What is Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is the term used to describe the period in which a fetus develops inside a woman’s womb or uterus. Pregnancy occurs when a sperm fertilizes an egg after it’s released from the ovary during ovulation. It is the term used to describe the period in which a fetus develops inside a woman’s womb or uterus. 

Symptoms of Pregnancy

You may notice some signs and symptoms before you even take a pregnancy test. Others will appear weeks later, as your hormone levels change. Many people notice symptoms early in their pregnancy, but others may not have any symptoms at all. Some early pregnancy symptoms can sometimes feel like other common conditions (like PMS). So the only way to know for sure if you’re pregnant is to take a pregnancy test. You can either take a home pregnancy test (the kind you buy at the drug or grocery store), or get a pregnancy test at your doctor’s office or local Planned Parenthood Health Center.

Pregnancy week by week

Pregnancy weeks are grouped into three trimesters, each one with medical milestones for both you and the baby. A baby grows rapidly during the first trimester (weeks 1 to 12). The fetus begins developing its brain, spinal cord, and organs. The baby’s heart will also begin to beat. During the second trimester of pregnancy (weeks 13 to 27), your healthcare provider will likely perform an anatomy scan ultrasound. During the third trimester (weeks 28 to 40), your weight gain will accelerate, and you may feel more tired. Every pregnancy is different, but developments will most likely occur within this general time frame. Find out more about the changes you and your baby will undergo throughout the trimesters and sign up for our I’m Expecting newsletter to receive week-by-week pregnancy guidance.

Infectious Diseases in Pregnancy

During pregnancy, some common infections that may occur are the flu, vaginal yeast infections, uterine infections, group B streptococcus, bacterial vaginosis, and listeria. Changes in immune function may cause this increased risk of infection, and if left untreated, may lead to serious complications. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most common complications women experience during pregnancy. Bacteria can get inside a woman’s urethra, or urinary tract, and can move up into the bladder. The fetus puts added pressure on the bladder, which can cause the bacteria to be trapped, causing an infection. Infection can be dangerous during pregnancy as it can cause problems for unborn babies, such as hearing loss, visual impairment or blindness, learning difficulties, and epilepsy.

The first trimester of pregnancy is an exciting time and often comes with lots of questions about how you should care for yourself and your growing baby. Generally speaking, focus on taking good care of your changing body. Eat healthy foods, stay active, drink plenty of water, and get as much rest as you need. If you stay away from alcohol, smoking, drugs, and risky activities, you’ll set yourself up for a healthy pregnancy and a thriving baby. Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor any questions you have about what you should or shouldn’t do while you’re pregnant.


The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.


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