On Smart Parenting's Facebook page, we get a lot of messages from women asking if they might be pregnant. And, yes, they pretty much tell the, er, events that took place for them to suspect pregnancy. And, as much as we'd like to help, it's hard for us to know for sure. Every pregnancy is different, and each can present different signs. Some women have only one or two symptoms, while others would have all of them.
There are a few early signs of pregnancy that one can watch for; just remember: if you want to know kung buntis ka o hindi, you need to do a pregnancy test kit and see a doctor -- she'll ask you to do a blood test and an ultrasound to confirm the news.
1. Your period is late. This is usually the first sign especially if your period has a regular 28-to-30-day cycle. But don't go announcing anything yet until you've taken a pregnancy test, and it shows two clear lines. Take note that some pregnancy tests can have an inconclusive result, showing only a faint second line. A late menstruation can also be caused by stress. The only way to be absolutely sure that you are positively pregnant is to see your doctor.
2. You feel more tired than usual. We all feel spent at the end of a very long day, but exhaustion and having shortness of breath often (even after just resting) are two of the most common early signs of pregnancy. For many pregnant women, the easy exhaustion can stretch for the whole nine months.
3. You're spotting and having cramps. Your period is not really due yet, but you find blood spots on your undies. This can be implantation bleeding when an embryo plants itself in the uterus lining. It can happen between six and 12 days after an egg is fertilized, and may be accompanied by slight cramping, too.
4. You have more vaginal discharge. Pregnancy causes thickening of your vaginal wall, and the increased cell growth can cause more vaginal discharge that's milky white. Check that it has no untoward smell; if it does, it could just be a sign of a yeast or bacterial infection, so go see your OB-gyn.
5. Your breasts feel sore. Remember, breast tenderness can be a sign of your period coming up. But if your breasts seem a little bigger or heavier than usual, your areolas start to darken, and you see even more pronounced veins on your chest, you could be pregnant.
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6. Suddenly you have a super sense of smell. You can smell sautéed garlic a mile away. You’re certain someone in the building is smoking. You're suddenly repulsed by the smell of your husband's body spray, which he wears every day. This heightened sense of smell has pregnancy hormones written all over it.
7. You take more bathroom trips. Pregnancy causes your body to produce extra fluid, and your bladder is working double time. However, check first if your frequent urination is not caused by urinary tract infection, anti-bloating meds, or diabetes.
8. You're frequently constipated. This could be a result of higher levels of the hormone progesterone which causes food to pass more slowly through the intestines. If you're indeed pregnant, you could also feel bloated more often and pass a lot of gas, too. Get used to it, because if you're pregnant, it will happen a lot.
9. You're hotter than usual. Not in a sexual way, no (but yes, we could include that in this list, too). Kidding aside, higher basal body temperature -- some women use this measurement as a natural family planning method -- could be a sign that you'll be welcoming a bundle of joy in a few months.
10. You're dizzy and vomiting. Nausea and vomiting are two of the most common symptoms of morning sickness in the first trimester. Early morning sickness symptoms can be caused by hormones. This can be also be an effect of fatigue -- think of it as your body telling you to slow down.
11. You have food cravings and mood swings! You never eat heavy dinners, yet suddenly you're craving for burgers on a late night. Or, you absolutely love adobo, and now you gag at its sight or smell. You normally don't care about a pimple, but you find yourself crying over one. Did we mention hormones?