Am I Pregnant or is this PMS?Katlyn Joy |25, July 2014
When it's that time of the month, where the calendar has a red circle, and you're expecting your period, but it doesn't start, you can't help but wonder; "Am I pregnant, or is my period just late?" Without taking a pregnancy test, it's hard to tell because the symptoms of PMS or pre-menstrual syndrome and early pregnancy are very similar. So let's look at some common symptoms of pregnancy and PMS and see if yours fit more in line with pregnancy or period signs.
This one is possible for either condition. However, is this bloating you are experiencing typical of your regular PMS? Is it less obvious or more obvious now? Is your tummy even a bit tender? Some women experience some tenderness or sensitivity along with bloating when in early pregnancy.
Cramps are a definite big symptom of PMS, and not usually associated with early pregnancy. However, some women will experience some discomfort and fullness, perhaps even mild cramps. Painful cramps that are like your usual period cramps are not expected in pregnancy. If cramping does occur in the early weeks, you should see a doctor as it could possibly indicate an impending miscarriage, or if it gets worse, an ectopic pregnancy.
A hallmark of PMS, moodiness ranging from being short-tempered to weepy is also connected to early pregnancy. This typically improves in mid-pregnancy, only to resurface in the final weeks, sometimes with a vengeance.
Back pain or aches.
While back pain is one of the most common complaints of pregnancy, it doesn't usually surface until later in pregnancy when your figure has blossomed, to say it sensitively. The weight gain and the center of gravity being off will cause back pain in the second and almost always in the last trimester. If you have back pain now, it's a better indicator of an impending period.
Do you normally feel tired as your period approaches? If so, is this the same level or intensity of fatigue? If you feel extraordinarily tired, to where you just feel depleted, that would be a stronger indication of pregnancy.
This is a key element of morning sickness, even if you never experience vomiting. However, some women commonly feel some nausea or queasiness with PMS as well. The way to differentiate is to know your body. If you normally don't feel sick with the smell of garlic or greasy food, but now it sends you running to the restroom, that might mean you're expecting a baby rather than Aunt Flo.
Food cravings are regular features of PMS. What would a trip to the store be without a box of tampons, a pound of chocolate and a bag of chips around that time? When pregnant, food cravings most likely won't start until the tail end of the first, or into the second trimester, when you begin to gain weight.
This is a major symptom for both PMS and pregnancy. How to know the difference? If you usually have some tenderness around menstruation, but now it's much more severe and possibly involving different parts of your breast or different kinds of pain or sensitivity than you are used to, it may be that you are expecting.
General feeling that your period is about to start any moment.
Believe it or not, that could be a sign of either your period or pregnancy. Often women report that they were sure they were about to start, and day after day slipped by with no period.
OK, you're thinking, that has to be a sign of PMS, right? Yes, but it can also occur in early pregnancy. A number of women will spot around the time their period would be due, sometimes more than one month. It's not usually as heavy as a normal period, but rarely it can be. For bleeding that becomes heavier than a usual period, and is accompanied by strong cramping or sharp intense pains, you should see the doctor, in case of a miscarriage or a tubal pregnancy.
A feeling that you are pregnant.
This is highly subjective. Many women swear they just felt different, or had an inkling that they were pregnant. However, if you are hoping to be pregnant, it can be a case of over-thinking combined with wishing, that may make you feel different.
Tell us in the comments area below, what symptoms have you experienced that made you run to get a pregnancy test?
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