Painful urination pregnancy sign

What are the early signs of pregnancy?

A missed period

Share on PinterestA missed period is usually an early sign of pregnancy.

A missed period is often the first sign of pregnancy to become obvious. Small amounts of bleeding may be normal.

Implantation bleeding can happen around the usual date of menstruation, and it is important to identify the source of the bleeding, as it can appear similar to a period.

Implantation usually involves light spotting, lasts less than a day, and comes sooner than the expected period.

Nausea

Nausea, or morning sickness, is a common symptom for some women who are pregnant. Not all women experience nausea, while others experience it throughout their pregnancy.

Nausea can begin as early as 5 weeks, with most women experiencing some level of nausea by week 8 of pregnancy.

Breast changes

Changes in the breasts, especially at the start of a first pregnancy, can serve as early indicators of pregnancy.

Breast tissue increases in preparation for milk production. Veins become more visibly noticeable on the breasts, and the nipples might darken in color. Breasts and nipples can feel tingly, sore, and sensitive to touch.

Frequent urination

Frequent urination often starts to occur early in pregnancy. It is caused by the growing uterus, as well as hormonal changes that increase blood circulation to the pelvis.

Many women experience a relapse of this symptom during the second trimester, although the pressure exerted by the fetus on the bladder later in pregnancy can result in even more frequent and urgent urination.

If urination becomes painful, or you think you might have a urinary tract infection (UTI), contact a healthcare provider.

Fatigue

Share on PinterestFatigue, dizziness, and nausea are common early signs of pregnancy.

Fatigue is one of the most common early pregnancy symptoms.

During early pregnancy, it is normal to feel tired, and women who are pregnant should increase the amount of time they spend sleeping, eat a healthy diet, and continue regular exercise to counteract this fatigue.

First-trimester fatigue is usually followed by increased energy in the second trimester.

Cramping

Cramping similar to that experienced during menstruation is common. Mild uterine cramping without bleeding is normal in the first trimester and is the result of the uterus expanding.

If you have a confirmed pregnancy and experience intense cramping or vaginal bleeding, seek medical attention.

Abdominal bloating, constipation, and heartburn

These are all symptoms that start at an early stage of pregnancy and will often continue for the entire gestation.

Nasal congestion

Nasal congestion is an often-overlooked early symptom of pregnancy.

As the blood supply increases, the slight swelling of the nasal passages can lead to congestion.

Food cravings and aversions

Food cravings and aversions are common in early and later pregnancy. There is no evidence that cravings relate to a lack of a particular nutrient or that aversions to certain foods are part of an instinctive mechanism that triggers certain responses.

It is important for the health of both the woman who is pregnant and the fetus to ensure adequate intake of calories from nutrient-dense foods during pregnancy. Both mother and child need a good intake of nutrients, especially protein and folic acid.

Mood changes

Sudden changes in mood might be related to hormone changes, fatigue, and stress in early pregnancy. It is normal to feel increased emotional sensitivity and abrupt fluctuations in mood.

If the mood changes are interfering with your daily life and relationships, seek professional help.

Pregnancy can worsen pre-existing conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and other, undiagnosed psychological conditions.

Light-headedness

Light-headedness in pregnancy can result from changes in blood volume and pressure, altered balance due to weight changes, and other factors, such as iron deficiency anemia.

Light-headedness may occur when changing positions quickly, such as when standing or sitting after lying down. Some light-headedness is normal, but it should only be a cause for concern if this symptom persists after lying back down.

Changing positions more slowly, drinking plenty of fluids, and eating smaller, more frequent meals can help to reduce the frequency of light-headedness. If symptoms persist, speak with your healthcare provider.

Headaches

Headaches are common in early pregnancy as a result of hormonal changes.

Speak with a healthcare provider for a list of over-the-counter (OTC) pain management medications that are safe to take during pregnancy.

Early Signs of Pregnancy

When you’re TTC (trying to conceive), each passing month brings the same batch of questions: Did we hit the baby jackpot? Are those cramps, that bloating, that breast tenderness early signs of pregnancy — or just signs that it’s time for your monthly tampon run? The best way to confirm that you have a baby on board is to take a pregnancy test (preferably a digital one, since they offer more reliable results earlier). But while you’re waiting, check out these early pregnancy symptoms. None is pregnancy proof positive, but they can offer intriguing (if sometimes confusing) clues.

