Can Early Pregnancy Symptoms Be The Same As Period Symptoms
It is easy to confuse early pregnancy and the symptoms of your menstrual cycle, which is usually referred to as your period. There are many similarities in these symptoms. Both may be uncomfortable or painful.
It may be difficult to know if youâre pregnant because early pregnancy symptoms are so similar to period symptoms. If you were not planning a pregnancy, you may go months without knowing that youâre pregnant. This is why itâs helpful to know the differences and similarities of early pregnancy and period symptoms.
What is pregnancy?
Pregnancy is the period of time when your baby develops in your womb. Pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks, or about 9 months. It is broken up into three trimesters.
There are different expectations for each trimester. Some people may not know that theyâre pregnant during their first trimesters.
What is a period?
Menstruation is when a woman bleeds due to the periodic, usually monthly, shedding of her uterine wall lining. Menstrual blood and tissue discharge from the cervix in your uterus and passes through your vagina.
Your uterine lining thickens each month to prepare for a pregnancy. When that doesnât happen, the lining is shed. Womenâs cycles and flows are all unique.
Tender Or Heavy Breasts
Known as cyclical breast pain, its not unusual for our breasts to feel swollen, sore, and heavy before our periods begin.
Again, dipping estrogen and progesterone are the culprits.
This can cause lymph nodes around the armpits and groins to swell, making these areas sensitive to pressure.
Loose clothing and a comfortable bra can ease this pain.
Signs Your Period Is Coming
The body works in mysterious ways to alert you that your period is coming. We dive into some of the different signs so youre never caught off guard.
Even less fun than your actual period is the week or two of symptoms that many of us experience leading up to it. Premenstrual syndrome, which most of us know as PMS, is very common. In fact, nearly half of women experience PMS at some point in their lifetime. And while it looks different in everyone, PMS is thought to be caused by the same thing: fluctuating hormone levels throughout the menstrual cycle.
The signs your period is coming arent the same for every person, and they can even change for an individual from month to month. For some, PMS symptoms are a minor annoyance, but for others, they can be debilitating.
Lets delve into some of the signs your period may be on its way and what to look out for so you dont get caught short without your menstrual product of choice.
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How Do I Know If Changes In My Periods Are Normal Perimenopausal Symptoms Or Something To Be Concerned About
Irregular periods are common and normal during perimenopause, but other conditions can cause abnormalities in menstrual bleeding. If any of the following situations apply to you, see a healthcare provider to rule out other causes.
- Your periods are changing to become very heavy or accompanied by blood clots.
- Your periods last several days longer than usual.
- You spot or bleed after your period.
- You experience spotting after sex.
- Your periods occur closer together.
Potential causes of abnormal bleeding include perimenopausal hormonal imbalances, infection, pregnancy-related bleeding, fibroids, blood-clotting problems, endometrial polyps, miscarriage, taking blood thinners or cancer.
How Does Ovulation Relate To Periods
Ovulation is the release of an egg from the ovaries. The same hormones that cause the uterus lining to build up also cause an egg to leave one of the ovaries. The egg travels through a thin tube called a fallopian tube to the uterus.
If the egg is fertilized by a sperm cell, it attaches to the wall of the uterus, where over time it develops into a baby. If the egg is not fertilized, the uterus lining breaks down and bleeds, causing a period.
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Raised Basal Body Temperature
If you’ve been using a special basal body thermometer to track your first morning temperature, you might notice that it rises around 1 degree when you conceive and stays elevated throughout your pregnancy.
Though not a foolproof early pregnancy symptom , it could give you advance notice of the big news.
What Is Normal Bleeding
There is a range of normal bleeding some women have short, light periods and others have longer, heavy periods. Your period may also change over time.
Normal menstrual bleeding has the following features:
- Your period lasts for 3-8 days
- Your period comes again every 21-35 days
- The total blood loss over the course of the period is around 2-3 tablespoons but secretions of other fluids can make it seem more
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What To Do About Pms Symptoms
So these are the signs you’re about to start your period. Sounds annoying right? To overcome some of the issues, you may have to try some self-help techniques, such as performing gentle exercise, taking painkillers, massaging your lower abdomen, and applying a heat pad to your tummy. Paracetamol and NSAIDs usually provide relief from pain, but sometimes, your healthcare provider may prescribe stronger painkillers such as codeine to reduce pain and discomfort. You will have to make subtle changes to your diet to deal with symptoms such as weight gain.
Heres more about how to relieve PMS symptoms:
Here are a few tips that will help you calculate your cycle length and duration to manage your periods better:
- Be sure to count the days from the day you have your period. You should also count the first day of the subsequent period. This will help you calculate your cycle length. The length is usually up to 28 days, but some women may have it up to 35 days.
- Maintain a record by noting the first and last day of your period. Keeping a record will help determine the length of your cycle to make things more manageable.
- Make use of an app to keep track of your period and your cycle length. There are several nice options available, such as MyMenstrualCalendar and MyMonthlyCycles.
Signs Your Menstrual Pain Isnt Normal
Menstrual cramps commonly start a few days before your period, and they can last for 1-2 days after it starts. Mild to moderate cramps can typically be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers, but there are a few signs that could indicate your cramps arent normal.
You should visit the doctor if your menstrual cramps:
- Arent relieved with over-the-counter pain medication
- Keep you from participating in daily activities
- Cause nausea or vomiting
- Accompany heavy menstrual bleeding
If your pain is consistent for a week before your period starts and continues throughout your period, it could be caused by endometriosis. Endometriosis may also cause pelvic pain between periods, pain with sex, and pain with bowel movements.
Heavy or unusual bleeding along with pelvic pain could also indicate endometriosis. Signs of heavy or abnormal menstrual bleeding include:
- Bleeding that lasts longer than a week
- Changing pads or tampons every hour
- Wearing more than one pad
- Passing blood clots larger than a quarter
You dont have to live with severe menstrual cramps every month. Schedule a consultation at OB-GYN Associates of Marietta to find out if your symptoms could mean that you have endometriosis.
Call our offices in Marietta or Woodstock, Georgia, or request an appointment online.
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How Will I Know If I Am Starting The Transition To Menopause
Sometimes it can be hard for you and your doctor to tell whether you are in perimenopause, the transition to menopause:
- Symptoms: Tell your doctor or nurse about any menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes or trouble sleeping.
- Irregular periods: Track your periods. Irregular periods may be your first sign of menopause.
- Hormone levels: Your doctor may test the amount of hormones in your blood if your periods stopped at an early age . Doctors dont usually recommend this test unless there is a medical reason to do so. This is because, for most women, hormone levels go up and down in an unpredictable way during the transition to menopause. So it is difficult to tell for sure whether you have gone through menopause or are getting close to it based on this blood test.
Can Perimenopause Be Treated
There isnt any treatment to stop perimenopause. Perimenopause is a natural part of life. The cure for perimenopause occurs when your periods stop and you enter menopause.
But your healthcare provider may recommend over-the-counter or prescription perimenopause treatment to help ease symptoms. Your provider may recommend:
- Antidepressants: These medications help with mood swings or depression.
- Birth control pills. These medications stabilize your hormone levels and typically relieve symptoms.
- Estrogen therapy: This treatment stabilizes estrogen levels. You may take estrogen therapy as a cream, gel, patch or swallowable pill.
- Gabapentin : This medicine is a seizure medication that also relieves hot flashes for some women.
- Vaginal creams: Your provider can tell you about prescription and over-the-counter options. Treatment can decrease pain related to sex and relieve vaginal dryness.
Your healthcare provider will discuss the risks and benefits of perimenopause treatment with you and recommend the best option based on your needs. Certain lifestyle changes like eating a healthy diet, light exercise and avoiding foods or activities that trigger hot flashes can also help.
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When To Go To The Doctor
Some Medical Terms
A girl’s first menstruation is called menarche. This is pronounced MEN-arc or MEN-arc-y. When a girl passes certain milestones in her development, but does not start having periods, this is called Primary Amenorrhea. This is pronounced A-men-or-rea or Ah-men-or-rea. The word primary is the part that means the girl has never had a period. The amenorrhea part means lack of periods . This is to distinguish it from Secondary Amenorrhea, which is when a woman has had periods and then stops.
The Standards For Going To The Doctor
These standards were developed long ago. Meanwhile the average age of puberty and menarche has dropped. So, Estronaut’s opinion is that checking with a doctor a year or so earlier is not a bad idea. Also, girls of African descent mature sooner than Europeans, by about a year. So, these girls should substract another year.
On age alone: Age 15 1/2 to 16 1/2 for whites, age 14 1/2 to 15 1/2 for blacks.
If no breast or hair development: Age 13 to 14 for whites, age 12 to 13 for blacks.
If there is breast development or hair two years after either of these started.
What If I Forget To Remove My Tampon
If you forget to remove your tampon, it can turn sideways or become compressed at the top of your vagina. This can make it difficult for you to pull it out. If you think you’ve left a tampon in and you can’t get it out, go to your GP or nearest sexual health clinic. They can remove it for you.
Read the full answer to What if I forget to remove my tampon?
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Can I Get Pregnant
The short answer? Yes. Pregnancy is possible anytime semen comes into contact with the vagina.
