“AM I PREGNANT?” THE FIRST SYMPTOMS OF PREGNANCY

Immediately after conception, some symptoms may occur, such as fatigue, breast tension, nausea, back pain and implant leakage: what they are and how to recognize them. Many women looking for a child wonder if it is possible to recognize the symptoms of pregnancy before taking the test , or maybe even before a delay in menstruation is recorded. In reality, it is not always easy to identify early pregnancy symptoms , which can vary greatly from one woman to another, both in terms of type and intensity, however it is possible to indicate signals that many people notice in the first few weeks after conception . Often, then, the symptoms of a pregnancy in the early stages can be confused with the classic symptoms that anticipate the arrival of menstruation. So how do we distinguish between one and the other case without waiting for the absence of the “cycle”?

EARLY SYMPTOMS OF PREGNANCY

The obligatory premise is that every woman is different: in some cases pregnancy is discovered only after several days (or even weeks) of delayed menstruation. Some women instead feel that something is changing already from the first days after conception . It is not said that all the symptoms are felt, indeed: most women only recognize some of the signs that indicate the onset of a pregnancy, while the other symptoms may appear later in time or not appear at all. Some women have no symptoms, among the most common are mild nausea and a feeling of breast turgidity. A sudden change in one’s own food tastes may also occur. And then the pregnancy test, which is not a symptom but an attestation of pregnancy. The first symptoms of pregnancy are nausea, tiredness, breast tension , sensitivity to odors, abdominal pain, back pain, vaginal discharge, increased appetite, mood swings and possibly even gastrointestinal disorders, or sudden “birthmarks” . Let’s see them one by one.

NAUSEA

One of the earliest symptoms of a pregnancy is nausea : it usually appears after the sixth week  but may even arrive earlier, due to hormonal changes that begin to affect the woman’s body. It appears stronger in the early hours of the morning, when the woman has been fasting for several hours. Nausea can be accompanied by dizziness, headache and sporadic episodes of vomiting . It is less strong in the first few days, it becomes more intense as the weeks go by and tends to disappear after the first trimester of pregnancy. Sometimes the nausea occurs in a milder form, with lack of appetite or aversion to certain foods. Rarely does it become so strong and frequent that it becomes a real pathology known as hyperemesis gravidarum .

FATIGUE

Another initial symptom of pregnancy is the  feeling of tiredness that can also occur in the first week after conception. Without an apparent explanation, daily activities can be more strenuous than usual. In addition to fatigue, a real drowsiness may occur, due to hormonal changes and in particular to the increase in the production of estrogen and progesterone . Also in this case it is not an unequivocal symptom, since many women perceive a greater tiredness with the approach of menstruation . Finally, even depressive states, particularly stressful moments or physical debilitation can cause feelings of fatigue.

BREAST TENSION

With the onset of a pregnancy the changes affect different parts of the woman’s body: at the beginning of gestation it is common to observe a greater tension in the breast , quite similar to that preceding menstruation, even if its cause is different: after when conception has occurred, the Montgomery tubercles (small glands resembling bumps that are found on the nipples) can swell and, over time, become darker. The voltage breast  can also occur several days before the missed period. As the pregnancy progresses the breast increases in volume due to the action of progesterone. The nipples can also be irritated and painful, while at a later stage of gestation the areola becomes darker.

SENSITIVITY TO ODORS

In addition to the appearance of nausea, the onset of pregnancy can also occur with a greater sensitivity to odors, which can be particularly intense and unwelcome and in turn cause nausea and headache . Even the sensitivity to odors becomes more marked during the first trimester, but tends to decrease as the pregnancy progresses.

ABDOMINAL PAIN

It also happens, in the first weeks of pregnancy, that the woman experiences abdominal cramps, due to the expansion of the uterus , which widens to make room for the development of the embryo. They can also occur with slight abdominal cramps (which however are difficult to perceive) due to the implantation of the egg in the uterine cavity.

BACK PAIN

In the first weeks of pregnancy you can also suffer from lower abdominal pain and back pain . This is due both to the ongoing hormonal changes and to a greater sensitivity that affects the whole body. It is good to remember that back pain, as well as lower abdominal pain, can also be caused by the impending arrival of menstruation, problems with the spine or nervous or physical tensions.

