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PMS Vs. Pregnancy Symptoms

PMS Vs. Pregnancy Symptoms: Clear Your Confusion

Symptoms of PMS may mimic those that indicate pregnancy, and this makes it difficult to tell the two apart. This article discusses PMS vs. Pregnancy symptoms. So that on the next cramp you would be in a position to discern its cause.
Rajib Singha
Last Updated: May 31, 2018
When you are trying to conceive, it is extremely vexing to stay patient for the two-week period (between ovulation time and the expected date of your cycle ) to know whether you are pregnant or not. During this waiting period, you may experience certain symptoms which can look identical to PMS. Therefore, women who have never been pregnant before may find it almost impossible to draw a line between the two.

As most doctors would suggest, the only reliable way to determine a pregnancy is by taking a pregnancy test. However, there are some symptoms of PMS, which are not typical of pregnancy.

The following article talks about the common symptoms of PMS and those of pregnancy, it also discusses the symptoms which can differentiate one from the other.

PMS and its Symptoms
Premenstrual syndrome(PMS), as the name suggests, occurs before a woman's monthly period. PMS symptoms refer to various physical, emotional, and behavioral changes that take place in the body. Although this condition affects most women at some point in their lives, those in their late 20s and early 40s have a higher tendency of experiencing it.
Physical Symtoms of PMS
• Acne
• Fatigue
• Bloating
• Leg pain
• Headaches
• Joint ache
• Muscle ache
• Tearfulness
• Weight gain
• Low sex drive
• Swollen breasts
• Trouble while sleeping
• Abdominal discomfort
• Tenderness in breasts
• Lower back pain, cramps
• Changes in sleep pattern
• Food cravings (sweet/salty)
• Abnormal changes in skin and hair
• Increased sensitivity to light and noise
• Discharge from nipples when pressed
Mental Symtoms of PMS
• Anxiety
• Dizziness
• Feeling low
• Abnormal aggression
• Low level of alertness
Note: PMS is different for every woman; no two women may have exactly the same symptoms. You may experience the same symptoms every month, or slightly different symptoms with varying intensity.
Pregnancy and its Symptoms
As it is with PMS, pregnancy too is different for different women. Here is a list of the most common symptoms that occur during pregnancy. However, unless confirmed by a doctor, these symptoms may not necessarily indicate the same.
Physical Symtoms of Pregnancy
• Cramps
• Bloating
• Melasma
• Leg pain
• Constipation
• Nipple discharge
• Morning sickness
• Darkening of areola
• Breast tenderness
• Shortness of breath
• Swelling of breasts
• Headaches, backaches
• Dizziness or fainting
• Frequent urge to urinate
• Extreme, unexplainable fatigue
• Elevated basal body temperature
• Spotting or implantation bleeding
• Breasts may start feeling heavier or fuller
• Food cravings or aversions to certain foods
• Vaginal discharge (white/milky in appearance)
Mental Symtoms of Pregnancy
The mental symptoms of pregnancy predominantly include mood swings.
The Difference Between PMS and Pregnancy Symptoms
Symptoms which may help you tell pregnancy from PMS are as outlined below.
Missed Period
This may be considered a reliable sign of pregnancy is experienced by women, who have regular menstrual cycles.
Spotting or Implantation Bleeding
It occurs when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the linings of the uterus. It usually occurs 6-12 days after fertilization of the egg. Bleeding is shorter, lighter, and blood appears pink or brownish (which is not normal). Also, not all women experience implantation bleeding.
Frequent Urination
Pregnancy causes the uterus to grow and push against the urinary bladder. This triggers a frequent urge to urinate.
Increased Sensitivity to Smell
Pregnant women may develop extreme aversions not only to certain odors but also to smells, which they may have found pleasant before.
Morning Sickness
Almost 90% pregnant women experience it. It refers to a feeling of nausea. Although called so, it can occur at any time of the day.
Elevated Basal Body Temperature
If this persists for 18 days or more post ovulation, it is most likely a sign of pregnancy.
Shortness of Breath
Pregnant women may feel that they are short of breath. This can be explained by the extra need of oxygen for the growing embryo. Experts suggest that if this symptom occurs suddenly, is accompanied by pain, or gets worse when lying down, then it must be reported to a doctor immediately.
Darkening of the Areola
Elevated estrogen levels in the mother's body increase the size of the areola, which becomes darker as the pregnancy progresses.
Also known as the mask of pregnancy, melasma is darkening of skin areas that are mostly exposed to the sun. It resolves once the pregnancy ends.
When in black and white, it may be simpler to infer the difference between PMS and pregnancy symptoms. But, it is all the more difficult when it comes to the real thing. For instance, many cases occur wherein a missed period comes out as a false alarm of pregnancy. The same goes with darkening of the areola, and so on. Eventually, a pregnancy test is the best way to determine whether your symptoms indicate pregnancy or they are just another bouts of PMS. Take care!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical professional.
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