Sign and Symptoms of Pregnancy
Sign and symptoms of pregnancy are the important indicators because pregnancy is a most unique period in a woman’s life. While bringing great joy, it can also be a very confusing time for most women as they try to figure out whether they are really pregnant. Of course, it is very much possible to confuse the early signs of pregnancy with symptoms of some other illness. At the same time, there are some Symptoms of pregnancy that will confirm the onset of pregnancy.
Sign and Symptoms of Pregnancy
The symptoms of pregnancy occur due to hormonal changes that happen during the pregnancy, and can be further confirmed with a blood test. The most common sign and symptoms of pregnancy are:
One of the commonest sign and symptom of pregnancy is a missed period. The confusion sets in because a missed period can also be due to stress, illness, and fluctuations in weight. Cessation of oral contraceptives and a polycystic ovary syndrome can also lead to a missed period.
Changes In The Size And Feel Of The Breast
This is also a symptom of pregnancy. The breasts begin to enlarge and most women experience greater tenderness of the breast. The color of the areola or the nipples starts darkening within a week of conception.
Nausea And Vomiting
This is the most unwelcome sign and symptoms of pregnancy. It can occur as early as two weeks after conception and tends to taper off by the end of the third month of the pregnancy. This is more popularly known as morning sickness.
Fatigue And Tiredness
While many women experience tiredness, this can be due to other reasons as well and cannot by itself be considered as most indicative sign of pregnancy.
Frequent Urination And Constipation
Heightened Sense Of Taste And Smell
Another symptom of pregnancy is women feeling queasy about certain foods while experiencing an almost uncontrollable craving for other foods.
First-time mothers can easily confuse sign and symptoms of pregnancy with symptoms of other illness. However, awareness of early signs of pregnancy will help you in identifying these symptoms in the initial stages. A visit to the doctor will confirm the pregnancy with blood and urine tests.
Pregnancy: Symptoms & Signs
Related Symptoms & Signs
Particularly in the early stages, symptoms of pregnancy can vary among women. And while the absence of menstrual periods is the classic and hallmark pregnancy symptoms, there are many other changes in the body, even during early pregnancy that result in characteristic signs and symptoms.
A missed period is the hallmark sign of pregnancy. Missing a menstrual period is typical, although many women report having light bleeding or spotting bleeding at the time of the expected period, a phenomenon that has been referred to as “implantation bleeding.” If this bleeding occurs and is mistaken for a light menstrual period, it’s possible for a woman not to realize that she is pregnant.
Most of the early symptoms of pregnancy develop over the first two to eight weeks. Common symptoms can include breast swelling and tenderness. Food cravings, while typical of later pregnancy stages, can also begin in the early weeks of pregnancy. Morning sickness (nausea and/or vomiting, which can occur at any time of day and not just in the morning) usually begins in the second to eighth week of pregnancy. Tiredness, mood swings, headache, and frequent need to urinate are all symptoms that can begin early in pregnancy.
Changes in skin color can include a darkening of the nipple area and facial skin color changes. The so-called "mask of pregnancy" is sometimes seen, particularly in darker-skinned women, in the first trimester. Medically known as melasma or chloasma, this is a darkening of the skin on the forehead, bridge of the nose, upper lip, or cheeks that usually occurs on both sides of the face.
As the pregnancy progresses, symptoms can occur that are related to the size of the growing uterus. Some women report pressure or pain in the lower back and swelling of the feet and ankles. Frequent urination, heartburn, and indigestion are common in later stages of pregnancy. Sleep disturbances and fatigue can make this time period more difficult.
As the delivery date nears, most women experience what are known as Braxton-Hicks contractions of the uterus. Believed to occur as a preparation for labor, these contractions manifest as a tightening feeling in the uterus that occurs sporadically. Unlike regular labor, Braxton-Hicks contractions do not occur at regular intervals and are shorter in duration and less intense than labor pains.
Causes of pregnancy
Pregnancy is caused by the fertilization of an egg by sperm and implantation of the resulting fertilized egg in the uterus.
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Signs and symptoms of pregnancy
Early signs of pregnancy
For women who have a regular monthly menstrual cycle, the earliest and most reliable sign of pregnancy is a missed period. Women who are pregnant sometimes have a very light period, losing only a little blood.
Some of the other early pregnancy signs and symptoms are listed below. Every woman is different and not all women will notice all of these symptoms.