First Signs of Pregnancy

Even early on, your body doesn’t stay mum on whether you’re about to become a mom. These conception clues may let you in on the happy secret before the home pregnancy test gives you the readout of your dreams. Keep in mind that most early pregnancy symptoms can be pretty similar to those monthly PMS symptoms (Mother Nature’s perverse sense of humor at work?), which means you’ll definitely need that HPT for confirmation:

  • Tender, swollen, or painful breasts. Are your breasts yelling “Look, but don’t touch!”? Tingly, sore, full-feeling, tender, even painful-to-the-touch breasts and nipples are often one of the first symptoms of pregnancy (though, of course, they can also come along for the PMS ride, too). The blame for the pain lies with the hormones estrogen and progesterone that are starting their overtime shifts in the baby-readying department. After all, there are only nine months to go before those breasts will need to produce milk to feed your hungry newborn.
  • Darkening areolas. While other breast changes may also signal that your period’s on its way, this symptom’s pretty much owned by pregnancy. Early pregnancy hormones can cause the areolas to darken in color and increase in diameter pretty soon after sperm and egg hook up. Also, the tiny bumps on the areolas that you may never have noticed before (they look like goose bumps but are actually oil-producing glands to lubricate your nipples) may become more pronounced and increase in size.
  • Fatigue. Another one of the early symptoms of pregnancy is sheer exhaustion. Sluggishness. Sleepiness. The overwhelming urge to curl up on the couch and stay there all day — or never to get out from under the covers at all. The reason your get-up-and-go has gotten-up-and-gone? It’s those pregnancy hormones at work again, expending tons of energy to build the placenta — the life-support system for your baby. Some women find they also drag with PMS, though, making this symptom a tough one to call.
  • Nausea. Queasiness is a sign of pregnancy that can sign on early, though it probably won’t be hitting its peak for a few weeks at least. That nagging nausea – which may soon be accompanied by vomiting — is officially known as morning sickness, but anyone who’s suffered with it knows that it’s misnamed (it can strike morning, noon, or night). Hormones are largely to blame for making you green-around-the-gills, but not every new mom-to-be experiences morning sickness.
  • Heightened sense of smell. Have you been sniffing around like a police dog lately? A heightened sense of smell – which can make even mild or formerly favorite aromas smell strong and unappealing – can appear early on the pregnancy scene. Once again (you’ll be doing this a lot), you can thank your pregnancy hormones for your more sensitive sniffer. Smell pregnancy, but keep coming up negative on those HPTs? Those PMS hormones can also put your nose on higher-than-usual alert.
  • Spotting. Light spotting (aka implantation bleeding) before you’d expect your period (around five to 10 days after conception) can be another sign of early pregnancy. This bleeding occurs when the newly formed embryo (aka, your baby!) burrows into the uterine lining, making itself at home for the next nine months. Keep in mind, however, that only 20 percent of newly pregnant women will notice the mild, light-colored spotting — the other 80 percent will have to look for other early pregnancy clues.
  • Frequent urination. Me need to pee…again? This new gotta-go feeling is due to the pregnancy hormone hCG, which increases blood flow to your kidneys, helping them to more efficiently rid your body of fluid waste (you’ll be peeing for two, after all). Peeing up a storm, but you’re not pregnant? Check with the practitioner to see if you might have a UTI (especially it burns or hurts when you pee).
  • Bloating. Is it pregnancy bloat – or pre-period bloat? That is the question, and it isn’t an easy question to answer (either way, you’ll have a hard time buttoning your skinny jeans). Even if you are expecting, it’s too soon to attribute your swell little belly to your baby (who’s still barely the size of a sesame seed at this point) – blame it, instead, on the hormone progesterone. Among its many other baby-making jobs, progesterone helps slow down digestion, allowing the nutrients from the foods you eat more time to enter your bloodstream and reach your baby-to-be. The downside? It allows gas to hang out in your intestines longer.

Urinary Tract Infection During Pregnancy

Urinary Tract Infection During Pregnancy: Symptoms & Prevention

A urinary tract infection (UTI), also called bladder infection, is a bacterial inflammation in the urinary tract. Pregnant women are at increased risk for UTI’s starting in week 6 through week 24.

Why are UTI’s more common during pregnancy?

