Do you suspect you may be pregnant? The best way to find out, of course, is to use a home pregnancy test followed by a doctor’s visit to confirm your results.
Even the best home pregnancy tests aren’t 99% accurate until your period is due. Most women experience early pregnancy symptoms before missing their periods. The most common early symptoms include:
- Swollen breasts. Your breasts can begin to swell and become tender as early as two weeks after you become pregnant. They may feel heavier, fuller, tender, or tingly. You may even find yourself suddenly needing a larger cup size.
- Morning sickness. Many women who have just become pregnant assume they have the flu when they begin to feel nauseous or vomit suddenly. It’s important to note that morning sickness can come over you at any time of day. It may have an obvious trigger (a particular type of food or smell) or it might not.
- Heightened sense of smell. If you notice smells and odors which you would not normally notice, it may be a sign that a baby is on the way.
- Urinating frequently. Most women urinate more frequently than normal throughout their pregnancy, especially during the night time. This symptom is often one of the earliest noticed.
- Cravings. If you find yourself having food cravings-especially if you’re craving something you wouldn’t normally eat-it’s a good sign you may be pregnant. These cravings are caused by the hormonal changes which occur during the first three months of pregnancy.
- Aversions. Like cravings, food aversions are caused by changing hormones. If foods or smells that normally wouldn’t bother you suddenly turn you off, you may want to go out and buy that home pregnancy kit.
- Cramping and spotting. This is the most deceptive of early pregnancy symptoms because it’s so similar to symptoms of your period and often occurs around shortly before your period would normally come.
- Fatigue and dizziness. If you are feeling worn out or dizzy for no particular reason, get plenty of rest. This is generally caused by lowering of your blood sugar which occurs in the early stages of pregnancy.
- Moodiness. Like cramping and spotting, mood swings caused by pregnancy are often misinterpreted as PMS. If you’re experiencing mood swings which aren’t a normal part of your cycle, or which are out of timing with your cycle, it may be because a baby’s on the way.
None of these symptoms should be interpreted in and of themselves to mean that you are pregnant. They are, however, indicators that you should consider seeing your health care professional for a blood or urine test to see if you are pregnant.