Reading the Signs: Are You Pregnant?

The signs of pregnancy are not unlike the symptoms you may experience in the days leading up to your period, which can make determining whether you are pregnant a bit confusing! Not every woman experiences all of the same symptoms, and some of them are recognized in hindsight when the woman has already confirmed pregnancy. While all of the signs may not apply to you, they may help you determine if you are pregnant.

• Tender breasts. While tender breasts are also a symptom of PMS, many women experience tender breasts in the first weeks of pregnancy as hormones surge. In addition to the tenderness, some women also experience swelling very early on, which is also owed to the change in hormones the minute of conception.

• Lack of energy. Many women feel very tired, or just can’t seem to wake up as well in the morning when they first become pregnant. This is likely due to hormones as well as how hard your body is working without your knowledge to begin a healthy pregnancy. You might find waking up difficult, and you might find yourself ready for bed much earlier than usual!

• Nausea. Morning sickness is the trademark of pregnancy and some women get it seemingly from the moment of conception. This nausea may start out slight and increase over time, or there may always be an underlying sick feeling. For some women this passes, for others it lingers throughout pregnancy. There is no doubt that morning sickness is often the first symptom that tips women off that they may be pregnant. Many women also feel a bit achy like you would before your period, although many doctors think this is a psychological thing as women prepare to begin their period.

• Implantation bleeding. A few days before a woman’s menstrual cycle is set to begin many women experience implantation bleeding. This is basically vaginal discharge that is tinted with a light pink or brown color and is caused by the implantation of the fertilized egg in the lining of the uterus. While this only occurs in 1/3 of all pregnancies, a one time spotting incident may be a very real indication that you are pregnant!

• Increased hunger. Some women experience increased hunger almost right away, and that is what tips them off that they may be pregnant. It takes a lot of energy for a woman’s body to prepare the body for pregnancy, and this can result in extreme hunger. Of course, other women are the opposite and suddenly lose their appetite for no other reason that they are able to pin down.

• Missed period. This is definitely the hallmark of pregnancy signs, although some women experience some spotting the first month of their pregnancy as hormones even out. A missed period is almost always a sign of pregnancy, especially when you’ve been tracking your cycles and you know when you ovulated. If you have missed your period it is definitely time to pull out that home pregnancy test that you’ve had stashed for the occasion and see if you are indeed pregnant!

There are a variety of signs that you may be pregnant, and you shouldn’t consider this a checklist as you may have just one, half, or all of them. Each woman is different, and the only real way to determine whether you are pregnant is with a home pregnancy test and a visit to your doctor!