First Month of Pregnancy

September 4, 2021 Womens Health 57 Views

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What is the meaning of the First Month of Pregnancy?

Pregnancy brings a different kind of happiness to a woman’s life. A woman’s life changes for nine months. During this time, the woman experiences several signs and symptoms. During the first month of pregnancy, the woman does not know that she is pregnant. In such a situation, the doctor confirms the date of the woman’s last menstrual cycle and confirms the pregnancy. In some cases, a woman may misunderstand delayed menstruation as pregnancy, therefore, it is necessary to do a pregnancy test. When the male sperm fertilizes the female egg, an embryo is formed, and the woman becomes pregnant.

On average, a woman gives birth 40 weeks after the start of her last period.

In today’s article, we will explain the first month of pregnancy in detail.

  • What are the signs and symptoms in the First Month of Pregnancy?
  • What are the physical changes seen in a woman in the First Month of Pregnancy?
  • What is gestational age?
  • How does the fetus develop in the First Month of Pregnancy?
  • What tests should be done in the First Month of Pregnancy?
  • What are the things to be kept in mind during the First Month of Pregnancy?
  • What are the complications that require an immediate visit to the doctor?

What are the signs and symptoms in the First Month of Pregnancy?

In the first month of pregnancy, a woman may experience the following signs and symptoms:

  • Absence of menstruation
  • Nausea
  • Tenderness in the breasts
  • Spotting ( Know more about – What are the Causes of Spotting ?)
  • Frequent changes in mood
  • Extreme physical fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Heartburn due to acid reflux
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Increased sense of smell
  • Feeling nervous
  • Sensitivity to certain food items
  • Heaviness in the head
  • Dizziness   ( Know more about- What is Dizziness? Home remedies and Treatment of Dizziness )
  • Severe pain in the back
  • Increased appetite
  • Constipation
  • Irregular bowel movements.

Not all of these signs and symptoms take place in a woman during the first month of pregnancy, but it is common to find one or more of these symptoms in all women.

( Know more about – What causes Irregular Menstruation? )

What are the physical changes seen in a woman in the First Month of Pregnancy?

The physical changes seen in a woman during the first month of pregnancy are similar to the kind of symptoms seen in a woman at the onset of PMS (premenstrual syndrome), that is, the symptoms seen a few days before the start of a menstrual cycle.

The following physical changes can be seen in the first month of pregnancy, although some women may notice these changes only later in the pregnancy:

  • Increase in vaginal discharge
  • Feeling anxious
  • Feeling dizzy       
  • Feeling tired and weak (Know more about – Fatigue during pregnancy)
  • Change in the size of the breasts, i.e., enlargement of the breasts
  • The area around the nipple may become larger and darker
  • Light spotting
  • Weight gain

What is gestational age?

The pregnancy period is counted from the first day of a woman’s last menstrual period. This is known as the gestational age. But, a baby is usually conceived only 14 days after that. Therefore, even though the pregnancy is about a month old, the baby is still about two weeks old only. The baby is therefore always younger than the pregnancy period.

How does the fetus develop in the First Month of Pregnancy?

In the first month of pregnancy, the development of the fetus takes place in the following ways.

  • After intercourse, the process of fertilization can take place within a few hours. When the female egg and the male sperm come in contact with each other, the process of fertilization starts resulting in the formation of a zygote.
  • Once the zygote is formed, it enters the uterus through a woman’s fallopian tubes. It starts dividing into the accumulated muscles and attaches to the wall of the uterus to get nutrition. This step is known as implantation, and this is when the baby is known as an embryo. The baby is known as an embryo till the end of the second month of pregnancy when the embryo turns into a fetus.
  • The formation of an organ known as a placenta is seen in the uterus. The placenta develops in a woman’s uterus during pregnancy and attaches to the wall of the uterus. It is responsible for providing nutrition and oxygen to the growing baby and also removes the waste products from the baby’s blood. The baby’s umbilical cord (tube connecting the baby to the mother) arises from the placenta.
  • In the third and fourth weeks of pregnancy, the baby’s heart starts beating. During this time, the embryo is the size of a pea (only about 6 to 7 millimeters in size), but the lungs, hands, and feet start developing. After this, the face, followed by the eyes, ears, nose, starts developing. The sex of the baby is decided at the third week of pregnancy itself.

What tests should be done in the First Month of Pregnancy?

If a woman is suspecting pregnancy, then she can contact the doctor for examination.

The doctor will first do a physical examination which includes a pelvic exam to check the vagina, cervix, and uterus of the woman.

The doctor will also take the woman’s family history, and assess the health of the woman which includes the height, weight, blood pressure of a woman. 

Any pre-existing medical conditions or any medications that the woman is taking should be informed to the doctor.

The doctor will advise the following tests to confirm pregnancy and to detect any possible problems in the pregnancy:

  • A pregnancy test is done by taking a urine sample to confirm the presence of HCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin hormone which is produced by the placenta) hormone. This confirms pregnancy.
  • Routine blood tests and urine tests can also be done.
  • The doctor may test the serum progesterone to confirm pregnancy.
  • The doctor may do an ultrasound scan to detect pregnancy. With this, other diseases such as diabetes can also be detected in the woman.
  • A Pap smear test (usually done for screening of cervical cancer) is done to find the reasons that can cause problems in pregnancy.

( Know more about- What is Female Fertility Panel? )

The doctor will prescribe vitamin and iron supplements once the pregnancy is confirmed.

What are the things to be kept in mind during the First Month of Pregnancy?

The following precautions should be taken during the first month of pregnancy.

  • Include vitamin and mineral rich-food in your diet. ( Know more about- Diet Plan for Pregnant Women )
  • Drink plenty of fluids and water during pregnancy.
  • Some light exercises should be done daily during pregnancy unless the doctor advises against it due to a complicated pregnancy.
  • Take an adequate amount of sleep.
  • Quit smoking and drinking completely.
  • During pregnancy, maintain proper vaginal hygiene to prevent infection in your vagina. (Know more about- What are the causes of Vaginal Dryness ?)
  • Start taking vitamin and iron supplements as prescribed by the doctor.

What are the complications that require an immediate visit to the doctor?

Some symptoms may indicate an infection, or even a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy (a condition where the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, where it does not survive, causing severe blood loss and damage to the nearby organs).

Some of the signs and symptoms that require immediate medical attention are:

  • Severe pain in the abdomen
  • Severe cramping in the abdomen
  • Fever
  • Severe nausea
  • Severe vomiting
  • Vaginal bleeding which is bright red in color or excessive bleeding soaking a pad completely
  • Severe headache and dizziness
  • A burning sensation or pain while urinating may indicate a urinary tract infection

Pregnancy is an important milestone in a woman’s life. It is important to take adequate rest and follow the guidelines provided by the doctor for a safe and happy pregnancy.

We hope that we could answer all your questions regarding the first month of pregnancy through this article.

If you want more information about the first month of pregnancy, you can contact a Gynecologist.

We only aim to provide you with information through this article and do not recommend any medicine or treatment. Only a qualified doctor can give you good advice and a treatment plan.


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