Thinking you may be pregnant but you’re not sure of what symptoms to look for? While you know your body best and every woman’s experience is different, there are symptoms that are common in most pregnancies.
- Missed period:
Missing your period may be the first indicator that you could be expecting. And although many pregnancy symptoms mirror symptoms of menstruation, it’s unlikely to experience a full cycle, or any cycle at all while pregnant. Some spotting may occur shortly after conception, usually a bit earlier, spottier and lighter in color than a normal period and doesn’t last as long.
- Body changes:
Some women experience abdominal cramping early in pregnancy similar to menstrual cramping, as well as heavy or enlarged breasts that are tender to the touch. Hormones begin to change almost immediately after conception, which causes these changes in our bodies. Increased blood circulation caused by these hormones can also create frequent, mild headaches, unusual mood swings, and frequent urination.
Experiencing fatigue or extreme tiredness is highly common in early stages of pregnancy, especially the first trimester. This is most likely caused by higher than normal levels of progesterone in the body. Energy levels tend to rise during the second trimester and drop again toward the end of the pregnancy.
- Morning sickness:
Morning sickness does not just happen in the mornings. It happens at any time of day, sometimes even all day. Quite often, even with a strong feeling of nausea, women may not actually get sick or vomit. While some women never experience morning sickness, others only experience it during the first trimester (we’re sensing a first trimester trend here) and others are ill their entire pregnancy.
- Digestive issues:
Because of morning sickness, you may notice a lack in appetite. Hormonal change can also affect your digestive system. With an increase in progesterone, the digestive system slows, allowing more time for gasses to build. Your bowel movements get harder as the hormones cause the food to pass slowly along the digestive system and you may feel bloated, gassy, and even constipated on a regular basis.
- Food cravings and aversions:
You may suddenly notice that you can no longer tolerate the smell of your once favorite food. Or, that you’re craving the strangest food combinations. People joke that pregnant women always want pickles and ice cream, but that’s not an exaggeration thanks to wonderful pregnancy hormones.
There are also some not so common symptoms of pregnancy that you may want to be aware of. The first being sinus congestion – as mucus production increases within your entire body, you may find yourself blowing your nose more often.
Some women also experience dysgeusia, or a metallic taste in their mouth. Luckily, this is a symptom that often goes away after the first trimester, but can stay for the duration of the pregnancy. Gums may become inflamed and are more likely to bleed when brushing or flossing and the blood vessels in the nose also expand during pregnancy, increasing the risk of nose bleeds.
As your body changes and you gain weight, your center of gravity changes and you may become unsteady or clumsy. Further along in your pregnancy, you may notice heartburn, acid reflux, charley horses, lower back pain or sciatica.
Every woman experiences pregnancy differently, and even two pregnancies for same woman may be different. If you could be pregnant, pay attention to your body and listen to it.
About 60 percent of women have early pregnancy symptoms by the time they’re 6 weeks along, and roughly 90 percent have them by the time they’re 8 weeks. If you suspect you’re pregnant, the most definite way to find out, of course, is to take a pregnancy test. Mosaic Virginia offers free pregnancy testing and free Ultrasounds. Call 703-729-1123 or email Mosaic today to schedule your appointment. Especially if you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy, Mosaic will discuss your options in confidence. We are here for you.
Wondering if you’re pregnant? Click here to take the quiz on Parents.com.