How to Know if You are Pregnant. Early Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy
How I Knew I was Pregnant Before Taking a Test
I pretty much knew I was pregnant before I even took a pregnancy test. All of these that I am about to tell you were things I experienced before I took a pregnancy test or had a missed menstrual cycle.
It was maybe about a week after I conceived when I started getting abdominal cramps. These cramps were almost like the cramps a woman would get when expecting her menstrual cycle. I originally hoped they were from a soon-to-be cycle; however, it was way too early. I wasn't expecting it for about another week and a half. Not only that, but I didn't usually get much cramping before my cycle. These cramps were located in my lower abdomen.
I also had cramping high up in my abdomen. I later found out from my Dr. that these cramps were caused by the excess gas that comes with pregnancy.
My breasts were also very tender to the touch. I had never experienced that before, so that was another red flag.
Aside from that, I was also EXTREMELY tired. I was always the kind of person who could stay up all night, get 4 hours of sleep, go to work the next morning (on time), then do it all over again the next day. It was about the same time I was getting the cramps that I realized how tired I was. I would sleep for 10 hours and STILL wake up late for work because I was so tired. I was so drained that I would get to work and there would be times where my eyes would roll in the back of my head because I would get so tired all of a sudden. It's kind of difficult to explain, but basically, I was constantly tired no matter how much sleep I got. On top of that, there would be moments where I would get so tired throughout the day that I literally couldn't keep my eyes open.
Finally, the last symptom I had was that my stomach felt different. That is another thing that's hard to explain. It just felt firmer than normal. I felt more bloated.
All of these are things that I realized about a week and a half after I conceived. I wasn't expecting my menstrual cycle for another week. These were all things that I had never experienced before. I just felt like I was different. Then, when it became close to the time of my expected menstrual cycle, I took my first test, and it said that I was pregnant.
**Please note: Every woman is different. Every pregnancy is different. Just because I experienced these signs and symptoms of pregnancy, doesn't mean you will too. Some women don't experience any early signs at all, except for a positive test or missed menstrual cycle.**
Early Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms
Tiredness or fatigue. Just like what I experienced, it is quite common for newly pregnant women to become more tired or fatigued than usual. That is a symptom that can begin as early as 1 week after conception.
Implantation Bleeding. Implantation bleeding occurs when the embryo implants itself into the uterine wall. The embryo actually digs itself into the uterine wall and makes a little spot for itself. The bleeding is usually just light spotting that can occur as early as 6 days after conception. Please note that even though every embryo (normally) attaches to the uterine wall, that does not mean that every woman will experience the implantation bleeding.
Swollen or Tender Breasts. This is another symptom that may occur about a week after conception.
Darkening of the Areola. When women become pregnant, the areola (or skin around the nipples) tend to become darker. That usually doesn't start until a little later in the pregnancy.
Nausea and Morning Sickness. This can start as early as about 2 weeks pregnant. Morning sickness is the name associated with nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Don't be fooled, though. Even though it is called morning sickness, it can occur at any time: morning, noon, or night. Nausea can occur for no known reason, but for a lot of women, it happens because of a smell that makes them nauseous.
Food Cravings. Craving pickles and ice cream is a common thought when someone mentions food cravings. Food cravings can start at any time. The pregnant woman might experience cravings throughout the whole pregnancy, or never at all. The cravings can be for something strange (such as pickles and ice cream) or something not-so-strange. Some women may even get cravings for a food that they never used to like before becoming pregnant.
Food Aversions. Just as how pregnant women can get food cravings, another sign of pregnancy is the complete opposite: food aversions. It is quite common for pregnant women to be 'turned off' at the smell, or even just the thought of certain foods. These can even be foods that the pregnant women once loved.
Frequent Urination. This doesn't normally start happening until at least 6 weeks along. This occurs when the fetus starts pushing down on the bladder.
Backaches. Backaches can occur at any time during pregnancy. In the earlier stages, it is usually just a dull pain. It is later on in the pregnancy when the dull back pain is more likely to get worse.
Headaches. Headaches occur because of the sudden rise in hormones. They usually ease up once the hormones balance out.
Dizziness. Also because of the rise in hormones, many women will at one point or another experience dizziness or feel lightheaded early on in pregnancy. Some women even faint.
Light bleeding or spotting. If you experience light bleeding around the time of your expected menstrual cycle, you may be pregnant. It is common for women to still get some bleeding or spotting around the time of their next expected cycle, so if your period isn't normal for you, you should consider getting a pregnancy test or seeing your Dr.
Missed menstrual cycle. Not everyone has a regular cycle. Some women actually miss their cycle every now and then, even if they aren't pregnant. Either way, if you have been having intercourse with anyone and think you might be pregnant, it is a good idea to either take a pregnancy test or go to your Dr.
Positive pregnancy test. If a woman takes a pregnancy test and it comes back positive, the next thing to do is schedule an appointment with her Dr. or Gynecologist. The Dr. will be able to determine if the woman is indeed pregnant. Then, the Dr. and patient can go from there.
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