Fast facts about pregnancy:
- Women are most fertile during the 14 days before their menstrual cycle is supposed to start.
- Ovulation can be determined by changes in the cervical mucus – mucus is thin and there is a marked increase.
- Implantation of the blastocyst (fertilized egg) into the endometrium can cause cramping and spotting (bleeding). Implantation happens 5-6 days are fertilization.
- After implantation, HCG is released which is the hormone home pregnancy tests recognize. HCG is human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone produced during pregnancy.
- Pregnancies last 40 weeks or about 10 months, not nine months.
- The gender of foetus can be determined by a scan after 16 – 17 weeks of pregnancy.
- Weight gain is attributed to foetal weight, uterine weight, extra blood volume, placental weight and amniotic fluid
- The foetus cannot “feel” the penis during sex.
- Most women can have sex throughout pregnancy; changing to a more comfortable position as the tummy grows.
- Female orgasms do not hurt the foetus.
- Spotting may occur after sex due to increased blood supply to the vagina and cervix.
- It is possible to become pregnant immediately after birth.
- Breastfeeding does not prevent pregnancy
- Baby blues are common; depression should be reported.
- A missed period
- Abdominal bloating
- Food aversions
- Frequent urination
- Mood swings
- Tender, swollen breasts
How does pregnancy happen?
Pregnancy happen when semen gets into the vagina or in contact with the vulva. Oral sex, anal sex, masturbation, body rubbing and kissing does not cause pregnancy – unless sperm gets in contact with the vagina.
Can Pre-ejaculate Cause Pregnancy?
Pre-ejaculate is the liquid that oozes out of the penis during sexual excitement before ejaculation, when semen spurts out. It’s also called “pre-cum.” Pre-ejaculate usually does not contain sperm, but in some men a very small amount of sperm may be found in their pre-ejaculate. So the chance of getting pregnant from pre-ejaculate is much less than the chance of getting pregnant from semen, but there’s still a very small chance.
How long does it take to get pregnant after sex?
Pregnancy does not start immediately after sex. It can take the sperm up to 6 days to reach the female egg (ovum) and fertilize it. Then it can take another 6-10 days for the fertilized egg to travel to the uterus and implant in the lining of the uterus wall. The fertilized egg then start secreting human chorionic gonadotropin to keep the pregnancy in tact. This hormone is detected by urine and blood tests, and usually confirms pregnancy.
Can I Get Pregnant if His Penis Gets Near My Vagina but Not in It?
Pregnancy can happen when sperm gets in the vagina or on the vulva. The most likely way to become pregnant is through unprotected vaginal intercourse.
However, if partners engage in body rubbing with their clothes off, there is a chance that sperm may come into contact with the vulva or vagina — which can cause pregnancy, even if partners don’t actually have vaginal intercourse.
If partners are concerned about the risk of pregnancy from body rubbing, they may want to consider using condoms or another method of birth control. Condoms also reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections that can be spread in ejaculate and pre-ejaculate.
If partners have reached the point where they may start having vaginal intercourse, they should talk about what kind of birth control they want to prepare themselves with before they start having intercourse.
What time of the month can I fall pregnant?
You can get pregnant if you have sex up to 5 days before you ovulate or up to 24 hours after you ovulate. However, not everyone ovulates on day 14, so it’s tough to tell when you ovulate unless you use ovulation predictors and chart your temperature to confirm that you did ovulate.
Following ovulation, your temperature can increase by 0.4 to 1.0 degrees. You won’t feel the shift, but you can detect it by using a basal body temperature (BBT) thermometer. This temperature spike indicates that you’ve ovulated, because releasing an egg stimulates the production of the hormone progesterone, which raises body temperature. You have to chart your body temperature everyday to be able to notice the spike in temperature. Note: a basal thermometer differs from an ordinary thermometer and it is available at chemists.
Pregnancy tests look for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) in the urine or blood. HCG, sometimes called the pregnancy hormone, is only there when a woman is pregnant. There are two kinds of pregnancy tests: urine and blood.
URINE TEST: 4-6 WEEKS COST: + R30.
Women and girls whose menstrual periods are one or more weeks late are advised to have a pregnancy test. These tests are free at primary health clinics and other health facilities. However, they are not always available. Pregnancy testing kits can be bought at a pharmacy. The best tests are those that notice the smallest amounts of HCG, so look for one in the 15 to 30 HCG level.
Home pregnancy test kits claim to be 97 to 99 % accurate if they are used correctly. That’s why following the directions are so important. Also, check the expiration date on the package—an old kit won’t give you accurate results.
At a clinic tests are free. The nurse will ask for a urine sample, which will be tested. Results is available immediately.
Once pregnancy has been confirmed there are several options. If the client wants to keep the pregnancy, she will be referred to health facilities called Midwife Obstetric Units (MOUs). These are birthing units run by midwives in the community for primary health care patients. If the mother does not want her pregnancy, she is entitled to ask about other options including Termination of Pregnancy. Take note: you have to get a referral letter from your clinic to your nearest hospital if you want an abortion.
If you are a first-time visitor to a health facility, you will be asked to fill out a form and a folder will be opened. Bring your ID book, any medication you are taking, and a clinic or hospital card, if previously registered at the facility.
BLOOD TEST: 6-7 WEEKS. COST: R150
- Go to your nearest clinic or a professional medical practitioner
- Complete pregnancy test form
- Blood test, your doctor will draw blood sample and send it to a laboratory for analysis
- Blood test results – few hours or days
A sonar can be done by 8 weeks of pregnancy to determine the fetal heart beat or by 16-17 weeks of pregnancy to determine gender & fetal health.
This is a sonar of an early pregnancy : 6-8 weeks.
How to determine gestation (how many weeks)
Last Menstrual Period: Using the first day of your last menstrual cycle, gestational age can be determined (plus or minus 2 weeks.) The doctor adds 280 days to the first day of your last menstrual cycle to determine a due date. Based on that number and today’s date, gestational age is estimated. This number is not always accurate, but it is a good indication of foetal size.
Most teenagers don’t plan to get pregnant, but many do. Teenage pregnancy is pregnancy in a female under the age of 20 (when the pregnancy ends). It is estimated that a third of young girls in South Africa becomes a mother by the age of 19. If you plan to be sexually active, you need to use contraception. Sex makes babies.
Statistics of teen pregnancy in South Africa:
- 2011 – 68 000
- 2012 – 81 000
- 2013 – 99 000
The high rates of teen pregnancies in South Africa are driven by
- poverty and ”Blesser culture”
- high rates of gender based violence
- poor access to contraceptives
- lack of pregnancy termination facilities
- poor sex education
- broken families & absent fathers
Even worse than the round about 80 000 babies born to teens per year in SA, is the fact that half of all unwanted pregnancies in South Africa end in abortion. 25% of these are performed in the second trimester of pregnancy
Risks of teen pregnancy:
- Losing your freedom – taking care of a baby ties you down.
- Developing depression because of an unwanted pregnancy
- Facing poverty – because you never finish your studies
- Never finishing school – drop out to work a low-wage job
- Health risk for teen mom – includes high blood pressure, anemia.
- Health risk for baby – includes per-mature birth, damage from substance abusing mom
- Babies has higher risk of being abused and neglected
- Teen moms suffer frequently from psychological issues – denial, guilt, narcissism, low self-esteem because of the pregnancy.
*A story of joy
This beautiful family lost their first babies, twins, when they were born prematurely. When the mama, Mia, got pregnant again through fertility drugs, they were told there were 6 fertilized eggs in her womb. They chose to keep them all, even though that meant they might lose them all. And here they all are, healthy and happy.
Babies need both parents to thrive.