You can often tell if you’re pregnant by noticing at least one common symptom. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of pregnancy, you should take a home pregnancy test or visit your doctor to confirm the pregnancy.
You’ll likely get accurate results from a pregnancy test one day after your first missed period. However, it’s best to wait at least a week after your missed period to be sure that you get the most accurate test results.
Home pregnancy tests
A home pregnancy test (HPT) can be used on the first day of your missed period. Some very sensitive tests can be used even earlier.
These tests work by detecting the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine. This hormone is only found in the body during pregnancy. A chemical in the stick changes color when it comes into contact with this hormone. Waiting times will vary depending on the test, but most take about 10 minutes to deliver an accurate reading.
Most manufacturers recommend that HPTs be taken twice, since results may vary if you take a test too soon after your first missed period. In some cases, your hCG levels are too low to catch early on. Applicators vary from brand to brand, but the tests are generally inexpensive.
Pregnancy tests are accurate when they’re used correctly. It's possible to have a false negative, which happens when you’re pregnant but the test says you aren't. If you missed your period and it doesn’t arrive after a few days, repeat the test or check with your doctor.
Shop for home pregnancy tests.
Clinical urine test
You can get a clinical urine test at your doctor’s office. These tests aren’t necessarily more accurate than an HPT. However, your doctor may be able to help eliminate any possible errors that might affect the accuracy of the test. Depending on your health insurance plan, a clinical urine test may cost more than an HPT.
Results of a clinical urine test can vary depending on the medical facility that you visit. However, you can usually expect your results within a week of taking the test.
These tests are taken at your doctor’s office. A laboratory tests your blood to detect hCG.
There are two types of pregnancy blood tests:
Qualitative hCG blood test: This test checks to see whether any hCG is being produced in the body. It gives a simple yes or no answer as to whether you’re pregnant.
Quantitative hCG blood test: This test measures the specific level of hCG in the blood.
If your hCG level is higher or lower than expected based on how far along you think you are in the pregnancy, your doctor may order further tests. They can include an ultrasound or repeat the hCG test in a couple of days. The most common reason for the hCG level to appear abnormal is being unsure about your dates. This would mean you are either further along in the pregnancy or not as far as you thought.
Quantitative hCG blood tests are very accurate because they measure the exact amount of hCG in the blood. They can detect smaller amounts of the hormone than a qualitative hCG blood test or a urine test.
Blood tests can detect hCG earlier than urine tests. Blood tests are usually more expensive than home tests, and you have to wait longer for your results. Blood test results can take more than a week, and sometimes two, to be delivered.
Early symptoms of pregnancy
Some symptoms of pregnancy are especially noticeable early on, including:
a missed period
urinating more than normal
sensitive, swollen breasts
If you notice any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor, especially if you’ve recently had unprotected sex.
Taking a home pregnancy test can be nerve-wracking, especially if you're not sure you can trust the results. Know when and how to take a home pregnancy test as well as some of the possible pitfalls of home testing.
Many home pregnancy tests claim to be accurate as early as the first day of a missed period or even before. You're likely to get more accurate results, however, if you wait until after the first day of your missed period.
Why wait? Shortly after a fertilized egg attaches to your uterine lining (implantation), the placenta forms and produces the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). This hormone enters your bloodstream and urine.
During early pregnancy, the HCG concentration increases rapidly doubling every two to three days. The earlier you take the home pregnancy test, the harder it might be for the test to detect HCG.
Keep in mind that the timing of your ovulation might vary from month to month, and the fertilized egg can implant in the uterus at different times. This can affect the timing of HCG production and when it can be detected. If your periods are irregular, you might miscalculate when your period is due.
If it's important to confirm your pregnancy right away and depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy, your health care provider might recommend that you have an ultrasound, repeat a urine test at a lab or have a blood test to measure your HCG levels.
With most tests, you place the end of a dipstick in your urine stream or dip the dipstick in a container of collected urine. A few minutes later, the dipstick reveals the test result often as a plus or a minus sign, one line or two lines, or the words "pregnant" or "not pregnant" on a strip or screen.
Follow the test instructions for how long to wait before checking results usually two or more minutes. Most tests also have a control indicator a line or symbol that appears in the result window. If the line or symbol doesn't appear, then the test isn't working properly. Try again with another test.
Some home pregnancy tests are more sensitive than others. In other words, the amount of HCG needed to be detected in the urine to produce a positive test result is lower in some tests.
Always check the test's expiration date and read the instructions carefully before you take the test.
Many home pregnancy tests claim to be 99 percent accurate. However, home pregnancy tests differ in the ability to diagnose pregnancy in women who have recently missed a period. If you have a negative test but think you might be pregnant, repeat the test one week after your missed period or talk to your health care provider.
