There seems to be two types of people when it comes to making a baby. One is analyzing their body's every feeling and symptom, hoping and praying it means they're pregnant. The other is either not really trying at all or more laid back and less obsessive over their possible symptoms. No matter which category you fall into, it turns out there are some pregnancy symptoms you might not notice, especially because these symptoms can be caused by a million other things, like PMS, not drinking enough water, too rough of a romp in the sheets the night before, or even catching a cold.
Don't worry, you're not a totally oblivious person, because according to Dr. Adrienne Zertuche, an OB-GYN at a division of Atlanta Women’s Healthcare Specialists, many of these early pregnancy symptoms can be subtle. (Like, really subtle.) There's a number of other symptoms that may occur in early pregnancy as well, but may also be explained by other medical problems. It's easy to tell yourself that you're needing to pee so often is because you're drinking more water or that your exhaustion is because you've been working late, but if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms and your period is late, it is probably a good time to take a pregnancy test.
Did you stand up too fast? Did you not drink enough water today? Are you hungry and your blood sugar levels are down? These are all things that could cause dizziness, other than pregnancy. But why do you feel dizzy in early pregnancy? According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), it’s because of the “rising hormones that cause your blood vessels to relax and widen.” It increases blood flow to your baby, but slows the blood flow to you and your brain. It also causes your blood pressure to drop. Fun times.
I know, everyone associates nausea with pregnancy, but your queasiness can be subtle and make you think it's from something else, like that Mexican food you ate last night doing a number on your system today. Or did you catch the flu bug that’s going around? Nausea is a symptom for many other medical issues. However, if you’re nauseous (with or without vomiting) it could also be an early pregnancy symptom. Nausea occurs when you’re pregnant because of those dang hormones again, noted APA. They mess with your intestines and make your sniffer quite a bit more sensitive, so a lot of things that didn’t make you want to gag before will now.
3. Breast Tenderness
Did your partner get a little too handsy last night when you were fooling around? Is your bra suddenly too tight? Maybe you’re gaining weight? Or you could be pregnant. Tender breasts are a common symptom for PMS as well. Ever notice how right before you start your period, it’s the absolute worst when you take your bra off for the evening and it feels like weights are pulling them down to your toes? Just me? If you start your period shortly after feeling uncomfortable, you’re obviously in the clear. If you’re late, it could be a different story.
4. You Have To Pee All The Time
Did you drink too much water today? Do you possibly have a UTI or bladder infection? Frequent urination could be a lot of things, including an early pregnancy symptom, according to Mayo Clinic. If you notice you’re peeing more frequently but without the burning sensation, you could be pregnant. Better grab that test if your Aunt Flo is late and you're visiting every bathroom in the office.
5. Cramping & Bloating
It’s completely normal and expected to cramp and bloat before you start your period, and most women don’t know they’re pregnant when they have these symptoms because they’re so similar to PMS cramps. What’s the difference between cramping in early pregnancy and cramping before your period? Pregnancy cramping and bloating is your uterus shifting around and expanding, and possibly implantation of the baby, according to The Bump. PMS cramping happens because you’re getting ready to shed your uterine lining and you’re bloating from water retention. But there's no way of knowing which one is happening unless you can see inside your uterus, so these early pregnancy symptoms are very often confused for PMS.
6. Catching A Cold
You could just have a common cold, which happens to people all the time at any time of year. If the cold lingers and it just won’t go away no matter how much medicine and rest you get? It could be an early pregnancy symptom. This one is easy to confuse for just being sick, however, so make sure you’re diligent in keeping up with how long you’ve had the cold. Why in the world would catching a cold be an early pregnancy symptom? Apparently, your immune system kinda slows down when you’re pregnant, making you more susceptible to colds, and your hormones make your mucous membranes swell, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Who doesn't dream about crawling back into their bed as soon as they wake up? The thing is, if you're constantly exhausted and ready for a nap, but your period is MIA, you could be pregnant. According to What to Expect, this symptom starts almost immediately, within a week or two of conception and implantation. Maybe you're just tired from work. Or maybe you're pregnant.
8. Mood Changes
Most women have mood changes and get really irritable when they’re PMSing, and it’s because estrogen and progesterone levels are affecting your brain. Stress can also cause moodiness, as well. But thanks to raging hormones during early pregnancy, it could be an early sign you’re having a baby. It’s hard to differentiate between the two because the symptoms are exactly alike, so you better grab that pregnancy test to be sure.
So how do you know it’s a pregnancy symptom and not any of the above? Zertuche says it all has to do with whether or not you missed your period. “If you experience any of these symptoms, especially in the setting of a missed period, you should take a home pregnancy test and call your OB-GYN. He or she will decide if you need to be evaluated in the office and have further testing done,” Zertuche says.
If you're experiencing any or all of these symptoms and you're within a two-week time frame of having unprotected sex, these innocent body changes may mean you're pregnant. Grab that test and hold on — you may be in for a heck of a ride soon.
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