How to Tell If I'm Pregnant

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To tell if you are pregnant, symptoms such as breast tenderness, bloating and fatigue can occur before the missed period, but a home pregnancy test is a relatively accurate way to determine if you are pregnant. Identify the early signs of pregnancy with helpful information from a certified nurse-midwife in this free video on pregnancy.

Part of the Video Series: Pregnancy Information
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Video Transcript

So you want to know how to tell if you're pregnant. This is Mavis Schorn, nurse midwife and professor at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and I'm going to try to go over that a little bit with you. It's, the time that you get pregnant is between periods typically. The time it takes between when you actually conceive and that's when your egg and the sperm actually meet up in your fallopian tube, it travels down and implants in your uterus, it doesn't implant until about the time of your next period. That's why any pregnancy test really is not going to pickup if you're pregnant until around the time your next period is expected OK? So you may, some people describe between that time of conceiving and maybe the missed period, they may already notice things like breast tenderness or they may feel bloating or tired, maybe they're just worried that they're pregnant or you're worried that you're pregnant because you're having those symptoms but those symptoms also go along with premenstrual symptoms too, right? So it's just difficult to tell. You're going to really have to be patient and wait for that next period. If your periods are really irregular and you're having those kind of symptoms, then you want to go ahead and do a home pregnancy test. Home pregnancy tests are actually pretty accurate. The most common reason for a home pregnancy test to be negative is either the test wasn't done right or it was done too early. So until the little embryo, those little cells actually implant into the uterus, there's nothing to be able to show, the hormone level doesn't go up and can't show in the urine test or a blood test. If you're late, if you are late for your period, go ahead and do a pregnancy test. If you're late for a period and you're normally regular but your pregnancy test is negative and you continue to not have your period, that may be something you need to talk to your health care provider. If you do have a positive pregnancy test and that's time also to call and make that appointment.


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