10 Unexpected Early Pregnancy Symptoms No One Told You About
Most people are familiar with the classic early signs of pregnancy: a skipped period, sore breasts, fatigue. But there are a whole host of other, less commonly known symptoms. Even early in pregnancy, the body begins changing dramatically to support the growth and development of another human being, and sometimes it reacts in bizarre, unexpected ways. Here are ten weird pregnancy symptoms you may not know about.
1. Your body warms up…and stays warm.
If you’re tracking your basal body temperature every morning before you get out of bed, you’ll notice that your body temperature increases a bit when you’re ovulating. If your basal body temperature stays elevated for 18 days or longer after ovulation, you could be pregnant.
2. You feel dizzy.
Feeling woozy or faint is common during the first three months of pregnancy as your blood vessels begin to dilate and your blood pressure drops. Watch your symptoms though, as severe dizziness accompanied by abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding could indicate that the fertilized egg implanted outside the uterus. This condition is known as an ectopic pregnancy and requires immediate medical attention to avoid potentially life-threatening complications.
3. You’re aching and need to pee all the time.
Your expanding uterus will put additional pressure on your bladder. This will have you running to the bathroom…a lot. As your blood volume and hormone levels change, you’ll also likely experience headaches and period-like cramping.
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4. You’re spotting.
Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy is common but isn’t necessarily normal. It’s estimated that somewhere between 25% to 40% of women will experience bleeding at some point during their pregnancy. Bleeding doesn’t always mean something is wrong, but it can be an indication of possible complications. Understanding the causes of bleeding can help you know when to seek medical attention.
Many women experience implantation bleeding (when the embryo attaches to the uterine lining) within two weeks of conception. Bleeding can also be the result of an ectopic pregnancy, a possible miscarriage, or an inflamed cervix. Contact your doctor if the bleeding is heavy or if you’re experiencing intense cramping or back pain.
5. You have vaginal discharge.
Increased vaginal blood flow and hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy cause many women to experience a sticky, pale vaginal mucus or discharge. This is part of your body’s way of preventing infections as your vaginal walls and cervix begin to soften. If the discharge itches, burns, has a strong odor, turns green, or becomes extremely thick or watery, seek medical attention as these may be signs of an infection.
6. Your tastes change.
While your body’s changing hormone levels help your baby grow and develop, they’re also responsible for some less exciting changes in your own body. For some women, that includes experiencing dysgeusia.
Dysgeusia refers to changes in your sense of taste, and it’s especially common during the first trimester as your body is adapting to being pregnant. You may begin to enjoy foods you previously disliked or, alternatively, to hate foods you formerly enjoyed. People who experience dysgeusia often report having a metallic or sour taste in their mouths.
There isn’t much you can do to combat pregnancy-induced dysgeusia, but there are a few tricks experts recommend that might make it more bearable:
- Avoid foods that bother you and don’t feel guilty about it.
- Try something acidic, like vinegar or citrus, to combat the metallic taste.
- Rinse with a gentle baking soda or salt solution after brushing your teeth. Brush your tongue, too, while you’re at it.
- Switch up your prenatal vitamin, as some brands may cause a stronger metallic taste than others.
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7. You’re constipated.
Digestion moves much more slowly during pregnancy. This gives your body extra time to absorb all the nutrients it needs to nourish your growing baby. Along with fluctuating hormones and mineral-rich prenatal vitamins, a mama-to-be can easily end up feeling bloated and constipated.
If you’re having a little bathroom trouble, try to incorporate plenty of fiber and lots of fluids into your diet and be sure to exercise regularly. You can also ask your healthcare provider about incorporating a pregnancy-safe stool softener.
8. Everything gives you heartburn…everything.
Hormones wreak a lot of havoc during pregnancy. As the valve between your esophagus and stomach becomes more relaxed, stomach acid can drip into your esophagus causing heartburn. To minimize symptoms, avoid fried foods, carbonated beverages, and anything spicy or acidic. Try eating smaller, more frequent meals.
9. You get colds easily.
Pregnancy weakens your immune system, making you more vulnerable to colds and coughs in general and to severe illness from the flu. This can lead to potential complications for your baby. Discuss safe pregnancy-safe medications and treatments with your healthcare provider.
10. You’re happy, then you’re sad.
Those pesky pregnancy hormones can also cause you to have massive mood swings. You may feel exceptionally sensitive and tearful one moment, and perfectly fine the next. Your sex drive may be in full gear or running on empty. This is very typical during early pregnancy.
The Bottom Line
While many women experience one or more of these symptoms at various points in life, when they’re happening all together they may indicate a possible pregnancy. Listen to your body’s signals. It might be time to see your healthcare provider for a pregnancy test.
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