All You Need to Know on Pregnancy

When does pregnancy begin?

Pregnancy; It is a process that encompasses all the changes that occur in the mother with the development of the embrion formed as a result of the fertilization of the egg (ovum) thrown from the ovaries with sperm from the male.

To the baby in the womb; It is called “embryo” until the 8th week and “fetus” from the 8th week to the birth.    

Again, the period until the end of the 8th week is called the "embryonic period" and the period from this date to the birth is called the "fetal period".   

These changes in the pregnancy are not limited to the mother's internal genital system; It significantly affects the entire gastro-intestinal system, skeletal-muscular system, urinary system, endocrine system, cardiovascular system, central and peripheral nervous system, respiratory system, breast and milk ducts, blood biochemistry and hemodynamic structure.

How many days does a normal pregnancy last?

In practice, only 5% of all pregnancies result in full birth at the end of this period, although a normal pregnancy process is calculated considering that it takes 40 weeks (280 days) from the last menstrual period and 38 weeks from ovulation (ovulation).

You can calculate your baby's estimated date of birth…

Estimated birth date; It can be calculated according to the last menstruation dates of pregnant women who know the exact menstrual date precisely, who have regular pre-pregnancy periods and who have not used contraceptive pill just before conception.

“Last Menstrual Date” is always the first day of the last menstrual cycle. Due to the ease and clarity of the calculation, we calculate the week in pregnancy instead of specifying the month.

With the method we call the “Nagele method”, the estimated birth date can be calculated by adding “7 to the day part and subtracting from the moon part 3” to a patient who knows the last menstrual period precisely.

For example;
Last Menstrual Date = 10.12.2005.
Estimated Birth Date = 17.09.2006. So pregnant will be exactly 40 weeks old on this date.

While babies born between 36 weeks and 42 weeks are considered normal, those who were born before 36 weeks are called preterm, and those who are born after 42 weeks are called postterm.

Prematurity is an expression that tells about the development of the baby, not its age. For example, if a baby born 36 weeks is preterm, that is, she is not premature, if her lung development has completed.

Some risks await the baby also in pregnancies that are out of day and delivery should not be postponed after 42 weeks.

What are the early signs of pregnancy?

The most important finding is the total delay of pregnancy. However, not every menstrual delay (menstrual retardation) means pregnancy.

Many factors such as any lifestyle change, various ailments, changes in diet, climate, stress and psychological state of depression can cause menstrual delay.

Findings suggesting pregnancy:

1. Menstrual delay
2. Change of taste sensivity
3. Nausea & Vomiting
4. Fullness and tenderness in the breasts
5. Fatigue
6. Frequent urination
7. Growth in the abdomen area

Possible signs of pregnancy:

1. Pregnancy tests
2. The growth of the uterus

Definitive signs of pregnancy:

1. Hearing the baby's heartbeat
2. Feeling baby movements
3. Ultrasound examination (Pregnancy ultrasonography)

The most suitable age range for a woman to have a baby is between the ages of 18-25. At the beginning of this period, the woman's own body completed its development and became suitable for the development of a baby.  

Regardless of your age or position, when you want to become pregnant or think you are pregnant, you should definitely consult a specialist.

While the problems of infertility increase after the age of 30, the problems brought by pregnancy in terms of mother and baby are added to these problems after 35 years of age. Pregnancies after 37 are in the high-risk pregnancy group.

Pregnancy Tests

The earlier you learn that you are pregnant, the sooner you can start a pregnancy-related follow-up. Therefore, every woman with a menstrual delay should have a pregnancy test without delay. .

Pregnancy can be diagnosed by determining these hormones (HCG hormone) in the blood and urine. The hormone test in the blood can show pregnancy even before there is a delay in menstruation. In urine, pregnancy can often be detected after a delay of 3-4 days.

The reliability of the self-administered tests sold in the market under the name of "predictor" is slightly lower than in the laboratory. For this reason, women with menstrual delay and self-predictive pregnancy tests that are negative at home should also inform their physicians and follow his recommendations.

As a general principle; In case of any menstrual delay, it should first be determined whether pregnancy is present and then be treated accordingly. If there is no pregnancy, then other possibilities should be emphasized.

How often is gynecologist control required?

Ideally, a person who thinks to become pregnant is examined by a specialist physician “before conception” and undertakes some tests. In this way, pregnancy will be started in the most appropriate situation and some question marks in pregnancy will be removed.

Gestational follow-up varies according to the risk of pregnancy, but in the usual practices in a normal and risk-free pregnancy;

The first examination starts when you learn that you are pregnant, then
Once a month until 32 weeks
Every 15 days between 32-36 weeks
Continue from the 36th week until delivery, as often as your doctor deems appropriate (usually once a week).

Some screening tests are also performed during pregnancy follow-up, the development of the baby is checked and it is determined whether it complies with the standards, and if a possible abnormality is detected in the baby or pregnancy, therapies are applied accordingly.

Do not forget to visit your doctor regularly during pregnancy for your baby and your own health.

Op. Sibel Malkoç, MD

Gynecology and Obstetrics Specialist

Dr. Sibel Malkoç attended many domestic and international training seminars and congresses during 25 years of specialised physician service.

Pregnancy follow-up, urinary incontinence surgery and laser treatments, genital aesthetic surgery and laser applications and vaginismus treatment are of special interest.

It serves its patients especially in surgical and laser-assisted Vagina aesthetics.

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