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Pregnancy is the period in which an egg cell is fertilized by a sperm to form a new cell, called the zygote, that eventually develops into a new human organism, to be born. The period of human pregnancy is 40 weeks from the date of the last menstrual period (LMP), or 38 weeks from the time of conception, on average. The former is taken as the beginning of pregnancy in this article.

Symptoms

The early pregnancy symptoms listed here generally can be felt once implantation occurs (8 – 10 days from ovulation) and will lessen after the first trimester:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • breast tenderness
  • frequent urination
  • feeling tired
  • missed period
  • dizziness
  • constipation
  • irritability

When to see a doctor

How soon do you need to see a doctor if you’re pregnant? Even if a home pregnancy test confirms you’re pregnant, you still need to make an appointment with an Ob/Gyn. The American Pregnancy Association recommends you make an appointment with your doctor for your first prenatal visit within eight weeks of your last menstrual period (LMP). Even if you’ve been pregnant before, every pregnancy and every baby is different. That’s why starting out with the best care, and following your doctor’s advice for prenatal care, including regular appointments, is critical to the health of both you and your baby.

Causes

Pregnancy occurs when a sperm fertilizes an egg after it’s released from the ovary during ovulation. The fertilized egg then travels down into the uterus, where implantation occurs. A successful implantation results in pregnancy.

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