Recognizing the Signs: Pregnancy Symptoms

Pregnancy Symptoms

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How Do I Know If I Am Pregnant?

🤔 Are my symptoms a sign of pregnancy? – Take the test!

  • The early days of pregnancy usually feel just like PMS.
  • The hormone progesterone is responsible for making you feel nauseous and for the tightness you may feel in your abdomen, whether you are pregnant or not.
  • After a missed period, a home pregnancy test can indicate your pregnancy status.

Are my Symptoms a Sign of Pregnancy? – Your Self Evaluation

Do you find yourself in this situation? Answer three multiple choice questions about your circumstances, and receive an expert evaluation within seconds on your screen.

Unclear Symptoms: PMS or the Beginning of a Pregnancy?

The first signs of early pregnancy are not unlike the symptoms of PMS. PMS stands for Premenstrual Syndrome, marked by symptoms of discomfort during the days preceding the onset of menstruation. While not every woman suffers from PMS, many are familiar with its signs and prepare for the start of their period.

Since progesterone levels are elevated during PMS as well as in early pregnancy, symptoms can be identical:

  • Breast tenderness and/or sensitive nipples
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue; low blood pressure
  • Headaches; migraines
  • Cramps; abdominal pain
  • Slight nausea
  • Constipation
  • Changes in appetite
  • Increased basal body temperature (can only be detected by taking regular measurements)

These could be symptoms of PMS or early pregnancy. The difference can only be known retrospectively. Meanwhile, you would be left wondering, “Am I pregnant... or is my period about to start?” The symptoms quickly abate when the monthly cycle starts afresh but remain, or even intensify, during pregnancy.

Pregnant Without Symptoms

You may wonder whether you could be pregnant, even if you are not experiencing any symptoms.

It is possible for you not to have any, or very few, tangible symptoms in early pregnancy. However, in rare cases, the lack of symptoms continues over a longer time.

Numerous pregnancies begin without a trace of nausea or tender breasts. Nothing unusual is noticeable. The woman does not feel pregnant, which makes the surprise all the greater as the pregnancy progresses.

Other women may sense that they are pregnant, even though there are no noticeable signs of pregnancy yet. Of course, this could be their fears or desires speaking.

During the first few weeks of pregnancy, there are no sure signs. Every pregnancy is unique – from the outset. Sometimes a second pregnancy is entirely different from the first by completely lacking all early symptoms.

Usually, the timespan, free of pregnancy symptoms, is very brief. Sooner or later, it will become apparent.

If you are anxious about a possible pregnancy, take good care of yourself! Allow yourself time to rest while waiting for your period to start, but do not keep this concern to yourself. You are worth it!

Typical Signs of Pregnancy:

  • Missed Period as a Sign of Pregnancy:

When a new life (a fertilized egg cell) starts growing within the uterus, the uterine lining is strengthened and fortified with additional nutrients to supply the embryo’s needs. In addition, the developing placenta attaches to it. Thus, the uterine lining no longer sheds. → Tip: Read more on whether a missed period is a sure indication of pregnancy.

  • Abdominal (Stomach) Pain as a Sign of Pregnancy:

The stretching of abdominal ligaments and uterine expansion after the 3rd week of pregnancy make stomach pain or discomfort possible. → Note: If your abdominal pain is localized or intense, seek medical advice since you may be experiencing an ectopic pregnancy.

  • Tender or Sore Breasts as a Sign of Pregnancy:

The hormonal changes at the beginning of pregnancy cause your breasts to prepare for lactation. This can be initially perceived as soreness or tenderness. Your breasts may also plump up and become more pronounced. Eventually, your milk ducts start activating. → Tip: If your breasts feel uncomfortable or sore, try using a maternity bra.

  • Nausea and Cravings as a Sign of Pregnancy:

In the first few weeks of pregnancy, many women experience morning sickness. It tends to occur in the morning but may extend throughout the day (ranging from nausea to vomiting). Sometimes pregnant women have a sudden aversion to certain foods or smells. Cravings are also common. → Tip: If you are affected by morning sickness: Read about our Pregnancy Hacks on Relieving Morning Sickness.

