Wondering if you have a baby on board?
Pregnancy is the part of life that every woman looks forward to. While it is important to test for pregnancy to be sure about it, some tell-tale signs might do the job for you until you go to a hospital. When you are pregnant, some hormonal changes occur in your body which causes some changes which can be acknowledged if you pay close attention.
Missing a period can be an alarming sign of pregnancy. It is obvious that when you are pregnant, there is no purpose for your periods to visit you. So, if your periods are mostly regular, a missed period can be taken as a not-so-subtle sign of pregnancy. If this happens, the best thing to do next is to test for pregnancy at home, wait till it turns pink, and then visit your doctor.
However, there are a lot of early signs of pregnancy before a missed period in women. These changes in the body can also acknowledge the fact that you are going to be a mother. Read through the list of these 20 early pregnancy symptoms you might experience before a missed period.
1. Sore and swollen breasts
You can experience sore and swollen breasts as one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. After the egg is fertilized, progesterone and hCG hormones start flooding your body, which helps increase blood volume.
As the breast tissues are highly hormone-sensitive, your breasts swell, become heavy, and sometimes sore. So, this can be one of the first signs of pregnancy you can encounter within a week of becoming pregnant.
When you become pregnant, you tend to tire very soon. It may not always be because you had less sleep or you worked hard, as you can find yourself tired at any unnecessary point of the day when you get pregnant. Fatigue, while pregnant, does not limit itself to being tired but exhausts you, and you can’t gather yourself to do anything at the time.
3. Morning sickness
Morning sickness or vomiting is also very common among pregnant ladies. Unlike its name, morning sickness can occur at any point of the day and makes you feel dizzy and nauseous, often resulting in vomiting. So, it’s better to pay attention to your body and understand the signs, which may be very subtle to grab hold of.
4. Short of air
When you are going on your daily run, and you find yourself short of breath unexpectedly, this may be a sign of pregnancy. This may seem too vague, but if you have no other related problems, shortness of breath can always sign you towards your pregnancy. Being unable to breathe while walking, climbing stairs and dancing in a very short period should be noticed attentively.
It is very common for pregnant women to find themselves gassy from an early period of their pregnancy. It happens due to the overwhelming hormonal flows in the body, which affect metabolism. Even though anyone can be gassy for any other reason, gas is also a sign of pregnancy which shows in its early phase.
6. Bleeding gums
Sometimes, pregnant ladies experience tenderness in their gums. More often, the gums bleed, which is nothing far from normal while pregnant. The reason behind the bleeding is also quite similar to your breasts becoming tender and hard.
Due to the hormones and rise in blood volume, you may see blood while brushing. If your dentist says there is nothing to worry about, you can take it as a happy sign of pregnancy.
While the egg fertilizes, the pregnant body starts to feel crampy. You may feel as if you are going to have your periods or as if you are having your periods, and the cramps may get painful too. This happens because when the egg is fertilized, the uterus starts to stretch so that it can prepare for its expansion in the future to hold a baby, explaining your cramps.
Spotting is light bleeding which sometimes can be confused with periods by women. While spotting, the bleeding is way less than that of the period, as it only happens during the implantation of the fertilized egg to the lining of your uterus. So, before you mistake spotting with abnormal periods, take a hint.
Bloating can also be taken as one of the early signs of pregnancy. It often occurs at around four weeks of pregnancy, after the fertilization of egg. While bloating also occurs before you get your periods and disappears afterward, this is not the case while you get pregnant. If you are bloated and also miss your periods, be prepared for a baby around the corner.
10. Increased urination
You may be pregnant if you find yourself knocking on toilet doors more than before. It is normal that you want to urinate more often than before, and it is also a sign that nears you to pregnancy.
11. Food aversions
Food aversions during pregnancy can go to a pretty unexpected level as to cravings for inedible substances. You might start to like some food that you loathed before. And once you start craving the food, you can’t let it go till you eat it. This happens in many pregnancy cases, so it is also one of the profound signs of pregnancy.
12. Mood swings
Flooding hormones in the body while pregnant can make you very emotional and moody. You may sometimes find yourself happy and seconds later sad, all for nothing. Tiny emotional thoughts can make you cry, and you can’t stop laughing at a lousy joke. Even though you may have difficulty controlling yourself, these mood swings can also be very helpful to know if you are on the way to becoming a mother.
