Learn About Ailments | Pregnancy
   



Pregnancy


Pregnancy is the period of time from conception to birth and lasts approximately 40 weeks. Pregnancy is divided into three three month periods known as trimesters. During the first trimester the embryo forms into a foetus. In the second trimester the foetus grows and movement is felt. During the third trimester the foetus attains full body weight.
Pregnancy

In This Article
Watch the sex during pregnancy video Causes of pregnancy
Symptoms of pregnancy Diagnosis of pregnancy
Related terms

                    


Pregnancy can occur after sexual intercourse or from IVF treatment when a sperm cell from a man fertilises with one ovum (egg) from a woman and becomes an embryo. This process happens in one of the woman's Fallopian tubes and if the embryo is then transported to the womb for implantation pregnancy begins.

There are a lot of factors which determine fertilisation and implantation. Ovum must be regularly released from the ovary and the fertilised egg must be able to move freely along the Fallopian tube. Sperm cells must be healthy and delivered in high numbers as only one will penetrate the egg to form an embryo. The uterus (womb) lining must be receptive to the embryo to allow it to embed into the lining. 


Symptoms of pregnancy vary from woman to woman and the early symptoms can be experienced within a few days of conceiving.

The common symptoms of early pregnancy include:
  • Nausea/vomiting – often referred to as 'morning sickness', nausea and vomiting can actually occur at any time of day.
  • Breast tenderness – an increase in the hormone HCG can make breasts larger, swollen and tender when pregnant. Nipples can become more sensitive and change colour.
  • Increased urination – during pregnancy, the uterus swells placing pressure on the bladder. This results in needing to urinate more frequently.
  • Tiredness – the body goes through some major changes while pregnant which can cause tiredness. Higher levels of progesterone in the body can also cause sluggishness.
  • Spotting – from ovulation, light bleeding can occur as the fertilized embryo embeds into the lining of the womb. This can often be mistaken for a period.
  • Feeling light-headed – as the uterus grows it places pressure on the arteries in the legs causing a drop in blood pressure. This can make a pregnant woman feel dizzy and even faint. Dizziness can also be a symptom of a drop in blood sugar so it is important to eat regular meals when pregnant.
  • Constipation – hormones involved with pregnancy can slow bowel function to enable the body to absorb nutrients and vitamins. This can result in constipation which typically worsens over time.
  • Mood swings – an increase in hormones can cause mood changes, emotional outbursts or irritability.
  • Heart burn – an increase in HCG slows down digestion which results in the stomach taking longer to empty. This can increase stomach acid which leaks back into the oesophagus causing heartburn.


Pregnancy can be confirmed using home-testing kits which are available from your local chemist. However, you will also need to confirm your pregnancy with your local GP.


Afterpains
Alpha Fetoprotein (AFP)
Amniotic Fluid Amniotic Sac
Analgesic
Antenatal
Antepartum
Apgar Score
Baby Blues
Bilirubin
Biophysical Profile
Birthing Room
Bloody Show
Bonding
Breech Presentation
Candida Albicans
Cephalic
Cephalopelvic Disproportion
Cerrvical Dilation
Cesarean Delivery
C Section
Chloasma
Congenital Disorder
Contraction
Contraction Stress Test
Crowning
Ectopic
Endometriosis
False Labor
Fetal Anomaly
Fetal Distress
Fetal Growth Retardation (IUGR)
Fetal
Fetus
Frank Breech
Hyaline Membrane Disease
Hydrocephalus
Induction
In Utero
Jaundice
Leboyer Method
Meconium
Microcephaly
Morning Sickness
Mucus Plug
Multiple Pregnancy
Obstetrician
Pediatrician
Perinatologist
Postpartum
Preeclampsia
Pregnancy
Pregnancy Induced Hypertension
Preterm
Quickening
Rupture of Membranes
Stretch Marks
Sucking
Trimester
Umbilical Cord
Umbilicus
Vertex




Therapies to consider
Acupressure Acupuncture Aromatherapy
Ayurvedic Medicine Chinese Herbal Medicine Counselling
Deep Tissue Massage Detoxification Energy Healing
Hawaiian Massage Herbal Medicine Holistic Massage
Hypnobirthing Hypnotherapy Massage
Naturopathy NLP Nutrition
Osteopathy Personal Training Physiotherapy
Pilates Pregnancy Massage Psychotherapy
Reflexology Remedial Massage Shiatsu
Yoga

 
 
 
 
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