If you're trying to get pregnant and it's taking a bit longer than you'd like, you're probably looking for any and every sign — no matter how obvious or subtle — that you might finally be pregnant. In that case, you might over-think things a bit, willing little things into major signs that things are going the way you so badly wish they would. If you're not actively trying to get pregnant, however, you're likely not examining the signs as closely, and, in that case, there are some signs you're pregnant that you will probably miss.
Some very early pregnancy symptoms can mimic PMS symptoms, which can complicate matters. Are you really pregnant? Or are you just about to get your period? That's a letdown if there ever was one for women trying to conceive and honestly seems a little cruel. But it's the hormonal changes happening in your body (in both instances) which lead to some of these signs and symptoms.
Whether you're ardently hoping to spot the earliest possible sign that you might be pregnant or are satisfied just knowing with time, there might be signs that are evident sooner than you think and that — if you don't know what to look for — you'll probably not even realize are signs that you just might be pregnant.
1. Sore Breasts
If you've ever experienced breast soreness along with your other hellish PMS symptoms, you know that it's not something that's solely reserved for pregnancy, which means you might not realize that this time, the pain is pointing to pregnancy, not your period. OB-GYN Dr. Michele Justice told The Bump that the difference between PMS breast soreness and pregnancy breast soreness is that with PMS, breast soreness goes away, while with pregnancy, it sticks around. If you seem to be experiencing breast tenderness for longer than usual, it could mean that there's a baby on the way.
2. Spotting And Cramping
Spotting or cramping between periods (or anytime things are different than they normally are) can be stressful because you aren't quite sure what's going on. According to WebMD, you can experience spotting and cramping between six to 12 days after the egg is fertilized. The pain and slight bleeding is associated with the implantation of the embryo and mimic what you can experience leading up to your period, which can make it hard to discern that it's actually a pregnancy symptom instead.
Because your hormones can change suddenly after you become pregnant, you might feel a little nauseous right away without knowing why. Dr. Maria Sophocles, a gynecologist and the medical director at Women's Healthcare of Princeton, told Cosmopolitan that human chorionic gonadotropin is the hormone responsible for the nausea in early-pregnancy. Whether it's confined to the morning hours or lingers all day, nausea can be a sign that you're pregnant. If it lasts longer than a typical case of food poisoning or a stomach bug, it might be worth checking out.
Yet another pregnancy sign that mirrors what you experience when PMSing. According to Healthline, the way to tell if your moodiness has to do with PMS or if it might be indicating pregnancy is that during pregnancy, your mood swings last (in many times, for the full length of the pregnancy). If you seem to be more emotional and can't seem to shake it, it might not be your period — or lifestyle stress — after all.
If you're prone to headaches, your first thought will definitely not be that you might be pregnant whenever you get one, but it could be signaling just that. Dr. Mary Rosser, the division director of general obstetrics and gynecology at Montefiore Medical Center, told Redbook that you might get headaches as soon as a week after getting pregnant. Like most other pregnancy symptoms, a spike in frequency of headaches is because of your changing hormone levels. If there are other reasons you might be getting more headaches (work stress, anyone?), pregnancy will be the furthest thing from your mind.
6. You Always Have To Pee
Notice that you have to swing by the ladies' room more often than usual? It could be a sign that there's a bun in the oven. According to another Healthline article, you might notice more frequent urination four to six weeks into your pregnancy. If you can't sleep through the night any longer without getting up to go to the bathroom, even if you didn't drink a lot before bed, it could be a sign that you need to take a pregnancy test.
Constipation can happen for lots of different reasons, but it's not uncommon when you're pregnant. An increase in progesterone is to blame, according to the aforementioned article from WebMD. If you eat a healthy diet, drink lots of water, exercise, and aren't on any medication that might make you constipated, it could be a very subtle signal that you're pregnant.
8. Your Nails Are Growing Faster
I'm not sure about you, but I don't really have a good handle on exactly how long it takes for my nails to grow. Sometimes they seem to grow faster and sometimes it takes awhile, but if you notice yours seem to be picking up speed, it could be because you're pregnant. Dr. Irina Burd, both an OB and maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Johns Hopkins, told Fit Pregnancy's website, "Faster nail growth may been seen before a positive pregnancy test." Maybe it's time to pay a little bit closer attention to that kind of thing.
All of sudden find that a hearty breakfast is absolutely essential after years of being a coffee-only kind of gal? Rosser told Redbook in the previously-mentioned article that some women experience a sort of nauseated lightheadedness very early into their pregnancy because their body is demanding more calories than they might be used to. Sure, there are a number of reasons why you might all of a sudden wake up wanting breakfast, but if it's extreme and consisten, you might want to talk to your doctor.
10. Vaginal Discharge
There are lots of reasons why you may notice a bit of vaginal discharge, ranging from completely benign to serious and alarming, but it can also be an early sign that you're pregnant. Milky white discharge can indicate pregnancy, as WebMD noted in the previously-mentioned article. This is due to the thickening of your vaginal walls, which begins to happen right after you get pregnant. It's subtle, it's so easy to miss.
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