The early signs of pregnancy are sometimes wrongly attributed to other causes, especially when considered one at a time. As they add up though, it’s increasingly likely that you are indeed pregnant. Here are some of the most common early pregnancy symptoms and how they are often misinterpreted.
Cramps and Spotting
If you ARE pregnant: Some cramping and light bleeding can occur 6-12 days following fertilization. This is called implantation bleeding, as it results from the fertilized egg implanting into the lining of the uterus.
If you ARE NOT pregnant: This could just be the start of your period, even if it is lighter than usual for you. Periods can vary in intensity. If it persists more than a couple days longer than usual, it’s a good idea to take a pregnancy test.
If you ARE pregnant: Breast soreness can occur in the first month of pregnancy. Increased blood flow resulting from elevated estrogen and progesterone levels causes the body to quickly store more fat, producing the discomfort.
If you ARE NOT pregnant: Typical period-related hormone shifts can sometimes produce breast pain, as can several other causes – some relatively harmless, others more distressing. Diet, medications and muscle strains can all cause breast pain. So can cysts. If pain persists, or if there is redness, swelling or drainage, see a doctor.
If you ARE pregnant: “Morning sickness” is a commonly known early pregnancy symptom. What you may not know, however, is that it’s rarely restricted to the morning. Pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting can occur any time of the day.
If you ARE NOT pregnant: Nausea is associated with everything from motion sickness to bad sushi. In most instances, it should pass relatively quickly. If it persists abnormally long, if you feel dehydrated or if there’s any sign of blood, you should likely head to the emergency room.
If you ARE pregnant: Pregnancy puts a lot of strain on the kidneys and the bladder. The kidneys have to work harder to filter rapidly increasing body fluid levels. Shifting organs and fat stores push against the bladder. Combined, this translates to more frequent urination.
If you ARE NOT pregnant: Outside of pregnancy, a sudden increase in urination can be cause for alarm. A variety of infections, diseases and irritations, as well as changes in muscles, nerves and tissues can affect urination, and should be diagnosed by a doctor.
If you ARE pregnant: The body undergoes a lot of physical rearrangement through the course of a pregnancy, even early on. The stretching and expansion of core and limbs can produce muscle aches throughout the body.
If you ARE NOT pregnant: Physical exertion is the most common cause of muscle aches. In these instances, stretching, hydrating, massage or a combination of cold and heat can help. If, however, muscle aches are systemic – meaning you feel them throughout your body – it could be an infection, illness or a medication side effect that requires medical intervention.
Viewed individually, and without any other reason to believe you are pregnant, these early pregnancy signs are easily dismissed. If, however, you’re experiencing more than one symptom and are sexually active, it’s certainly worth being tested to know if you are pregnant.
At Sira in Gainesville, we offer free pregnancy testing, so you’ll know for sure and can start making informed decisions. Contact us today at 352-377-4947 to schedule your free, confidential appointment.