Am I Pregnant? The Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy

Trying for a baby? Missed a period? Strange mood swings and symptoms? What are the signs and symptoms of pregnancy? How can you tell if you have conceived or are just a little late getting your period? Have a look at the signs and symptoms that tell you if you might be pregnant.

If you’ve been trying for a baby, you may b on the look out for the signs and symptoms of pregnancy from day to day. If you have not been paying attention or not trying, you may not recognise the signs. Many women miss the symptoms of pregnancy because they are extremely busy, have lots of work commitments, have irregular periods or other factors. B shows you how to decide if you’re pregnant even before the results might show up on a test.

Missed period

If your period is late, you might indeed be pregnant, especially if you generally have a very regular cycle. However, there are other reasons why you might be late such as

  • Sudden weight loss, anorexia nervosa
  • You are overweight, causing a disruption in the normal production of hormones
  • You have changed your medication (particularly contraception, e.g. if you have had the Mirena coil fitted)
  • You are stressed, for work or personal reasons, or if you are very focussed on becoming pregnant
  • The beginning of the menopause
  • Your lifestyle has changed, e.g. travelling a lot or working nights

I need the loo – all the time!

One of the first effects of pregnancy is that your hormones start to change rapidly, especially the pregnancy hormone, hCG (human Chorionic Ginadotropin), which increases exponentially. It increases the blood flow to the womb, which in turn makes it better able to receive a fertilised egg. This has a side effect of making you feel like you need to urinate more frequently. Add to this the fact that, as the foetus and uterus increase in size, they push on the bladder inside the pelvis and you may be taking more and more frequent trips to the ladies’. There is good news, as amounts of hCG decrease as the baby becomes established and a little later, the baby moves up above your bladder, decreasing the pressure.

My breasts feel tender

Some of us have sore, tender breasts before each period so you may be used to the feeling. If it persists, it may be a sign that you are pregnant. If this does not usually happen to you – a little one may be on the way! You may also notice other changes to your breasts

  • Larger, more noticeable veins
  • Darker patches
  • Little bumps around the nipple
  • More prominent, or darker nipples
  • Tingling

I’m exhausted

Those rushing hormones are to blame again – the massive changes in your body’s chemical make-up may make you feel exhausted. This is often one of the most difficult times of pregnancy, as you may not yet be ready to tell people you’re pregnant or explain why you won’t have a glass of wine. You may also be a little shy of wearing a ‘baby on board’ badge, so you may have to stand up on public transport!

I’m constipated

Some women experience constipation in early pregnancy, due to the amounts of progesterone slowing the progress of food through the intestine. If you do not usually suffer from problems when going to the loo, this may be an early sign of pregnancy.

Why does everything taste and smell funny?

The scientific reasons are not really understood but some women find that food and smells they previously enjoyed are suddenly offensive. This usually passes after the first three months (trimester).

I want to eat strange things

Again, this is not fully understood but we have all heard of pregnant women who want to eat strange combinations of food or unusual substances such as chalk and coal. Probably best not to succumb to the less nutritional objects but if you fancy chips with custard, go ahead! Some believe that this is the body’s way of making up for missing nutrients but this is not proven.

I feel nauseous and then later want to eat – a lot!

Feeling nauseous – and not necessarily in the morning – may be another symptom of pregnancy, whether or not you are actually vomiting. Many women feel sick in the daytime and may not be able to face eating, only to find that they are ravenous later on and crave stodgy, bland food. Some lucky women miss out on sickness altogether, though a small number have severe morning sickness and it may necessitate hospitalisation and being hydrated with a drip. This is called Hyperemesis Gravidarum. A stomach upset and vomiting may, however, be caused by a stomach bug.

My moods are all over the place

Again, those hormones are to blame, so if you find you are happy one minute, sobbing the next and shouting at your partner the next, you might be expecting a baby. Once you have confirmed the pregnancy, have a chat with your partner, close family and friends and ask them to bear with you if you are touchy.

My vaginal discharges have changed

You will know what kind of vaginal discharges are normal for you, so if this changes, it may be a sign that you’re pregnant. The quantity, colour, consistency and even smell may change. However, if it looks a strange colour or has an unpleasant odour, it may be a sign of a sexually transmitted disease, so visit your doctor.

I might be pregnant but am still bleeding

It’s not unusual for some women to continue to have bleeds, which might be mistaken for a period, into their pregnancy – sometimes for several months. This might take the form of spotting and you might experience stomach cramps that feel like period pain. This is called implantation bleeding or break-though bleeding and may happen around the time the egg implants into the womb or may continue longer. You should remember to take Folic acid if you’re trying for a baby and steer clear of alcohol, as you may have fallen pregnant without your knowledge. Bleeding in pregnancy can be a warning sign that something’s wrong, so do talk to your doctor as it might be a warning of miscarriage

Other signs

If you have been using a vaginal thermometer to monitor your basal temperature (a useful tool when trying to conceive), a slight rise in your temperature may occur six to 12 days after you ovulate if the egg has implanted. This is difficult to see, as it may only be a tiny change of half to one degree but if you’ve been monitoring your temperature every morning, this may give you an indication that you are expecting a baby a couple of weeks before you miss a period.

So – I might be pregnant – now what?

The next step is to take a pregnancy test. You can buy these over the counter in any pharmacy, or online and they can give you a result as early as a few days after you should have had your period. They may not be so reliable before this point, as levels of hormones may not be high enough to register, so if you think you may be in the first few days of pregnancy but get a negative result, test again and few days later. A positive result is almost always correct. The tests work by measuring amounts of the pregnancy hormones in your urine and you use them by peeing on the end of the stick. It’s best to do this first thing in the morning, when your urine and therefore the hormones in it, are at their most concentrated. You can also get tested at a doctor’s surgery, so if you have not yet found a doctor who might be able to look after you during pregnancy, it’s time to start looking! Remember to take folic acid and to avoid alcohol.

If you’re happy about the result – congratulations! You’re about to start on one of the most intense and rewarding periods of your life.

If you need to discuss your pregnancy, are unhappy about it, have worries or perhaps the possibility of inherited genetic disorders, it’s important to speak to someone as soon as possible. Get advice and counseling from

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.