UTI’s are more common during pregnancy because of changes in the urinary tract. The uterus sits directly on top of the bladder. As the uterus grows, its increased weight can block the drainage of urine from the bladder, causing an infection.

What are the signs and symptoms of UTI’s?

If you have a urinary tract infection, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Pain or burning (discomfort) when urinating
  • The need to urinate more often than usual
  • A feeling of urgency when you urinate
  • Blood or mucus in the urine
  • Cramps or pain in the lower abdomen
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Chills, fever, sweats, leaking of urine (incontinence)
  • Waking up from sleep to urinate
  • Change in the amount of urine, either more or less
  • Urine that looks cloudy, smells foul or unusually strong
  • Pain, pressure, or tenderness in the area of the bladder
  • When bacteria spreads to the kidneys you may experience back pain, chills, fever, nausea, and vomiting.

How will the UTI affect my baby?

If the UTI goes untreated, it may lead to a kidney infection. Kidney infections may cause early labor and low birth weight. If your doctor treats a urinary tract infection early and properly, the UTI will not cause harm to your baby.

How do I know if I have a UTI?

A urinalysis and a urine culture can detect a UTI throughout pregnancy.

What treatment options are available?

UTI’s can be safely treated with antibiotics during pregnancy. Urinary tract infections are most commonly treated by antibiotics. Doctors usually prescribe a 3-7 day course of antibiotics that is safe for you and the baby. Call your doctor if you have fever, chills, lower stomach pains, nausea, vomiting, contractions, or if after taking medicine for three days, you still have a burning feeling when you urinate.

How can I prevent a bladder infection?

You may do everything right and still experience a urinary tract infection during your pregnancy, but you can reduce the likelihood by doing the following:

  • Drink 6-8 glasses of water each day and unsweetened cranberry juice regularly.
  • Eliminate refined foods, fruit juices, caffeine, alcohol, and sugar.
  • Take Vitamin C (250 to 500 mg), Beta-carotene (25,000 to 50,000 IU per day) and Zinc (30-50 mg per day) to help fight infection.
  • Develop a habit of urinating as soon as the need is felt and empty your bladder completely when you urinate.
  • Urinate before and after intercourse.
  • Avoid intercourse while you are being treated for a UTI.
  • After urinating, blot dry (do not rub), and keep your genital area clean. Make sure you wipe from the front toward the back.
  • Avoid using strong soaps, douches, antiseptic creams, feminine hygiene sprays, and powders.
  • Change underwear and pantyhose every day.
  • Avoid wearing tight-fitting pants.
  • Wear all-cotton or cotton-crotch underwear and pantyhose.
  • Don’t soak in the bathtub longer than 30 minutes or more than twice a day.

Last updated: October 9, 2019 at 15:59 pm

Compiled using information from the following sources:

1. American Academy of Family Physicians

2. William’s Obstetrics Twenty-Second Ed. Cunningham, F. Gary, et al, Ch. 48.

Pregnancy and Urination

Pregnancy’s Calling Card

Image zoom freer/.com

What do pregnancy and going to the bathroom every other minute have to do with each other? A lot more than you think. During these nine months, your urinary system will be going through some major changes. For example, pregnancy hormones stimulate your kidneys to expand and produce more urine, which helps your body get rid of extra waste more quickly. And as your baby gets bigger and bigger, his weight may press on your bladder, so you’ll need to go more frequently.

First trimester: For many women, frequent urination is one of the first signs of pregnancy. In addition to the hormonal changes that increase urine production, your uterus expands and presses on your bladder — even when your baby is tiny — so you’ll need to go more often. This isn’t surprising if you consider that over the course of your pregnancy, an organ that was originally the size of a fist grows to accommodate a 7- to 10-pound baby.

Second trimester: Happily, you’ll get some temporary relief in the second trimester. As your uterus continues to expand, it will rise higher in the abdomen, away from your bladder, so you’ll have to urinate less frequently.

Third trimester: In the last months of pregnancy, the urge to go frequently will come calling again. The baby will drop lower in your pelvis in preparation for delivery, which puts pressure on your bladder. You may even find yourself getting up to go several times during the night. If this disturbs your sleep too much, try cutting back on fluids after 4 p.m. (make sure you drink the necessary six to eight glasses of water a day before then). Also avoid coffee, tea, cola, and any other caffeinated beverages. Caffeine can increase urination.

