When Should You Take A Pregnancy Test
Its usually recommended that you take a pregnancy test after youve missed your period. This is because pregnancy tests measure the level of human chorionic gonadotrophin in your body, which is a hormone that starts to build up when you conceive. It can take around three to four weeks from the first day of your last period for there to be enough hCG in your body to show up on a test.
Fight Back With Fiber
Fiber-rich foods help you eliminate waste aim for 25 to 35 grams each day. Check the food labels if you want, but there’s no need to do the math.
Instead, focus on simply eating plenty of whole grain cereals and breads, legumes , fresh fruits and veggies , and dried fruits. Going for the green can also help you go, in both the form of leafy green vegetables and kiwi fruit, which packs a potent laxative effect. Sample from this fiber-rich and tasty menu to get started.
Try to avoid refined grains when you can they tend to back things up.
Really plugged up? Try adding some bran or a fiber supplement to your diet, starting with a sprinkle and increasing as needed.Trusted SourceMayo ClinicIs It Safe to Take Stool Softeners to Treat Pregnancy Constipation?See All Sources Be sure to check with your doctor first before you do this, though, and don’t go overboard, since these fiber powerhouses can carry away important nutrients before they can be absorbed.
Also be prepared for some flatulence, another common complaint of pregnancy as well as a temporary side effect of upping the fiber in your diet. You may have to try different types of fiber supplements before finding the right one for you.
Constipation During Early Pregnancy
In the very early stages of pregnancy, hormone levels begin to surge.
One of the main hormones of pregnancy is progesterone.
Progesterone is produced by a womans ovaries and adrenal glands until the placenta is developed enough to take over the task.
One of the main actions of progesterone is to relax the smooth muscles of the uterus.
This prevents the body from expelling the pregnancy.
Progesterone also slows the movement of the intestine and bowel.
This means food takes longer to pass through. The longer the food is in the intestine, the more water is absorbed from the waste.
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How Common Is Constipation In Pregnancy
About 16 to 39% of people get constipated at some point during pregnancy. Youre most likely to get constipated in the third trimester, when the fetus is heaviest and putting the most pressure on your bowel. Constipation can happen in all three trimesters, though. Sometimes, youll continue to be constipated up to three months after the babys born.
Cramping And Spotting During Early Pregnancy
From weeks 1 to 4, everything is still happening on a cellular level. The fertilized egg creates a blastocyst that will develop into the fetuss organs and body parts.
About 10 to 14 days after conception, the blastocyst will implant in the endometrium, which is the lining of the uterus. This can cause implantation bleeding, which may be mistaken for a light period. It does not occur for everyone. If it does occur, it will usually happen around the time you expect your period.
Here are some signs of implantation bleeding:
- Color. The color of each episode may be pink, red, or brown.
- Bleeding. Implantation bleeding is usually much less than your usual period. Its often described as light bleeding that never turns into a flow or enough to need a tampon.
- Pain. Pain is usually milder than your usual menstrual pain. It may involve some cramping. It can be moderate or severe, but its most often mild.
- Episodes. Implantation bleeding is likely to last less than 3 days and does not require treatment. It can sometimes last only a few hours.
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Spotting And Missed Period
Although this has always been the most obvious sign of pregnancy, many women now find out they are pregnant before they miss their first period.
Many women may have a small amount of bleeding at the time of their missed period. This is sometimes called an ‘implantation bleed’. It happens when the fertilised egg attaches and fixes itself in the wall of your womb . It is harmless.
However, if you have any spotting or heavy bleeding when you are pregnant then you should let your doctor or midwife know. In some cases further tests are necessary. This is because bleeding can sometimes be a sign of a miscarriage.
When Youre Constipated And Have Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels that occur inside or outside the rectum. They can bleed and make bowel movements painful to pass.
This can be especially difficult if you have hemorrhoids with constipation because your bowel movements already may pass more slowly or be hard to pass. The combination of the two conditions can make going to the bathroom an extremely unpleasant experience.
However, if youre constipated and have hemorrhoids, you shouldnt try to put off going to the bathroom when the urge hits. Doing so can put further strain on the bowels and worsen hemorrhoids when you ultimately do pass the stool.
When you have hemorrhoids, changing the position of your body when you use the bathroom may help reduce pressure on the rectum. An example could be planting your feet on a small step stool as you go to the bathroom. This may make stool easier to pass.
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Causes Of Pregnancy Gas And 18 Ways To Cope
Try these positions to relieve gas while pregnant
Brian Levine, MD, MS, FACOG, is board-certified in obstetrics-gynecology, as well as reproductive endocrinology and infertility . He is the director and founding partner of CCRM New York and was named a rising star by Super Doctors from 2017 to 2019.
Gas and bloating are common discomforts of pregnancy. These digestion-related symptoms, which can range from mildly uncomfortable to downright painful, are caused by a variety of factors, including hormones and diet. The uptick in bloating and gas can come and go but can be an annoyance throughout pregnancy.
