Warning Signs of Pregnancy


  • Conception occurs with the union of the sperm and ova.
  • Both the sperm and the ovum will bring to the union a nucleus with 23 chromosomes, 22 somatic (body) chromosomes and a sex chromosome, either an X or Y from the sperm and an X from the ovum.
  • When the sperm fertilizes the ovum, the sex of the baby is determined and the resulting zygote contains 46 chromosomes with the characteristics of both the mother and the father.
  • The normal gestation lasts 40 weeks.
  • The diagnosis of pregnancy is based on the signs of pregnancy. The signs of pregnancy are categorized as probable, presumptive, and positive based on their significance in the diagnosis.
















Warning signs of Pregnancy: The pregnant woman is given a list of “warning signs” that require immediate notification of the physician (see Table).

Warning Signs of Pregnancy

SymptomTime of OccurrencePossible Interpretations
Severe vomitingAnytime, especially in the first and second trimestersHyperemesis gravidarum
Fever, chillsAnytimeInfection
Burning on urinationAnytimeUrinary tract infection
Abdominal cramping or painAnytimeMiscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or abruptio placenta
Vaginal bleedingAnytimeMiscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, abruptio placenta, or placenta previa
Sudden gush of fluid from the vagina, uterine contractionsBefore 37 wksPremature rupture of the membranes
Absence of fetal movementSecond and third trimestersFetal demise
Epigastric pain, muscular irritability, convulsions, headache, visual disturbances, or edema of face and handsSecond and third trimestersPregnancy-induced hypertension

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