Pregnancy Questions to Ask The Doctor

When a women experiences an unintended pregnancy, a floodgate of emotion opens up. Nervousness and worry are common feelings to have. You ask yourself all sorts of important questions like, “Am I ready for this? What do I do now? What are my options?”

Third Box has pulled together leading pregnancy and women’s health resources to answer some of the most pressing questions.

Have a question?  Ask a question!

Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy

What are the signs and symptoms of pregnancy?

Pregnancy symptoms differ from woman to woman and pregnancy to pregnancy. Understanding the signs and symptoms of pregnancy is important because each symptom may be related to something other than pregnancy.

Some women experience pregnancy signs or symptoms of pregnancy within a week of conception. For other women, pregnancy symptoms may develop over a few weeks or may not be present at all. Below is a listing of some of the most common pregnancy signs symptoms. If you have been sexually active and are experiencing any of the following symptoms it is recommended to take a pregnancy. The follow signs can help determine if you might be pregnant:

  • Implantation Bleeding
  • Delay/Difference in Menstruation
  • Swollen/Tender Breasts
  • Fatigue/Tiredness
  • Frequent Urination
  • Nausea/Morning Sickness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness 

However, these signs and symptoms are not exclusive to pregnancy. They could indicate that you are about to get sick or that your period is coming soon. And in some women, pregnancy can occur without any of the later signs and symptoms of pregnancy. But, if you have missed a period, you might want to get a pregnancy test. In addition, there might be other symptoms that could happen to you that are not commonly experienced. 

Can I be pregnant and have menstrual cycles?

Yes, a small number of women can have monthly spotting or bleeding and think it’s their period due to regular hormonal change.   

My period is late and I think I may be pregnant. What other symptoms should I be having?

If you have missed at least one period, you may be pregnant. The other signs of early pregnancy can be nausea and/or vomiting. Some women have a craving for certain foods and/or an increased appetite. Other common symptoms include: tender and enlarged breasts, frequent urination, fatigue and increased vaginal discharge. The amount of blood circulating in your body increases that may result in other symptoms that a doctor would need to assess to insure there were no complications. 

Missed a period?

While a missed menstrual period is the hallmark of early pregnancy, missing a period can be due to a number of factors and conditions. If you’ve missed a period try not to stress out. However, you’ll want to rule out pregnancy. You do not have to wait until you miss a period if you suspect you are pregnant.  We can help by administering a free pregnancy test prior to expecting your period. This test is 99% accurate and performed by a nurse.

Once you have a negative pregnancy test, you may wish to repeat in a few days or your missed period may be due to the following:

  1. Stress and anxiety – Stress isn’t good for your body, and it can cause you to have delayed ovulation.
  2. Excessive weight loss, or weight gain – Losing a substantial amount of weight, or gaining too much weight too quickly can cause you to experience menstrual problems, like a missed period or a delayed period.
  3. Contraceptives – Some women who take certain birth control don’t have regular periods.
  4. Breastfeeding – When you breastfeed exclusively, the hormones that are allowing lactation to occur can block ovulation and your regular menstrual cycle.
  5. Eating disorders – When you have excessively low body weight this can interfere with hormonal functions, which might stop ovulation.
  6. Rigorous Exercise – Women who participate in activities and sports that require them to undergo rigorous training often experience skipped periods or no periods at all.
  7. Medication – There are some medications that can disrupt menstrual cycles.
  8. Hormonal imbalance – When you have hormonal problems, it can change the levels of hormones that your body requires to support ovulation and the menstruation process.
  9. Problems with your thyroid
  10. Uterine scarring – If your uterus is scarred from disease or medical procedures, this can prevent the normal buildup and shedding of the uterine lining common to a regular menstrual cycle.

Ultrasound

Why do I need to get an ultrasound?

There are several reasons to have an ultrasound.

For many women making a decision about their pregnancy, the ultrasound answers the important question, “how far along am I.”

In some cases, accurate dating serves as a guide to determine the kind of care you need or which termination procedure is available to you.

