Unless you’re paying close attention to your body, it can be easy to discount pregnancy symptoms as other issues. Until you put all the signs together and get that aha! moment, you might think you have the flu, food poisoning, or too many nights spent tossing and turning.
But if you know the signs and symptoms, you can tell the difference between morning sickness and eating something that disagreed with you. Here are five of the most common telltale signs that you’re probably pregnant and it’s time to see a gynecologist.
1. Skipped Periods
The gold standard of pregnancy signs occurs when you miss your period. This monthly milestone is usually consistent for most women. If you’re over a week or two late and you’re sexually active, consider taking a pregnancy test.
Pay attention to when your last period was because your doctor will use that info to determine approximately how far along you are if you are pregnant.
2. Urgent Urination
Is it becoming increasingly annoying that you’re constantly on the lookout for a bathroom? This unusual urge to urinate might start out laughable, but eventually, you’ll notice it’s not normal.
This unusual urge to urinate might start out laughable, but eventually, you’ll notice it’s not normal. You might have a UTI, short for a urinary tract infection, or you could be pregnant.
Your body works more efficiently during pregnancy, and part of this includes producing more fluids. Your kidneys are working hard, and your uterus is growing to support the baby inside you.
As the uterus expands, it pushes against your bladder, and you’ll feel the urge to urinate. This urge is more pronounced in women who have weak pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder, bowel, and uterus.
3. Tender Breasts
This sign is often overlooked because sore breasts are also a symptom of your period coming. But if your breasts are sore for a few weeks and there’s no sign of menstruation on the way, chances are, you’re pregnant.
4. Nausea and/or Vomiting
Ah, yes, the infamous ‘morning sickness.’ Although it’s dubbed this term, nausea from pregnancy can happen throughout the day. By the time you get to this stage of your gestation, you’re likely at least one month along. Nausea begins to kick in around weeks four through eight, typically lasting until your second trimester.
The levels of nausea vary in severity. Some women can treat their nausea and vomiting with home remedies, while others end up with such severe vomiting that they become dehydrated and require professional help.
One reason some women miss the “skipped period” sign of pregnancy is that they experience spotting. Also called ‘implantation bleeding,’ this light blood after a pregnancy happens when your embryo implants into the uterine lining. It’s perfectly normal to “spot” in these early days, even before you know you’re pregnant.
So You Think You’re Pregnant. What’s Next?
When you have one of these symptoms, it’s time to watch your body for other changes. If two or more of the signs are relevant, you might want to take an at-home pregnancy test before you call a gynecologist. However, these aren’t always 100% accurate. Use your knowledge of your body and the cues it sends you, like these five, to decide if it’s time to visit your doctor.