The first week of the pregnancy is when the egg has been released from the ovum, the egg then combines with sperm and conception occurs. Progesterone and estrogen hormones, which are a part of the normal menstrual cycle, rise dramatically. A new hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) begins to be produced as well. These hormones promote the increase in blood flow to the uterus and prepare the uterus lining for the implantation of the fertilized egg.
In the early stages of pregnancy, the female may be unaware of the pregnancy. The woman may experience symptoms similar to a menstrual period. The first week of pregnancy usually does not cause any noticeable symptoms and may vary in different females. Some common and uncommon symptoms include
- Amenorrhea: Sudden cessation of regular menstruation is the most common symptom denoting pregnancy. However, pregnancy may occur during lactational amenorrhea. Also, bleeding may occur early in pregnancy, which could be similar to threatened abortion.
- Bleeding: Implantation bleeding is an early sign of pregnancy and is different from the menstrual period. It precipitates light bleeding that may involve a single spot of blood or a small amount of pink discharge. The spotting may last for a few hours or days.
- Cramping: Women may also feel mild cramping when the embryo attaches to the uterus wall. Women may feel these cramps in the abdomen, pelvis, or low back area. The cramping may feel like a pulling, tingling, or pricking sensation. Some women experience only a few minor cramps, whereas others may feel occasional discomfort that comes and goes over a few days.
- Other variable symptoms include
- Nausea with or without vomiting
- Breast changes, including tenderness, swelling, tingling feeling, or noticeable blue veins
- Frequent urination
- Raised basal body temperature
- Bloating in the abdomen or gas
- Mild pelvic cramping or discomfort without bleeding
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Food cravings or aversions
- Irritability or mood swings
- A heightened sense of smell
- Metallic taste in the mouth
Pregnancy symptoms are different for every woman. Some women may notice symptoms, such as spotting or a headache, during the first week of pregnancy. Others may only experience a missed period. Some women will have no symptoms at all.
How is pregnancy diagnosed?
The diagnosis of pregnancy can be made by several methods. A woman with a 28-day cycle who presents with a missed period and has the typical history and physical exam findings can be diagnosed with a viable intrauterine pregnancy test if she progresses accordingly. Most women are diagnosed with pregnancy after a missed menstrual cycle. The positive result depends on the presence of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) in maternal serum and urine.
- Urine pregnancy tests
- Agglutination test: Latex particles or sheep erythrocyte (tube) coated with anti-hCG.
- Agglutination inhibition tests
- Dipstick test
- Rapid and simple tests based on enzyme-labeled monoclonal antibodies assay can detect low level of hCG in urine
- Serum pregnancy tests
- Radioimmunoassay of beta-subunit of hCG
- Radio receptor assay
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WebMD. Early Pregnancy Symptoms. https://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/pregnancy-am-i-pregnant
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