Pregnancy – a beautiful phase in a woman’s life.. It is a very fulfilling and satisfying feeling to have a life growing inside you. But along with the happiness comes the worry and paranoia of whether all is well. Are you pregnant? How to check and confirm?
Of course the first sign is a missed period. This is a sure sign for women whose cycles are regular. But in some women there could be erratic periods, so even if there is a delay they will not realize that it could be because of being pregnant.
Usually you can tell within a week or two of missing a period if you are pregnant. In many cases it could be as late as 6 to 8 weeks to confirm that you are going to be a mother. You can use a pregnancy test and confirm. Of course if this test is done too early, it may show up as negative even if you are pregnant. So it is better to wait a week or so after the due date of your menstrual cycle to take this test.
There are also a few early signs that will tell you if you are pregnant. Let us look at a few.
- Sore Nipples: Nipples become sore and swollen in most cases. It becomes painful wearing a bra. There is also a darkening of the nipples. The soreness is common even before a menstrual cycle. But in the case of a pregnant woman, it will be more so. This is due to the hormonal changes.
- Nausea and morning sickness: Though called Morning sickness, this could occur anytime during the day or night. There is a general aversion to strong smell of food. The sight of food could make you want to throw up. It will be confusing for a woman to suddenly feel repelled by her favourite food. This is a very common phenomenon. It is attributed to the rise in estrogen in your system. In most cases, this settles down in three months time, when the first trimester gets over.
- Frequent urination: In pregnancy, even in the early stage, due to hormonal changes, there is an increase in blood flow in the kidneys. The bladder fills us quickly and give rise to a feeling of wanting to urinate often.
- Mood swings: The hormonal changes give rise to mood swings. You will feel elated one minute and depressed the next. This is quite common, but it is always good to be surrounded by family members and friends. This will keep you diverted from depressed thoughts.
- Light bleeding or spotting: The period of pregnancy is the time women don’t bleed. In a few cases though, there could be light bleeding as the egg gets settled into the uterus. If there is pain or prolonged bleeding it is best to get yourself checked once by your doctor..
- Fatigue: Pregnancy causes women to feel tired quite often. There is also the reason of inability to eat food well and the frequent urination which adds to it. The rising level of progesterone also causes sleepiness. This is common in the first three months of pregnancy.
- High basal body temperature: This is the body temperature as soon as you wake up. If you find that this is high and continues to be so for a couple of weeks continuously, there is a chance that you could be pregnant.
- Headache: The rising hormonal levels could cause headache. If there are symptoms of pregnancy, it is better to consult your doctor before popping a pill for these headaches.
- Craving: Women feel a craving for certain food and non food items. Quite common are citrus fruits and in many cases, odd things like chalk and other inedible items.
- Dizziness: Some women feel dizzy and experience a fainting spell. This could be due to low blood sugar or blood pressure and it is quite common.
There is a possibility that you will experience menstrual cramps or light bleeding before a week or two of your missed period. Of course it differs from person to person. Not everyone experiences the same symptoms, but if you see any of these signs, chances are that you are pregnant.
There is no need to panic if you see symptoms of pregnancy. There is also no need to worry that you feel tired or sleepy all the time or that you are unable to eat. As the pregnancy advances, the joy of bringing a new life into this world will supercede all the negative emotions. So relax and enjoy your pregnancy.