Bladder Control

During pregnancy, especially in the last trimester, you may find that when you laugh, cough, sneeze, lift something, or exercise, you leak a little urine. This is called stress incontinence. It’s caused, at least in part, by the pressure of your uterus on your bladder.

You may be able to prevent leakage by doing Kegel exercises. These exercises strengthen the muscles surrounding the urethra (the tube that carries urine from your bladder out of your body), which you use to hold in urine. To do a Kegel, tighten and then relax those muscles — as if you’re trying to stop your urine stream — as well as the muscles surrounding your vagina and anus. You can do Kegels anywhere, anytime, while you’re sitting or standing. Try keeping the muscles contracted for about 10 seconds, 10 to 20 times in a row, at least three times a day.

Kegels may also help to prevent the incontinence that affects some women after childbirth. Urinary incontinence that first appears during or soon after delivery usually goes away without treatment. However, if you have incontinence that lasts longer than a few weeks after delivery, check with your healthcare provider. He may prescribe one of several medications that can help.

While stress incontinence during pregnancy almost always results from normal changes in your urinary tract, it is occasionally triggered by a urinary tract infection, which needs medical attention. Tell your doctor about any leakage so she can rule out an infection.

The Infection Connection

Pregnant women may be especially prone to lower urinary tract infections — about 1 to 3 percent of women come down with them during pregnancy. The culprit? Your expanding uterus, which crowds your bladder and prevents you from emptying it completely, exposing it to bacteria for longer periods of time. Sometimes you’ll feel as if you need to go even when your bladder is nearly empty, which is more than just uncomfortable; small pools of urine in the bladder are breeding grounds for such bacteria. Try leaning forward when you urinate to help empty your bladder completely.

Most lower urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria that normally inhabit the intestines, such as E. coli. Less commonly, a urinary tract infection may be caused by a bacterium called Group B strep (GBS), which is a more serious condition that can make your baby very sick. It requires oral antibiotics during pregnancy and intravenous antibiotics during labor and delivery to keep your baby safe.

Your healthcare provider will probably recommend a urine culture early in pregnancy, and again during the third trimester. That’s because about 5 to 10 percent of pregnant women have symptomless urinary tract infections, which, without treatment, can result in health problems for you and your baby, such as a kidney infection or a premature or low birth weight baby. Your doctor may also check your urine for bacteria at each prenatal visit using a dipstick, which works the same way as a home pregnancy test. However, this test is not as accurate as a culture, which is why doctors often do urine cultures as well.

Typical symptoms of a urinary tract infection include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Burning and pain during urination
  • Bloody urine
  • A tender lower abdomen

Contact your healthcare provider if you develop any of these symptoms. She’ll send a sample of your urine to the laboratory for a culture to check for bacteria. If it turns out that you have an infection, your doctor will provide a safe antibiotic for you. Once treated, the infection should clear up quickly. (Call your doctor if you still feel burning after three days of treatment — you may need a different medication.) It’s important to take all your medication as directed.

Your healthcare provider may check your urine after you finish your medication to make sure the infection is gone. Because these infections sometimes recur, she may also do a monthly urine culture. If the infection returns, you may need to take antibiotics for the rest of your pregnancy.

Untreated, a lower urinary tract infection often spreads upward to the kidneys, where it may pose a serious risk to you and your baby. About 2 percent of pregnant women develop these kidney infections, called pyelonephritis, most commonly in the late second or early third trimester. Symptoms can include:

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Painful urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • Back pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Pyelonephritis is dangerous because it greatly increases a pregnant woman’s risk of preterm labor and delivering a low birth weight baby; it can also cause a risky blood infection in the mother. If you develop pyelonephritis, you may need to be hospitalized and treated with intravenous antibiotics, which usually reduce fever and ease other symptoms within a day or two. Then you’ll probably need to continue treatment at home with oral antibiotics.

While you may have some urinary complaints during pregnancy, they’re likely to be minor annoyances. By keeping all your prenatal appointments, you can help ensure that any urinary tract infections can be treated quickly so they won’t harm you or your baby.

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your won health or the health of others.

