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
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.