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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Proble Evidence of Pregnancy

This category comprises mainly things you yourself notice:

Cessation of menses: Your period stops. Other things can cause this, but pregnancy and menopause top the list of possibilities.

Changes in the breasts: Tenderness early on, then later the nipples becoming darker and larger. Later on, colostrum discharge (milk precursor).

Chadwick's sign: This is an old term meaning a bluish discoloration of the vaginal tissue, caused by venous congestion in the area.

Abdominal striae: Also known as "stretch marks."
Increased pigmentation: The "linea nigra," or black line, runs up the center of the abdomen and usually fades after pregnancy.

Increase in urination: This is due to the pressure of the growing uterus on the bladder. The bladder is a rather stupid organ and can't tell whether the pressure it should respond to is coming from inside (as in urine) or outside (the enlarging uterus).

Quickening: The woman's perception of movement between 16 and 20 weeks. "Quickening" is an elegant and old-fashioned term associated with the perception of life.

Enlargement of the abdomen: This is presumably due to increase in size of the uterus. The uterus can usually be felt through the abdomen after 12 weeks. This sign will be obvious earlier in the abdomens that have been stretched out before with a previous pregnancy. Into the second trimester, an actual measurement called the fundal height can be recorded each visit.

Changes in the size, shape, and consistency of the uterus: "Hegar's Sign" is when the uterus becomes so soft, usually at six weeks, that it is felt separately from the firmer cervix. Softening of the cervix usually occurs at about the same time, called "Goodell's Sign." The increase in size, as described above, is part of the total package change.

Braxton Hicks' Contractions: The irregular and unorganized contractions of the uterus.

Ballottement: A mid-pregnancy sign in which the fetus can be pushed from your abdomen and felt to bounce back, tapping your doctor's examining finger in the vagina. Obstetricians never use this technique anymore to diagnose pregnancy.

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