VAGINAL DISCHARGE

From sexual intercourse to conception several days pass (from about 5 to 7): in this period of time the egg and the sperm meet, and the fertilized egg retraces the path of the sperm until it implanted in the uterine wall, from where it draws his first nourishment. As seen, some women experience cramps when the implant occurs and can also observe slight vaginal blood loss called ” implant leakage “. Implant losses occur shortly before the presumed arrival of menstruation , and the two events can be easily confused.

INCREASED APPETITE

If nausea and vomiting are among the most common and frequent symptoms of pregnancy, another sign that may indicate conception is increased appetite . The woman may feel a sudden “desire” for some foods in particular, and just as suddenly she may refuse others. Also in this case it could be confused with one of the typical symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, but unlike these it can be accompanied by repulsion for some foods.

MOOD SWINGS

The surge in hormone production involves a series of physical changes but not only. Among the first symptoms of pregnancy may be greater sensitivity, irritability and, in general, mood swings. The hormonal activity is particularly intense during the whole pregnancy, and already from the first weeks its effect is felt on the state of mind of the pregnant woman.

GASTROINTESTINAL DISORDERS

Although rarely in the early stages of pregnancy (more often in more advanced stages) some women experience alterations of the gastrointestinal tract, and may present constipation or, on the contrary, diarrhea and urge alteration of the urge.

HOW TO DISTINGUISH THE FIRST SYMPTOMS OF PREGNANCY

If the first symptoms of pregnancy occur differently from woman to woman it can be useful to learn to recognize them, even before taking a pregnancy test. If you are looking for a pregnancy it is good to start taking folic acid and following a healthy lifestyle. Even the  preconception examinations are recommended when planning a pregnancy. Even if you feel the symptoms of conception, it will only be the pregnancy test that confirms your suspicions. If the test (which can be purchased at the pharmacy) is positive, blood tests must be booked with the Beta hCGdosage .

“I’M PREGNANT”, BUT IT’S A HYSTERICAL PREGNANCY: WHEN THE MIND DECEIVES THE BODY

The pregnancy hysterical or pseudociesi is a psychosomatic disorder such that a woman, although without actually being pregnant, has all the symptoms of a pregnancy , including the absence of menstruation. In truth it doesn’t just happen to women: the disorder has also been observed in the animal world (in mice and dogs) and in male patients .

The term was coined by John Mason Good in 1923 and derives from the Greek: pseudes (false) and kyesis (pregnancy). The first records date back to 300 BC, in the texts of Hippocrates. In ancient China, on the other hand, cases of false pregnancy were known as “phantom fetuses” and were said to be the result of the union between a woman and a ghost. A famous case has as its protagonist Mary Tudor : in 1555 it revealed to the kingdom to wait for a child, but with the passing of the months it became clear to everyone that, although she declared to feel all the symptoms, it was a false pregnancy . The woman died childless. Recently, an episode was told by ABC News , the US television station. A journalist has delved into the story of a woman who came to the Cape Fear Medical Center in Fayetteville (North Carolina) suffering from severe abdominal pain, asking for an emergency cesarean delivery . It was later discovered that, in reality, the woman was not pregnant at all. HYSTERICAL PREGNANCY: SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES The symptoms of a hysterical pregnancy are those of a common pregnancy, from morning sickness to breast enlargement to mood errors, up to the production of a substance similar to milk and weight gain. Yet there is no baby in the womb , as confirmed by any pregnancy test. Any ultrasound, of course, will testify to the lack of increase in uterine volume and the absence of fetal heartbeat. Symptoms can last from a few weeks to nine months: in some cases, women have even experienced pains similar to those of labor. hysterical pregnancy The causes must be sought in the psychological field. The body believes that it is waiting for a child and behaves accordingly, but everything starts from the mind .

No coincidence that the hysterical pregnancy affects mainly women who strongly desire a child and who are unable to have it (perhaps due to infertility problems). For some it becomes a real obsession and to complicate, perhaps unintentionally, the situation, are the constant questions about a pregnancy. These become the source of growing psychological pressure. But fertile women, fought about motherhood, may also suffer: on one hand they would like to have a child, but on the other they feel this possibility as a threat, a concern, a complication, perhaps related to work. Losing one’s occupation is the main thought, but also seeing one’s freedom limited or seeing one’s daily life distorted.

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