  • Tiredness and Fatigue as a Sign of Pregnancy:

As the body is undergoing conditioning for an entirely new set of tasks and adjusting to the nurture of a new life, you may experience significant fatigue or exhaustion. → Tip: If possible, aim to increase your hours of sleep to recharge your batteries.

  • Frequent Urination as a Sign of Pregnancy:

The increased blood in your system forces your kidney to produce more fluid. Your bladder fills more quickly, causing a more frequent urge to urinate. As pregnancy progresses, the growing uterus will exert more pressure on your bladder. Thus, the urge to urinate becomes more pronounced. → Tip: Avoid fluid intake before bedtime to limit the number of bathroom visits during the night.

  • Mood Swings and Irritability as a Sign of Pregnancy:

Pregnancy hormones can cause you to be more sensitive as your body prepares for the task ahead. However, external circumstances such as stress can exacerbate the situation. Especially if the pregnancy was unintended, your emotions could quickly get the best of you. → Tip: If you feel stuck, confused, or dealing with specific concerns, we have created tools to help you regain your footing. Try our Solutions Finder Test!

Missed Period: A Sure Sign?

👩🏻‍💼 Is your period late without probable environmental cause? In this case, you can gain clarity by taking a pregnancy test.

While rare, it is also possible for a woman to have period-like bleeding, or other discharge, while pregnant.

ℹ️ If you are on the pill or another hormonal contraceptive, missing a period does not automatically indicate that you are pregnant. Since the medication mimics your natural monthly cycle, any bleeding is caused by the interruption or withdrawal of hormones. Therefore, the presence or absence of bleeding is not informative regarding pregnancy.

Additional Symptoms of Pregnancy

When pregnant, a woman may experience additional symptoms shortly after her missed period:

  • Heightened sense of smell; aversion to strong odors
  • Dark splotchy spots on the face, caused by hyperpigmentation, often referred to as the “mask of pregnancy”
  • Thicker, shinier hair
  • Nail changes (stronger or more brittle fingernails & toenails)
  • Darkening of the areola due to hyperpigmentation and/or
  • Production of colostrum
  • Development of stretch marks on the breasts and other body parts
  • Metallic taste in the mouth

Every pregnancy is unique. Therefore, symptoms can differ.

How Can I Be Sure I'm Pregnant?

You may be wondering more than ever whether you are pregnant. There are two ways to find out:

  1. A correctly administered home pregnancy test can provide certainty. They are available at most pharmacies, drugstores, grocery, and convenience stores.
  2. Your other option is to consult your doctor. A positive pregnancy test should be followed up by a doctor’s visit (Ob/GYN).

Worried You Might Be Pregnant?

Hopefully, we were able to answer some of your questions concerning the possibility of a pregnancy. You may be feeling anxious at the thought of being pregnant, and some things have remained unclear.

Your symptoms are just as unique as your lived experience.

Maybe you have already taken one or even several pregnancy tests and tested negative each time, but you are still concerned that you might be pregnant. If your symptoms are severe or alarming, please seek medical attention!

You are not alone! — We are here for you!

You may like our Online Pregnancy Test which is accessible 24/7. Use the multiple-choice options to describe your menstrual cycle, method of contraception (if applicable), and symptoms.

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  • The most common early signs of pregnancy are slight abdominal pain, breast tenderness, fatigue, mild nausea, increased urination, and a change in eating habits. These often resemble the symptoms many women experience before their period (PMS).
    If you are pregnant, your period will not come. However, there may be other reasons why you may have skipped your period.
    If you are unsure whether you are pregnant, take our Online Pregnancy Test for an initial evaluation.

  • The same hormone, progesterone, affects both pregnancy and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Therefore, the symptoms are not always easy to distinguish. Especially women who do not usually experience PMS more readily assume that they might be pregnant. If your period does not come, pregnancy becomes more and more likely.
    A home pregnancy test from the pharmacy can help you gain clarity.

  • Since every pregnancy is unique, experiences of early pregnancy differ. While some women quickly notice various physical changes, others may initially not feel anything. There is a broad range of how intensely hormonal changes are experienced. Still, early pregnancy symptoms will usually become noticeable at some point. You can take a home pregnancy test as soon as your period is due. It is up to you to decide when to have a checkup.

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