does mean that hCG is
hCG, unfortunately, will also be produced in a chemical
pregnancy. A chemical pregnancy is when there
is no longer a live embryo - there was one to begin
with, but it stopped developing before it would have
been visible on ultrasound. Usually such pregnancies
are picked up early either by non-doubling beta tests
(beta = beta hCG, the 'pregnancy hormone') or by an
early ultrasound that does not show a gestational sac.
This ultrasound can be performed as early as 2 weeks
after your missed period. Frequently, even before the
first ultrasound, a woman with a chemical pregnancy
will experience bleeding.
If you've just had your first beta
and are wondering what to make of the results, it depends
on how many days you are past ovulation or past embryo
A result of 30 at 11dpo (days past ovulation) can be
fine, whereas the same result at 16dp3dt (days past
3 day transfer) is probably too low and therefore not
In either case, the more important factor is whether
the beta doubles after 2-3 days. This gets complicated
when more than one embryo was transferred, in which
case, even a non-doubling beta can still yield a perfectly
normal pregnancy, since one beta can be on the rise,
while another (of an embryo that originally implanted
and stopped developing) is falling.
If you did not go through any fertility treatements
and took a quantitative beta test to confirm your pregnancy,
a result within normal range will not necessarily be
followed up by a subsequent test.
It's an exciting and confusing time. It's common to
worry that the pregnancy won't work out, to be afraid
to 'jinx it' somehow, to be troubled by previous miscarriages
and even to be confused as to whether the pregnancy
is something you really want -- even if you've been
trying for a long time.
What do I do next?
Call to make an appointment with your ObGyn. An early
pregnancy needs to be confirmed by your doctor and it's
important for you to get good care as soon as possible.
Should I start telling people I'm pregnant?
A good choice is probably to tell your
partner first and then discuss what you want to do.
Some couples start telling people the day of the positive
test, others choose not to share the news until after
the first ultrasound. Some wait until the end of the
first trimester, until they're showing, or until after
they get the results of their amniocentesis.
Are there any reasons not to tell?
By telling people, you're not 'jinxing'
the pregnancy or making it any more likely for something
to go wrong. On the other hand, you may feel that you
are building up expectations and that if something does
go wrong that you are letting people down. For this
reason, some choose to keep it low key at first, telling
only people who they feel particularly close to.
What else should I know?
Pregnancy involves incredible changes
to your body, your relationship with your spouse and
your lifestyle. It brings on a whole new set of things
to worry about - am I gaining enough weight? can everyone
see I'm showing? did that drink I had before I found
out harm the baby? am I going to get really moody? can
we afford a baby? can I take that cold medicine? am
I going to lose my job? how can I get my father to stop
smoking when I'm in the room? will I start vomiting
on the subway during my commute? will I be able to finish
the things I need to do? - just to name a few...
During most of the first half of the pregnancy,
it's common to be concerned with whether the fetus is
still alive. Each ultrasound brings with it the fear
of what might appear (or not appear) on the screen.
It's only once you start feeling the baby kick (often
only after 18, 19 or even 22 weeks) that you have a
little reassurance that everything's OK.
The information on this page is provided for informational
purposes only and is not intened to be medical advice.
If you have any questions, make sure to consult with
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Common questions & simple answers:
Q - I just found out I'm pregnant
and I don't have any symptoms. Does that mean something's
A - No. It's really common not to notice any change
in the first few weeks. Definitely follow up your positive
test with a doctor's visit, but don't worry about not
feeling morning sickness.
Q - How early can I tell if it's
a girl or a boy?
A - It depends how you're planning to find out. PGD
(preimplantation genetic diagnosis) can test embryos
(resulting from IVF)
before they're ever in your uterus. CVS (chorionic villi
sampling) is performed in the early weeks of pregnancy.
Ultrasound can show the gender with some level of certainty
at around 14-16 weeks. Amniocentesis is usually performed
between the 17th and 20th week of pregnancy. (Of all
of these methods, ultrasound carries the fewest risks.)
Q - I'm nauseous all day long.
Does that mean something's wrong?
A - No. Actually it happens to a lot of women. Morning
sickness can easily be 'all day sickness'.
Q - I can't put a thing in my
mouth. Is this going to harm the baby?
A - It is very important to make sure you drink and
eat enough to keep yourself healthy. If you're having
trouble eating, consult your doctor.
Q - I have terrible heartburn.
Is it safe to take an antacid?
A - Many doctors allow their pregnant patients to take
antacids such as Tums. Check with your doctor to make
sure it's OK and how often s/he recommends taking them.
Q - I just found out I'm pregnant.
Do I have to give up coffee?
A - Significant research has been done on the safety
of coffee in pregnancy. The results I have read show
that moderat consumption (1 or 2 cups of coffee a day)
are safe. (see this
abstract, for example.)
Q - I just found out I'm pregnant.
Is it OK for me to have a few drinks to celebrate?
A - Alcohol is linked to poor birth outcomes and long-term
developmental problems. In addition, there's no known
safe amount. To be on the safe side, many doctors recommend
you steer clear of alcohol completely.
Q - What about a smoke now and
A - Being pregnant means being responsible for a whole
new human being who has his or her who's whole life
is ahead of him or her. Do your baby a favor by giving
him or her the best chance to be healthy. If you do
smoke, find out about the effects of smoking on unborn
babies. Find support to stop smoking. Your child will
thank you someday.
Q - I'm pregnant - is it safe
to get the H1N1 vaccine against swine flu?
A - the NHS (UK National Health
(see exact text here)
states that both types of vaccines (Pandemrix and Celvapan)
are licensed for use in pregnant women. "Licensed
vaccines, including influenza vaccines, are held to
a very high standard of safety and would not be licensed
if they were unsafe."
They go on to say that "the seasonal flu vaccine
has been given to millions of pregnant women at all
stages of pregnancy and has an excellent safety record,
with no reported safety concerns. This is why in the
UK, and many other countries, vaccination against seasonal
flu is recommended for pregnant women, whatever the
stage of the pregnancy."
Research conducted by Jamieson
et.al (2009) and funded by the US CDC (Center for
Disease Control) has shown that "pregnant women
might be at increased risk for complications from pandemic
H1N1 virus infection". Additionally, pregnant women
seem to be at increased risk of contracting the virus.
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