When planning for pregnancy the “two week wait,” also known as the time between ovulation and your expected period, can feel never ending. It is not only important to recognize the following symptoms as possible signs for pregnancy, but to also be aware that they can just signify your impending menstrual cycle.
One thing we’d like to avoid when planning for pregnancy are false positives. The best time to take a pregnancy test is after your period is already late. But, according to the FDA, 10 to 20 out of every 100 women will not get a positive pregnancy test result on the day they think is just after their missed period, even if they are pregnant. For this reason, it is important to do your best to understand your cycle and calculate when your missed period is. Smartphone apps like Period Tracker and Fertility Friend Mobile conveniently help you to track your monthly cycle. For those with irregular periods it is best to wait until your period would normally be ending to take the test. For example, if you normally get your period between days 28 to 33, you should take your pregnancy test on day 34.
So how do pregnancy tests work? Pregnancy tests detect the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the urine. This hormone is only produced after an embryo implants itself in the endometrium. Some tests detect hyperglyocsylated hCG, specifically “early detection tests,” because it is released sooner after fertilization. A majority of tests on the market though, are not great at detecting this, therefore it is best and most reliable to wait for your missed period.
The following signs may mean it’s a good time to take the test:
· Tender breasts
· Increased fatigue
· Menstrual cycle like cramps
· Darkening of the areolas
· Food cravings
· Frequent urination
· Missed period
· Implantation Bleeding ie. spotting – Implantation bleeding is light bleeding that occurs 5 to 10 days after conception. It is a sign that the embryo has implanted itself in the uterine wall. If spotting continues after this time, it’s best to see a doctor. Spotting occurs in 30% of pregnancies.