  • By Richard H. Schwarz, MD

American Baby

Is Having To Pee A Lot A Sign of Pregnancy? It’s Not Always From Drinking Too Much Water

Your body likes to hint that you’re pregnant in all sorts of confusing ways. Unfortunately, it also sends similar hints out for ovulation, PMS, and eating too much sugar. How do you tell what’s what? For instance, is having to pee a lot a sign of pregnancy, or a sign that your La Croix addiction has gotten out of hand. Perhaps it’s both?

There are myriad signs and symptoms of early pregnancy, according to the Mayo Clinic, but most arrive after you’ve missed your period, which is probably why “missed period” is the first listed symptom of pregnancy. I feel like that’s too obvious when I am trying to conceive. I’m a disbeliever — I’d easily chalk that up to stress. Sure, I’d take the test the next day, but I’m a worrier who needs a good 24 hours of inane internet research and rumination to fuel my anxiety. I want to know if the slightest feel I’m feeling is because I’ve become pregnant. Down to things like, “The voice of the Dos Equis guy is kind of turning me on. Is that a sign of pregnancy? Will my baby be the next most interesting man in the world?” Obviously.

GIPHY

If you feel like you’re hitting up the restroom a lot, you’re probably starting to wonder if it’s time to test. In the event that you haven’t missed your period, you should know that according to the Mayo Clinic, frequent urination is definitely a possible sign of early pregnancy. All that blood flow and hormonal upheaval is tap dancing on your bladder with increasingly frequent speed.

You may also have tender breasts, find yourself exhausted in the middle of the day, and really regretting your decision to have the car detailer spray your interior with “strawberry fresh” which now smells of “fruity regret” because it’s making you so very nauseated, according to the American Pregnancy Association.

But hey, you’ll need some of that time to pee when you’re taking your pregnancy test, so, silver lining?

Early pregnancy symptoms: Frequent urination

Why pregnancy makes us urinate more

This is mainly because the blood flow to the woman’s kidneys increases by up to 35 to 60%. The extra blood flow makes her kidneys produce up to 25% more urine soon after conception. This increased urine production peaks by about 9 to 16 weeks of the pregnancy, then settles down.

Passing urine frequently can also be influenced by pressure on the woman’s bladder from her growing uterus. Pressure on the bladder is the main reason why women pass urine frequently in the last 3 months of pregnancy, as the baby grows heavier, and moves further down into the woman’s pelvis in the weeks just before the birth.

While frequent urination is a feature of both the first and third trimesters, it is the change in pregnancy hormone levels, along with increased body fluids, that will have you running to the toilet every ten minutes day and night!

There is no way around this – and it will gradually improve – so don’t try restricting your fluids as it’s important for you and the growing baby to stay properly hydrated. You should be drinking about 6 to 8 glasses of fluids every day in order to maintain a healthy pregnancy. If you drink less than that on a regular basis, you can become dehydrated.

You can reduce your number of bathroom trips by avoiding beverages that have a mild diuretic effect, such as coffee, tea, soft drinks and alcohol (not that you’re probably drinking anyway!).

You can make fewer nighttime visits to the bathroom by drinking plenty of fluids during the day but then cutting back in the hours before you go to bed.

Apart from pregnancy, frequent urination can be caused by other factors including urinary tract infections, diabetes or diuretic medications.

Why do I have to urinate so frequently during pregnancy?

Frequent urination during pregnancy is often caused by pregnancy hormones, an increase in the amount and speed of blood circulating through your body, and your growing uterus.

  • Hormonal changes make your blood flow to your kidneys more quickly, filling your bladder more often – which causes more frequent urination during pregnancy.
  • Your blood volume also increases throughout your pregnancy until you have almost 50 percent more blood circulating in your body than before you got pregnant. This means a lot of extra fluid is getting processed through your kidneys and ending up in your bladder.
  • Your growing uterus eventually puts pressure on your bladder, further compounding the problem late in your pregnancy.

Is frequent urination an early sign of pregnancy?

Yes – needing to pee more often is one of the most common early signs of pregnancy, and it usually starts about six weeks into your first trimester.

Some pregnancy books say you’ll begin to feel relief early in your second trimester as your uterus rises out of your pelvis, but research doesn’t support this theory. Several studies have shown that the need to urinate frequently tends to increase as pregnancy progresses, particularly for women who have been pregnant before.

How can I avoid having to urinate so frequently during pregnancy?

