If you have been trying to get pregnant, you've probably been focusing on the common signs of pregnancy. But did you know the signs may vary for each woman? That's why it's recommended you see your provider if you believe you may be pregnant.
Pregnancy "signs" typically start four weeks into pregnancy.
A missed period is usually the first sign of pregnancy. Women often use at-home pregnancy tests, but keep in mind; this is not always the most reliable sign, since many women may still have spotting or a light flow even while pregnant.
The most common and noticeable sign of pregnancy is "morning sickness" or nausea. Despite the name, having sensations of nausea can happen throughout the day, not just in the morning. Your doctor may have options to help relieve these symptoms.
Another common sign of pregnancy is having frequent headaches and mood swings. Headaches are common with pregnancy, mostly because of hormonal changes. Those hormonal changes are also one of the culprits behind mood swings, along with physical stress, fatigue, and metabolic changes.
There are more physical signs a women may be pregnant and the signs may vary from person to person. Having breast tenderness or swollen breasts can be a sign of pregnancy, as well as the darkening of the areolas. Other symptoms include:
- Abdominal cramping, which may be caused by the implantation of the fertilized egg, this happens about a week after ovulation
- Feeling faint or dizzy, this may be caused by a change in blood pressure
If you feel you may be pregnant, there are many tests to take to confirm. For at home testing there are plenty of over the counter pregnancy tests. At home tests can be very accurate if taken at the right time, many tests say that you can take them on the first day of your missed period but it is better to wait up to a week after your missed period. The week after allows for a hormone to be produced called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). This hormone becomes apparent when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining.
Taking a pregnancy test at a doctors' office can be done in two different ways, through the urine or through the blood. Both tests are looking for the hormone HCG but the blood test can be used to monitor whether or not the pregnancy is ectopic. An ectopic pregnancy is when the embryo takes place in the fallopian tube. The blood tests can also take longer to get the results to you compared to the urine tests.
If you feel you may be pregnant, talk with your provider about which test is best for you.