Am I Pregnant?
If you are unusually tuned into your body, you might begin to suspect that you are pregnant within the first few days of pregnancy. But most women don't suspect they are pregnant until they miss a period, and a few don't suspect or believe they are pregnant for months after conception.
Five very common signs of early pregnancy are as follows. You may experience all, some, or none of these symptoms, as pregnancy symptoms vary from woman to woman.
- A missed period. Missing your period is the most clear-cut sign of pregnancy. But it is not definitive. Stress, excessive exercise, dieting, and other factors may cause irregular periods.
- Frequent trips to the bathroom. Even before missing a period, many pregnant women report having to urinate more often. You may even have to get up during the night! This occurs after the embryo has implanted in the uterus and begins producing the pregnancy hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This hormone triggers frequent urination.
- Fatigue. Utter exhaustion is a very early sign of pregnancy. Fatigue is a result of high levels of the hormone progesterone.
- Morning (and noon and night!) sickness. Guess what? That queasy feeling isn't limited to mornings. Most pregnant women who experience morning sickness " which can begin 2 weeks to 2 months after conception " feel slightly nauseated at other times during the day. About half have vomiting, but very few have severe enough morning sickness to develop dehydration and malnutrition.
- Sore (and enlarging) breasts. If you are pregnant, your breasts will probably become increasingly tender to the touch, similar to the way they feel before your period, only more so. Your nipples may also begin to darken and enlarge. Once your body grows accustomed to the increase in hormones, the pain will subside.
Other signs of pregnancy can include:
Implantation bleeding (spotting). Some women experience a light spotting or a brownish discharge. This spotting can occur at about the time the regular period would occur and can last for a few days to a few weeks.
Food cravings, constant hunger. Some women begin to crave certain foods, constantly feel that they are hungry, or may avoid foods that they previously liked.
Metallic taste in the mouth. Many women complain of a metallic taste in their mouth during the early stages of pregnancy.
Headaches and dizziness. Headaches and the feeling of lightheadedness and dizziness are common during early pregnancy and are the result of hormonal changes and changes in blood volume.
Cramping. Some women experience period-like cramps. If cramps are felt mainly on one side or are severe, it's important to contact your doctor immediately.
The Cleveland Clinic 2004
The Cleveland Clinic
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