Fertility drugs or other medications that contain HCG might interfere with home pregnancy test results. However, most medications, including antibiotics and birth control pills, don't affect the accuracy of home pregnancy tests.
Although rare, it's possible to get a positive result from a home pregnancy test when you're not actually pregnant. This is known as a false-positive.
A false-positive might happen if you had a pregnancy loss soon after the fertilized egg attached to your uterine lining (biochemical pregnancy) or you take a pregnancy test too soon after taking a fertility drug that contains HCG. An ectopic pregnancy, menopause or problems with your ovaries also might contribute to misleading test results.
It's possible to get a negative result from a home pregnancy test when you're actually pregnant. This is known as a false-negative. You might get a false-negative if you:
Take the test too early. The earlier after a missed period that you take a home pregnancy test, the harder it is for the test to detect HCG. For the most accurate results, repeat the test one week after a missed period. If you can't wait that long, ask your health care provider for a blood test.
Check test results too soon. Give the test time to work. Consider setting a timer according to the package instructions.
Use diluted urine. For the most accurate results, take the test first thing in the morning when your urine is the most concentrated.
Based on your test results, consider taking the following steps:
Your home pregnancy test is positive, or you've taken a few home pregnancy tests and gotten mixed results. Make an appointment with your health care provider. You might need a blood test or ultrasound to confirm your pregnancy. The sooner your pregnancy is confirmed, the sooner you can begin prenatal care.
Your home pregnancy test is negative. If your period doesn't begin, repeat the test in a few days or one week especially if you took the test before or shortly after a missed period.
You continue to get negative test results, but your period doesn't begin or you still think you might be pregnant. Check with your health care provider. Many factors can lead to missed menstrual periods (amenorrhea), including thyroid disorders, low body weight, problems with your ovaries, excessive exercise and stress. If you're not pregnant, your health care provider can help you get your menstrual cycle back on track.
Aloe vera is extensively used in beauty products and for good reason. It's got antiviral and antibacterial properties, and the ability to help treat everything from constipation to diabetes. The green-cactus looking plant that sits out in your garden isn't just a plant with its roots in folklore, it's the crux of a million dollar industry that extends from beauty creams to healthy juices and diet supplements. Over time, aloe vera has seamlessly integrated itself into everything we use. But, what makes this miracle plant so distinguishable? There are some incredible benefits of aloe vera. So, keep reading to know what we are talking about.
The aloe vera plant is about one or two feet tall with prickly and bitter leaves, which act as a defence to keep animals and insects from feeding on the plant. The leaves hold a gooey translucent gel, also extremely bitter, and known all over the world for it's unbelievable healing properties.This translucent gel is made up of around 96% water, some organic and inorganic compounds, a type of protein which contains 18 of the 20 amino acids found in the body and lastly, Vitamin A, B, C and E. Another part of the aloe vera plant which is used is the 'sap', a yellow-coloured liquid stuck to the skin of the plant from the inside. When dried and purified, the powdered aloe is often used as a laxative, though it's effectiveness is questionable.
One of the most crucial elements found in aloe vera gel is a complex carbohydrate known as acemannan. It allows nutrients to reach the cells, nourish them and at the same time relieve them of toxins.Ayurveda, Chinese herbal medicine and British herbal medicine have all advocated aloe vera as a healer, when applied or consumed orally. Let's go over some of its most prominent benefits.
Here are some benefits of aloe vera for hair, skin and weight loss:
Aloe Vera For Skin
There are many aloe vera uses, like aloe vera for face and skin. Bill C. Coats writes, "Since the skin needs nutrition of its own, Aloe Vera, when formulated into a properly designed personal care regimen, can treat, exfoliate, restore, reveal and provide constant, impressive nutrition to the human skin." And we're about to show just how you can do that. Once you move past the slimey texture of natural aloe vera gel and apply it to your skin, you'll notice how soothing and cooling it is. And it's for these exact reasons that Ayurveda refers to aloe vera as the miracle herb that can be used to treat wounds, minor cuts, dry skin and severe burns.
Dr. Deepali Bhardwaj, Delhi-based dermatologist says, "Aloe vera is rich in vitamin C, E and beta carotene which gives it its nourishing and anti-ageing qualities. It can moisturise the skin without making it greasy, which makes it a great buy for those with oily skin." She also suggests drinking aloe vera juice early in the morning on an empty stomach because it improves digestion and cures any kind of stomach trouble. And, you know that if you've got a healthy inside, it'll give you a glowing outside which in this case is radiant skin.
Aloe vera or aloe vera-based products can be used in the winter as well as in the summer and by people of all skin types. Aloe vera treats the cells on the epithelial level of the skin which is why it's recommended by dermatologists to remove tan, treat sunburn and stretch marks. One way to use aloe vera is to apply the gel directly, another would be to make a pack using aloe vera along with some other special ingredients from your kitchen. So, now you know that aloe vera for face is like a magical gel that has an amazing impact on your skin.