And lastly, the ultrasound can confirm if the pregnancy is viable and alert you if there are other health concerns for to be aware of. 

A tubal pregnancy, miscarriage or blighted ovum have been reported to occur in as many as 20-25% of pregnancies.  Referrals to a clinic or emergency rooms will be made in this case.

What is an ultrasound?

Ultrasound is a technique that uses sound waves to project a picture of an embryo or fetus in the womb. Ultrasound works by sending and receiving sound waves off the developing fetus. Echoes from the waves are converted into an image, called a sonogram, as seen on a monitor. Ultrasound has been used for more than 30 years, and no risks have been identified.

The ultrasound offered at Third Box Pregnancy Clinics will:

  • Verify your due date
  • Measure the size and age of the fetus
  • Identify possible miscarriage
  • Confirm more than one fetus
  • Rule out the possibility of ectopic pregnancy and confirm the pregnancy is growing inside your uterus.
 
Referrals to a clinic or doctor are made as appropriate.

Ovulation & Conception

How can I determine when ovulation occurs?

On average, a woman’s cycle is normally between 28-32 days.  Ovulation can be calculated by starting with the day the last menstrual period (LMP) starts or by calculating 11-16 days from the next expected period. This is considered to be ‘fertile time’ of a woman’s cycle, because sexual intercourse during this time increases the chance of pregnancy.  The time of ovulation is one of the most important things a woman should understand about her body, since it is the determining factor in getting pregnant and preventing pregnancy.  During the time of ovulation, an egg is available to be fertilized for only about 12-24 hours.  However, since sperm can live in the body for 3-5 days and the egg is available for one day, your most fertile time is considered to be about 5-7 days.  (usually 10 days is built into the planning )

I’m worried that I could have gotten pregnant last weekend. How soon after the fact can your test tell me if I’m pregnant?

Our test is more than 99% accurate and  can detect the pregnancy hormone, hCG, at 20 units, as early as 7 to 10 days after conception. 

When do I ovulate? (What Is ovulation?)

Ovulation occurs when one of the ovaries releases an egg into the pelvic cavity. The egg is retrieved and passes through one of the fallopian tubes. Ovulation usually takes place 14 days after the beginning of your menstrual cycle, if you have a 28-day cycle. The day of ovulation can vary depending on a woman’s longer or shorter cycles.  However, ovulation can occur right after a period finishes or later in the cycle. 

Ovulation occurs when one of the ovaries releases an egg into the pelvic cavity. It takes just a few minutes to travel to your fallopian tube and is held there until it is fertilized (or isn't fertilized).  The egg is viable for 10-24 hours. It will take about 7 days to travel through the fallopian tube whether fertilized or not fertilized.  A non fertilized egg will last 12 to 24 hours before it begins to disintegrate.  


General Questions

Can I continue counseling sessions even after I’ve made my decision?

Yes. Our team of counselors (mastered degreed, registered interns & trainees) are committed to helping you through this important time. That is why we are available to continue counseling support, no matter your choice, in the critical months that follow.

What are the counseling sessions like?

All counseling sessions are always free of charge and completely confidential. Our professional team of counselors, licensed clinicians or masters degreed registered interns or trainees will work to understand your needs and help you process your thoughts and feelings so that you can make the choice that’s right for you.

Can my partner or a friend come to the appointment with me?

Yes. You can bring a support person such as a partner, family member or a friend with you to the appointment. 

How are you able to provide your services for free?

Third Box Pregnancy Clinics is a Not-for-Profit California Public Benefit Corporation. As a result of financial donations, we are able to provide care to our clients at no charge. Individuals, foundations, and organizations throughout the Bay Area and beyond make tax-deductible donations to Third Box Pregnancy Clinics.

Can I get a slip from you that verifies my pregnancy?

Yes, if your pregnant test is positive, you will be offered a written verification confirming your pregnancy. Independent of your pregnancy decision, this verification slip will be needed to secure your next level of service.