Pregnancy occurs when the sperm fertilizes the egg, and the zygote is formed. The zygote gets implanted in the wall of the uterus. As soon as the implantation takes place, the need for nourishment and care arises. The zygote develops into an embryo which further grows into a baby. This responsibility is taken up by a layer formed between the baby and the mother, called the placenta. The placenta is formed by chorion and the uterine tissue. This layer plays many roles during this time.
Knowing what to expect during the full pregnancy term is important for monitoring both your health and the health of the baby. If you’d like to prevent pregnancy, there are also effective forms of birth control you should keep in mind. A missed period is one of the earliest symptoms of pregnancy. However, a missed period doesn’t necessarily mean you’re pregnant, especially if your cycle tends to be irregular.
Symptoms of Pregnancy
- Weight gain: You can expect to gain between 1 and 4 pounds in your first few months of pregnancy. Weight gain becomes more noticeable toward the beginning of your second trimester.
- Missed period. If you’re in your childbearing years and a week or more has passed without the start of an expected menstrual cycle, you might be pregnant. However, this symptom can be misleading if you have an irregular menstrual cycle.
- Heartburn: Hormones released during this period, sometimes relax the valve between your stomach and esophagus. When stomach acid leaks out, this can result in heartburn.
- Constipation: Hormone changes during early pregnancy can slow down your digestive system. As a result, you may become constipated.
- Cramps: As the muscles in your uterus begin to stretch and expand, you may feel a pulling sensation that resembles menstrual cramps. If spotting or bleeding occurs alongside your cramps, it could signal a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy.
- Back pain: Hormones and stress on the muscles are the biggest causes of back pain in early pregnancy. Later on, your increased weight and shifted center of gravity may add to your back pain. Around half of all pregnant women report back pain during their pregnancy.
- Breast changes: Breast changes are one of the first noticeable signs of pregnancy. Even before you’re far enough along for a positive test, your breasts may begin to feel tender, swollen, and generally heavy or full. Your nipples may also become larger and more sensitive, and the areolae may darken.
- Vomiting: Vomiting is a component of “morning sickness,” a common symptom that usually appears within the first four months. Morning sickness is often the first sign that you’re pregnant. Increased hormones during early pregnancy are the main cause.