PMS or Pregnancy?

Posted on Aug 27, 2012 | Blog Posts, Pregnancy Symptoms Category | | Print This Article

Whether you’ve been trying to get pregnant for months or are afraid you might have accidentally become pregnant, there’s nothing more stressful than that period of wondering and waiting. You can’t really take a pregnancy test until after you’ve missed your period (at which time you have a pretty good idea of the results anyway).

In what can only be called one of the crueler aspects of life, the early signs of pregnancy are a lot like the symptoms of PMS. Telling the difference can be tough. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Bloating
  • Mood swings or moodiness
  • Headaches
  • Backaches
  • Flushing or rising temperature
  • Fatigue
  • Acne
  • Cramps
  • Tender breasts

Many believe that cravings are signs of both PMS and pregnancy. A recent study seems to show that cravings (in particular chocolate cravings) are not actually tied to PMS. There are no similar claims denying the connection between pregnancy and cravings.

The reason many of the signs of early pregnancy and PMS are similar is that they’re both caused by similar hormonal changes. So, how can you tell the difference?

A large part of the answer lies in being in tune with your body. No two women are exactly alike, either in their PMS symptoms, or in their pregnancy symptoms. Are the symptoms you’re experiencing similar to the symptoms you normally experience before your period? Is it getting close to time for your period? If the answer to both of these questions is yes, you probably shouldn’t get too excited this month (or worried, as the case may be).

If you’re experiencing symptoms that are unusual (for you), that may be a sign that it’s time to start shopping for baby booties. You may also be experiencing the signs of early pregnancy if the symptoms you’re experiencing are normal before your period, but are significantly early (i.e., you aren’t expecting your period for more than a week). Before you actually buy baby clothes or a crib, though, you’ll still want to take a home pregnancy test and see you doctor. Those are the best ways to know for sure if you are pregnant.

photo by: Helga Weber

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