Needing to urinate often is an unavoidable fact of life for most pregnant women. But these tips may limit the number of times you need to visit the bathroom:

Skip certain beverages. Don’t drink coffee, tea, or certain carbonated drinks (like soda) because these are all diuretics, meaning they increase urine production and make you need to pee more often. (Alcohol is also a diuretic.)

Empty your bladder. When you pee, lean forward to empty your bladder completely.

Don’t hold it. Go to the bathroom as soon as you feel the need. Waiting can actually weaken your pelvic floor muscles in the long run.

Why do I leak urine when I sneeze or laugh?

Both the pressure of your uterus on your bladder and weak pelvic floor muscles may cause you to leak urine when you cough, laugh, sneeze, lift heavy objects, or do certain types of exercise, like jogging. This is called “stress urinary incontinence,” and it’s most likely to happen in your third trimester or in the postpartum period.

You may be able to prevent it somewhat by not letting your bladder get too full, so don’t ignore the urge to pee. And remember to empty your bladder before exercising.

Doing Kegel exercises, which strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, can also help minimize stress incontinence and make it easier to recover from childbirth. It’s a good idea to begin Kegel exercises early in pregnancy and continue them postpartum. (Make Kegels a lifelong habit!)

And if need be, wear a mini pad or panty liner to catch any leaks. (Keep fresh pads handy in your purse or diaper bag.)

How can I avoid waking up at night to pee?

You can try drinking plenty of fluids during the day, then cutting back in the hours before you go to bed. But make sure you don’t go thirsty in the attempt to make bathroom visits less frequent. It’s important for you to stay well hydrated. The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink 10 8-ounce cups of water or other beverages every day, more or less – whatever is enough that your urine looks pale yellow or clear, not dark yellow or cloudy.

In any case, you’ll probably find yourself needing to get up increasingly often at night to urinate as your pregnancy progresses. That’s in part because when you lie down, some of the fluid retained in your legs and feet during the day makes its way back into your bloodstream and eventually into your bladder.

As one mom we know puts it, “It’s nature’s cruel way of training you for the many nights of interrupted sleep once your baby arrives!”

Is frequent urination ever a sign of a problem?

Frequent urination can be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI), the most common kind of bacterial infection in pregnant women. Left untreated, a UTI can lead to a kidney infection, preterm labor, or both. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Pain or burning when you urinate
  • Blood-tinged urine
  • Feeling the need to urinate even when you’re only able to produce a few drops at a time

When will this constant need to pee ease up?

You can expect to start peeing less soon after your baby is born. For the first few days postpartum, you’ll urinate in greater quantities and even more often as your body gets rid of the extra fluid from pregnancy. But after about five days, you should urinate about how often you did before you were pregnant.

A few women – particularly older women who had stress urinary incontinence early in pregnancy – continue to have problems with leaking urine long after giving birth. If you still have stress urinary incontinence or any other bothersome symptoms, talk to your healthcare provider.

Learn more:

  • Vaginal discharge during pregnancy
  • Constipation during pregnancy
  • Hemorrhoids during pregnancy

Blog

Early Signs You May Be Pregnant

Posted April 27th, 2017

“Am I pregnant?” If that’s a question you’re asking yourself, there is really only one way to know for sure: by taking a pregnancy test. However, your body could be telling you might in fact be pregnant, so pay close attention.

I Think I Might Be Pregnant

Nothing is more likely to make you feel like you’re in limbo than suspecting that you’re pregnant, but not knowing for sure. Sure, it can cause you undue stress, worry, and anxiety, but it can also make you feel hopeful and excited.

Early warning signs symptoms can give you a “heads up” that you may be pregnant. Just keep in mind that they are not to be taken as sure signs of pregnancy, but rather indicators instead. You’ll want to take pregnancy test to know for sure.

Not all women experience pregnancy the same, nor do they experience the same early pregnancy symptoms. While many do experience early pregnancy symptoms, they may be different for you than they are for your colleague or best friend.

What’s more, if you’ve been pregnant before, the early symptoms you experience this time around may not be the same as your last pregnancy. Keep in mind, that many of these symptoms mimic menstruation symptoms — before you get your period and after — so you might be pregnant and not even realize it.

Below are some of the common early pregnancy signs and symptoms. However, it’s important to know that these symptoms could be due to other things going on with your body other than pregnancy. Therefore, you’re not necessarily pregnant if you notice any of the symptoms below. Again, as it bears repeating, the only way to know for sure if you’re pregnant is to take a pregnancy test.

