Is it too early for you to take a pregnancy test? Maybe you cannot take a test or get an accurate reading for some reason? No need to worry. There are actually many signs when pregnant that do not involve testing.
Although the only way to know for sure you are pregnant is to see your doctor and have it confirmed, the clues your body gives you can also be a solid lead. Many women watch for signs like these, whether or not they have access to accurate tests, before deciding to confirm their pregnancy with a medical professional.
Consider these tip offs if you are suspicious:
Tip #1:Your Cycle is Off
If you are living a healthy lifestyle, you probably have a regular menstrual cycle. Typically, menstrual cycles are predictable and on-time in healthy women. Each woman tends to notice her period lasting for a certain amount of time and arriving in a particular flow pattern as well. When your menstrual cycle is off, such as when you've missed a period or had only a very short, very light cycle, it's a good sign something is changing in your body. For many women, that change is the beginning of pregnancy.
Tip #2:Your PMS Symptoms Change
Common Pre-menstrual Symptoms (PMS) include:
- Tender breasts
- Mood swings
- Digestive issues
For many women living a healthy lifestyle and regularly having a menstrual cycle, PMS is another predictable feature. Women often know how many days before their period begins they can expect certain symptoms to appear. Symptoms that are minimized or are more severe can sometimes be signs when pregnant. When symptoms do not occur at all or come at a different time in the cycle than usual, these can also be signals that the body is pregnant, not cycling through menstruation as usual.
Tip #3: You Have Chadwick's Sign
Although recognized in 1886, this non-medical test for pregnancy is simple and remains effective. Women can look at their vaginal area and notice the color of the tissue. Bluish or purple-red coloring of the tissue suggests increased blood flow. 6-8 weeks into pregnancy, women have increased blood flow in the pelvic area. This change in tissue color is called Chadwick's Sign (after the man who popularized it) and is a good indicator that it's time to confirm pregnancy with a doctor.
Tip #4: Your Urine Is Different
One of the first places changes in the body show up once pregnant is the urine. Hence the reason at home pregnancy tests involve urine. You can create your own basic test to see if your urine has changed. A multitude of homemade versions of urine tests exist.
Among the simplest and most straightforward is simply to collect urine in a clean container and allow it to sit for 4-5 hours. Your usual urine will remain unchanged. Urine containing the pregnancy hormone HcG will have a white film on top. Another test calls for collecting urine in a clean container and then adding it to vinegar. The pregnancy hormone HcG will react with the vinegar, changing its color, if you are pregnant.
Tip #5: You Count More Instances of Symptoms
As your body adapts to pregnancy, several changes will occur. The changes, many of which are considered symptoms, are traits that many women experience on a regular basis anyway. Many are very similar to PMS as well, making it difficult to differentiate if the symptoms are related to menstruation or pregnancy. You can help sort out which is which by counting instances of symptoms.
Count instances of:
- Needing to urinate
- Food cravings
- Smell aversions
- Mood swings
Get a baseline by counting symptoms through a week in which PMS is not occurring and you are not pregnant. Then, when suspicious you are pregnant, count again and see if there is a difference. If you are already suspicious, just keep track of instances of symptoms for a week- you'll probably know if the numbers are high.
Tip #6:Your Breasts Change
For many women, breast changes are among the first signs of pregnancy. If your breasts are swollen or the area around your nipples is darkening, there's a good chance you are pregnant. As always, visit your doctor to confirm.