8 Signs You May Be Pregnantby Kathleen Roberts | January 31, 2010 12:00 AM
If it is still a bit early for a pregnancy test or a missed period, you may still wonder if your body is giving you signs that you may be pregnant. Often, there are, indeed, signs that you are pregnant even before you get the official word. The problem is, often these signs are similar to signs that you may be getting your period. You'll need to listen carefully to what your body is trying to tell you to be sure.
One of the first things you'll notice during the early weeks of pregnancy is fatigue. This isn't just a normal fatigue after a long day at work; this is a draining, can't keep your eyes open fatigue. One that makes you say, "Why am I so tired?"
The reason you go through this is simple--your baby is using calories that your body usually uses for itself. This caloric drain may lead to another early symptom of pregnancy--craving carbohydrates. Your body will need more carbs to give you more energy.
While you may be craving carbs at times, at other times you may also notice that you feel nauseated when you're reading or riding in the car. This isn't morning sickness; it is just another sign that you may be pregnant.
Basal Body Temperature
Another sign that you may notice is your Basal Body Temperature (or BBT) will stay elevated. If you have not been tracking your BBT, you will not be able to take advantage of this little secret sign of pregnancy, but if you have been tracking it, continue to do so. Normally, your BBT will rise slightly when you ovulate. If conception occurs, it stays elevated. If there is no fertilization, your temperature will drop and you will get your period. This could easily be your first indication that you are pregnant.
Changes in your hormone levels will cause some symptoms of early pregnancy as well. When you become pregnant, your body produces more progesterone and hCG. These hormones will cause symptoms such as sore breasts, fatigue and moodiness. Other breast changes can include a darkening of the nipples as your level of melanocytes increases.
Inplantation Bleeding or Spotting
As many as 25 percent of women experience spotting, also known as implantation bleeding, when they become pregnant. In some cases, women will mistake this bleeding for a period and ignore this early pregnancy symptom. They don't realize that this "period" is actually caused by the fertilized egg implanting in the wall of the uterus. Looking back, many will comment that it wasn't a normal period, which is what you should consider if you notice any light bleeding. Ask yourself, "Is this how my period normally is, or is this unusual for me?"
Another symptom caused by the implantation of the egg in the uterus is cramping. Again, this might seem like a normal occurrence before you get your period. It also indicates that the uterine wall is stretching to accommodate its new tenant. Just think about how it feels and determine if this is what your body usually goes through when you get your period or if it seems unusual this time.
Other signs you may be pregnant can include headaches triggered by an increase in blood flow. While it can be inconvenient, this is usually only temporary. If your headaches continue or get worse, discuss them with your doctor.
You will also notice that you have to visit the ladies room a bit more frequently. This is because your kidneys have to work harder at eliminating excess fluids from your body as it works on supporting another life. You may also notice that you feel constipated and bloated. This is because your digestive track is a bit slowed due to an increase in hormones. And this is not only temporary. Sorry.
Of course, the most obvious signs of pregnancy are a missed period and a positive pregnancy test. However, you may notice many of these other signs before you miss your period. If you suspect you may be pregnant, make an appointment with your doctor. Early prenatal care will ensure that both you and your baby have a happy, healthy pregnancy and beyond.Kathleen Roberts is a freelance writer/editor specializing in health and parenting topics. She is the mother of five beautiful children who all live happily on their family farm in Colorado.
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