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When it comes to spotting the early warning signs of pregnancy, the number one symptom is unmistakable: a missed or late period. However, all women are different, and this sign could occur well after you notice some other changes in your body. If you suspect that you pregnant, the important thing to remember is that you are not alone: around half of all women in the United States will experience an unintended pregnancy by the age of 45. Being able to identify early pregnancy signs and symptoms, however, can help you become more prepared in dealing with a pregnancy.

What are the early symptoms of pregnancy?

Many women get the signs of a pregnancy confused with the symptoms of PMS, so it’s not uncommon to experience some confusion when your period is due. However, the following early pregnancy signs and symptoms are fairly universal among women who are expecting:

  • Fatigue and/or dizziness
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Changes in appetite, such as food aversions or cravings
  • Tender or swollen breasts
  • Cramping similar to pre-menstrual cramps
  • Mood swings as the result of the changes in hormones
  • Slight bleeding brought on by implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterine lining, which may be confused with spotting

How does a pregnancy test work?

Pregnancy tests can be done at home, but they may also be administered in a medical clinic. The results of a pregnancy test are determined by the hormone levels in urine, and some tests can detect these hormones several days before you miss a period. Positive results are often indicated by a plus sign or two parallel lines; negative results are usually denoted by a minus sign or a single line. The pregnancy tests at Avenue Women’s Center are lab-quality tests; providing highly accurate results.

What’s next after the pregnancy test?

After a period of about six to eight weeks, you may have an ultrasound scheduled in order to determine the likelihood of miscarriage. Miscarriages occur naturally in as many as 15-20% of pregnancies. If you are unable to afford an ultrasound or don’t have access to one, check your area for centers that provide free pregnancy help and tests.

No matter which early pregnancy signs and symptoms you may have experienced, there are many resources available that can offer free pregnancy tests and information on pregnancy to guide you through this time in your life. If you suspect that you may require these services, be sure to find an organization that can help, such as Avenue Women’s Center.

Have more questions on the signs and symptoms of pregnancy?

The information provided here is general in nature.  It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center.  If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention.  Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.