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Q. I am six weeks pregnant and have no signs of breast tenderness. Is this normal or should I contact my doctor as soon as possible?
A. Although breast tenderness is a common early sign of pregnancy, you may not feel it for a few more weeks, if at all. There are about 100 pregnancy symptoms that you may or may not experience. The margins for what pregnancy symptoms occur (and when) is quite vast.
Since you are six weeks along, I imagine you'll be visiting an OB/GYN or midwife within a week or two. If you're still concerned about not having sore boobs, you can ask your doctor then.
Q. I have noticed a yellow tinge to my cervical mucous and my orgasms have become more intense than usual. Is this a sign of pregnancy?
-Anonymous, New Jersey
A. Unless you miss a period or have other accompanying signs of pregnancy, you are probably not pregnant. (See the signs of pregnancy question for more details.) The change in cervical mucous could be due to slight bleeding or infection. More intense orgasms usually come about in pregnancy in the second and third trimester. Maybe you are just having better sex.
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Q. I have certain tell-tale signs that my period is due. Do you get similar signs if you are pregnant?
-Anonymous, United Kingdom
A. Common signs of PMS, such as sore breasts and cramping, can also be signs of pregnancy. If you have other symptoms and/or a missed period, you may be pregnant. See the other pregnancy symptoms question for more details.
Q. My husband and I are trying to conceive. I am at day 19 of my cycle so do I not know whether I am pregnant yet, but I am experiencing an odd constellation of physical sensations and wondering whether they are early signs of pregnancy. These include: increased sensitivity to certain smells (e.g. coffee); nausea off and on throughout the day; aversion to food I normally like (cheesecake of all things); mental fuzziness; and now the really weird one– a really distorted internal thermostat (feeling freezing cold while indoors with the heat on and three layers of clothes, while my skin is warm to the touch). I know this is way early, but I am just wondering if you have heard of anyone else with these symptoms this early in (a potential) pregnancy.
A. It is possible that you are experiencing symptoms of pregnancy this early on, but it's not all that common. Most of the symptoms you listed usually occur several weeks into a pregnancy. For most women, the first sign of pregnancy (sometimes just days after conception) is tingling, tender, swollen breasts. This can also be mistaken for PMS boobs.
I guess you'll just have to wait and see! The first day after your missed period is the earliest you can take a home pregnancy test.
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Q. When does my stomach begin to harden?
A. Between eight and twelve weeks is when most women first notice the stomach pooching out (usually earlier with a second, third, etc. pregnancy). The "hardening" of the stomach all depends on the individual. If you are extremely slim, you might notice a small, hard uterus as early as week two. If you are overweight, it may take more time for your uterus to push out against the skin and appear hard. The stomach never gets completely hard, though. This only happens when real contractions set in– then your uterus feels like a rock.
Q. Does a missed period necessarily mean pregnancy?
A. No, but it usually is one of the first signs of pregnancy. A period can be missed for a number of reasons, including emotional and physical stresses. If you have other symptoms of pregnancy or just feel you may be pregnant, you can take a home pregnancy test or visit a doctor to be sure.
Q. I think I may be pregnant. Is different smelling urine a sign of pregnancy? What are the first signs of pregnancy?
A. The first signs of pregnancy include:
- A missed period
- Sore, tender breasts
- Nausea and dizziness
- Frequent urination
I do remember my urine smelling a little different during pregnancy, but I think that was mostly due to the prenatal vitamins I was taking.
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Q. I am 27 years old. I have discontinued taking my birth control pills in order to become pregnant. For the last three months I got my period on the 18th of every month. This month it came at the beginning of the month. I have also been more tired and sleepy and I am able to sleep all day without going out. I am urinating more frequently and I have back pain. Are these symptoms of being pregnant?
-Tiera, New York
A. Fatigue, frequent urination and back pain could be symptoms of pregnancy, but this is not probable since you've had a period. It's not unusual for your period to be a little out of whack if you've been on birth control pills for an extended period of time and then discontinue taking them. It sometimes takes six months or so for menstruation to become regular. If you miss a period, that's your best indicator of pregnancy. However, if you feel strongly that you really may be pregnant, take a pregnancy test or see your doctor to be sure.
Q. My husband and I found out we were pregnant after taking two home pregnancy tests in response to my first missed period. We are bursting with excitement and are eager to schedule our first OB appointment. When we called the doctor’s office, they told us to call back after I missed two periods. Is this normal practice? According to our calculations, we are six weeks along and I want to make sure things are developing normally. Also, I have noticed that my sleeping/eating cycle has changed to a distinct schedule. I am thirsty constantly and drink at least 10 glass of water a day, but I have absolutely no morning sickness in the least (thank goodness, I think). Is this normal? Thanks!
-Jennifer, New York
A. Most doctors will want you to wait until you are seven to ten weeks along before your first OB appointment. At that point, they might be able to see something on the sonogram. There's not much they can do to check on the baby's development before that point.
Your different sleep cycle and drinking lots of water is good and normal. Don't be too worried about not having morning sickness–sometimes it doesn't start until the second month or so and sometimes not at all. And, believe me, it's not something to look forward to.
In the beginning, each new pregnancy symptom can be exciting as it is a reminder that there is actually a tiny life growing inside you. I assure you, there will be plenty of uncomfortable, thrilling, wretched, and wondrous pregnancy symptoms coming your way. Fasten your seat belt!
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Q. I stopped taking ortho-tricyclen birth control pills about three weeks ago. I had a normal period at the end of my last pack, and I believe I ovulated a week ago. My husband and I tried to conceive that day, and had sex again two days later. It is now a week later, and I am experiencing some uterine cramping, dizziness and mild nausea. I hope that I could be pregnant, but my HPT came back negative. I know it’s too early, because I'm not expecting my period until next week, but I was anxious! Is it really possible to get pregnant right after going off birth control? I've been on it for four years! If so, are the symptoms I am experiencing possibly from implantation?
-Amanda, New York
A. It's possible that you are pregnant. Some women take several months to get back to a normal period and ovulation schedule after taking birth control pills, while others become pregnant almost right away.
The earliest you can use a home pregnancy test is the first day after your missed period, otherwise you may get a false negative result. Very early on in pregnancy there may not be enough detectable hormones in your urine for it to show up on the HPT.
As far as your symptoms, cramping and tender breasts are often mistaken for PMS instead of pregnancy. The nausea and dizziness usually come later, but everyone is different. You could be pregnant and experiencing these symptoms now.
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