Am I pregnant?

Here are some of the early signs and symptoms of pregnancy. Remember that these symptoms could also have other causes.

A missed period (amenorrhoea) – this is the most reliable sign of pregnancy. If you usually have regular periods and you are late, you should consider having a pregnancy test. Some women may experience bleeding earlier than their expected period and for a shorter duration (see implantation bleeding). In rare cases women have light periods throughout their pregnancy.

Changes in your breasts - breasts become larger and tender to the touch. Veins may show up more and the skin around the nipples (areola) may darken.

Headaches – a common complaint early in pregnancy. They usually disappear by mid pregnancy.

Nausea and vomiting – affects about 50% of pregnant women. The term “morning sickness” is often used as nausea and vomiting is usually worse in the morning but it can happen any time of the day or night. It can start after missing the first or second period and continue up to the time the fourth period (16th week of pregnancy) has been missed.

Frequent urination (micturition) – more urine is formed due to an increased blood flow to the kidneys.

Feeling exhausted or sleepy – the body is adjusting itself physiologically for the pregnancy. Physiologically a pregnant woman becomes a super human being. All systems work harder: heartbeat is 40% faster, oxygen intake increases and carbon dioxide decreases, kidneys increase its output. Early in pregnancy many women complain of fatigue and a desire to sleep for longer periods. This remits by the fourth month of pregnancy.

Food cravings – some women may also lose their liking for certain foods or drinks. An aversion to coffee is particularly common. In rare cases, women have been known to eat non-food substances such as soil or coal. This condition is called Pica.

Increased vaginal discharge without soreness or irritation – due to the cervical glands secreting more mucus as a result of high levels of oestrogen manufactured by the placenta.

Ilse Pauw, Health24, November 2003

More links:
Visit Parent24.com
Are you eating to optimise your pregnancy? Do our QUIZ to find out.
Can you do exercise while you're pregnant? Click here for more info.
Do you have problems with infertility? Chat to others in our Infertility forum

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
7% - 811 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
83% - 9271 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
10% - 1088 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
18.01
-1.3%
Rand - Pound
20.11
+0.1%
Rand - Euro
17.64
-0.4%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.55
-0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-1.0%
Gold
1,713.07
-0.2%
Silver
20.66
+0.1%
Palladium
2,253.50
-0.2%
Platinum
925.00
+0.3%
Brent-ruolie
93.37
+1.7%
Top 40
59,416
+0.4%
All Share
65,833
+0.3%
Resource 10
63,279
-0.6%
Industrial 25
80,027
+1.0%
Financial 15
13,997
+0.3%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE