- Women's Health
10 Ways To Know if You Are Pregnant
Could You Be?
So, you think you might be pregnant. This can be a stressful or exciting time, or both. A pregnancy is a huge life changing event. Here's ten signs or symptoms that might indicate pregnancy. You may have all or none of these. Always confirm pregnancy with your doctor and start prenatal care as soon as possible if you are pregnant. Good prenatal care is extremely important.
Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy
- Late Period/Missed Period - This is often the first sign that you may be pregnant, but it's not foolproof. There are other things that can effect a menstrual period including stress, weight changes, changes in birth control, and breast feeding.
- Morning Sickness/Anytime Sickness - Many people do have morning sickness while pregnant, but there are other reasons to experience nausea and vomiting. People that having morning sickness usually start experiencing it 2-8 weeks after conception, so throwing up the morning after you think you conceived may just be stress or bad takeout the night before.
- Food Cravings - These can last throughout a pregnancy, but they are easy to imagine up for the woman who thinks she may be pregnant. Other causes may be an impending period, stress, depression, or a diet that is lacking in certain nutrients.
- Sore Breasts - Pregnancy comes with sore breasts, sometimes extremely sore breasts. For some women this is not much different then the sore breasts they experience when their period is imminent. Bottom line here, it's hard to distinguish between pregnancy and PMS. That said, it may be a very encouraging sign for women who don't experience breast tenderness on a regular basis.
- Darkening of Areolas - This is a common sign of pregnancy. Personally I have seen this as a very early sign of pregnancy once out of three pregnancies, in the other two pregnancies this sign showed up long after I learned I was pregnant. So, not having this symptom does not mean you are not pregnant. Other causes of darkening of the areolas are hormonal imbalance and residual effects of a prior pregnancy.
- Frequent Urination - This usually starts about 6-8 weeks into a pregnancy, so you may know you are pregnant by the time this kicks in. Interesting factoid: Pregnancy is dated from your last menstrual period, so you are calculated to be two weeks pregnant at the time of conception! There's a lot of reasons for increased urination that have nothing to do with pregnancy, such as diabetes, increased fluids, and a urinary tract infection.
- Headaches - Many pregnant women have frequent headaches due to the sudden hormone surge of pregnancy. Once again, there are a lot of other reasons for frequent headaches, including stress, an impending period, and caffeine withdrawal.
- Fatigue - Are you exhausted? Missing your favorite shows because you fell asleep early? This could be a sign of pregnancy. It could also be a sign that you are stressed, depressed, or getting the flu.
- Implantation Bleeding - Sometimes, when the fertilized egg implants itself into the uterine wall there is some cramping and or spotting experienced. This happens 6-12 days after conception. Other causes include impending menstruation, a cut from intercourse, infection, and break through bleeding.
- Positive Pregnancy Test - If you get two lines you can start celebrating. Do a dance, call some friends if you like. False positives are extremely rare. False negatives are much less rare and are usually caused by testing far too early. Try to wait until you are actually late for your period, give the hormones a chance to get into your system and be measurable. If you do decide to test early, please don't count on that negative and go out and binge drink or anything! Now, when I talk about a positive test I mean two clear lines, not maybe I see a faint second line if I hold it up to the window at an angle. You know who you are. I've been guilty of such tactics myself. Also, resist the urge to read the test after the time indicated on the box. An evaporation line can occur, looking like a positive test.