Ways to Tell if You're Pregnant

There are many common early signs of pregnancy but not every pregnant woman will experience them all. A lack of all or any of the following signs, does not necessarily mean that you are not pregnant. Use a store-bought pregnancy test or make an appointment with your health-care provider to find out for sure.

  1. Common Signs of Pregnancy

    • According to the Cleveland Clinic, one of the most common signs of early pregnancy is a missed period, and this is often the time when many women first suspect they may be pregnant. It is not definitive though, as other factors may cause a missed period, such as stress, a change in diet or excessive exercise. Extreme fatigue may also be experienced in early pregnancy due to increasing levels of the hormone progesterone. A few weeks after conception, morning sickness (which may occur at any time of day or even all day long) may kick in and leave you feeling nauseous or---as in about half of pregnant women---vomiting occurs. Again, hormones are to blame---this time rapidly rising estrogen levels.Your breasts may feel tingly, sore or tender to the touch. This should subside after a few weeks, when the body gets used to being pregnant. The breasts may also start to feel fuller and enlarged, and the nipples may look larger and darker. You may need to urinate more frequently, day and night, due to the effects of the hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin).

    Other Signs of Pregnancy

    • A small amount of vaginal blood loss (spotting) and some period-like cramping may occur when the fertilized egg implants in the uterus, according to the Mayo Clinic. This spotting---called implantation bleeding---is different than a period in that it is bit earlier than you would expect, is lighter in color, and should not last long. You may notice some dietary changes as well, such as an increased hunger, a metallic taste in your mouth, food cravings or food aversions. Again, these are caused by hormonal changes. Other symptoms of early pregnancy, caused by increasing hormones and changes in blood volume, are mild headaches and dizziness. Some women may experience mood swings and can feel extremely emotional. Mood swings are very common throughout pregnancy, but especially in the first trimester.

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