A lot of women think that the first sign you could be pregnant is a missed period. In reality, there are a lot of early signs pointing to a possible pregnancy. Of course, things vary from one woman to the next, so you may not experience all of them, or some may not appear as early for you as they do for someone else.
At Willow Womens Center, we know that facing an unexpected pregnancy can be hard. It certainly starts you on an emotional roller coaster that isn’t nearly as fun as those at Six Flags. If you think you might be pregnant, take a look at the early signs of pregnancy below and see if any of them match up to things you are experiencing.
Early Signs of Pregnancy
Fatigue: You may feel exhausted and want to sleep all the time. This is because your body is working very hard and all your energy is being used on your pregnancy.
Nausea/vomiting: A lot, but not all, women experience this. For some, it’s first thing in the morning, while others have it happen at night. Eating many small meals or snacking regularly on crackers may help you through this.
Tender/swollen breasts: Remember the way your breasts feel when you get your period? Multiply that by 10. They may enlarge, the nipples can become darker, and a vein may become visible.
Spotting: Light bleeding or spotting can mean the embryo has implanted into the uterine wall. This usually happens about a week before you would expect your period but can fool some women into thinking they’ve had a period.
Aversion to certain foods: You may experience times when foods you normally like make you feel sick. Even the thought of some can do that, and the smell can do it as well. Beware, sometimes your sense of smell is enhanced and that might lead to nausea as well.
Cramping: Cramping, similar to menstrual cramps, can occur, but is less common than other symptoms.
Mood swings: Hormones get the blame for this one and can affect the neurotransmitters in the brain. This can take the crabbiness level you usually experience during your period and make that seem like Happy Days. If you have trouble dealing with this, talk to your doctor and see what help they can offer.
Peeing: Another one to blame on the hormones, increased blood flow through your kidneys, and a growing uterus pressing on your bladder. This can begin as soon as one week after implantation.
Dizziness or fainting: This can happen due to the uterus compressing major arteries in your legs while standing and cause your blood pressure to drop. Don’t skip meals or going too long without food as it can cause blood sugar to drop and result in feeling dizzy.
Constipation: Hormones can slow down bowel functions to allow for better absorption of vitamins and nutrients.
Heartburn: As the uterus grows, the hormone HCG slows down digestion, so your stomach doesn’t empty as fast, increasing stomach acid and causing that uncomfortable feeling of heartburn.
Come See Us for Testing
If the early signs you might be pregnant sound familiar, you are probably thinking its time to take a pregnancy test. We are here to help you at Willow Womens Center with no cost pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and STI testing.
One of our licensed medical staff members will administer the medical-grade pregnancy test and discuss your results with you immediately afterward. If the result was positive, we will provide you with a no-cost ultrasound.
An ultrasound can tell you how far along you are, determine the location of the pregnancy (If your pregnancy develops in your fallopian tubes, this is called an ectopic pregnancy and can be life-threatening), and will tell you the gestational age, an important piece of information if you are considering an abortion.
An ultrasound may also help determine the risk that you might miscarry: 20% of all pregnancies do not carry to term and 80% of all miscarriages happen in the first trimester (first 13 weeks). If it is determined that you are at risk for a miscarriage or have an ectopic pregnancy, you may not need to have an abortion. Instead, you would need to seek prompt medical attention.
Willow Womens Center also provides testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea. Since abortion can be an invasive procedure, untreated STI’s can be pushed into the uterus where they can drastically affect your long-term reproductive health and future fertility. An untreated STI can leave you with Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, causing chronic abdominal pain, fever, abnormal bleeding, nausea and infertility.
Once all the testing has been completed, we will give you clear, unbiased information, answer all your questions openly and honestly, and give you the support you need to make a decision about your future. We know that having all the information you need will give you the confidence and peace about the choice you make, whatever it is.