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Early pregnancy signs and worries If you're trying to get pregnant you may be impatient to do a test and be on the lookout for some tell-tail early signs of pregnancy. These early days and the wait for when you can do a pregnancy test can seem endless - and you can feel you're in limbo waiting for your life to move forward. Equally, this can also be a worrying time because you may notice signs that may indicate there's a problem with your pregnancy and be concerned about any early bleeding, cramping and the risk of miscarriage.

7 signs that you might be pregnant There are some clues that you might be pregnant you might notice early on though, including: •

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Breast changes: Pregnant women say they notice changes in their breasts very early on. Your breasts may feel heavier and your nipples more sensitive. This is the result of hormonal changes. Nausea/changes in taste: Although morning sickness usually starts around six weeks after the first day of your last period, you may notice more subtle changes in your taste earlier than this. Certain foods may suddenly repel you for instance or you may dislike the taste of tea, coffee or alcohol. Some pregnant women also notice a metallic taste in their mouth. Needing to pass urine more frequently: When you're pregnant your blood volume increases and your kidneys have to work harder and they make more urine. Needing the loo more often may therefore be a sign you're pregnant. Backache: Another common sign of early pregnancy many women report is backache. This is due to pregnancy hormones causing ligaments to relax. Extreme tiredness: Feeling exhausted and wanting to sleep more than normal can be another clue that you're pregnant, probably caused by all the frenetic activity that is happening in your body in those early days. Spotting: Light bleeding or spotting often happens when a fertilised egg is implanting into the lining of the womb. Constipation: Pregnancy hormones also slow down digestive tract movements so you may notice that you're having less frequent bowel movements or experience trouble passing stools.i

Confirming your pregnancy It's now possible to do a pregnancy test from five days before your period is due thanks to the more sensitive pregnancy tests that are now available. This can be a double-edged sword though, as whilst it's exciting to discover you're pregnant, finding out so early on means that it can seem like an eternity until your first ultrasound scan (also known as a booking scan on the NHS) usually performed at between 9 and 11 weeks. If you've had IVF to get pregnant, had a previous miscarriage or are just anxious about the viability of your pregnancy after experiencing some spotting, bleeding or cramping pains you may want to book an early pregnancy scan.

Spotting and bleeding Bleeding is very common in pregnancy but doesn't always mean your pregnancy is failing. One study on bleeding and miscarriage risk found 27 per cent of women reported some bleeding in the first 12 weeks. The risk of having a miscarriage in the second trimester was two per cent in women who reported first trimester bleeding compared to 1.2 percent in women who reported no bleeding. The researchers concluded that heavy bleeding in the first trimester, particularly when accompanied by pain and bleeding is associated with a higher risk of miscarriage, but spotting and light bleeding are not, especially if only lasting 1-2 days.ii

What early pregnancy scans can tell you Private ultrasound provider Ultrasound Direct offer early pregnancy scans from 7 to 11 weeks of pregnancy. The main purpose of the scan is to confirm the viability of your pregnancy (that the embryo is growing as expected in-line with your dates)and that it's developing in the womb and not the fallopian tubes (an ectopic pregnancy). It may involve having a trans vaginal scan (where an ultrasound probe is inserted through the vagina). The early pregnancy scan takes around 30 minutes and can confirm a heartbeat and take measurements of your baby to check they are developing as expected. Ultrasound Direct offers a Babybond guarantee that you'll always be scanned by a qualified and experienced health care professional in accordance with health and safety guidelines. The company's pledge is that it considers your baby's wellbeing and diagnostics it's priority and is led by health care professionals, expert in performing and interpreting ultrasound scans.

What happens after a scan? Scans can tell you whether your pregnancy is progressing normally at that point. If everything is okay they can be immensely reassuring; although there is no guarantee that

everything will stay that way, if a scan is normal at six weeks the risk of miscarriage is greatly reduced. Equally though, sometimes an early scan isn't always reassuring; if the sonographer doesn't find a heartbeat or the baby isn't measuring the right size for your dates, the news can be very upsetting and you should be prepared for that too. If it is bad news, be reassured you are in safe, medically-qualified hands, who will be able to expertly counsel you on what your options and next steps should be. •

For more information on early pregnancy scans go to Ultrasound Direct.

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Early pregnancy signs and worries  

If you're trying to get pregnant you may be impatient to do a test and be on the lookout for some tell-tail early signs of pregnancy. http:/...

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