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Obstetrics And Gynecology

Pregnant – How do you know?

Your period was scheduled to arrive, but something is changing– you’re overtired especially in the mornings, your breasts are oversensitive, your pants feel a little tighter and you have that bloated feeling. Are you drinking more, peeing more than usual, or craving weird foods? Could you be pregnant?

Before any announcement or gender reveal, comes some signs and symptoms to let you know you might be expecting. Yes, a missed period might be the first clue, but it’s important to recognize other changes in your body.

Not all signs and symptoms you’re experiencing indicate pregnancy, but maybe that you’re getting ready to start your period or suffering from another health condition.

How and when to test?

There are a number of pregnancy tests on the market to choose from for at-home testing. The best time to test is the first urination of the day. Most of these tests are 99% accurate, but there could also be a chance of a false positive. If you decide to do a home pregnancy test, be sure to confirm with your provider who can also order a blood test.

How will I know?

Pregnancy may differ from woman to woman, pregnancy to pregnancy, with some women having early symptoms and some women having no symptoms at all. You may feel some uterine cramping like your period is about to start.

Vomiting, nausea, exhaustion is most common in early pregnancy and may show up around the six-week mark from your last period. Pregnancy may mess with your food habits – foods you used to enjoy are now off-limits and make you feel nauseated when you are around them. Other early symptoms may be peeing more at night, backache, leg cramps, uterine cramps, and low sex drive.

What should you watch for?

The early symptoms may appear like pre-menstrual discomfort according to a Mayo Clinic article including:

Missed period: If you’re in your childbearing years and a week or more has passed without the start of an expected menstrual cycle, you might be pregnant. However, this symptom can be misleading if you have an irregular cycle.

Tender, swollen breasts: Early in pregnancy you may notice that your breasts are sensitive and sore. This will likely ease off after a few weeks as your body adjusts to the hormonal changes.

Fatigue:  Being tired is one of the early symptoms of pregnancy. Changes in your hormones might make you feel sleepy.

Increased urination: You may feel like to have to pee more often than usual. The amount of blood increases during pregnancy – causing your kidneys to process extra fluid that ends up in your bladder.

What is morning sickness?

For pregnant women, morning sickness doesn’t just happen in the morning but can be at any time of the day. It normally goes away by the 12-14-week mark, but some women may not experience it at all. If you do, talk with your provider who may recommend medications or other remedies like saltines or ginger ale to ease the sickness.

What happens next?

During the first trimester, you may notice the following:

  • Moodiness
  • Bloating
  • Light Spotting
  • Cramping
  • Constipation
  • Food Aversions
  • Nasal Congestion

Sometimes women will have that “pregnant feeling” way before they even know they are expecting. They say there is a glow that surrounds you, a sense of joy and excitement for what’s coming! Enjoy the journey to motherhood!

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The information on this site is intended to raise awareness and understanding of specific health issues. It should not be used for diagnosis or a substitute for health care by your physician.

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