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Suspecting that you're pregnant

A few classic signs can make you suspect that you're pregnant before you do a test to make sure.

Missed period

Am I pregnant?
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You may miss a period within two weeks after conceiving your baby. Although pregnancy is the most common reason for a missed period, it's not the only one, so don't take this as an absolute sign of pregnancy. There are other things, such as jet lag, severe illness, surgery, shock, bereavement, or great stress, that can cause you to miss a period. Periods don't always stop in pregnancy, though. Some women have light periods up to the sixth month, or even all the way through.

Wanting to urinate more often

As soon as your progesterone levels rise and the embryo starts to produce hCG, blood supply to your pelvic area increases, which leads to pelvic congestion. This affects the bladder, which becomes irritable and tries to expel even the smallest quantity of urine. This is why most women feel like they want to pass urine more often than usual. This can happen as early as one week after conception.

Tiredness

The very high levels of progesterone in your body have a sedative effect and this is one of the reasons for tiredness when you're first pregnant. Early in your pregnancy your metabolism speeds up to support your developing baby and your vital organs, which are having to do so much more work than usual. This can make you feel so tired that there's nothing you can do but sleep. And if that's how you feel, you must rest - for your sake and your baby's.

Morning sickness

Although it's most common in the morning, sickness can come on at any time of day. It's more likely if you don't eat often enough and your blood sugar is allowed to drop.

Odd tastes

Your saliva often reflects the chemical content of your blood, and as hormone levels rise, the taste in your mouth can change - many women describe it as metallic. You may also notice that certain foods taste different from usual, and that you stop liking some tastes that you usually enjoy (coffee is a common example).

Some women begin to crave certain foods - and occasionally want to eat strange things such as coal. There's no real scientific explanation for this. It may be the body's way of trying to make up for deficiencies in certain minerals and trace elements, but it's best to control cravings for inedible substances.

Smell

You may notice that your sense of smell becomes more acute when you're pregnant, and everyday odours such as cooking smells make you nauseous. Perfume may also affect you this way, and the way your own perfume smells on you may also change, because your skin's chemistry alters.

Breast changes

Right at the start of pregnancy, you may feel changes in your breasts. They may become quite lumpy and sore to the touch; your nipple area may feel very tender and sensitive, and your nipples will also deepen in colour. The veins in your breasts may start to look larger and more obvious too.

Posted 16.11.2010

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