Feeling sick during pregnancy
You may feel sick and nauseous, and/or vomit. This is commonly known as morning sickness, but it can happen at any time of the day or night.
For most women who have morning sickness, the symptoms start around six weeks after their last period.
If you’re being sick all the time and can’t keep anything down, contact your GP. The pregnancy condition hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is a serious condition that causes severe vomiting and needs treatment.
Feeling tired is common in pregnancy
It’s common to feel tired, or even exhausted, during pregnancy, especially during the first 12 weeks or so. Hormonal changes taking place in your body at this time can make you feel tired, nauseous, emotional and upset.
Sore breasts in early pregnancy
Your breasts may become larger and feel tender, just as they might do before your period. They may also tingle. The veins may be more visible, and the nipples may darken and stand out.
Peeing more often suggests pregnancy
You may feel the need to pee (urinate) more often than usual, including during the night.
Other signs of pregnancy that you may notice are:
Strange tastes, smells and cravings
During early pregnancy, you may find that your senses are heightened and that some foods or drinks you previously enjoyed become repellent. You might notice:
- A strange taste in your mouth, which many women describe as metallic
- That you crave new foods
- That you lose interest in certain foods or drinks that you previously enjoyed – such as tea, coffee or fatty food
- That you lose interest in tobacco
- That you have a more sensitive sense of smell than usual – for example, to the smell of food or cooking
If your pregnancy test is negative
A positive test result is almost certainly correct. A negative result is less reliable. If you get a negative result and still think that you may be pregnant, wait a week and try again.
If you are pregnant, use the pregnancy due date calculator to work out when your baby is due.
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Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy in First Few Weeks
No two women experience pregnancy in the same way nor do most women have the same signs and symptoms for each pregnancy. Many women experience no signs of pregnancy before missing a period; however, some women may notice symptoms within the first several weeks following conception. While a pregnancy test is the only way to verify a pregnancy, there are some obvious and early symptoms to look for.
Implantation bleeding can occur as the embryo attaches to the uterine lining; this bleeding is characterized by minor vaginal bleeding which may be accompanied by abdominal cramping. According to the Mayo Clinic, implantation bleeding can occur within 14 days of the egg’s fertilization and is usually lighter in color and lasts longer than standard menstruation.
Fatigue can begin within a week of conception. According to the Mayo Clinic, early pregnancy is marked by soaring levels of progesterone, which can cause a tired feeling and lethargy. Additionally, the early stages of pregnancy are often marked by decreased levels of blood sugar, blood pressure and an increase in blood production, all of which can cause fatigue and lower energy levels.
Changes in a woman’s breasts include tingling, increased tenderness, soreness and swelling. These changes can begin one to two weeks following conception due to the hormonal changes taking place in the body.
Elevated Basal Body Temperature
A woman’s basal body temperature (temperature taken orally upon waking in the morning) naturally increases after ovulation and remains at the higher level until the following menstrual period. Experiencing an elevated basal body temperature for longer than two weeks may indicate pregnancy.
Some women experience pregnancy-related nausea as early as two weeks following conception. Frequently referred to as “morning sickness,” this nausea can occur at any time of day and may or may not be accompanied by vomiting. According to the Mayo Clinic, estrogen levels rise quickly during pregnancy and can cause slower emptying of the stomach, producing nausea.
Additional early symptoms may include mild headaches caused by hormonal changes and increased blood circulation, aversions to food/food cravings, darkening of the skin surrounding the nipples, constipation caused by increasing progesterone levels and mood swings caused by a rapidly changing hormonal balance. Dizziness or faintness is also a common early sign of pregnancy due to changes in blood sugar and blood pressure, along with dilating blood vessels. Increased frequency of urination usually occurs between six to eight weeks following conception.
The most well known pregnancy symptom is a missed menstrual period. In most cases, the period following conception should not occur; however, some women can experience light bleeding during pregnancy.
About the Author
Caryn Anderson combines extensive behind-the-scenes writing experience with her passion for all things food, fashion, garden and travel. Bitten by the travel bug at the age of 15 after a trip to Europe, Anderson fostered her love of style and fashion while living in New York City and earning her degree at New York University.
Http://www. pregnancy-period. com/sign-and-symptoms-of-pregnancy. html
Http://www. rxlist. com/pregnancy_symptoms_and_signs/symptoms. htm
Http://www. nhs. uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/signs-and-symptoms-pregnancy/