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"Am I pregnant?" Some women are sure from the moment of conception. For others, it may take five positive pregnancy tests, as well as a host of symptoms, until they are really sure.
If you're thinking you just may be pregnant, we hope our list of the most common signs of pregnancy will help you find the answer you are hoping for! Remember, all women are different so you may not experience all (or any) of these 10 common signs of pregnancy:
1. Tender breasts/nipples: If you are pregnant you will notice that your breasts and nipples become tender around three weeks after conception (when your period is about one week late). They may also feel swollen -- similar to the way they feel when you expect your period.
2. Slight spotting or cramping: If you are pregnant, light pink spotting can occur at the time of implantation -- when the embryo attaches to the lining of the uterus. This happens around eight to ten days following ovulation, a bit earlier than your menstrual period is due. You can usually differentiate implantation bleeding from your menstrual period if it occurs a bit earlier than expected, if it is scanty, spotty, pinkish (and not red and heavy like a period), and does not follow the normal pattern of a period (light, progressing to heavy and then again to light). Cramping can also be common in early pregnancy. Until the uterus assumes its mid-position and becomes better supported by the bony pelvis in the second trimester, it is prone to menstrual-like cramping. Contractions of the uterus occur regularly, increasing with exercise, orgasm and even simple changes in position.
3. Darkening areolas: In very early pregnancy -- around the time of your expected period -- you may notice that your areola (the darker area that rings the nipple) begin to darken and increase in diameter. It is believed that the darker color of the areola helps the newborn to find the nipple for breastfeeding. You may also notice that the veins in your breasts become more visible and that Montgomery's tubercles, the tiny "bumps" that are scattered around the areola, enlarge and may increase in number, averaging between 4 and 28 per areola.
4. Extreme fatigue: A very common symptom in the first eight to 10 weeks is exhaustion. When you are pregnant, your body is going through significant metabolic changes and needs to adjust to the new process of growing a baby. For most women, the fatigue starts to go away by the 12th week of pregnancy.
5. Nausea and vomiting: If you are pregnant you may find quite early on -- as early as a week after conception -- that you are experiencing morning sickness. And you may also find that morning sickness is a misnomer. Nausea can occur anytime -- day or night.
Am I Pregnant? Read more signs on the next page