From the moment you conceive to labor and delivery, pregnancy can be a special time filled with excitement, emotional ups and downs, and many changes – both physically and in your everyday life.

A woman can become pregnant during ovulation, which generally occurs around the midway point of her menstrual cycle. For example, women with consistent 28-day cycles will usually begin ovulation on day 14 (day one is the first day of a woman’s period).

Once the egg is fertilized, it will travel from the fallopian tubes to the uterus, where the embryo will implant and begin growing. A woman’s body begins changing from the moment of fertilization, as hormones prepare the body for pregnancy.

How to tell if you’re pregnant

Although early pregnancy may be accompanied by symptoms such as a missed period, morning sickness, and breast tenderness, the easiest and surest way to tell if you’re pregnant is to take a home pregnancy test.

Home pregnancy test

You can use a home pregnancy test to confirm you are pregnant after the first day of your first missed period. Home pregnancy test kits are highly accurate and can be purchased at any drug store.

High levels of a hormone called hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) are produced during pregnancy, and increased production usually starts within two to three days of the egg being fertilized. A home pregnancy test measures the amount of hCG hormone in your urine in a similar process to pregnancy confirmation procedures in a doctor’s office.

Be sure to follow the instructions that come with the test carefully in order to obtain a correct reading.

What to do when you’re pregnant

If your home pregnancy test shows a positive result – you’re pregnant! The next step is to schedule an initial prenatal care appointment with your doctor to confirm pregnancy health and test for any potential complications.

During this initial visit you will learn about proper pregnancy care, including nutrition and exercise, as well as what to expect during your first trimester, second trimester, and third trimester.