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From Medicineworld.org: Symptoms of pregnancy

OBGYN Main Vomiting of pregnancy Ectopic pregnancy  

Symptoms of pregnancy


Introduction
The reproductive period of women begins at menarche and ends in menopause. It usually extends from 13-45 years. While biological variations may occur in different geographical areas, pregnancy is rare below 12 years and beyond 50 years. The duration of pregnancy has traditionally been calculated by the doctors in terms of 10 lunar months or 9 calendar months and 7 days or 280 days or 40 weeks, calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period. This is called menstrual or gestational age.

Symptoms of pregnancy in the first trimester (first 12 weeks)
The following are the symptoms of early months of pregnancy.

  • Amenorrhea: In pregnant women there will be absence of normal menstrual cycle. But in the first 12 weeks slight scanty bleeding can occur occasionally corresponding to the date of normal period. This is termed as placental sign. This amenorrhea will continue till the delivery of the baby and in many women the amenorrhea will continue when they are breast feeding their babies.
  • Morning sickness: This is more often the first sign of pregnancy. It is present in about 50% of the pregnant women. There will be nausea and vomiting which is more common in first time mothers.
  • Increased frequency of urination: It is usually present during 8-12th weeks of pregnancy. It is due to the bulky uterus pressing on the bladder and irritating it. After 12th week, the symptoms disappear as the uterus straightens up.
  • Breast discomfort in the form of fullness and pricking sensation is present from 6-8th week onwards. The nipple and areola become more pigmented. Thick yellowish secretion called colostrum can be expressed from the breast from 12th week.
  • Fatigue is a frequent symptom.
  • Constipation may be present
  • Low back ache which is dull aching in character may be present.
  • From 12th week, uterus can be felt (palpated) per abdomen.
  • Urinary pregnant test (Preg color test) becomes positive 2 days after the missed period
  • Using ultrasonography, the characteristic small white gestational ring is evident as early as 5th week of pregnancy.
  • There will be a weight gain of one kilogram during the first trimester.

Symptoms of pregnancy in the second trimester (12-28 weeks)
The symptoms such as nausea and vomiting and frequency of urination usually subside, while amenorrhea continues. The following new features appear:
  • Quickening (feeling of life) denotes the appreciation of active fetal movements by the pregnant women. It usually felt about the 18th week.
  • Progressive enlargement of the lower abdomen by a mass (uterus).
  • Chloasma: Pigmentation over the forehead and cheek
  • Breast becomes more enlarged. Montgomery's tubercles are prominent around the nipple.
  • In the abdomen linear brownish black pigmented zone called linea nigra appear. There are also striae gravidarum (pink and white markings) over the lower abdomen.
  • Braxton-Hicks contractions are evident. These are the uterine contractions.
  • There will be 5 kilogram gain of weight during second trimester.

Symptoms of pregnancy in the third or last trimester (20-40 weeks)
  • Amenorrhea persists.
  • Enlargement of the abdomen is progressive which produces some mechanical discomfort to the patient such as shortness of breath and palpitation.
  • Lightening: At about 38 weeks of pregnancy, there is sensation of relief of pressure symptoms due to the engagement of the head of the baby in the pelvis.
  • There may be low back pain with difficulty in walking.
  • There is increased frequency of urination once again.
  • Fetal movements are more pronounced.
  • There may be difficulty in getting sleep.
  • Leg cramps may be present
  • There is increased pigmentation over the face and abdomen.
  • The shape of the uterus changes from cylindrical to spherical.
  • There will be a gain of weight of 5 kilograms during this trimester.


Did you know?
The reproductive period of women begins at menarche and ends in menopause. It usually extends from 13-45 years. While biological variations may occur in different geographical areas, pregnancy is rare below 12 years and beyond 50 years. The duration of pregnancy has traditionally been calculated by the doctors in terms of 10 lunar months or 9 calendar months and 7 days or 280 days or 40 weeks, calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period. This is called menstrual or gestational age.

Medicineworld.org: Symptoms of pregnancy

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