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Don’t get caught worrying about being pregnant before you are sure. A missed period is the most common indication, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you are pregnant.
Pregnancy symptoms differ from woman to woman and pregnancy to pregnancy; however, one of the most significant pregnancy symptoms is a delayed or missed menstrual cycle.
Understanding the signs and symptoms of pregnancy is important because each symptom may be related to something other than pregnancy. In order to find out if the symptoms you are experiencing are pregnancy related, it is important to have a lab quality pregnancy test. If the pregnancy test is positive, an ultrasound is generally recommended.
Some women experience signs or symptoms of pregnancy within a week of conception. For other women, pregnancy symptoms may develop over a few weeks or may not be present at all.
Common Pregnancy Symptoms
Below is a listing of some of the most common pregnancy signs and symptoms. If you have been sexually active and are experiencing any of the following symptoms it is important to take a pregnancy test.
Delayed or missed menstruation is the most common pregnancy symptom leading a woman to test for pregnancy. When you become pregnant your next period should be missed. Many women can bleed while they are pregnant, but typically the bleeding will be shorter or lighter than a normal period.
Other Explanations: Excessive weight gain/loss, fatigue, hormonal problems, tension, stress, ceasing to take the birth control pill or breast-feeding.
Implantation bleeding can be one of the earliest pregnancy symptoms. About 6-12 days after conception, the embryo implants itself into the uterine wall. Some women will experience spotting as well as some cramping.
Other Explanations: Actual menstruation, altered menstruation, changes in birth control pill (switching brands), infection or abrasion from intercourse.
Swollen or tender breasts are a pregnancy symptom which may begin as early as 1-2 weeks after conception. Women may notice changes in their breasts; they may be tender to the touch, sore, or swollen.
Other Explanations: Hormonal imbalance, birth control pills, impending menstruation (PMS) can also cause your breasts to be swollen or tender.
Feeling fatigued or excessively tired is a pregnancy symptom which can also start as early as the first week after conception.
Other Explanations: Stress, exhaustion, depression, common cold or flu, or other illnesses can also leave you feeling tired or fatigued.
This pregnancy symptom will often show up between 2-8 weeks after conception. Some women are fortunate to not deal with morning sickness at all, while others will feel nauseous throughout most of their pregnancy.
Other Explanations: Food poisoning, stress, or other stomach disorders can also cause you to feel nauseous.
Lower backache may be a symptom that occurs early in pregnancy; however, it is common to experience a dull backache throughout an entire pregnancy.
Other Explanations: Impending menstruation, stress, other back problems, and physical or mental strains.
The sudden rise of hormones in your body can cause you to have headaches early in pregnancy. Other Explanations: Dehydration, caffeine withdrawal, impending menstruation, eye strain or other ailments can be the source of frequent or chronic headaches.
Around 6-8 weeks after conception, you may find yourself making a few extra trips to the bathroom. Other Explanations: Urinary tract infection, diabetes, increased liquid intake or taking excessive diuretics.
If you are pregnant, the skin around your nipples may get darker. Other Explanations: Hormonal imbalance unrelated to pregnancy or possibly a leftover effect from a previous pregnancy.
While you may not have a strong desire to eat pickles and ice cream, many women will feel cravings for certain foods when they are pregnant, or have aversions to certain foods. This can last throughout your entire pregnancy.
Other Explanations: Poor diet, lack of a certain nutrient, stress, depression or impending menstruation.
Even if you’ve had a positive test at home, you should take a lab-quality pregnancy test to confirm your results. Life Options offers lab-quality pregnancy tests that are 99% accurate, ultrasounds and a medical consultation to help you learn more about your pregnancy and all of your options. All of our services are free and confidential.
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