Heres what you need to know about the symptoms and causes of painful gas and bloating during pregnancy and after childbirth, as well as some tips on how to find relief and when to call the doctor.
Verywell / Brianna Gilmartin
A Missed Period And Light Bleeding
A missed period is probably the most well-known pregnancy symptom, and the one that most often prompts women to take a pregnancy test. If your period is late or doesnt come at all, you may be pregnant.
But newly pregnant womenone-third to be exactmay have whats called implantation bleeding, or bleeding that is lighter, shorter and spottier than a regular period. When you become pregnant, the fertilized egg latches on to the uterus lining and embeds itself, which initiates the pregnancy. The movement may cause light bleeding a few days before your period is supposed to start. And while the amount differs from woman to woman, implantation bleeding is typically pinkish or dark brown in color. It will likely occur for a few days to a few weeks.
Brown recommends that all women track their menstrual cycle, especially if they are trying to get pregnant. You can use a regular calendar, or one of many phone apps. These apps can help you see what a normal menstrual cycle looks like for you, including how long it is and how heavy your period is. They can also anticipate your period and ovulation days for the months to follow, says Brown. I think this is really helpful for patients who are trying to get pregnant. It can help them track when theyre most fertile.
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Postpartum Constipationyou’re Not Done Pushing Yet
Delivery doesnt necessarily mean an end to your constipation woes. The combination of extra iron supplements , narcotics , limited mobility and a fear of pain while straining to go can all contribute to postpartum constipation. If this is the case, says Wong, the same rules of pregnancy constipation apply: stick to high-fibre foods , hydrate and move around as much as you can. And finally, if you’re offered a stool softener right after delivery, accept it. Trust us on this one.
This article was originally published in August 2017 and has since been updated.
Find Relief From These Three Common Pregnancy
I didn’t have morning sickness during pregnancyI had every-waking-moment sickness. For two months, I camped out on the couch nibbling one of the only things I could keep down: plain toaster waffles, which my husband called “Preggos.” Mercifully, the nausea lifted during my second trimester, but many people suffer much longer.
Jenn Grassi, of New Hampshire, had terrible heartburn for all nine months and remembers the day after delivery well. “It dawned on me that the heartburn was gone, and I nearly cried tears of joy,” she says.
While you wait for tummy troubles to naturally lift or for baby’s birth to save you from themhere’s how to cope.
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Smell Sensitivity And Food Aversions During Early Pregnancy
Smell sensitivity is a symptom of early pregnancy thats mostly self-reported. Theres little scientific evidence about smell sensitivity during the first trimester. However, it might be important, since smell sensitivity may trigger nausea and vomiting. It may also cause strong distaste for certain foods.
You may experience either a heightened or lessened sense of smell during pregnancy, according to 2017 research. This is especially common during the first and third trimesters. Heightened smell is more common than lessened smell. Some smells that never bothered you before may become less pleasing or even trigger nausea.
The good news is that your sense of smell usually returns to normal after delivery, or within 6 to 12 weeks postpartum.
When Should I Take A Pregnancy Test
Some home pregnancy tests claim they’re sensitive enough to give a positive result as early as five days before you would expect your period. But you’re more likely to get an accurate result if you wait to test until after the first day of your missed period. If you test too early, you may get a false negative pregnancy test or an unclear result like a faint line.
If you test and get a negative result, but still have pregnancy symptoms and/or no period, try again in a few days. Test first thing in the morning, when your urine is more concentrated. Home pregnancy tests measure the amount of human Chorionic Gonadotropin in your urine. During early pregnancy, hCG levels typically double every two to three days.
Remember that your baby begins to develop before you can tell you’re pregnant, so take care of your health while you’re waiting to find out. If you haven’t already, start taking a daily prenatal vitamin with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid.
Once you’ve gotten a positive pregnancy test result, make your first prenatal appointment. Good prenatal care is essential for you and your baby. If you don’t have a doctor or a midwife to care for you during pregnancy, start asking for recommendations and see who’s covered by your insurance. There are options if you don’t have health insurance or need low-cost prenatal care.
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Get Relief From Morning Sickness
Snacks: Crackers and other high-carb snacks help fight morning sickness because they’re easy to digest. You may need to nibble on something small every hour, so keep snacks in your bag, car, and workplace, and never let your stomach get too emptyor too full, both of which can make you ill. Bland foods are best, because greasy and spicy fare tend to aggravate nausea. Sometimes sucking on something helps: Try sour candy, ginger candy, or lollipops.
Drugstore Cures: In addition, some people find relief in wristbands designed to prevent seasickness, such as Sea-Bands , which work through acupressure. Many obstetricians also suggest vitamin B6 supplements because morning sickness may be caused by a deficiency .
