At Real Alternatives, trained counselors and staff understand that an unplanned or crisis pregnancy can present a woman with the most challenging circumstances of her life. The Pennsylvania-based nonprofit organization provides free, nonjudgmental counseling, parenting classes, and other services to women in three states in an effort to provide Real Alternatives to abortion.
Although the early signs of pregnancy can go undetected, there is a group of common symptoms indicating a woman may be pregnant.
A missed period is often the first signal that causes a woman concern about whether or not she is pregnant.
Morning sickness, the feeling of nausea that more than half of all women experience during their first trimester, can begin at about the sixth week of pregnancy. The nausea is often accompanied by vomiting. Morning sickness is actually misnamed, since it can occur at any time of day.
Tiredness and mood swings are also common early in pregnancy. This is due to the major hormonal changes taking place in the woman’s body that can exacerbate emotional reactions.
Tender or sore breasts are another early pregnancy symptom, as are increased visibility of the veins in the breasts and a darkening of the nipples.
Additional symptoms include more frequent urination, body temperature changes, elevated blood pressure, bloating, and breakouts.
While these symptoms can be stressful, they are not typically dangerous. An exception is when repeated vomiting results in malnutrition or an electrolyte imbalance.
Any woman who suspects she may be pregnant should reach out for medical care and, if she finds herself in distress, for compassionate counseling.