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Early pregnancy care

Care in the early stages of pregnancy

Early pregnancy can be a worrying time, HCA UK outlines the personalised care and support it provides for peace of mind

About

For most women with a regular, monthly cycle, one of the first signs you may be pregnant is missing your period. At this time, it’s completely normal to feel a range of emotions from joy and excitement to feeling vulnerable and anxious.

Need to know

  • Symptoms of early pregnancy icon plus

    Every woman is different and the symptoms of early pregnancy can vary greatly. Some signs that you may be expecting a baby include: - missed period or very light period - nausea - vomiting - feeling dizzy or faint - fatigue - tender or sore breasts - tummy cramps or twinges - strange taste in the mouth - sensitivity to smells - aversion (dislike) to certain foods - food cravings - need to pee more frequently - constipation - excess saliva (ptyalism) Some women experience severe nausea during early pregnancy and find themselves being sick constantly and unable to keep anything down. This is a serious pregnancy condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum and requires medical treatment.
  • Diagnosis icon plus

    If you think you might be pregnant, one of the quickest ways to find out is to do a pregnancy test at home. The most reliable time to take a test is from the first day of your missed period. Pregnancy tests detect the hormone ‘human chorionic gonadotrophin’ (HCG) in urine. The test is quick and easy to do. It involves holding a stick under your stream of urine. Most pregnancy tests will give you the correct result if you follow the instructions properly. A positive test result is almost always correct. Negative results are less reliable and if you still think you might be pregnant, it’s worth waiting a few more days and taking another test.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    Your consultant will discuss with you the tests and scans available to give you added peace of mind. These may include: - ‘dating scan’. To provide an estimated date of delivery (EDD) based on your baby’s measurements - combined test. Includes a blood test and an ultrasound scan to screen for Down’s Syndrome, Edwards’ and Patau’s syndromes - amniocentesis. Involves removing and testing a small sample of cells from the amniotic fluid (fluid surrounding the baby in your womb) - chorionic villus sampling (CVS). A needle is inserted into your tummy and a small sample of cells is removed from your placenta (the organ linking your blood supply to the baby
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • The Portland Hospital Facility

    The Portland Hospital

    205 - 209 Great Portland Street

    London

    W1W 5AH

    Children's enquiries 020 7390 8020
    Maternity enquiries 020 7390 6068
    Gynaecology enquiries 020 7390 6200

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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