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Pregnancy Symptoms

Even before a missed period, many women wonder if they might be pregnant, particularly if they've been trying to conceive (ttc). I have friends who believe they know the exact moment they conceived. I don't know if they had earth-shattering sex or if an angel whispered the news in their ears, but some women are very in-tune to their bodies so the early signs of pregnancy are unmistakable. Conversely, I know women who didn't realize they were pregnant until the second trimester. It's possible to sail through early pregnancy without any symptoms whatsoever.

What do these various experiences mean? Every woman is unique and every pregnancy is different. The symptoms a woman experiences in one pregnancy may not be the same in the next pregnancy. Some symptoms may begin immediately, some may start later, some or all may not occur at all.

Early signs may occur before a missed period but may feel as though menstruation is about to begin because they resemble symptoms experienced the week before the menstrual cycle starts.

The most common early signs of pregnancy include:

  • fatigue
  • nausea and/or vomiting (aka morning sickness)
  • breast changes such as soreness, fullness, tingling nipples, darkening of the areolas, and/or veins becoming more apparent
  • missed period or very light period
  • frequent urination
  • bloating
  • cravings
  • aversion to certain smells and/or increased sense of smell
  • crampy feeling in the pelvis similar to menstrual cramps
  • Basal Body Temperature remains elevated
  • light staining or spotting which my occur around the time of implantation
These early signs can also be caused by other conditions rather than pregnancy, and therefore, should not be considered definitive signs of pregnancy. If you think you may be pregnant, consider a home pregnancy test. These tests have a high rate of accuracy, particularly if the result is positive, IF the directions on the kit are followed precisely. When to test varies so instructions should be read carefully before testing. If you receive a positive pregnancy result, contact your careprovider to confirm the diagnosis and to start your prenatal care. If you obtain a negative result, wait a few days and retest if your period has not started. False negative results are not uncommon and occur for a number of reasons. Your careprovider can also perform a pregnancy test with quick results that are highly accurate.

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