Pregnancy Planning - Symptoms

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What are pregnancy symptoms?

There are both symptoms and signs of pregnancy. These symptoms and signs depend upon the time in pregnancy. In the first trimester of pregnancy, the first sign of pregnancy is most often a missed menstrual period. If a sexually active woman's periods are generally regular, missing a period for a week or more is presumptive evidence of pregnancy.

Early pregnancy symptoms also include feelings of breast swelling and tenderness, and nausea sometimes with vomiting. "Morning sickness" does not always occur in the morning, and the nausea of pregnancy can occur at any time of day or night. Many women become fatigued early in pregnancy, and some may feel abdominal enlargement (bloating).

Early in pregnancy, the woman may feel she has to urinate frequently, especially at nighttime, and she may leak urine when coughing, sneezing or laughing. This is also normal later in pregnancy and is not a problem.

Other changes characteristic of pregnancy include the deepening color of the areola (area surrounding the nipple), increased body temperature, the so-called "mask of pregnancy" (darkening of skin on the forehead, bridge of the nose, or cheekbones), and a dark line going down from the middle of the central abdomen area to the pubic area. Eventually, enlargement of the abdomen is a normal feature of the growing fetus.

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