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How Do I Know if I’m Pregnant?
Are you wondering if you might be pregnant? There are some common signs and symptoms to watch for in the early weeks. Of course, the only way to confirm pregnancy is by taking a test. But paying attention to clues your body gives can help determine if you should take a pregnancy test. Here are 10 ways to know if you might be expecting.
One of the classic signs of possible pregnancy is a missed menstrual period. However, periods don’t always arrive like clockwork. Stress, changes in diet or exercise, hormonal fluctuations, travel, perimenopause, and other factors can all cause your period to be late. A pregnancy test is the best option to find out whether your lack of period is due to pregnancy or another reason.
Increased progesterone and estrogen levels early in pregnancy cause changes in the breasts. It’s common to feel breast tenderness, heaviness, tingling, or soreness as one of the first signs of conception. The areolas around the nipples may also appear darker. This breast tenderness often continues through the first trimester.
Morning sickness is a notorious pregnancy symptom. While nausea can strike any time of day, it may be worst upon waking in the morning. Around 50-80% of women experience nausea as early as 2 weeks from conception. Try eating small frequent meals and snacking on plain foods to ease queasiness. Taking prenatal vitamins at night rather than in the morning may help as well.
Feeling constantly drained and sleepy can indicate pregnancy within the first few weeks. Your body works harder to support your growing baby, even in early development. Don’t be surprised if simple tasks wipe you out fast. Take naps as needed and try to put your feet up to combat fatigue.
Changing tastes and smells are common early in pregnancy due to shifts in hormones. You may suddenly crave foods you never liked before, or find the thought of eating certain foods you used to enjoy unappealing. These food preferences can fluctuate throughout pregnancy.
If you feel like you’re constantly running to pee, pregnancy could be the reason why. Hormonal changes increase blood flow to the kidneys as well as relax the bladder. Urination increases even more as your growing uterus puts pressure on the bladder later in pregnancy.
Hormones linked to pregnancy often slow down digestion, which can lead to abdominal bloating and constipation. To help stay regular, drink plenty of fluids, exercise moderately, and eat high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, and whole grains.
Mood swings like frequent crying, irritability, anxiety, and depression can all accompany pregnancy, especially in the first trimester. Blame shifting hormone levels for this emotion rollercoaster. Talk to your doctor if mood changes are severe.
About 25% of pregnant women experience minor spotting in early pregnancy, typically at the time implantation occurs. However, significant bleeding or cramping warrants medical attention to rule out potential complications.
Waking basal body temperature stays elevated after ovulation and implantation occurs, due to the hormone progesterone. This thermal shift is a positive sign if you’ve been tracking ovulation with a basal thermometer.
When to Take a Pregnancy Test
If you notice some of these pregnancy symptoms, wait until at least the first day of your expected period before taking a home pregnancy test. Using an early response test with first morning urine will provide the most accurate results. Or visit your doctor for a blood hCG test. Let the clues guide you, and confirm with a test!