You are feeling giddy and nauseus. Your menstrual cycle has been delayed. Things don’t seem quite right. You might be pregnant. Your gynaecologist will, of course, give an official confirmation, but in the meanwhile you could try a home pregnancy test too.Early symptoms
- Absence of menstrual periods: Although this is one of the first pointers to a pregnancy, remember, you could have missed your periods for other reasons like stress, psychological problems, systemic diseases such as anaemia, diabetes, and tuberculosis, change of climate or working environment or even shock.
- Nausea: One of the most common symptoms of pregnancy, nausea is called morning sickness because it often appears in the morning, although it could happen at any time of the day. The exact cause of nausea is not known but it is probably associated with high hormone levels, especially progesterone. Sometimes cooking smells can make you feel sick. It can be alleviated by avoiding these smells and also by keeping the blood sugar raised by having small but frequent meals. The severity of nausea normally reduces after about the 10th week, while in many cases, it may continue throughout the pregnancy.
- Vomiting: Nausea is usually accompanied by vomiting, which may get worse if a woman is subjected to stress or worry. However, if you are vomiting a lot (thrice in an hour), consult your doctor. It can be controlled by following a very strict diet regimen. Get out of the bed slowly and avoid rushing to start household jobs. Drink sweet tea with a biscuit or a dry toast. For the rest of the day, your diet should consist of small but frequent meals, avoiding excessive intake of fat and concentrated sugar. Vomiting usually reduces around the 10th week of pregnancy.
- Micturition: Translated into layman’s language, this refers to a frequent urge to pass urine. It is not abnormal as long as it is not accompanied by pain or discomfort. The frequency of urination decreases in the fourth month to become worse towards the end of pregnancy.
- Constipation: Although this is an early pregnancy symptom, it does not show on all pregnant women. The secretion of the pregnancy hormone, progesterone, relaxes the intestinal muscles, thus reducing its power to propel its contents towards the rectum. Unless it is treated, constipation may continue throughout the term.
- Breasts: Your breasts may feel slightly tender and be more sensitive than usual. You may also feel a tingling sensation every now and then. The veins on your breasts will become prominent and tiny nodules appear on the areola (skin around the nipple). The nipples will enlarge and the areola become darker in colour. You may even notice some discharge from the nipples. But do not get alarmed by the discharge.