Signs of Pregnancy

There are many signs of pregnancy, but the earliest signs of pregnancy often are the same as pre-menstrual symptoms. This can be very frustrating for couples that are trying to conceive. Pregnancy signs such as nausea and cravings generally do not develop until about the eighth week of pregnancy, long after a home pregnancy test would have yielded a positive. However, the most agonizing pregnancy period may be the two weeks following ovulation but before a predictable result can be obtained with a urine pregnancy test. This period is often when women will meticulously track their symptoms and compare them with others who have already confirmed their pregnancies.

Some of the most commonly reported early signs of pregnancy are:

  • Nausea with or without a headache
  • Enhanced sense of smell
  • Abdominal pulling or pain/cramping without bleeding
  • A sensation of abdominal “fullness”
  • Breast soreness, often localized to the sides
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue (during the day)
  • Insomnia (at night)
  • Gassiness
  • Vivid dreams
  • A positive pregnancy test (urine or blood)
  • Creamy or lotiony cervical discharge than increases in abundance late in the luteal phase
  • A missed period
  • Spotting

Many of these signs are also common of pre-menstrual syndrome or may result from the stress of waiting to take a pregnancy test or a hopeful delusion of experiencing symptoms that really are not present. The most obvious sign of early pregnancy, however is a positive pregnancy test. Until you have confirmed your pregnancy with an at-home or office pregnancy test, you cannot be sure.

Later signs of pregnancy are diverse and differ between women and between pregnancies. These include:

  • Increased abdominal size, originally reminiscent of bloating
  • Continued abdominal pain, pulling
  • Spotting and/or increased discharge
  • Increased weight, as much as a few pounds per week
  • Absent, light, or severe morning sickness that may last all day
  • Increased breast size, soreness
  • Quickening (feelings of movement)
  • Gassiness and/or constipation
  • Increased appetite, cravings, and/or aversions
  • Increased blood volume; more noticeable veins

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list; there are literally hundreds of signs and symptoms that may be reported as indicative or suggestive of a pregnancy. If you are engaged in unprotected intercourse during your fertile period and if you have missed a period, you are likely pregnant. However, this can only be confirmed with a home pregnancy test and a follow-up visit with your health care provider.

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