Although the onset of menstruation is widely regarded as the start of your reproductive years, its possible to become pregnant before youve had a period.
It all comes down to your hormones. In some cases, your body may begin to release ovulation-causing hormones long before it triggers the start of menstruation.
And when you do begin menstruation, its possible to get pregnant if you have sex during your period. It ultimately comes down to where you are in your menstrual cycle.
Talk to a trusted adult or reach out to your healthcare provider if:
- You havent started your period by age 15.
- Youve had your period for about two years and it isnt regular.
- You experience bleeding between your periods.
- You experience severe pain that prevents you from completing daily activities.
- Your bleeding is so heavy that you have to change your pad or tampon every one to two hours.
- Your periods last longer than seven days.
If you call to make an appointment, tell the person whos scheduling it that youre having problems with your period.
They may ask you to write down details about:
- when your most recent period started
- when your most recent period ended
- when you first noticed your irregular bleeding or other symptoms
Breast Pain And Swelling
Do you experience increased pain in your breast before your period starts? Do you notice your breasts are slightly larger before your period?
Before period, some women may experience breast pain and swelling. This is a sign of period coming soon. Some women may have a lump in their breast that disappears after period starts.
Changes in the breast before your period is due to the effect of hormones. Hormones Estrogen and progesterone, will cause your ducts to enlarge and your glands to swell.
In women with a 28-day menstrual cycle, breast tenderness usually occurs 4 days before period .
What to do?
- Drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen can ease your breast pain
- If your breast pain is persistent, you should talk to your doctor
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Can I Get Pregnant If I Am In Perimenopause
Yes, you can still become pregnant. You may be less likely to get pregnant during perimenopause, but it’s still possible. As long as you have a period, you can still get pregnant. If you want to expand your family during this time, speak with your healthcare provider about your health, fertility and possible fertility treatment options.
When your periods are irregular, you may be more likely to get pregnant unexpectedly. If you dont want to expand your family at this age, continue using birth control until your healthcare provider tells you its safe to stop. Continue to practice safe sex to prevent sexually transmitted diseases throughout your life.
When Does A Girl Usually Get Her First Period
The average age for a girl in the United States to get her first period is 12.6This does not mean that all girls start at the same age.
A girl may start her period anytime between 8 and 15. The first period normally starts about two years after breasts first start to develop and pubic hair begins to grow. The age at which a girls mother started her period can help predict when a girl may start her period.
A girl should see her doctor if:
- She starts her period before age 8.
- She has not had her first period by age 15.
- She has not had her first period within three years of breast growth.
Get more information for girls about getting their period at girlshealth.gov.
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When Will I Get My First Period
Find out if you’re displaying the common signs of starting your period.
Can’t see the quiz?
As they approach their teenage years, most girls start to wonder when their periods might start. Some look forward to this moment as a sign that they are really growing up. Others are a little nervous about how they will feel, or how they might manage their period. Either way, it can be good to know whether you are likely to get your period soon.
With periods usually starting between the ages of 10-16 years, it can be hard to predict when your first period will arrive. However, your body will probably start to show some tell-tale signs when your first period is on its way. “Puberty has a predictable pattern,” explains GP Dr Jeff Foster. “Understanding the significance of different signs such as breast development, vaginal discharge, pubic hair and underarm hair can give us an indication about whether a first period is likely to occur soon.”
Early Pregnancy Symptoms Vs Pms: Whats The Difference
Most early pregnancy symptoms before your period are strikingly similar to the side effects of PMS. However, youll only notice changes in your areolas if youre pregnant. A consistently elevated BBT and creamy vaginal discharge post-ovulation are also both relatively reliable signs of conception, but theyre certainly not foolproof.
Otherwise, the only way to know if other early pregnancy symptoms are due to a baby or PMS is to hold out until you can take a pregnancy test.
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When To See The Doctor For Your Period
If your period lasts more than 7 days, if you experience strong pain, or if you have a heavy menstrual flow and need to change pads or tampons every hour, discuss your symptoms with your doctor.
You should also call your doctor if:
- You havenât experienced a period in 90 days
- You have periods more often than once every 21 days
- You have periods less often than once every 35 days
Missed or irregular periods can be a sign of stress or a medical condition. Talk with your doctor to find the cause of your irregular periods and how to treat it.
What Is A Period
A period, also called menstruation, is when your body removes the buildup of the lining of your uterus. This buildup of menstrual blood and tissue flows out of your vagina. The day your period starts is the first day of your menstrual cycle, which lasts until the first day of your next period.
Recognizing the signs that your period is coming helps you prepare to deal with the symptoms your body goes through during your menstrual cycle.
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