A woman;s body is constantly changing. Hormone levels rise and fall as do blood glucose and blood pressure. Many of the early signs of pregnancy are also signs of other physical changes in the body. The final determination of pregnancy comes with a positive urine or blood pregnancy test.
Early Pregnancy Signs and Other Possible Causes
Women who are trying to conceive are particularly sensitive to changes in the body that mimic early pregnancy signs and symptoms. Many of the same signs pregnant women feel in the first few weeks of pregnancy can be explained by other changes in the body when conception has not occurred.
- Cramping and Spotting: Cramping and spotting typically occur between weeks one and two after conception, but they are not the strongest indication of pregnancy. Cramping and spotting also occur for many women before the menstrual cycle starts.
- Breast Tenderness: Rapid changes in hormones cause breasts to feel tender and swollen soon after conception. However, these same symptoms often occur before your menstrual cycle begins. Changes in hormone levels not associated with conception can also cause breast tenderness and swelling. If you are currently taking birth control pills, the hormones present in the pills trick the body into believing it is already pregnant, thus the pregnancy prevention. This may cause similar symptoms to those noticed in early pregnancy, including breast tenderness.
- Fatigue: With high levels of stress, low blood sugar and low blood pressure being common causes of fatigue, pregnant women cannot solely determine pregnancy based on changes in energy levels. Changes in sleeping patterns, inadequate levels of protein and the common cold can also cause fatigue.
- Nausea or Morning Sickness: Morning sickness is one of the most commonly reported early signs of pregnancy, but not all women experiencing temporary or even long-term nausea are pregnant. Stress, hormonal changes associated with menstrual cycle and the flu can all cause nausea. Nausea may be more pronounced in the morning due to an empty stomach filled with gastric acids.
There are no definitive early pregnancy symptoms that cannot be attributed to other physical changes in the female body. Just because your breasts are tender, you feel cramping and you are spotting, does not mean you are pregnant. If you have missed your menstrual cycle and tested negative on a urine pregnancy test, a blood pregnancy test can answer the question of pregnancy once and for all.