Perhaps you're wondering if you're pregnant. The best way to be sure is to do a home pregnancy test or a blood test at your gynaec's office. Until you actually do this, read below the early pregnancy signs before your missed period and see if your experience matches with these.
18 Early Signs of Pregnancy
Shortness of breath
If climbing stairs makes you breathless, it could be due to your pregnancy. The little foetus that's growing inside your womb needs oxygen, leaving you breathless. This symptom continues through pregnancy as the baby starts putting pressure on the diaphragm and lungs.
Another early sign of pregnancy, a woman's breasts become sore, tingly or swollen. They may also feel heavy or tender to touch. The areas surrounding the nipples also darken and the veins are more pronounced on the chest. These changes occur because a pregnant woman's hormone levels change rapidly after she conceives. Women experiencing this symptom will have to wait several weeks to get accustomed to the new hormone levels. When this happens, the breast pain will go.
Tiredness is a symptom of pregnancy that stays with women all through their first trimester and then recedes in the next one. Being suddenly tired is usually in answer to the level of the hormone progesterone increasing in a woman's body. Other contributory factors include low blood pressure, increase in blood production and low blood sugar levels that play their own part to bring about unusual exhaustion among pregnant women. To counter this feeling, pregnant women should rest a lot and eat a diet rich in iron and protein.
Spotting and cramping
Within six to 12 days of conception, the fertilized egg hooks onto the uterine wall, causing what's now known as an early pregnancy symptom--spotting. Sometimes, spotting is accompanied by cramping or implantation bleeding.
These cramps are very like menstrual cramps, causing women to take them for a regular period, also because the cramps are accompanied by bleeding. However, the good news is that both the bleeding and cramps aren't very much.
Sometimes, women also notice a milky white vaginal discharge. This happens when the vaginal walls begin to thicken soon after conception because of the growth of cells that line the vagina.
Though this discharge often continues right through pregnancy, it is benign and doesn't need any treatment. However, if the discharge is accompanied by foul smell and a burning sensation or itching, it could well be a bacterial infection or yeast.
Nausea or morning sickness
Though morning sickness is perhaps the most common symptom of pregnancy, not all women experience it. Though its cause is yet not determined, yet pregnancy hormones are likely reasons for this symptom to show up.
Usually, women experience nausea at any time of the day, but it is most commonly experienced in the morning, hence it is also called morning sickness.
Darkening of areolas
Yet another sign of pregnancy is the darkening of the skin around the nipples. The nipples become erect and the bumps surrounding the nipples are more obvious.
This symptom prompts women to think they are pregnant and go in for a pregnancy test to find out if they are pregnant. However, not all women who experience an odd missed period are pregnant. Other reasons for this include losing or gaining weight, stress, hormonal problems, exhaustion or cessation of birth control pills.
Pregnancy causes women to urinate often. Usually, this is due to a mix of pregnancy hormones, a lot of blood in the system and the kidneys working harder than usual. This symptom shows up in week six or eight of the pregnancy. It is a fallout of hormonal levels, though it could also be due to diabetes, urinary tract infection or taking an overdose of diuretics.
- Food cravings or dislike for other foods
Pregnancy makes women crave for certain foods and dislike certain others, particularly if you go through nausea due to morning sickness in the early part of your pregnancy. Yet again, these symptoms are related to hormonal changes she undergoes.
Often, the effect of these symptoms are so strong that what was once a favourite food can be something she detests now or her system cannot accept. However, the good news is that this symptom only continues till week 13 or 14 of the entire pregnancy. To overcome this feeling, pregnant women should eat a healthy diet.
High progesterone levels can make pregnant women constipated. This happens because this hormone allows food to pass far more slower through the intestines. For relief from this problem, drink a lot of water, eat a diet rich in fibre and exercise regularly.
Mood swings are common in the first trimester of pregnancy, yet again, they are related to hormonal changes in the woman's body.
Dizziness and fainting
Pregnant women's dilating blood vessels, low blood sugar levels and low blood pressure are causes for them feeling faint and dizzy.
The early part of pregnancy brings on headaches in pregnant women as the hormones adjust to the growing pregnancy. During this period, headaches and back pain are commonly experienced.
If you are pregnant, you could experience all or some of these symptoms. If you are uncomfortable or unwell due to any of them, speak to your doctor so that he or she can draw up a plan to counter them.
How to find out you're pregnant naturally: Here are some sure shot methods to know if you're pregnant at home:
Add a little toothpaste to some of your early morning urine. Set the container aside. After a while, if you find the urine has changed colour to blue or if it is frothy, your pregnancy is confirmed.
Vinegar and tuna
Here, you need to combine ¼ cup vinegar and ¼ cup tuna juice and keep it overnight. Pour a little of your early morning urine into this solution and check if it turns colour. If it turns green, you're pregnant, but if it turns orange or yellow, you're not.
A sensitive moment like finding out you're pregnant must be carried out with great care. If you can do it as professionally as a doctor, go ahead and use home methods that have met with proven success.