Symptoms of pregnancy

Pregnancy imageThough most people do not notice any specific symptoms indicating pregnancy till they actually test positive with a Home pregnancy test, some women who are in tune with their bodies do notice them. Here are a few:

1. Craving for a certain type of food

That may sound like a bit of a clich , but food cravings are a sign of pregnancy. It may not be the most sure shot symptom because sometimes it could all just be in your head, or even your body trying to make up for a shortage in a nutrients . Remember that if these cravings are accompanied with some of the other symptoms on this list, start counting the days from your last period.

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2. Areolar darkening

Some women notice that the area around the nipples starts getting darker, making the nipples appear larger. However, this may not be a very good indicator of pregnancy if you have been pregnant earlier or if you have hormonal imbalance.

3. Going to the washroom too often

This symptom is seen mainly due to the production of hCG or human chorionic gonadotropin hormone which increases once the implantation of the embryo in the uterine wall occurs.

4. Spotting and cramping

Approximately between the eighth to twelfth days after ovulation, you may experience what's called 'implantation spotting' where you experience a small amount of bleeding or bloody discharge. Do not fear since this is a normal phenomenon and occurs due to the fertilised egg burrowing into the endometrium (uterine wall).

5. Tired all the time?

Feeling exhausted all the time? Haven't done any real physical activity, and your muscles are feeling weary? You might be pregnant. High levels of progesterone can make you feel like you have run a marathon when all you have really done is put in a day of work at the office. Fatigue or exhaustion is the hallmark of early pregnancy. Thought it may not be a sure shot symptom, combined with other symptoms it might be a sign.

6. Tender, swollen breasts

Ever wondered why your breasts are so sore during and before your period? Pregnancy only enhances this symptom. Sore and tender to touch, your breasts are early indicators of pregnancy. This is mainly due to the hormone surge the implantation of the embryo has caused.

7. Discomfort due to certain smells and taste

Some women say that certain tastes like that of coffee or tea, and certain smells cause them discomfort. One of the signs of pregnancy is a change in taste. Although you may not be able to hone on to a specific taste, some women say that during pregnancy they experience a persistent metallic taste in their mouth.

8. Morning sickness

A lucky few escape this symptom. A few weeks after you conceive you might experience morning sickness. But as early as a couple of days following conception, you may begin feeling nauseated and queasy. And not just in the morning, either -- pregnancy-related nausea can be a problem morning, noon, or night.

9. Missed menstruation

If you are one of those women who gets her periods on time, then missing your period is a sure shot sign that you are pregnant. At this point it's best to try a pregnancy test.

10. Home pregnancy test

A home pregnancy test is one of the commonest ways to test if you are pregnant. These kits are cheap and available over the counter at most medical stores. The directions are clear and easy to follow. All it takes is two minutes and a few drops of your urine. If the test is positive, it is best to visit a gynaecologist to confirm the news. Your doctor will be well equipped to help you through the various phases of pregnancy, and guide you through any queries you might have.

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