What Are Early Signs of Pregnancy?

Your symptoms likely won’t begin until your fourth week. This is when you may experience mild blood spotting and cramping and when you can expect to miss your period. But, if you are asking yourself, “How do I know if I’m pregnant,” see if you can relate to any of these early indications:

1. Missed Period

According an American Pregnancy Association survey, approximately 29 percent of women claimed their first sign of pregnancy was a missed period. Missing your period is a common symptom of pregnancy and it often leads women to do a pregnancy test. You may notice some bleeding even if you’re pregnant, but it will usually be lighter and shorter than your normal menstrual period.

2. Urinating Frequently

A couple weeks after you conceive, you may have to urinate more. This is because of your pregnancy hormone hCG. This hormone causes an increase in blood flow to your kidneys, which helps them eliminate waste from your body more efficiently. As your uterus is growing more quickly the pressure on your bladder is greater. The amount of urine storage space you have decreases which causes you to urinate more often.

3. Swollen, Tender Breasts

The same American Pregnancy Association poll showed that 17 percent of the women surveyed said their first sign of pregnancy was breast changes. When you’re pregnant, you’ll go through some hormonal changes early on that will cause your breasts to be sore and sensitive. They will also feel heavier and fuller as they swell with blood when hCG and progesterone start increasing in your body after the egg is fertilized. This is because your breasts are highly hormone-sensitive. After several weeks, however, this discomfort typically decreases as your body begins adjusting to these hormonal changes.

4. Nausea and Sometimes Vomiting

Nausea was the first pregnancy indication 25 percent of women experienced. Although morning sickness doesn’t usually hit women until around a month of becoming pregnant, nausea is often felt earlier. It’s thought that your pregnancy hormones are what cause nausea, but it isn’t quite clear.

5. Spotting

Many but not all women notice a small amount of spotting that takes place during implantation, or when the fertilized egg implants itself into the uterus wall.

6. Fatigue and Tiredness

You may start feeling tired or fatigued due to the extra progesterone your body produces when pregnant. This may increase your need for naps early on, but it tends to lessen by the time your second trimester starts.

7. Abdominal Bloating

This rise in pregnancy progesterone may also cause you to experience abdominal bloating. You won’t gain much weight during this time, but you may begin feeling bloated, which causes you to think you are gaining weight.

8. Cramping

The process of implantation can cause this symptom, but you may think the cramps are an early sign of your period. If you’re pregnant, in addition to implantation, this cramping is when your uterus begins to stretch in preparation for the growing baby over the course of the next nine months.

9. Nipple Darkening

Nipple darkening is another early symptom of pregnancy. It’s caused by your pregnancy hormones affecting the cells or melanocytes in your nipples that controls the color. Your nipples may also grow larger and be more pronounced during this time too.

10. Sensitivity to Smell

Your sense of smell may be heightened, making previously mild smells unappealing and strong. If you notice your sensitivity to smells is heightened and you are offended by certain smells you normally don’t mind, this could be an early sign that you are pregnant.

11. Raised Temperature

Your temperature also rises during pregnancy, and you can track it with a basal body thermometer. This is not always a sure-fire indicator that you’re pregnant since your temperature can rise for other reasons, but it could be giving you an advanced clue that you may be expecting.

12. Increased Gas

Increased gas is also another early indication of pregnancy. It is very common in your first few weeks of being pregnant and can continue throughout your entire pregnancy. If you are not usually “gassy,” you might want to give this not-so-eloquent sign your attention.

13. Heartburn

Another early pregnancy symptom of pregnancy may be a change in your digestion, like heartburn. If you start feeling heartburn or a burning sensation in your chest after eating lunch at your favorite deli, it might not be that they changed up their recipe. It could be heartburn that is pregnancy-related. A good way to tell if it is heartburn due to pregnancy is that this burning feeling may worsen when you lie down or bend over. Also, if you’re not usually prone to getting heartburn, you may want to investigate.

14. Your Eating Habits Are Changing

If you notice that you’re suddenly hungry all the time or you are now wrinkling your nose to that once heavenly coffee aroma, it could be an early pregnancy sign. Many OBGYNs believe that changes in the appetite or food aversions are caused by your body’s pregnancy hormones. So whether your appetite has increased significantly or you find certain food scents to be nauseating or extra delicious, you may want to take that pregnancy test.

