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Think You Might Be Pregnant? Here Are Some Surprising Signs

April 22, 2022

We've all seen the movies where a female character suddenly has a strong aversion to a neutral smell — only to discover she’s pregnant.

In real life, those first few weeks when a woman may suspect she is carrying a baby tend to be far less dramatic. However, many early pregnancy signs may be surprising. Being aware of these symptoms can help you navigate the earliest stages of pregnancy.

Vivid Dreams

In pregnant women, hormone changes bring on interesting side effects. Not only can hormone changes disrupt sleep, they can also cause vivid dreams.

The degree of hormone change can vary woman to woman — as well as pregnancy to pregnancy. Many women say that they knew they were pregnant because of the outlandish dreams they started having.

Heightened Senses

Yes, heightened senses are common for a lot of women. They start to smell things they wouldn’t normally have noticed. You may smell another woman’s hair dye, for example. Noticing these smells can cause nausea, but that tends to be a symptom that appears later in a pregnancy.

It’s also not unusual to notice that your taste buds have become more sensitive. Foods you used to enjoy may become repulsive. For example, many women — even those who are not vegetarian — develop an aversion to meat even in the first few weeks of their pregnancy.

Excessive Fatigue

Even in the first few weeks of pregnancy, you might feel exhausted from normal activities — the body is working hard to build a baby, after all.

But this symptom doesn’t always mean you’re pregnant. Fatigue also can signal that you’re about to get your period. In this case, it can help to take a pregnancy test. If the test is negative, wait for the next cycle to start or take another test.

Breast Tenderness

This is another symptom that can mean you’re pregnant – or it can simply be PMS. If your beasts are tender for two or three weeks, it is worth paying attention and taking a pregnancy test.  If that comes back negative, you might want to see a doctor to get screened for breast cancer.

Mood Swings

Pregnancy can bring on big mood swings. This can look like:

  • Getting in fights more easily
  • Feeling upset over things that would normally not be upsetting
  • Getting tearful at something, especially for women who don’t cry often

For those women experiencing mood swings, it’s common that they will say that they don’t feel like themselves.

Cramping

Some women experience slight cramping that feels much as it would if they were about to get their period. This makes sense as the uterus is expanding — which can feel like cramps. Sometimes women who already know in the early weeks that they are pregnant will see their doctor when they experience cramps, worried that it means trouble. But cramping is often just the uterus preparing to grow a baby.

The biggest thing to keep in mind is that there are no hard-and-fast rules as to which symptoms a woman will experience in the earliest stages of her pregnancy. A woman may experience all, some or none of these symptoms and still be pregnant. Or a woman may be dealing with a handful of these symptoms and not be pregnant.

Until you know for sure, if you suspect you’re pregnant, get as much rest as possible, stay hydrated, say no to any foods that are inducing sickness or nausea, and avoid over-the-counter medication.

If your symptoms persist, it may be time to take a pregnancy test, followed by a trip to your gynecologist to confirm the pregnancy.

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