What are the symptoms of pregnancy?

A missed period is not the only earliest symptom of pregnancy. If you get morning sickness, if you are suddenly sensitive to smell or you are tired, chances are that you could be pregnant. Here are a list of symptoms that could indicate pregnancy.

Missed period

If you have a regular menstrual cycle, then a missed period could be the first symptom of pregnancy. If a week or more has gone by without you getting your regular period, you would want to get things confirmed by a pregnancy test. However, if you have a wildly swinging menstrual cycle, with the dates changing every month, this would be difficulty to ascertain. For some women the period would be lighter than their usual period. All said, a missed period is about the time when most women look for symptoms of pregnancy. Maybe that’s the case with you. So read on…

Tender, swollen breasts

This is the time your body is undergoing hormonal changes and these changes will manifest as sensitive, sore or tingling breasts. Or your breasts could feel heavier. These could happen about two weeks after conception, but normally after 4-6 weeks. The uncomfortable sensations will decrease as your body adjusts to the changes in a few weeks’ time. To ease the discomfort, you could wear your most comfortable bra that gives you good support.

Nausea and vomiting

Not everyone will have both nausea and vomiting, but you’ll surely experience nausea (except in the case of a few women) in the form of morning sickness or sometimes as evening sickness. This usually happens one month after you are pregnant. Sometimes it starts earlier than one month and for some these symptoms can be severe. This again could be because of pregnancy hormones. During this time, remember to drink plenty of water. If your vomiting is causing you throw up your food or water – if you keep vomiting every time you eat or drink anything – then you need to speak to your doctor.

Increased urination

When you are pregnant, the amount of blood in your body increases, so your kidneys have to process extra fluid leading to frequent urination. So if you suddenly have to go to the loo in the middle of the night, it could be that you are pregnant. But don’t stop drinking water or taking lesser of it now. Water is necessary for the body at this time more than ever. Remember that this symptom will increase as your pregnancy progresses, so staying properly hydrated is absolutely important.

Fatigue or tiredness

During early pregnancy, levels of the hormone progesterone increases dramatically which might make you feel sleepy. And you would feel tired all the time because of your lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure and increased blood production. This is a common early symptom of pregnancy. As this is a period in which you will feel exhausted, get enough sleep. This symptom would usually go away in your second trimester.

Moodiness and mood-swings

This is more so in the first trimester – moodiness and mood swings happen mostly because of the hormonal changes. If this is your first pregnancy, and you are reading this, let your spouse know that your sudden change in mood is a part of the pregnancy package and has nothing to do with the real you. Such mood-swings would also mean you would suddenly become emotional, depressed, irritated, anxious or uncontrollably happy. So war your spouse.

Light spotting and cramping

Soon after conception as the fertilized egg attaches itself to wall of the uterus causing one of the earliest signs of pregnancy which is spotting and cramping. The spotting is called implantation bleeding. This mostly happens between the 6th and 12th day after fertilization of the egg. Point is, since these cramps remind you of menstrual cramps and you are also spotting or bleeding lightly, it may appear as if you are going to have your period. Sometimes you could even get a white, milky vaginal discharge. If it does not smell and if there is no burning or irritation because of the discharge, you can rest easy. If not tell your doctor.

Bloating and constipation

This can also remind you of your menstrual period, but it could be an early sign of pregnancy. A possible reason is the hormonal changes you are undergoing. Constipation is something you experience as a result. And because of constipation, you could have your abdominal bloating increase as well. You would do well to increase your intake of fibrous foods, especially green, leafy vegetables.

Food aversions or cravings

This is almost a common symptom where you either start hating some food, or hating cooking itself. You could also start taking a special liking for certain foods, especially ones that are sour. Another symptom is smell sensitivity, which is possibly why most women feel extremely uncomfortable in the kitchen.

If you have any or a combination of these symptoms, chances are that you are pregnant, but it is still too early to do a test. The best time to do a home test is about a week after your missed period. But if you have widely fluctuating period cycle, you would want to have your doctor confirm it.

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