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Physical signs of pregnancy

Women usually rely on pregnancy test to show them whether they are pregnant. However, there are several physical changes that women experience in the beginning of pregnancy that indicate that the body is preparing to give birth to a new life.

Early Signs of Pregnancy

Missed Period

Missed period is the most common sign of pregnancy. Menstrual bleeding occurs when lining of the uterus shed. In the first half of the menstrual cycle, hormone levels rise, which causes the lining of the uterus to thicken and thus to prepare for pregnancy. If the egg released from the ovaries does not get fertilized, hormone levels drop and lining of the uterus shed causing the menstrual bleeding. Therefore, absence of period usually indicates pregnancy. However, some women may experience bleeding but shorter and lighter than normal periods, which can also be a sign of pregnancy.

Frequent Urination

Another sign of pregnancy is an urge to urinate frequently. This takes place due to the increase in size of the uterus. Also, a woman’s blood volume increases after conception resulting in frequent urination. Thirdly, when a woman gets pregnant, her body starts to produce a hormone known as human chronic gonadotropin that triggers the need to go to bathroom more often.  

Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is another common sign of pregnancy, featured by nausea and vomiting. However, nausea and vomiting do not occur only in the morning but may be experienced at any time of day or night. Women usually start to experience nausea and vomiting 2 to 8 weeks after the conception. Not all women experience nausea and vomiting, but in women who do, morning sickness usually resolves or improves in the second trimester of pregnancy.

Breast Changes

Breast changes are one of the earliest physical signs of pregnancy. In early pregnancy, women can notice different changes in breasts that indicate that their body is preparing for nursing. Usually, breasts become tender and enlarged. Women may also experience changes in nipples, which usually darken and small bumps may appear on the areola.

Constipation

Some women in early pregnancy experience constipation. It occurs due to elevated levels of progesterone that slows down passing of foods through the intestines. Heartburn can also be present.

Fatigue

Fatigue and sleepiness can also indicate pregnancy. Decrease in energy level is common in early pregnancy due to increased progesterone levels.

Other Signs

Food cravings are common sign of pregnancy, when women feel sudden urge for a particular food. Also, some women may develop an aversion to certain foods in first trimester of pregnancy.  Dizziness and faintness can occur in early pregnancy due to blood pressure dropping. Frequent headaches can be present too and this is triggered by increased blood circulation. Mood swings and irritability are common as well due to sudden changes in hormone activity. Finally, women often have increased vaginal discharge during early pregnancy.

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