1. Aloe vera for dry skin - Take some aloe vera, a pinch of turmeric, a teaspoon of honey, a teaspoon of milk and a few drops of rose water. Blend this mix till you get a paste. Apply it and leave in for about 20 minutes or so.
2. Aloe vera scrub - Grab half a cup of fresh aloe vera gel, a cup of sugar and two tablespoons of lemon juice. The sugar will help exfoliate and scrub off dead skin, the aloe vera will deep clean the skin and the lemon will help fade out scars and tan. Stir the three ingredients together and use it to scrub both face and body.
3. Aloe vera for acne - Take some aloe vera gel, blended walnuts with a flour like consistency and honey. Aloe vera's healing properties coupled with the anti-oxidants from honey will leave you with smooth and clear skin.
4. Aloe vera for sensitive skin - Grab some aloe vera gel, cucumber juice, yogurt and rose oil and blend them to a paste. Apply and leave for around 20 minutes, then rinse it off.
Aloe Vera For Weight Loss
It's not just the beauty industry that's obsessing over the benefits of aloe vera, the health industry can't stop raving about it either. Known as ghritkumari in Hindi, the plant has millions of takers around the world and is used in the form of gels, cream and juices, due to the aloe vera's wondrous health benefits. According to Britt Brandon, the author of The Everything Guide to Aloe Vera for Health, "Aloe vera can improve the effectiveness of your diet and maximise your weight loss potential. With ample amounts of vitamins and minerals that contribute to weight-loss, as well as amino acids, enzymes and sterols, aloe vera ensures your diet is not only supportive of weight loss, but also improves the body's absorption and utilisation, improving overall health as well as weight loss success."
Aloe vera is used in a wide range of health products, like diet supplements, juices etc. It's rich in anti-oxidants which means it helps cut out free radicals in the body and boost your immunity. It's also a good source of protein so it helps muscle development and gives you copious amounts of energy. There are countless studies that prove how effective aloe vera is for weight loss, but it should be consumed regularly and over a long period of time for it to really work.
How to drink aloe vera juice: The natural taste of aloe vera is so bitter that you wouldn't think of consuming it as is. Take the gel, dice it into small pieces and blend. Now. mix a bit of this with some other fruit or vegetable juice that's preferably sweet. You can also use the leaves of aloe vera, blend them, strain and drink. If you find it too bitter then mix it up with honey and drink. You can also add some lemon to this mix.
Aloe Vera For Hair Fall
Aloe vera contains something called proteolytic enzymes which repairs dead skin cells on the scalp. It also acts as a great conditioner and leaves your hair all smooth and shiny. It promotes hair growth, prevents itching on the scalp, reduces dandruff and conditions your hair. Diane Gage, author of Aloe Vera: Nature's Soothing Healer says, "Keratin, the primary protein of hair, consists of amino acids, oxygen, carbon, and small amounts of hydrogen, nitrogen, and sulphur. Aloe vera has a chemical make up similar to that of keratin and it rejuvenates the hair with its own nutrients, giving it more elasticity and preventing breakage."
The perfect pack: Here's a delicious hair mask that you should apply once a week or every fortnight.
Mix equal quantities of aloe vera juice and extra virgin coconut oil. Apply and leave it in for as long as possible for strong, smooth and bouncy hair. Aloe vera is a natural ingredient that brings with it a treasure trove of benefits. The best way to enjoy it, without the fear of added chemicals, is to grow it in your own kitchen garden or balcony. It takes very little to look after an aloe vera plant, but the benefits you get in return are many. So go ahead, invent your time and money into a healthier you today!
During winters, our skin and hair start to feel dry and undernourished. The condition worsens as we enjoy all the winter 'comforts' like heaters and blowers, being out in the sun and bathing with hot water. An overall lack of external and internal nourishment can all lead to itchiness, dry and parched skin and generally unhappy looking skin.
For years, I have maintained that our skin is like Mother Earth; it requires nourishment otherwise it gets parched and many a time the skin starts to look leathery and dull. Moisturise, moisturise and moisturise are the 3 most important things you can do! To help you with this, there are plenty of kitchen ingredients that will make your skin and hair nourished. All you have to do is know which ingredients have moisture giving properties to create the magic.
Here Are 7 Ingredients That Are Wonderful, And All Natural, Moisturisers For Your Skin And Hair:
1. Honey As A Moisturiser | Honey For Winter Skin Nourishment
Honey is one of the most powerful natural ingredients that is commonly found in Indian households for various culinary purposes. But did you know that honey is also one the nature's most powerful moisturisers? Yes, you read that right! Honey not only helps moisturise our skin but also helps in removing those fine.