Need more? Ask your doctor about over-the-counter medicine. Antihistamines particularly Unisom in tablet formare one of the rare medications that are considered safe because they have been “randomized controlled double-blind” tested .
Stomach acid tends to make nausea worse, so heartburn medicines like Zantac may also do the trick. If those fail and morning sickness has you miserable, discuss with your doctor whether stronger drugs are worth it. Over-the-counter antacids are considered safe with good “retrospective” data.
Is Constipation During Pregnancy Ever Serious
Usually not, but occasionally constipation during pregnancy can be a symptom of another problem. If you have severe constipation thats accompanied by abdominal pain, alternates with diarrhea, or you pass mucus or blood, call your doctor or midwife immediately.
Also, straining during a bowel movement or passing a hard stool can lead to or worsen hemorrhoids, which are swollen veins in the rectal area. Hemorrhoids can be extremely uncomfortable, though they rarely cause serious problems. In most cases, they go away fairly soon after your baby is born. However, if the pain is severe, or if you have rectal bleeding, call your doctor.
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Why Am I Constipated
An increase in the progesterone hormone during pregnancy causes the relaxation of your bodys muscles. That includes your intestines. And slower moving intestines means slower digestion. This can lead to constipation.
Constipation is common during pregnancy. Almost three out of four pregnant women will experience constipation and other bowel issues at some point, according to a study published in .
From over-the-counter pills to natural cures, there are a whole host of remedies available for relieving constipation.
But when pregnancys involved, the number of solutions shrinks.
These five remedies are pregnancy-safe.
A diet high in fiber helps prevention constipation. It also supplies pregnant women with vitamins and antioxidants.
Pregnant women should try to consume 25 to 30 grams of dietary fiber each day to stay regular and healthy.
Try cutting up some raspberries, apples, bananas, figs, and strawberries for a refreshing fruit salad. Or roast some sweet corn, Brussels sprouts, and carrots for a delightful side dish.
Its important to stay hydrated during pregnancy. That might mean doubling your water intake.
Pregnant women should drink at least eight 12-ounce glasses of water a day. This will help keep your bowels soft and moving smoothly through your digestive tract.
Check with your doctor about what exercises are safe for you and your baby.
Does Your Stomach Feel Tight When Pregnant
As your body continues to adapt to pregnancy, you may experience stomach tightening and even sharp pains called round ligament pain. This type of discomfort is most common during the second trimester, and the pain may extend from your abdomen or hip area to your groin. Round ligament pain is considered totally normal.
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Can You Experience Pregnancy Symptoms And Not Be Pregnant
It’s not uncommon to experience pregnancy symptoms without being pregnant. Similar symptoms may occur before a period , at the time of ovulation, or as a side effect of medicines used in fertility treatments.
The symptoms may also occur if you want to be pregnant so badly that you focus on any change so much that you convince yourself you are pregnant, even though you’re not.
How Do You Know Youre Pregnant
You may be asking yourself âHow do I know if Iâm pregnant?â If you think you may be pregnant, a home pregnancy test will confirm it. Thereâs no way to know that you are pregnant without taking a test.If youâre experiencing any of the symptoms of pregnancy and take a home pregnancy test but the test comes out negative, thereâs still a chance you may be pregnant. Wait until your period is a week late , and then take the test again.If the test comes out positive, make an appointment with your healthcare provider to confirm the pregnancy.Once your pregnancy is confirmed, check out our go-to pregnancy guide, which includes lots of pertinent information and tools you’ll need to navigate your pregnancy, including infographics, checklists, trackers, and more!If you like, use our due date calculator to find out how far along you are in your pregnancy:
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Get Relief From Pregnancy Constipation
Fiber is your best defense, because it holds on to water and helps things pass through the intestine. Add fiber-rich foods such as a cereal, fruits, vegetables, and beans to your diet. If you can’t get your fill from food, try fiber supplements. Finally, exercise is known to boost bowel motility.
If lifestyle changes aren’t working, ask your doctor about over-the-counter stool softeners like Colace. For hemorrhoids, medicated pads and creams like Tucks and Preparation H are safe.
Forcing It Is One Of The Worst Things You Can Do
Unless you want hemorrhoids, its not a good idea to just sit on the toilet and push hoping that youll eventually get relief.
Straining to poop also puts a lot of stress on muscles of the pelvic floor, Dr. Paik says. Straining will further weaken those muscles, which will already be put through the wringer during pregnancy and labor. This can contribute to urinary incontinence and fecal incontinence, Dr. Paik says.
Instead, you want to make it easier for the poop to make its way out with just a normal amount of effort. The ultimate goal is to try and make poop softer and easier to pass and a lot of times thats going to come from increasing hydration, having a more physically active lifestylemovement will increase your intestinal motilityand having a good amount of fiber in your diet, Dr. Elborno says.
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