Early signs of pregnancy
Are you pregnant?While the only way to confirm a pregnancy is to have a blood test and an examination by your ob-gyn, there are early signs of pregnancy that can help you determine whether or not conception has taken place. While these signs will differ amongst women the following symptoms are common early signs of pregnancy.
1. A Missed Menstrual Period
Often the first sign of early pregnancy is a missed period. If you have a period regularly every month and then miss one, a home pregnancy test may confirm pregnancy. Other reasons for a missed menstrual period include stress, fatigue, hormonal problems, illness, extreme weight gain or loss or going off the Pill. If your pregnancy test comes up negative and your period still hasn't arrived, wait a couple of days and take the test again. If the test is positive, make a pre natal appointment with your physician. If the test is still negative, make an appointment anyway to discuss the possible causes for the missed menstrual period.
Also called morning sickness, nausea can appear anywhere from two to eight weeks after conception. Morning sickness comes with or without vomiting and usually lasts until the end of the first trimester or about 12-14 weeks. Other causes for nausea and vomiting include food poisoning, illness, infection or emotional stress.
3. Frequent urination
The pressure the growing uterus on the bladder may cause frequent urination in the early weeks of pregnancy. This can begin as early as two to three weeks after conception. Other possible explanations for frequent urination include urinary tract infections, diuretics, stress and diabetes so if you are experiencing this symptom but you aren't pregnant, make sure to see your doctor.
4. Breast Changes
Early pregnancy symptoms include breast changes. Many women describe a tingling feeling as well as swelling and tenderness as early as two weeks after conception, however many women do not experience dramatic breast changes. Later in the first trimester, many women will notice a darkening of the areola, the area around the nipple as well as the appearance of tiny glands around the nipple. Other reasons for breast changes include impending menstruation, birth control pills and hormonal imbalance.
Many women report frequent headaches in the early weeks of pregnancy. Headaches in pregnancy are often caused by the change in hormones and usually disappear by the beginning of the second trimester. Other reasons for headaches include stress, eyestrain, lack of sleep, illness or dietary insufficiencies.
6. Food Cravings
Early signs of pregnancy include food cravings that are different from usual cravings. While some pregnant women experience this, many do not. Other reasons for unusual food cravings include stress, poor diet and impending menstruation.
7. Vaginal and Cervical Changes
While these changes won't be obvious to you, your doctor will note that pregnancy has caused the vaginal and cervical tissue to darken to a bluish purple and the cervix has become softer in preparation for pregnancy. Other causes for these changes include impending menstruation or a delayed menstrual period.
8. A Positive Home Pregnancy Test
Home pregnancy tests are more accurate and easy to use than ever and a positive result usually means you are indeed pregnant. Home pregnancies tests boast an accuracy rate of 99 percent effective, however it is possible to use the test incorrectly or even to get a defunct or expired test so if you test and get a negative result, wait a couple of days and test again. If you get a positive result, make a prenatal appointment with your doctor to confirm your findings.