Finding out that you may be pregnant can be a confusing time in a woman’s life. With pregnancy early signs can appear very similar to the symptoms in your menstrual cycle, so knowing the difference between PMS and pregnancy can be difficult.
However, there are plenty of ways for women of all ages to receive the help they need thanks to women’s and teen pregnancy centers all over the country. These centers help women spot pregnancy early signs and offer free pregnancy tests, too. If you think you might be showing the early signs of pregnancy, here are some symptoms that may help give you an idea of whether or not you are pregnant.
1. Cramping: Almost all women who are menstruating deal with cramps, which typically affect the stomach and low back. Cramping can also be an early sign of pregnancy, and it may be more or less severe when you become pregnant. If you’ve missed a period and you notice any changes in your cramping, talk to a professional immediately.
2. Fatigue: It’s okay to feel tired around the time of your period. However, if the symptoms persist and your period is late, you could be pregnant. Because fatigue can also accompany changes in mood, it’s best to get checked out ASAP.
3. Nausea and/or vomiting: While it is possible that this can occur during PMS, it’s also usually considered an obvious sign of pregnancy. If you get morning sickness, be sure to check with a doctor and get a test.
4. Spotting: This is, perhaps, the most difficult early sign of a pregnancy to distinguish from your typical menstrual cycle. Spotting is normal a day or two before your period arrives, and sometimes it occurs during ovulation, as well. However, if you begin spotting and don’t get your period afterwards, you may be pregnant.
5. A missed period: Finally, this is the tell-tale sign of pregnancy. It’s not strange for your cycle to fluctuate each month by a few days, give or take, but if you’ve gone a few weeks or more without a period, you may be pregnant. Take a test, and then see a professional to discuss the care you and your baby will need.
So what can you do if you don’t know what to expect when you might be expecting? Check with your doctor or a local women’s health center. Many women’s centers offer a pregnancy test for free, the outcome of which can help you determine your next steps. You can also receive advice on women’s healthcare and assistance with your pre-natal care if you are pregnant.
Looking for help? If you experience any pregnancy early signs, visit a women’s health center or other pre-natal facility near you. And know that you’re not alone, as many as 4% of all women in the United States are pregnant right now, and almost half of them were unplanned. But you do have resources available with free pregnancy help if you need it.
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