Take a bowl; mix one teaspoon of fresh cream and one teaspoon of honey in it and apply it on your face. Use this mask to your face regularly to have a fresh look with soft and supple skin. You can also massage one teaspoon of honey on your face for five minutes and wash it off with normal water. Additionally, for the ones with dry hair, mix 2 tsp of honey in 200 ml of water and use it post shampoo as a conditioner.
2. Oatmeal As A Moisturiser | Oatmeal For Winter Skin Nourishment
Oatmeal is widely used in skin care and skin care products. Not only does it have a soothing effect on skin but when mixed with water, this can also cleanse our body and face. Mixed with honey or yoghurt, oatmeal is an excellent softener for dry hands and skin. Oatmeal is also known to soothe skin conditions like eczema and itchiness.
3. Banana As A Moisturiser | Banana For Winter Skin Nourishment
A simple and easily available fruit, banana is one of the best natural ingredients that you can use for your skin. It helps tighten and soften the skin as well as cleanses and refreshes it. Mash bananas and mix them with egg white or honey and apply it to your skin. Keep it for about 15 minutes and wash off with normal water. This face mask will give you soft, supple and glowing skin.
4. Almonds As Moisturiser | Almonds For Winter Skin Nourishment
When talking about skin moisturising, almonds are always on top of my list. I always keep a stock of powdered almonds with me. To make almond face scrub, all you have to do is to mix almond powder with milk and make a thick paste. This face scrub will help exfoliate your skin and give you soft and glowing skin. Alternatively, take 50gms of almond powder and mix it with half a cup of oatmeal, rice powder and milk. This scrub will help reduce dark dry patches on your skin, especially on knees, elbows and knuckles.
5. Mayonnaise As Moisturiser | Mayonnaise For Winter Skin Nourishment
This one is especially for the ones who are always in a rush and have no time to hit a salon. All you have to do is to apply a tsp of mayonnaise on your face and leave on for 10 minutes. Wash it off with tepid water and pat dry. This easy yet effective face mask will give you a glowing soft skin in just few minutes. You can also use mayonnaise for your hair. Take half a cup of mayonnaise and mix with 2tsp of olive oil and apply it on your hair - from roots to the ends of the hair. Cover with a shower cap and leave on for about 40 minutes before washing them.
6. Milk As A Moisturiser | Milk For Winter Skin Nourishment
One of the most powerful natural moisturisers, milk is used in many beauty treatments from time immemorial. It cleanses and nourishes our skin and gives a soft, supple and glowing skin. Did you know you can use raw milk and water to clean your face daily? All you have to do is to mix raw milk and water in a bowl and massage it on your face. You may also add 2 tsp of mashed papaya to it to treat blemishes and dryness.
7. Fresh Cream As A Moisturiser | Fresh Cream For Winter Skin Nourishment
Applying fresh cream on your face may sound little messy but I have had amazing results with it. This is one of the best natural moisturisers for the ones with dry and patchy skin. You can use fresh cream directly on your face. All you have to do is to massage it on your face and leave it for some time before you wash it. Better still, you can mix 1 tsp of honey and 1 tsp of whole-wheat flour with fresh cream and apply on your face. Leave it on your face till it dries, and then dab a little milk with a help of cotton ball and scrub the mask off gently. This mask will help remove dead skin and will give you a soft and clear the skin instantly!
Most of the ingredients that are mentioned above are easily available and are cost-effective. They may seem humble and common but are magical when paired with the right ingredients and can protect your skin from the harshness of winters. Use them regularly and see the results yourself.
Truth be told, no one knows why pregnancy cravings happen. Some experts say they may be nature's way of providing nutrients an expectant mom may be lacking. Others say they're an emotional thing. Regardless, as long as you're eating an overall healthy diet, it's usually OK to give in to your cravings. Just be careful to limit portions—don't down all that ice cream at once!—and know which snacks to steer clear of. A few foods to avoid: raw and undercooked meat or eggs; brie, feta, and other types of unpasteurized cheese; herbal teas; and raw sprouts.
Find ways to meet other pregnant women, whether that's through a prenatal yoga or childbirth class, a neighbourhood parents group, or an online parenting forum. The support, resources, and camaraderie from other women in the same boat as you can be crucial for getting through the ups and downs of pregnancy. "These are good connections after you have the baby, too," said Dr. Miller.
Learn About Postpartum Depression
You've probably heard of postpartum depression, but you may not know that 10 percent to 20 percent of women experience symptoms of major depression during pregnancy, according to the March of Dimes. This could increase your risk for preterm labor. If you're feeling unexplainably sad, angry, or guilty – or if you lose interest in activities you usually enjoy or sleep too much – tell your doctor. Therapy, a support group, an antidepressant medication, or a combination of the three will likely help. Not all antidepressants are safe for pregnant women, so be sure to work with a doctor who is familiar with pregnancy-related mental health issues. To search for a prenatal/postpartum support organization in your area, visit postpartum.net.