Since the baby’s arrival will no doubt have an impact on many aspects of your life, is important to ask yourself how this new reality will affect:
- Your relationships with others
- Your career
- Your other children
- Your physical health
Give it some thought!
Take some time to think about your future and the significant people in your life. Do you have an adequate support system to help you in raising a child? Do you have a plan in for potential financial difficulties? What values do you wish to instill to your future child in terms of religion, work or family?
If you have a partner, think about the values you share. To which point are you willing to make compromises? What kind of life awaits you and your child in case of a divorce or separation with your partner?
At one point in time, chances are that these different questions will become an important part of your life. Take the time to discuss these different subjects with the future father.
Another important point to think about is the material and financial aspects of becoming a parent. Are you financially stable ? Do you have enough space at home ? Will one of the parents decide to change their professional life for the baby? All these questions should ideally be answered before you even get pregnant. This is also the ideal time to question yourself about your physical health and different ways to improve it if necessary.
When deciding to put an end to contraception, chances are you are expecting to conceive very shortly after. However, it generally takes four to six months to get pregnant, and much longer for some women. Check out the section on natural methods of birth control at womenshealthmatters.ca in order to determine when your chances of conceiving are at their highest during your menstrual cycle. This information is often used for birth control, but you can still rely on the same knowledge to help increase your chances of getting pregnant.
How will you know when you actually do become pregnant? Pregnancy tests are now available in all drug stores. Make sure to read the following to discover exactly how they work.
In case of infertility
Some couples have trouble conceiving and fear that it might be due to infertility. If you are under 30 years old and have been trying to conceive for more than a year, you should make an appointment with a gynaecologist for preliminary exams. Since making an early diagnosis and starting a treatment early can be fairly important, the Infertility Awareness Association of Canada recommends not delaying a visit to the doctor in particular circumstances. For example, women who have had repetitive miscarriages should see a gynaecologist after six months of unfruitful attempts to conceive. Other examples concerning both women and men include:
- You are over 30 years old ; have an irregular or absent menstrual cycle; have used an intrauterine device (IUD) as a form of birth control in the past ;
- History a of sexually transmitted diseases (STD);
- History of prostate infection in men or sexual organ infections of in both;
- Abdominal surgery;
- Reversed permanent sterilisation (tubal ligation or vasectomy);
- Endometriosis (endometrial-like cells flourish in areas outside the uterine cavity, most often in the sacral area, causing pain (often during periods) and infertility);
- Nipple discharge;
- Severe acne or pilosity (hirsurtism) in women.
Pregnancy tests measure the level of human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (HCG) in the woman’s blood or urine. The placenta starts secreting HCG during pregnancy and the embryo produces the hormone when it becomes implanted in the uterus, approximately eight or nine days following conception. Determining whether you are pregnant or not depends on several factors:
- The amount of HCG produced;
- The type of pregnancy test used (blood or urine sample)
- The pregnancy test’s sensitivity to HCG.
- If you think you might be pregnant, you can easily use a home pregnancy test using a urine sample.
Home pregnancy tests
Home pregnancy tests use a urine sample to determine the presence and quantity of the HCG hormone. When a certain level of HCG is attained, a change in colour indicates a positive result. The greater the sensitivity to HCG, the earlier the test will be able to detect pregnancy. In general, pregnancy tests sold in drug stores can detect a pregnancy 10 to 15 days after ovulation, about the time when your period should occur. A positive test is often reliable; however, a negative result cannot entirely exclude the possibility of a pregnancy. If you try another pregnancy test a week later, the result could be positive.
Pregnancy tests at the doctor’s office
It is recommended to confirm your home pregnancy test result with an appointment with your doctor. This is also the perfect time to discuss prenatal care with your doctor. The test doses the level of beta subunit of the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (β-hCG) in your blood, giving a more precise measurement. Abnormal levels immediately indicate that something is not quite right.