13. Dizziness and clumsy feeling
Pregnancy shows you a time of your life when you can also expect yourself to be very clumsy and light-headed. While dizziness and nausea may be a part of your morning sickness due to the overwhelming changes your body goes through, being clumsy can also be expected.
So, don’t worry if you have been missing steps or have problems remembering where you put your clothes because the good news is you may be pregnant and, thus, airheaded.
As your body starts flooding with hormones while you are pregnant, some irregularities in your metabolism can occur. Oftentimes, your metabolism slows down, which results in bloating. It is also equally expected that you may suffer from constipation when becoming a mommy. So, if you can’t figure out your bowel movement and don’t have any other related diseases, you may be pregnant.
15. Increased body temperature
If you feel that your body temperature has remained high for some time, this may also sign that you are pregnant. When you are pregnant, your basal body temperature stays high the whole time. This falls again after you give birth to your baby.
16. Headache and back pain
Even though it may seem fair that headaches and backaches are normal for anyone, these also sign of pregnancy. Pregnant women mostly feel lower backaches, similar to backaches during and before periods.
But if the backache persists and periods never come, this can signify pregnancy. Headaches can also visit pregnant ladies repeatedly during the early phase of pregnancy.
17. Darkening of areolas
Due to your surging pregnancy hormones, the area around your nipples tends to darken. It is also common that the area expands, and some bumps similar to goosebumps can be found in the areolas, which can be used in your nursing time. Not to mention the stiffness of the nipple, all these signs occur very early, directly signaling pregnancy.
18. Sensitive to smell
If you suddenly find yourself super sensitive to smell, this can sign of your pregnancy. When you are pregnant, you may seem to like smelling something you disliked earlier.
This heightened sense of smell can also enable you to smell things strongly. This sign may not be as common as food aversions, but it’s always good to know that it’s normal when pregnant.
19. Change in color of your vagina
As an early sign of your pregnancy, there can be some color changes in your vagina. Usually, the vulva and vagina are pink in color, and while you are pregnant, this color may seem to change and become purplish-red. Most of the time, there occurs darkening of the skin in the vagina, which can be taken as one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. So keep checking for the color if you want to become a mom.
20. Higher level of vaginal discharge
When you are pregnant, it is normal that you have vaginal discharge at a higher level than you did before being pregnant. It is a very natural process and is not harmful. Yet, if the discharge smells and is in a very high amount, you need to consult your doctor. If not, this is only another sign to tell you that you may be pregnant.
Other Causes of Missed Periods
Though missed periods are common when babies are on the agenda, there are several other potential reasons your period is late.
- Excessive weight loss or heavy exercise: With a decrease in BMI below 18 or 19, women start to miss periods. Though the problem is strictly not based on BMI, heavy exercise and training more than usual can also be a factor. That’s because when you have already gone through a lot of stress, nature protects you from getting more pain.
- Stress: Stress has a lot to do with periods. The Hypothalamus, a part of the brain that regulates hormones for periods, is easily affected under stress, and it can lead to hypothalamic amenorrhea. It also can be a possible cause.
- Thyroid problems: One of the major functions of the thyroid gland is to regulate the body’s metabolism. It also helps maintain balance by coordinating with other body parts. If you have problems related to thyroid, either hypo- or hyperthyroidism, you might see implications for your period.
- Premature menopause: This is one of the rare issues that can occur in women and contribute to missed periods. A premature ovarian failure caused by the body’s misfiring hormones is what causes the problem. Along with missed periods, this complication is also accompanied by night sweats, vaginal dryness, and hot flashes.
Even though most of the above-mentioned signs can point towards PMS, these are also very signs appearing at the earliest pregnancy phase. And even when you must have a pregnancy test at a hospital to know for sure if you are pregnant, all these signs can prepare you for the better. Well, it’s better to prepare for your pregnancy than freak out when the truth comes out, so keep looking for the signs!
Dr. Mashiach has completed his MD at the Sackler School of Medicine, TAU; specialization in gynecology at the Lis Maternity and Women’s Hospital, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center; fellowship in Endoscopy at the Polyclinique de I’Hotel-Dieu, Universite d’Auvergne, Clermont, France.
He is a Senior Physician, Director of the Department of Gynecology, which provides routine and preventative care services to its patients and a full range of gynecological surgical procedures for adequately managing its patients with benign gynecologic disorders.
He offers advanced care in all gynecological subspecialties such as Urogynecology, Colposcopy, Fetal Loss Clinic, and Post Menopausal Clinic.