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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Everyone talks about the nausea and the missed period, but there a various other early signs of pregnancy that go unnoticed. Aakriti Patni lists a few subtle signs of pregnancy that you may not be aware of

It is usually six to eight weeks before women realise that they are pregnant. The common symptoms such as tender breasts, fatigue, nausea, food aversions and a late period are recognisable from the fourth week onwards; however, some women may recognise and feel the signs as early as three weeks on. But, did you know that certain women can feel their pregnancy from the very first week? Your body is going through a big change, and if you’re observant, you can feel the telltale signs that your body is giving you. At the same time, if you feel any of these, it doesn’t mean with absolute certainity that you are pregnant.

Women experience pregnancy differently, and not every woman has the same changes. Early pregnancy signs are often mistaken to be those of your period as they can be similar. If you’re attentive, you may understand what your body is telling you and recognise the symptoms of your pregnancy from the very beginning. Here are a few early signs to watch out for.

Spotting & cramping
An early sign of pregnancy, spotting is never recognised, and is often thought to be a sign of an oncoming period. After conception, the fertilised egg attaches itself to the wall of the uterus, called implantation. Occurring anywhere from six to twelve days after fertilisation, this is known as implantation bleeding. The occurrence of spotting is usually followed by stomach cramps. 

Vaginal discharge

Besides bleeding, you may notice a white, milky discharge, which is quite similar to what you may have experienced during ovulation in the previous months. This is related to the thickening of the vaginal walls, which starts almost immediately after conception. The increased growth of cells lining the vagina causes the white discharge.

Hot flashes

If you wake up sweating for more than two weeks in a row, it could hint at the possibility of a pregnancy. Your body temperature tends to fluctuate during ovulation, and if it does not stabilise over the next few weeks, it could signal that you may be pregnant.

Frequent urination
This is a sign you may notice even before you notice a late period. When you’re pregnant, your uterus presses directly on your bladder leading to more frequent urination. If you catch yourself using the loo repeatedly and you’ve dismissed a urinary tract infection, it may just mean that you are pregnant.

Smell sensitivity
A heightened sense of smell is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy and is actually the most common one. Researchers have speculated that this elevated olfactory power could be to prevent women from eating spoiled or tainted foods, which is thought to protect the baby. So, the weird smells are not all in your head; they just may exist!

Constipation & bloating
Another symptom commonly mistaken as a sign of an oncoming period, many women experience problems of bloating and constipation during pregnancy. Progesterone causes food to pass more slowly than usual through the digestive system causing constipation. This is why, a diet high in fibrous foods is recommended during pregnancy.

Headaches & migraines

If you’re prone to migraines and frequent headaches, the chances are that your headaches will increase with the hormonal changes you are going through if you are pregnant. But, many have experienced the complete opposite, with their headaches and migraines almost disappearing during their pregnancy term.

Dizzy spells

A symptom that usually lasts during the first trimester, many experience bouts of fainting and dizziness. Low blood pressure or low blood sugar causes women to feel dizzy and nauseous. Progesterone, the pregnancy hormone, relaxes the walls of the blood vessels causing blood pressure to fall. Moreover, shifting hormones along with an elevated heart rate can lead to low blood pressure, causing women to experience some lightheadedness.

Every woman wants to confirm whether or not they are pregnant once their body starts sending them signals. While a professional test taken under medical guidance is the foolproof way to go, here are a few hacks at home to test for pregnancy.

  • Sugar: One of the oldest methods of pregnancy testing, this has proven to be fairly accurate in the past. Pour one tablespoon of your urine over one tablespoon of sugar in a bowl. Observe the reaction. If the sugar dissolves, it means you are not pregnant. But, if the sugar clumps and does not dissolve, it means you could be pregnant.
  • Baking soda: Add your urine sample to a small amount of baking soda in a clean bowl. If the baking soda starts fizzing, like a soda bottle does, it may indicate that you are pregnant!
  • Vinegar: Pour some white vinegar in a bowl and add your urine sample to it. If the vinegar changes colour, then it’s possible your journey towards motherhood has started!
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