Whether you are trying to get pregnant or are not sure if you are pregnant, you should know the common signs of pregnancy. Many women don’t recognize these symptoms and signs right away, but the first trimester is a very important one for baby’s development, so the sooner you know that you are pregnant, the sooner a healthy pregnancy can be established.
Common Symptoms and Signs of Pregnancy
There are many symptoms that can indicate you may be pregnant, though some of these symptoms may also occur during your menstrual cycle as well.
Tender and swollen breasts: Two weeks after conception, hormonal changes in your body can make your breasts tender or sore. Breasts may also feel heavier and fuller.
Fatigue: As the levels of hormones and progesterone soar, you may feel very tired. Lower blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure and more blood production can also contribute to fatigue.
Minimal bleeding or cramping: This is known as implantation bleeding, when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterus lining. It is light bleeding and will be lighter in color than a regular period. Cramping, similar to those of menstrual cramps, is also a common symptom of pregnancy.
Nausea and/or vomiting: Also known as “morning sickness,” early pregnancy symptoms often included nausea with or without vomiting.
Heightened sense of smell: Many pregnant women are sensitive to certain smells and exposure to certain scents may lead to nausea.
Food cravings/aversions:Craving certain foods is common if you are pregnant and so is being turned off by certain foods. These cravings or aversions are most dramatic during the first trimester due to major hormonal changes.
Headaches:Increased blood circulation can trigger headaches.
Constipation: Increases in progesterone will lead to food passing more slowly through your intestines and may result in constipation.
Mood swings: Hormonal changes can increase your chances of becoming overly emotional. Being weepy and emotional is a common sign of pregnancy.
Dizziness or fainting: When blood vessels dilate your blood pressure drops and results in lightheadedness or dizziness, and some women even faint. It can also be due to low blood sugar, which is common in early pregnancy.
Raised basal body temperature: Your oral temperature first thing in the morning is called your basal body temperature. It raises after ovulation and drops off during your period. If the temperature is at continued elevation, it can be a sign that you are pregnant.
Changes in Appearance May Indicate Pregnancy
Women who suspect they may be pregnant can also be on the lookout for certain changes in their appearance, including the following:
Swollen abdomen: As the baby inside you grows, your belly will also expand. Your growing belly will feel hard and firm.
Darker hair: Some women experience darker hair forming from their naval to the top of their pubic regions.
Widening of the pelvis: Your body will begin preparing for baby to make her exit by widening your pelvic bones. This can lead to achy feelings in your pelvis and back.
Acne/skin tone: With the increase of hormones, you may find your acne is getting better or worse. Your skin tone may also be more radiant or be drier, due to varying levels of hormones and dietary intake.
Heartburn: As your baby grows, your stomach is pushed higher up and becomes a bit more squished. Many women report frequent heartburn during pregnancy, especially during the third trimester.
Testing to See if You are Pregnant
Home pregnancy tests are convenient and private ways to determine if you are pregnant or not. These tests are designed to detect the levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your body. hCG often doubles in concentration when you are pregnant, so many tests can reliably test for pregnancy one week after your period has been missed.
Read the instructions carefully, as positive and negative results vary with test kits and misreading results is common. Follow up with a doctor’s lab test if you have doubts of the home pregnancy test.
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