If you missed a period, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that you’re pregnant. That may be, but it’s not the only sign of pregnancy and it could also just be a sign of high stress in your life or another possible medical condition.
If you think you might be pregnant, here are seven early signs of pregnancy to look out for until you can take a pregnancy test.
Early signs of pregnancy
Late or missed period
As mentioned, a late period can be an early sign of pregnancy, or it could be the result of unusually high stress in your life. It’s important to pay attention to your body but not jump to quick conclusions and worry unnecessarily until you know for certain if you’re pregnant by taking a pregnancy test.
Tender or swollen breasts
If you are pregnant, your body will produce more hormones that can make your breasts feel fuller or heavier, causing tenderness and discomfort. This is often one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. The discomfort won’t last the entire pregnancy but is more pronounced early on in the pregnancy.
Many women experience nausea during pregnancy because your stomach empties more slowly when you’re pregnant. Morning sickness can be very extreme and last throughout the pregnancy, or only the first few months. It’s different for every pregnancy and can begin as early as two weeks into the pregnancy.
Food aversions or cravings
If you’ve noticed a sudden craving for foods you’ve never craved before, or an aversion to foods you’ve always loved, this can be another early sign of pregnancy. You may even experience cravings for foods you’ve always hated. These cravings and aversions can change throughout the pregnancy.
If you’re getting the same amount of sleep or more than you usually do and the exhaustion won’t go away, this could be a sign that you’re pregnant. High progesterone, lower blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure, and increased blood production can all combine to make you feel exhausted.
Dizziness or headaches
Intense headaches or unexplained dizziness can both be early signs of pregnancy, especially if you don’t usually experience either of them. This is caused by increased blood circulation in your body and can vary in intensity. Usually, these subside farther into the pregnancy.
The new hormones produced by your body early in pregnancy can make you feel like you’re on a roller coaster ride of emotions, with unexpected, unexplainable highs and lows.
Unfortunately, anyone of these signs on its own isn’t enough to know for sure that you’re pregnant and some women have no pregnancy symptoms. In fact, the only real way to know is by taking a pregnancy test.
Why you should take a pregnancy test
A pregnancy test detects hCG in your blood, a hormone created by your body when you’re pregnant. In rare cases, hCG can be present in your blood for other medical reasons, but that’s rare. A positive pregnancy test should be confirmed with an ultrasound to check for the viability of the pregnancy.
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