Pregnancy symptoms differ from woman to woman and pregnancy to pregnancy; however, one of the most significant pregnancy symptoms is a delayed or missed menstrual cycle.
If you have been sexually active and experiencing any of the following symptoms, it’s possible that you could be pregnant, even if you used contraception.
Understanding the signs and symptoms of pregnancy is important because each symptom may be related to something other than pregnancy. In order to determine if the symptoms you are experiencing are pregnancy-related, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis with an ultrasound.
10 Common Pregnancy Symptoms
1. Implantation Bleeding
Implantation bleeding can be one of the earliest pregnancy symptoms. About 6-12 days after conception, the embryo implants itself into the uterine wall. Some women will experience spotting as well as some cramping.
Other Explanations: Actual menstruation, altered menstruation, changes in birth control pill (switching brands), infection or abrasion from intercourse.
2. Delay/Difference in Menstruation
Delayed or missed menstruation is the most common pregnancy symptom leading a woman to test for pregnancy. When you become pregnant your next period should be missed. Many women can bleed while they are pregnant, but typically the bleeding will be shorter or lighter than a normal period.
Other Explanations: Excessive weight gain/loss, fatigue, hormonal problems, tension, stress, ceasing to take the birth control pill or breast-feeding.
3. Swollen or Tender Breasts
Swollen or tender breasts are a pregnancy symptom which may begin as early as 1-2 weeks after conception. Women may notice changes in their breasts; they may be tender to the touch, sore, or swollen.
Other Explanations: Hormonal imbalance, birth control pills, impending menstruation (PMS) can also cause your breasts to be swollen or tender.
4. Fatigue or Tiredness
Feeling fatigued or more tired is a pregnancy symptom which can also start as early as the first week after conception.
Other Explanations: Stress, exhaustion, depression, common cold or flu, or other illnesses can also leave you feeling tired or fatigued.
5. Nausea/Morning Sickness
This well-known pregnancy symptom will often show up between 2-8 weeks after conception. Some women are fortunate to not deal with morning sickness at all, while others will feel nauseous throughout most of their pregnancy.
Other Explanations: Food poisoning, stress, or other stomach disorders can also cause you to feel queasy.
Lower backache may be a symptom that occurs early in pregnancy; however, it is common to experience a dull backache throughout an entire pregnancy.
Other Explanations: Impending menstruation, stress, other back problems, and physical or mental strains.
The sudden rise of hormones in your body can cause you to have headaches early in pregnancy.
Other Explanations: Dehydration, caffeine withdrawal, impending menstruation, eye strain or other ailments can be the source of frequent or chronic headaches.
8. Frequent Urination
Around 6-8 weeks after conception, you may find yourself making a few extra trips to the bathroom.
Other Explanations: Urinary tract infection, diabetes, increased liquid intake or taking excessive diuretics.
9. Darkening of Areolas
If you are pregnant, the skin around your nipples may get darker.
Other Explanations: Hormonal imbalance unrelated to pregnancy or may be a leftover effect from a previous pregnancy.
10. Food Cravings
Many women feel cravings for certain foods when they are pregnant. This can last throughout your entire pregnancy.
Other Explanations: Poor diet, lack of a certain nutrient, stress, depression or impending menstruation.
Some women experience signs or symptoms of pregnancy within a week of conception. For others, pregnancy symptoms may develop over a few weeks or may not be present at all.
Are you experiencing any of these common pregnancy symptoms?
If you are experiencing these types of symptoms and think you may be pregnant, take a deep breath.
You don’t need to rush to make a choice. Just like any other decision in life (buying a car, choosing a college, etc), you want to research and know your options in order make a good decision. You owe it to yourself and to your health.
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