How to Tell If You’re Pregnant
Early pregnancy signs give many women a feeling that they are expecting even before they can take a pregnancy test. Since the early days of pregnancy are essential to the mother and baby’s health, knowing these signs is helpful in getting care as early as possible. While signs don’t always indicate a pregnancy, they can be a good indication that it’s time to start thinking about prenatal care and pregnancy testing.
1. Missed Menstrual Cycle
During pregnancy, a woman does not have her menstrual cycle. A period occurs when the body sheds the lining of the uterus after preparing for pregnancy. When a woman is pregnant, she needs that lining to support the growing baby. Thus, one of the most obvious signs that a pregnant woman is having a skipped menstrual cycle. In fact, being “late” is often the first thing a woman notices that makes her think she might be pregnant.
A missed menstrual cycle does not always mean a woman is pregnant. Many other factors can cause changes in menstruation, including stress and hormone shifts for different reasons.
When a woman gets pregnant, her body will increase progesterone levels significantly. This causes extreme fatigue. Many women in the first trimester can’t get through their regular activities without a nap. They often feel as though no matter what they do, they can’t get enough sleep.
3. Increased Need to Use the Restroom
During pregnancy, a woman’s blood volume increases. This happens quite early in the process, even before the first missed cycle. This increased blood gets filtered by the kidneys, and this can create extra waste. That waste has to leave the body somehow, and it does so through the urine. That is why pregnant women use the restroom more often, which is often an early indication of pregnancy.
“Morning sickness” is a commonly known sign of pregnancy, but the term is somewhat of a misnomer. The nausea of pregnancy can occur at any time of the day. It can happen with or without throwing up. Fluctuating hormones are to blame for this, and since hormones start to shift early in the process, the sickness can start early too.
5. Sore Breasts
During pregnancy, a woman’s breasts start to enlarge, and they can feel quite painful. Sometimes the nipples darken and enlarge as well. This, again, is due to increased hormone levels. For women who experience soreness before their period, the feeling is similar, but it may be more intense. Thankfully, this early symptom tends to fade as the pregnancy progresses, and the body adjusts to the hormone levels.
6. Mood Swings
Finally, mood swings are a common early sign of pregnancy. A woman may feel more emotional about things that generally don’t phase her. Chalk this one up to hormones, but this particular sign can be difficult to distinguish from typical premenstrual syndrome. When accompanied by the other symptoms, it is likely due to pregnancy.
If you are noticing some of the signs of pregnancy, the only way to confirm your condition is with a pregnancy test. Heartbeat of Toledo offers free pregnancy testing and pregnancy support to families in the area. Reach out today to learn how you can get help through Heartbeat of Toledo, or call to schedule your free pregnancy test and ultrasound.