Early signs of pregnancy really vary, so it may not always be difficult to tell if you are pregnant or not based solely on a missed period or a suspicion that you might be. Many women don’t realize they are pregnant at first, and may not realize for quite a while if they have irregular periods or simply don’t keep track of their cycles. Degree to which you notice signs of pregnancy may depend on if you suspect that you are pregnant, and exactly which symptoms emerge or are felt to a noticeable degree.
Of course a missed period may mark one of the earliest signs of pregnancy, but again, not all people miss their period. To confuse matters, about six to twelve days after a woman becomes pregnant, she may have something called implantation bleeding. This may look like an unusually light period and can be accompanied by some cramping. This symptom can account for why so many women don’t realize they’re pregnant for a couple of months.
Another sign that can accompany early pregnancy is tender and swollen breasts. Again, there are a number of women who would interpret this as a premenstrual rather than a pregnancy sign. A clearer indication may be darkening of the areolas, which is the skin around the nipples. Female genitalia may also look darker in color than usual.
Other early signs of pregnancy include nausea, though not all women suffer morning sickness, cravings for food, or feeling tired or dizzy. Unfortunately these may all indicate other things like coming down with the flu, or simply being hungry. Early cravings for food aren’t that unusual, though women with nausea may find that many foods are actually repellent, or that some strong tasting or very aromatic foods taste or smell different.
Frequent urination may be one of the signs of early pregnancy, but it can also indicate bladder infection. Some additional signs can include backaches, headaches, and mood changes. Especially in the early stages of a pregnancy you may experience all or none of these symptoms. It’s a good idea to take any early signs of pregnancy you may be experiencing as a potential indication of pregnancy and at least perform a pregnancy test at home, especially if it has been about four weeks since your last period. Pregnancy tests are increasingly more accurate, and studies do show than early prenatal care can have significant benefits for you and your new baby.
If you’re unsure, a doctor or clinic can also perform pregnancy tests, and can do so earlier with blood tests. More than any other signs of pregnancy, a positive blood or urine test is the best first indicator. If you appear to be experiencing many of these symptoms and do not have a positive test, you should consider checking with your doctor to rule out other health conditions.