Whenever you have sex, there is always a chance for pregnancy, and pregnancy may be entirely new to you. If you think you may be pregnant, and you have questions and/or concerns, please contact us for a free and confidential pregnancy test. We are here to help you deal with an unplanned pregnancy and address any questions and concerns you may have.
During pregnancy, your body goes through many changes. Some common symptoms of early pregnancy include:
Each pregnancy is unique; these symptoms may vary. If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, especially if you have missed one or more periods, make an appointment with us for a free pregnancy test. We want to help you understand your circumstances and the options available to you.
Most of the time, you won't know the exact day you got pregnant. Your doctor will count the start of your pregnancy from the first day of your last menstrual period. That's about two weeks ahead of when conception actually occurs.
Each month inside your ovaries, a group of eggs starts to grow in small, fluid-filled sacs called follicles. Eventually one of the eggs erupts from the follicle (ovulation). It usually happens about two weeks before your next period.
After the egg leaves the follicle, the follicle develops into something called the corpus luteum. The corpus luteum releases a hormone that helps thicken the lining of your uterus, getting it ready to receive the egg.
The Egg Travels to the Fallopian Tube
After the egg is released, it moves into the Fallopian tube. It stays there for about 24 hours, waiting for a single sperm to fertilize it. All this happens, on average, about two weeks after your last period.
If the Egg Isn't Fertilized
If no sperm is around to fertilize the egg, it moves through the uterus and disintegrates. Your hormone levels go back to normal. Your body sheds the thick lining of the uterus, and your period starts.
If one sperm does make its way into the Fallopian tube and burrow into the egg, it fertilizes the egg. The egg changes so that no other sperm can get in. At the instant of fertilization, your baby's genes and sex are set. If the sperm has a Y chromosome, your baby will be a boy. If it has two x chromosomes, the baby will be a girl.
Implantation: Moving to the Uterus
The egg stays in the Fallopian tube for about three to four days, but within 24 hours of being fertilized it starts dividing very fast into many cells. It keeps dividing as it moves slowly through the Fallopian tube to the uterus. Its next job is to attach to the lining of uterus. This is called implantation.
Some women notice spotting (or slight bleeding) for one or two days around the time of implantation; the lining of the uterus gets thicker and the cervix is sealed by a plug of mucus. It will stay in place until the baby is ready to be born.
Within the first week, a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) can be found in your blood. It's made by the cells that eventually become the placenta. A blood or urine test at your doctor's office will usually detect hCG. It may take three or four more weeks for it to show up as a positive result on a home pregnancy test.
After conception, the baby begins to grow rapidly. See our video on Fetal Development to experience the amazing process in which a baby grows and develops in the womb. All the baby needs is time and nourishment, and in nine months, he will be born and welcomed into the world by his or her new family!