When a woman feels she might be expecting a baby, a missed period is major and most common symptom.
But that isn’t the only symptom or signs of pregnancy you can or will experience.
Your pregnancy can bring many changes in your hormonal balance, and that can cause various symptoms.
Interestingly experiencing no pregnancy symptoms is also a possibility.
So let’s dive into the interesting world of pregnancy and see how your body changes and copes with it through every week and trimester.
This post will give you a complete overview on what pregnancy symptoms are common and what aren’t, and ways in which you can make your pregnancy as comfortable as possible.
So let’s check out:
How soon will I know I’m pregnant before missing my period?
Did you know that you can find out you might have conceived in a few days after conception. You might experience things like bloating, sensitivity to smell, morning sickness, tenderness in breasts and even unexplained fatigue. This usually sets in week 12 of pregnancy.
While people assume the urgency to urinate is strong at this time, it actually occurs at the time when you missed your period. The missed period is compensated with a higher urine rate. The intensity of symptoms changes at every stage of pregnancy. Pregnancy week by week advances and changes with the symptoms you face.
Again, these symptoms vary- while some might be having them all of them, others may experience a few. In certain cases, pregnant women can also feel a vaginal discharge, darkening of the skin etc.
And there are those who won’t have any of these. But the thing to know is that they can happen so early in a pregnancy. However some of the stated symptoms can also occur in women experiencing PMS. Even by full term, every person feels different symptoms.
Before moving on, you might be wondering:
What’s the difference between pregnancy symptoms and PMS?
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is quite a common condition many women experience in their lives. It’s interesting to know that some of its symptoms are quite common to pregnancy also.
So you might ask: ‘Am I pregnant or is it just my PMS that is acting up again?’
Don’t worry; we have got all your doubts covered.
Common Symptoms to PMS and Pregnancy:
Let’s first look into the symptoms which are quite common in both conditions.
Yes the first thing, you will be feeling a splurge of uncontrollable emotions.
You might be feeling anxious and tense at one point but might be feeling overwhelmed and sad the next. Even getting on the water works show, crying hysterically.
If you are indeed pregnant, and are experiencing these mood swings, they will (unfortunately) stay on-coming and going till your last trimester.
However for those on PMS, these will disappear as soon as your period sets in.
Mood swings including depression are on the rise; women should discuss with their doctors why that is and how they can combat these concerns.
According to WHO, worldwide about 10% of pregnant women experience a mental disorder, primarily depression. In developing countries this is even higher, i.e. 15.6% during pregnancy.
Instead of making it a taboo topic, it’s important that women share and talk about it more with their doctors and health care experts.
Because of hormonal imbalance you might be facing fluctuations in bowel movements.
And with almost 40 % women facing them in their pregnancy, it’s a common symptom which happens in the first two trimesters.
Whereas in PMS, a women is relieved from it once the period begins.
Breast pain and tenderness
One of the most common issues and symptoms in a pregnancy are your breasts will feel pain. They can have swelling, feel tender, and even a bit bumpy.
Also you can notice blue veins around the nipple region. These symptoms can appear as early as the first or second week of pregnancy.
However the conditions aren’t as severe and common with PMS women.
Yes fatigue is a common concern combined with difficult sleeping patterns and frequent urination in pregnancy. And it stays on for both pregnant and women who have their period till the condition lasts.
Bleeding or spotting
It is very important to identify that there can be light spotting in early pregnancy. For some women, it becomes a huge cause of concern but it’s due to something called ‘implantation bleeding’.
This light spotting usually happens about a week or two after fertilization.
Now one thing to know is it is very light; even lighter than period and for those on PMS, would know so because the period blood loss is significantly higher and visible.
Cramping and Headaches
Cramping happens in both. They also occur in the lower side of the stomach and stay on for months during pregnancy as the uterus continues to stretch. Headaches are also common in both conditions.
Unique Pregnancy Symptoms
Now that we have talked about how you can differentiate between being pregnant and PMS, lets dive into some of the early unique signs that yes you are with a baby:
A missed period
While missing a period due to stressing a lot, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), menopause or diabetes can take place, it isn’t as common.
But, when you are pregnant- you will miss your period. When nothing happened and your date for the menstrual period to start has come and gone, you should get a pregnancy test.
This is a common pregnancy symptom. It affects up to 80% of pregnant women and is experienced in the second to third trimester in many women.
This is the condition when there is visible change to your nipple region. The colored area around your nipple will appear darker and larger and it starts to set in many women as early as the second week of pregnancy.
Let’s talk about ‘Lightning Crotch Symptoms’
This is a very common symptom in which a pregnant woman feels shooting pains that rise from the groin.
They usually continue till your leg and are often associated when a person hasn’t moved for a long time. Example has been in the bed for quite a while.
The way to identify them is they would appear out of nowhere and usually last for around 15seconds to a minute.
When do they happen?
These pains are usually associated with the last month of your pregnancy and last till delivery. While these aren’t as common, they do happen for those expecting moms whose baby’s position is breached. Or the baby is putting pressure on the nerve endings.
So now that you have had an overview on the major symptoms you will get if pregnant and which of these are common to PMS, and which aren’t…
Here’s another common inquiry we have sorted for you:
I’m still on my period and got pregnant. How did it happen?
You may be having a light brown or pink discharge, but this isn’t period discharge but implantation bleeding- there’s the solving of the mystery.
Many expectant mothers are known to have it within 6days to a week after conception and it usually lasts for a few days.
This spotting however can also occur due to a vaginal examination and the only way you can be absolutely sure is getting a professional’s opinion.
At Dr.Amal Al Qedrah, our health care practitioners are available around the clock to answer any doubts and inquiries you may have.
What about those who have no pregnancy symptoms at all?
While everyone hopes to have a natural birth triggered by natural symptoms of pregnancy, sometimes that isn’t the case.
While story lovers would emphasize and highlight such an occurrence as an epic happening- a miracle occurrence even, the truth is, it isn’t as uncommon as people assume it to be.
A very small set of women who are in about 5weeks to having conceived would have no pregnancy symptoms at all.
Some doctors have shared details on clients who have irregular periods. They didn’t have their period in months and didn’t bother to have it investigated either.
It wasn’t a major concern for them- the pregnancy announcement will come only if they get a check-up or a home pregnancy test.
Did you know that even 1 in 2500 women find out they are having a baby when they already are in labour?!
Childbirth is really an interesting topic.
The Pregnancy Denial Syndrome
There is also that small group of women who don’t notice that they are even pregnant and they are subjective to lack of awareness, till delivery the baby.
It happens in cases where the mother isn’t willing to have a child-be it a teenager, someone on drugs or has history of mental issues. This can serve as a risk factor for both the mother and the fetus.
When to take a home pregnancy test?
For home pregnancy tests, you can be certain you’ll get the results only after two weeks of conception.
Even if you have the symptoms, only when you have a human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) test can you be certain of a pregnancy. And this will need 2weeks.
Did you know that false negatives are more common than false positives in detecting a pregnancy?
Hence to be certain wait it out a bit or if you feel the urge to have it checked soon, going to your gynaecologist for blood tests is the best choice.
We at Dr.Amal Al Qedrah offer you a range of gynaecological services, including consultation and advice especially if you feel the need of guidance for an unexpected pregnancy.