Signs of Pregnancy

While a pregnancy test is necessary to know for “sure” whether or not a woman has conceived, there are a variety of signs and symptoms that may indicate pregnancy. Most women begin to experience these changes within a week or two of becoming pregnant; if you are attuned to your bodily signals, you will notice the difference!






Menstrual Symptoms

The first, most common, and most obvious sign of potential pregnancy is a missed or abnormal period. If you are sexually active and have missed a period, or experienced abnormal menstruation along with other signs of pregnancy, it's time to use that maternity health insurance to get a pregnancy test! However, it's important to keep in mind that other conditions may also cause amenorrhea, or cessation of menstruation. Anorexia in particular is known for causing the absence of periods; if you have an eating disorder, a trip to the doctor is also in order!

Swollen or Tender Breasts

Newly pregnant women may develop tenderness or soreness in their breasts as hormonal changes begin to occur. While this may feel similar to the soreness that accompanies the menstrual cycle, there should be a notable absence of the menstruation itself. Even if your breasts are not sore, you may notice swelling, puffiness around your nipples, or darkened areolas. Birth control pills can also cause these symptoms, so if you have recently begun taking contraception they may not indicate pregnancy.

Fatigue or Headaches/Backaches

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Many women notice that they are inexplicably tired during the first few weeks or months of pregnancy. Some women may also experience headaches or backaches in response to the shifting of fluids and hormonal balances within the body. Of course, not all fatigue indicates pregnancy – if you have been under stress, exercising a great deal, experiencing illness, or dealing with grief, you may be equally exhausted! Inexplicable exhaustion may indicate pregnancy, however; if you're tired and don't know why, see your doctor.

Nausea

Morning sickness is a classic early symptom of pregnancy, but what most women don't realize is that it doesn't always occur in the morning. In fact, “all day sickness” might be a more accurate term! When some women first become pregnant, their bodies are alarmed by the “intrusion” of the fetus, and nausea occurs as when the body's natural defense mechanisms are triggered. However, food poisoning, stress, and other disorders can also cause nausea, so don't assume you are pregnant before being tested.

Food Cravings

Some women may begin to experience food cravings as soon as they become pregnant. These cravings may involve the desire for seemingly unrelated foods like mustard and ice cream, or pica, which is a craving for non-food items. Pregnant women experiencing pica may have the sudden, intense desire to eat chalk, mud, or any number of other inedible materials. Pica can also indicate a number of nutritional deficiencies and other disorders, so it's important to consult a professional if these symptoms arise.

Women who are closely attuned to their bodies will quickly notice when the signs point to pregnancy. However, if you are less aware, take heart – a simple pregnancy test will give you the same information!







Article on Signs of Pregnancy

Signs of pregnancy vary from woman to woman and even between pregnancies. The most common and important sign of pregnancy is a delayed or missed period. Some signs of pregnancy may occur within a week following ovulation and conception for some women, whereas others may have their signs of pregnancy develop of the first few weeks. It is possible to not experience any signs at all. Here is a list of pregnancy symptoms along with alternative explanations for the symptoms.

Implantation Bleeding:

Although a sign of pregnancy, this symptom may also be explained by any of the following: actual menstruation, changed menstruation, changes or missed hormonal birth control, an infection, or abrasion from intercourse.

Delay/Difference in Menstruation:

Although a sign of pregnancy, this symptom may also be explained by any of the following: Excessive weight gain/loss, fatigue, hormonal problems, tension, stress, ceasing to take the birth control pill, or breast-feeding.

Swollen/Tender Breasts:

Although a sign of pregnancy, this symptom may also be explained by any of the following: Hormonal imbalance, birth control pills, impending menstruation (PMS) can also cause your breasts to be swollen or tender.

Fatigue/Tiredness:

Although a sign of pregnancy, this symptom may also be explained by any of the following: Stress, exhaustion, depression, common cold or flu, or other illnesses can also leave you feeling tired or fatigued.

Nausea/Morning Sickness:

Although a sign of pregnancy, this symptom may also be explained by any of the following: Food poisoning, stress, or other stomach disorders can also cause you to feel queasy.

Backaches:

Although a sign of pregnancy, this symptom may also be explained by any of the following: Impending menstruation, stress, other back problems, and physical or mental strains.

Headaches

Although a sign of pregnancy, this symptom may also be explained by any of the following: Dehydration, caffeine withdrawal, impending menstruation, eye strain, or other ailments can be the source of frequent or chronic headaches.

Frequent Urination

Although a sign of pregnancy, this symptom may also be explained by any of the following: Urinary tract infection, diabetes, increasing liquid intake, or taking excessive diuretics.

Darkening of Areolas

Although a sign of pregnancy, this symptom may also be explained by any of the following: Hormonal imbalance unrelated to pregnancy or may be a leftover effect from a previous pregnancy.

Food Cravings

Although a sign of pregnancy, this symptom may also be explained by any of the following: Poor diet, lack of a certain nutrient, stress, depression, or impending menstruation.