Are you wondering if you might be pregnant? The only way to know for sure is by taking a pregnancy test. But there are early symptoms of pregnancy that may point to the possibility. Here's what to look for.
Many women experience morning sickness for the first trimester, while others experience it all throughout their first trimester. These are the key symptoms of morning sickness: Extreme hunger and tiredness Most women will be tired and hungry starting in the first trimester, while many can't keep anything down. Headaches and "bloating" Many women report heartburn, a very common symptom of nausea. Morning sickness can cause the stomach to feel distended and heavy, and women can experience bloating or "tummy-ache," or abdominal pain, for the first trimester. Abdominal pain or "nausea" can also occur around the third or fourth month, when many women also report constipation.
If you're peeing multiple times in a half hour or less, that may be a sign of pregnancy, says Dr. Sherry Ross, OB/GYN, women's health expert at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California. When to Talk to a Doctor If you notice anything suspicious, don't be afraid to call your doctor right away. If you're noticing other early signs of pregnancy, talk to your doctor right away to get the facts. "Early detection of pregnancy can decrease complications during the entire pregnancy," Ross says.
Constipation or Diarrhea
Talk to your doctor. You may have an ulcer. But your doctor will look more closely at your stool if you report that you have diarrhea. Fatigue This could indicate anemia or morning sickness. But if you've been sleeping well and you're fatigued even though you aren't really sick, call your doctor right away. Shaky Stomach When you have heartburn, you should let your doctor know. If you feel this way in the early weeks of pregnancy, you can be given a medicine to decrease the acid in your stomach. Cold Feet Swelling of the breasts. This is often associated with changes in hormone levels. Ask your doctor to see if you've had a surge in estrogen, if your periods are late, or if you have some sort of irregularity.
It's normal for some women to experience mood swings when they're ovulating. "Typically, when a woman is ovulating, her hormones are at a very high level. This can trigger a very emotional response," says Dr. Ann-Charlotte Brugger, who is a physician at the Women's Health Clinic at Mt Sinai Hospital in Toronto. Eat Dark Chocolate A Lot Giphy Chocolate is said to boost your mood, and it turns out there might be a biological reason why. "One study found that women with high levels of magnesium in their blood were less likely to be depressed after a stress-inducing event, such as a funeral," explains Bustle. "Magnesium deficiency can result in mood swings and erratic sleep patterns.
Increase in Appetite
Many women experience morning sickness during pregnancy. This is a condition that means the woman is more likely to have food stay in her stomach and trigger a lot of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The body can't process the food fast enough. The nausea and vomiting can lead to weight loss. But there are many women who report nausea and vomiting even though they aren't pregnant. If you're not pregnant and you're suddenly eating and gaining weight at an unusual rate, you could be pregnant. Tenderness in the Boob A pregnant woman's breasts begin to swell up while they are pregnant. This is referred to as breast expansion. However, the breasts can become extremely sensitive, as if you have breast cancer.
How pregnant do you feel? Fatigue is a common symptom of early pregnancy, and it's not something to ignore, says Jenny Schoenbaum, M.D., an obstetrician and a nurse in the department of maternal fetal medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City. "Fatigue is something that women feel when they're getting close to the time of conception," she says. In fact, tiredness during the first trimester of pregnancy was associated with lower rates of labor and delivery complications in a recent Danish study, and it also was associated with lower blood glucose levels in women. The feeling of fatigue that many women experience could be a sign that they're pregnant, Schoenbaum says.
Every woman goes through a phase where she just can't get enough of something. Although cravings may be the most obvious sign of pregnancy, it's not always the first to come on. "You're starting to feel hungry. The symptoms don't just happen when you get hungry, like a sore stomach," Dr. Ochiai said. "They're kind of gradual, and once you notice them, you can't ignore them." If your symptoms include fatigue, irritability, breast tenderness, and even acne, it's a sign you're pregnant, experts say. (FYI: The test that's most accurate for diagnosing pregnancy is the urine pregnancy test. "The levels of hCG [the pregnancy hormone] are very high when you're pregnant, so it's a much more accurate test than the old-fashioned urine test," Dr. Ochiai says.
Headaches or Dizziness
Advertisement When your stomach muscles get a bit sore or achy, it's a clue you might be pregnant. Many women notice this early on in the second trimester, says Dr. Jeff Bitterman, an OB/GYN with Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital. "When you become pregnant, the lining of the uterus gets thicker. So if you have [a pain], you don't have to go far to find that extra thickness," he says. The discomfort can also be caused by the swelling in your brain, says Dr. Anne Davis, a OB/GYN with Cape Cod Healthcare. "They often have a very bad headache, a bit of confusion, sometimes severe fatigue and no appetite." Or, you could be suffering from nausea and vomiting due to morning sickness. Dr.
If you're not actually pregnant, but you're experiencing some of the physical and emotional effects of morning sickness — when your stomach is empty but your heart is full — that could be a sign that you're expecting. For most people, morning sickness starts two to six weeks before their estimated due date (which is based on the sperm count at the time of conception, so it's not an exact science), but it can happen earlier. While most people feel sick 24 hours per day for most of the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, some people are known to start feeling better around the 6-week mark. Many pregnant women continue to feel sick for the first trimester, while others feel better by the 8- or 9-week mark.
It can be a little discouraging when you don't hear an immediate heartbeat on a sonogram. And, unfortunately, the heart may stop beating before your doctor can find it. Still, the majority of people pregnant do hear the heartbeat within the first week, and it's the most reassuring sound in the world. So, don't give up hope! Keep checking in, and even if your doctor does not find a heartbeat at your first appointment, keep trying for the next one. Read More: Nurse Vagina Articles High Risk Pregnancy Questions Answered This article first appeared at Free Women's Medical Clinic Related Links: Disease Information You'll Wish You Knew Before You Were Pregnant Check out Dr. Zeff's page on fertility facts for your sonogram.