Do you have a baby on board? Few things in life are more exciting than that moment of finding out you're expecting. At the same time, few things are as nerve-wracking as mustering the courage to take a pregnancy test. While there are some telltale signs that a bun may be in the oven - such as your period being late to the party - other signs of pregnancy are a bit more subtle. It's when these signs start adding up that many women finally head to their doctor or drug store.
Are you feeling a bit different? Do you feel fatigued, woozy, crampy or just a little off? Are you sore in places where you're not usually sore? Regardless of whether you're using protection during sex, you should pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you if you have several of these symptoms. It could very well be that you have a baby on the way!
Here are some of the earliest signs of pregnancy:
1. Your breasts are sore
Do your breasts feel heavier or firmer than usual? It could be because breast tissue is very sensitive to changes in the body's hormone levels, which fluctuate greatly when pregnancy occurs. Your sore breasts may be alerting you to increased levels of hCG and progesterone - the result of a fertilized egg.
2. You're cramping, but without the period
Women who become pregnant often feel like they're about to have their periods, but their periods never arrive. That's because the uterus may be stretching after the fertilized egg attaches to its inner wall. This is a natural reaction of the body as the uterus prepares to deal with a growing fetus.
3. Spotting, but not a full period
Late periods are often the leading signs of pregnancy, but some women go through small amounts of bleeding that may be mistaken for lighter periods. When it's a symptom of pregnancy, this kind of spotting amounts to far less bleeding than a period, and also the duration of spotting tends to not last as long.
4. You're suddenly tired all the time
Pregnancy is hard on the body, and in some cases, that's true right from the get-go. As your body's functioning shifts to accommodate the fetus growing inside of you - even when it's too tiny to see with the naked eye - you're suddenly burning enough calories for more than just yourself. As a result, even the most energetic women may find themselves thinking about naps all day.
5. Nipples change color
Remember how the onset of pregnancy can make your breasts firm or sore because of soaring hormone levels? The same is true for the tissues of your nipples, which tend to change colors rather than become sore. What usually happens is the nipples become darker; in women of darker complexion, this may not happen until later in the pregnancy.
6. You're a little sick to your stomach
Morning sickness doesn't usually develop until a bit later in the first trimester, but some women immediately feel a bit woozy after becoming pregnant. If you're experiencing slight nausea along with fatigue, soreness and other symptoms, then something may be happening under the hood.
7. Frequent urination
All kinds of things can cause frequent urination. Stress, illnesses and even weak pelvic floor muscles can cause women to urinate more often. Bladder infections can also cause frequent urination, and those are common among women. However, pregnancy causes frequent urination because the body suddenly needs to flush out more water. If you're suddenly getting up more often to use the restroom - and you haven't recently been ill or injured, and you don't experience any pain when urinating - then don't discount pregnancy as a possible cause.