15. Feeling Full

Feeling full all the time is a common sensation women experience early on in pregnan
cy. This full feeling may come on before you miss your period. If you’ve never been pregnant before, you may actually miss this feeling. But, if you have been pregnant before and are actually trying to conceive, you may pick up on this sign right away. So, if you have experienced this fullness in another pregnancy and are starting to experience that same feeling now, you might just be pregnant.

16. Melasma — Your Skin Gets Darker

During your early weeks of pregnancy, you may develop what is known as the “mask of pregnancy.” This mask is so-called because your skin darkens around your upper lip, bridge of your nose, forehead or cheeks. Melasma usually presents itself on both sides of your face and is more common in women who are darker-skinned, however, it can also be a sign of other conditions, so a pregnancy test will be your only true way of actually knowing if it’s pregnancy-related.

17. Headaches

Some women claim to experience headaches during the early stages of their pregnancy. Pregnancy-related headaches are due to hormone level changes. They don’t change your vision and tend to affect only one side of your head.

18. Mood Swings

You may be a little moodier than normal in the first stages of pregnancy. You’re hungry, sore and tired and don’t know if you really are pregnant or not. Meanwhile, your hormones are going crazy, and that can wreak havoc on your mood.

While these are good clues as to whether or not you are pregnant, one thing to note is that many of these symptoms above are not only symptoms of pregnancy. They could be indications you are about to start your period or maybe you are coming down with something — or it could be that you are indeed pregnant.

Pregnancy Tests Explained

If you have a pregnancy test done at the doctor’s office, it basically lets the doctor know if your blood or urine contains hCG, which is a hormone known as human chorionic gonadotropin. This particular hormone is made immediately after you have a fertilized egg attach itself to your uterus wall, typically happening around five or six days after it’s been fertilized.

You’ll have a rapid rise in hCG levels if you’re pregnant. Your hCG levels will typically double approximately every 72 hours early on in your pregnancy. There are two different types of pregnancy tests that will give you the same answer. These are blood and urine tests.

The staff at your local Carlisle, Harrisburg and Mechanicsburg urgent care centers realize that it can be an exciting time starting a family, but the uncertainty in the beginning surrounding pregnancy tests can be nerve-wracking. Many women don’t even consider going to an urgent care center to have a pregnancy test done and often rely on a home test instead.

The problem with this is these types of tests can give you a false-negative or false-positive, which can really add on to this uncertainty. There are a number of reasons why home tests give you false results. Some reasons include:

  • Home pregnancy tests generally can’t detect your hCG levels in your urine if you take the test too soon after you have missed your period.
  • These tests take some time before they display the true answer, so if you look too soon at the results, you may not be getting the right one.
  • If you drink too many fluids before you take the test, your diluted urine can cause the test to read a false result.

Learn If You’re Pregnant and How Far Along

Pregnancy testing at an urgent care center like ours here at AllBetterCare lets you know quickly whether or not you’re pregnant. We understand the anxiety you may be facing of not knowing for sure, and we offer you an accurate test to give you peace of mind.

By coming to AllBetterCare for pregnancy testing, it doesn’t matter how much fluid you consumed, whether or not you gave the test ample time to show accurate results or if you took the test too soon to tell if you’re pregnant or not. We can provide you with fast results of your pregnancy test the same day in our office.

If your pregnancy test confirms pregnancy, we’ll let you know how far along you are. We’ll also guide you to professional services that can help you to cope with any implications you may have with your results.

To recap, here are AllBetterCare, we can help you in several ways including:

  • Providing you with fast pregnancy results.
  • Telling you how far along you are.
  • Advising you of your next steps.

It’s important to understand that urgent care centers are not family care providers. After finding out if you’re pregnant, you should schedule an appointment with an OBGYN of your choice, so they can maintain your health and your baby’s health during your pregnancy. You want to set up this appointment as soon as you find out you are pregnant so you can begin receiving prenatal care right away. Prenatal care is extremely important for keeping your baby healthy as he or she grows inside you, and it’s important for your own health, too.

To get started in your journey of knowing whether you’re expecting or not, fill out our online reservation form to check in for your visit to AllBetterCare — and if you’re pregnant, we wish you the best.

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