Video:Are You Pregnant?with Dr. Stuart James Fischbein
Knowing if you are pregnant can be scary or exciting. Watch this About.com video to see tips for knowing if you're pregnant or not.See Transcript
Transcript:Are You Pregnant?
Hello, my name is Dr. Stuart James Fischbein. I’m a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. My website is www.BirthingInstincts.com and I'm here today on behalf of About.com to answer the question: are you pregnant?
Possibility of Getting Pregnant
A lot of women, if they're not using birth control or even if they're using birth control, are always concerned about the possibility of getting pregnant. There is no protection against pregnancy short of abstinence or hysterectomy. Things like vasectomy and tubal ligation have a failure rate of between 1 in 1000 and 1 in 3000, but they do fail on occasion. Birth control pills, IUDs, other hormonal contraception like the NuvaRing have a failure rate of around 1% and barrier methods like the condom or the diaphragm or the cervical cap, or the rhythm method have a failure rate of anywhere between 8 to 15%.
Late Period & Pregnancy
The most common reason why you're late on your period and you're of reproductive age is the possibility that you're pregnant. Another possible reason is that you have delayed ovulation for reasons such as traveling or stress or illness or excessive exercise or weight gain or weight loss but the most common reason and certainly the one that needs to be evaluated first is to determine whether you're pregnant. By the time you missed your menstrual period most over-the-counter pregnancy tests are going to be determinative of that. They will be able to tell you whether or not you have positive hCG levels and are pregnant. If you are at all concerned because they are negative and you still haven't gotten your period, you can see your practitioner for a blood test.
Common Symptoms of Pregnancy
Most common symptoms of early pregnancy, and not all women have them so they're not universal would be: breast tenderness, water retention, possibly some nausea, possibly a very light amount of bleeding, a lot less than you’d expect at the time of your period. It may be a couple of days later than you expected. That’s called implantation bleeding and it sometimes confuses the dating of your pregnancy because people think that that's their last menstrual period when actually it's two weeks already after conception. So those sorts of symptoms also indicate that you may be pregnant. So when you have those symptoms: when you're late on your period, if you have a pregnancy test that’s positive of course, I would trust it. If it's negative but you're still concerned, you should consult your practitioner.
Again, I’m Dr. Stuart Fischbein. Thank you so much for watching. If you’d like to learn more, visit us online at About.com.