Your top 5 early pregnancy worries answered

Early Baby Scan
Finding out you are pregnant early on (in some cases before you've even missed a period), is exciting, but can also be worrying too.

Time seems to drag in early pregnancy, you're desperate to share your news with friends and family, but don't want to jump the gun, and you're counting down the days until you reach the 12 week mark and the risk of miscarriage greatly reduces.

Here we look at some common worries in the early days and try and offer some reassurance

1. Is my pregnancy test accurate?

These days you can do a pregnancy test from five days before your period is due with the more sensitive pregnancy tests that are now available. Although these tests are incredibly accurate, some women can't quite believe them and because it's so early and they don't have any pregnancy symptoms they repeat the test over and over again just to reassure themselves that they are really pregnant.

Be reassured though, experts say a positive pregnancy test is almost certainly accurate, but the tests are most reliable from the first day of your missed period. If you're using a test before your missed period check the information leaflet with the pack to see how reliable the results are.

2. I haven't got any pregnancy symptoms - am I pregnant?

Stop worrying! Nausea, breast tenderness and changes in taste don't kick in right away after conception and you won't usually feel these symptoms until your hormones start to surge, from around 6 weeks of pregnancy.

Morning sickness is pretty dreadful, but some women get anxious about not feeling sick worrying that it isn't a good sign (that's not the case, some women just have stronger constitutions). Around 80 per cent of women suffer pregnancy nausea or vomiting - but you may just be one of the lucky ones who don't.

Others signs of early pregnancy to look out for include: needing to pass more urine; backache caused by hormones relaxing ligaments; and constipation due to your digestive tract slowing down.

If you're really anxious about your lack of symptoms and want some reassurance and confirmation that your pregnancy is real you can book an early scan privately. Private ultrasound provider Ultrasound Direct offer early pregnancy scans from 6 to 11 weeks of pregnancy. The scan is to confirm your pregnancy (that the embryo is growing as expected in-line with your dates) and that it's developing in the womb and not the fallopian tubes (an ectopic pregnancy). It may involve having a trans vaginal scan (where an ultrasound probe is inserted through the vagina). The early baby scan takes around 30 minutes and can confirm a heartbeat and take measurements of your baby to check they are developing as expected.

3. I've had some spotting and bleeding - am I having a miscarriage?

Bleeding is very common in early pregnancy and can be alarming, but it doesn't always mean you are losing your baby. One study on bleeding and miscarriage risk found 27 per cent of women reported some bleeding in the first 12 weeks. The risk of having a miscarriage in the second trimester was two per cent in women who reported first trimester bleeding compared to 1.2 percent in women who reported no bleeding. The researchers concluded that heavy bleeding in the first trimester, particularly when accompanied by pain and bleeding is associated with a higher risk of miscarriage, but spotting and light bleeding are not, especially if only lasting 1 to 2 days.

Again, if you're worrying yourself sick about losing your baby, a private early pregnancy scan may be just the reassurance you need. Scans can tell you whether your pregnancy is progressing normally at that point. If everything is normal they can be immensely reassuring; although there is no guarantee that everything will stay that way, if a scan is normal at six weeks the risk of miscarriage is greatly reduced.

If a problem is detected and your pregnancy is not viable, health professionals can support and counsel you as to the best way forward.

4. I just can't wait until my booking scan - it seems so far off and I can't sleep

If you found out you were pregnant before you missed your period, waiting for your NHS booking scan can seem like an eternity. If you're worrying if your baby is okay, or just too excited to think about anything else, an early pregnancy scan may be an idea to set your mind at rest. Just remember early scans won't be as clear or give you as much information as later scans though.

5. I've found out I'm pregnant and been drinking alcohol before I knew - will my baby be okay?

If you found out you were pregnant before you missed your period, waiting for your NHS booking scan can seem like an eternity. If you're worrying if your baby is okay, or just too excited to think about anything else, an early baby scan may be an idea to set your mind at rest. Just remember early scans won't be as clear or give you as much information as later scans though.

For more information on early baby scans go to Ultrasound Direct