So you think you might be pregnant, but how can you be sure? There a variety of ways that women can determine whether or not they are with child. Chances are the revelation of your pregnancy will not be quite as profound as Mary’s.
And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. —Luke 1:28, KJV
Although not as epic as an angel telling of the conception of a child, there are certainly signs and symptoms that can help determine whether you might be expecting a child of your own.
The most obvious symptom is the absence of a monthly period. This may be difficult to determine if you do not have regular cycles or do not remember when your last cycle occurred. On average, a monthly cycle lasts between 21 and 35 days. The most common duration is 28 days. A menstrual cycle is measured from the first day of one period to the first day of your next period.
Ovulation occurs during the middle of the cycle. If you have a 28 day cycle, ovulation will usually occur at about day 14. There are different signs of ovulation that can help determine at what point in your cycle this occurs. Check out this site for more information about ovulation.
At the time of ovulation an egg is released and can then be fertilized. There is a span of a few days where the egg is viable to be fertilized. If the egg is fertilized, this results in conception. If the egg is not fertilized, the lining of the uterus is later shed during your next period and the cycle begins again.
Keeping track of your menstrual cycle is helpful for a variety of reasons including getting pregnant, preventing pregnancy naturally and ethically and for health reasons. For more information about Natural Family Planning to either achieve or prevent pregnancy by tracking your cycles, check out the Billings Life website.
Other symptoms of early pregnancy include spotting or cramping around the time of conception which is often referred to as implantation bleeding, exhaustion or feeling tired, nausea and vomiting which despite common misconception can occur at any time of day rather than just in the morning, mood swings or changes in emotional behavior and increased appetite. These are just a few of the most common early pregnancy symptoms but there are many more.
If you suspect you are pregnant, it is best to make an appointment with your doctor to confirm. The use of over the counter pregnancy tests can also be helpful in determining pregnancy; however these are best used after you realize you have missed a period to avoid a potential false negative result. Testing too early often results in a negative result because hormone levels are not high enough to be detected by the test.
If you have missed a period but have gotten negative results from over the counter pregnancy tests, you should still see a doctor. You still might be pregnant or there might be an underlying health condition that is causing the absence of monthly menstruation.
If you do find that you are pregnant, rejoice! Children are a precious gift no matter how or when they are conceived.
He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD. —Psalms 113:9, KJV
Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. —Psalms 127:3, KJV
It is important to keep in mind that every pregnancy is different. Some women experience a variety of symptoms and some women experience very few. In God’s timing, all will be revealed, pregnancy is no different.