Most girls are born with thousands of tiny eggs (ova) inside their ovaries. When a girl reaches puberty, these eggs mature, usually one at a time, and travel along one of the Fallopian tubes to the uterus (womb).

Each month, the lining of the uterus becomes thick and soft, ready for a possible pregnancy. This lining is made up of tissue, blood and other fluids.

If an egg is fertilised by a sperm from a male (this can happen as a result of sexual intercourse), then a pregnancy can occur. If not, the blood and fluids are passed out of the body through the vagina – this is called menstruation, or a period.

Conception today can also take place with the aid of a range of developments in reproductive technology, including invitro fertilisation or fertilisation that takes place in a laboratory, then the fertilised egg is inserted into a woman’s uterus.

How do you know you’re pregnant?

Possible signs include:

  • missed period
  • late period or lighter and shorter period
  • tender and/or bigger breasts
  • tingling nipples
  • feeling sick and/or tired
  • need to pass urine more often

Pregnancy testing

Urine can be tested to determine if you are pregnant, and this result is available straight away. If your period is at least 3 days late, your urine can be tested. Home pregnancy testing kits are available at pharmacies and some supermarkets.

SHINE SA provides a pregnancy testing service that is free if you’re under 30 years old and have a Medicare card. Call 1300 794 584 to discuss when to come in.

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