Getting Ready To Conceive

Alexandra Powell Allred's picture

QUESTION

Dear Fitness Expert,
What are the earliest symptoms of pregnancy. I have been on Lupron for the past 3 months and my doctor has given us the ok to try to get pregnant. This is going to be challenging because I have not had my period for 3 months.

Where do I start and how soon will I be able to know if what I am trying is working? When is the earliest I can take a pregnancy test?

ANSWER

Unfortunately, there is no full-proof list of symptoms. I wish there -- it would certainly make things easier. I've counseled women who had virtually no signs and others who swear they knew they were pregnant almost at the point of conception. The most common signs are tender breasts (which can also be confused with the beginning of a new menstrual cycle), headaches, fatigue (also confused with the beginning stages of the flu), and irritability.

Some women will feel their waistline expanding in the first five weeks where others do not show until their 6th or 7th month. Because we are all so different -- and, yes, this includes the amount of weight you may or may not gain -- it is difficult for anyone to pinpoint precise times and symptoms. However, there are things you can do to help conception and a strong healthy start to your pregnancy.

First, don't stress. I know, I know, easier said than done when it seems that everyone around you is pregnant. But studies have shown that the more you worry, stress and obsess over becoming pregnant, the more difficult it is to conceive. Give yourself a long-term plan. For example, a healthy plan is to give yourself a year of "if I get pregnant, I get pregnant but there is no deadline!" frees you considerably.

If you smoke -- stop!

Begin taking vitamins daily. And, have yourself tested for anemia Over 40% of women are anemic and do not even know it.Begin a mild, low-impact workout. If you already workout, do not restrain yourself to walk. You can continue working out with the same intensity but, if this is all new to you, contact your doctor, get medical permission and work with a trainer for a safe workout routine.Kick the caffeine habit and get regular sleep.

Today, most home-pregnancy tests are very advanced and you may find out if you are pregnant just five to six days after the first day of your next expected period. In other words, if you were expecting to begin your period on the 14th, you may use a home-pregnancy test on the 19th or 20th (or sooner). The instructions of these said products will tell you that you can find out just a few days after the missed period date but I have found more women than not are given a negative (not pregnant) sign only to discover they are pregnant. Save your money, disappoint and stress by waiting a few more days.

Finally, have an open dialog with your OB/GYN about your expectations, medical background, lifestyle (do you smoke?, are you obese?), and long-term plans. Please let us know how it all works out. We would love to answer further questions as you move along...

-- Alex