What Are the Symptoms of Pregnancy?
There are a lot of signs that gestation has begun. The most well known is that your menstrual cycle stops. But what are the other symptoms of pregnancy?
After fertilization of the egg, a woman’s body starts to prepare itself to cope with pregnancy. Though the symptoms of pregnancy don’t start immediately, internal changes begin which can cause different signs to appear.
If you don’t menstruate the month after intercourse, it’s very possible that you’re pregnant. Technically this is the first sign of pregnancy – all that’s left is to take a test for confirmation.
Some women can present other symptoms prior to a late period. These can include sensitive breasts, light bleeding from the seventh day after intercourse, and a heightened sense of smell.
Other women also mention feelings like exhaustion, faster pulse, lower blood pressure, and a higher basal temperature. This can be confused with premenstrual syndrome, so it’s important to stay alert.
Keep reading to discover some of the common symptoms of pregnancy.
First discomforts of conception
The path to motherhood is full of signs, discomforts, illusions, and much more. Pregnancy symptoms don’t stop until the day of birth, even though not all bodies are the same and each woman’s experience is unique.
In the beginning, your areolas will start to expand and become darker. Small bumps, similar to pimples, will pop up, which may be painful, tense, and sensitive to friction or touch.
You might experience bleeding. But this will be completely different to that of menstruation. It will show as pink or dark brown spots, a result of implantation of the embryo.
If the bleeding becomes heavier it’s a good idea to see a doctor. It might be a sign of impending miscarriage.
Confirmation of pregnancy
Headaches, hip and stomach pain, mood swings, vertigo, gas, tiredness, a general malaise… You might feel all of this in the first two weeks after intercourse.
Nausea starts after 30 days and you won’t get your period. This is when the diagnosis is almost certain: a baby is on the way.
There are a few ways to know if you’re expecting, such as getting a blood test, which can be done in a lab at any time of day.
It’s a good idea to get a test if your period is more than 10 days late. You’ll get a reliable result within a day.
A pregnancy test can help too. You can buy one in a pharmacy and it comes with clear instructions; some promise a result almost instantly.
Whatever option you choose, it’s a good idea to see a doctor. If there are any doubts, a specialist will do an ultrasound.
More pregnancy symptoms
Symptoms of pregnancy can be recurring. They can appear and disappear. They can get worse or get better.
Depending on the stage of fetal development, you may suffer from different pains or discomforts, summarized here:
- Symptoms of pregnancy in the first trimester: dizziness, low energy, nausea, intolerance of strong smells, vomiting, hypersensitivity, bad mood, sleepiness, indigestion, excessive salivation, nasal congestion, headaches, and exhaustion.
- Symptoms of pregnancy in the second trimester: vomiting, gas, lumbar and ankle pain, heartburn, cramps, constipation, haemorrhoids, urinary tract infections, and tachycardia.
- Symptoms of pregnancy in the third trimester: back pain, discomfort during sleep, fluid retention, increased need to urinate, shortness of breath, snoring, restless legs, loss of sexual appetite, inflammation of the extremities, vaginal discharge, contractions, varicose veins, and haemorrhoids.
Advice on dealing with the symptoms of pregnancy
There are many techniques for coping with the symptoms of pregnancy, though all provide only temporary relief. They shouldn’t cause any complications as long as you have regular check-ups.
On top of this, good eating habits and supervised exercise will help relieve a lot of them. These habits can be very useful:
- Pressure and stretch marks on your breasts. In preparing for lactation your breasts may suffer transformations that affect their appearance. It can be good to wear cotton bras, and apply moisturizing cream and cold compresses to preserve firmness.
- Nausea. If you get morning sickness, you should eat slowly and in small amounts. If you feel nauseous during the day you should avoid fatty foods and instead increase consumption of foods with high amounts of vitamin B6.
- Stomach problems. No fried food, fizzy drinks, cigarettes, spicy foods or alcohol. Citric fruits should also be avoided. Eating good amounts of fruit and fiber can help combat constipation.
- Leg pain. Don’t wear high heels or tight clothes. Try to do yoga or swim regularly. And try to keep your legs straight. These little things can bring relief.
Don’t torture yourself thinking about pregnancy symptoms, there’s no way of knowing which ones you’ll get. Try to enjoy this time to the fullest while you wait for your baby.