Did you know that the symptoms for premenstrual syndrome or PMS and pregnancy are almost the same? Like many women, you might have mistaken the PMS symptoms for pregnancy signs, especially when conception is not planned. This has caused many to wait anxiously for up to a fortnight to find out whether or not conception took place because of the similarity in the symptoms for PMS or pregnancy. For this reason it is important to understand the difference between the symptoms.
First and foremost, it can be extremely difficult for you to stay patient for two weeks, which is between your ovulation time and when your cycle is expected to begin, to know whether or not you are pregnant if you are trying to conceive. During this period of waiting, you might experience some symptoms that are similar to PMS. This will make it nearly impossible for you to distinguish between PMS and pregnancy if you are expecting your first child. In these instances, doctors suggest that a pregnancy test is the only reliable method to know if conception occurred.
There are certain PMS symptoms that are not typical signs of pregnancy. For this reason, the common symptoms of pregnancy and PMS are highlighted below along with some explanations to help you distinguish one from the other.
Symptoms of PMS
PMS or Premenstrual syndrome takes place before the monthly period, which is usually in the second part of the menstrual cycle. The symptoms refer to different physical, behavioral and emotional changes in the body. This condition will affect most women at some time in their lives, but persons experience it more in their late twenties and early forties.
These symptoms include bloating, fatigue, anxiety, dizziness, acne, leg pain, headaches, joint ache, migraine, muscle ache, low feelings, tearfulness, low sex drive, weight gain, swollen breasts, increased anxiety, difficulty sleeping, abnormal aggression, tenderness in breasts, less alert, abdominal discomfort, cramps, lower back pain, food cravings, changes in sleep pattern, abnormal changes in hair and skin, nipple discharge, and increased sensitivity to noise and light.
Please note that every woman will experience different PMS symptoms. You might experience similar symptoms monthly or slightly different ones with erratic intensity.
Symptoms of Pregnancy
Similar to PMS, symptoms of a pregnancy will be different for every woman. Some of the most common symptoms will be highlighted below, but bear in mind that they might necessarily be the same unless confirmed by your doctor.
These symptoms include missed period, cramps, leg pain, bloating, mood swings, pregnancy acne, constipation, nipple discharge, darkening of areola, morning sickness, breast tenderness, swelling in breasts, shortness of breath, backaches, headaches, fainting or dizziness, tingly or sore breasts, increased basal body temperature, urge to urinate frequently, extreme fatigue, implantation bleeding or spotting, breasts feeling fuller or heavier, milky/white vaginal discharge, food aversions or cravings, as well as increased sensitivity to odors, both pleasant and unpleasant.
Difference between PMS and Pregnancy Symptoms
The following will highlight some of the symptoms that might help you differentiate PMS from pregnancy:
Implantation bleeding or spotting: This usually happens six to twelve days after egg fertilization whenever the fertilized egg affixes itself to the uterus linings. The bleeding is lighter, shorter, and the blood will have a brownish or pink color.
Missed period: If your menstrual cycles are regular, then this will be one of the reliable pregnancy symptoms that you will experience.
Frequent urination: When you are pregnant, your uterus will grow and then push against your urinary bladder. You will have a regular urge to urinate when this happens.
Shortness of breath: Like most pregnant women, you might feel shortness of breath during this time. This happens because the developing embryo needs extra needs oxygen. According to experts, you should report to a doctor immediately if you feel this symptom suddenly and it’s accompanied by pain or worsens when you are lying down.
Morning sickness: This symptom is experienced by nearly 90% of women during pregnancy. It is referred to as a feeling of nausea and can take place at any time during the day.
Increased sensitivity to odors: You might develop extreme dislikes for certain smells and odors when you are pregnant. These include ones that might have been pleasant to you before.
Darkening of the areola: An increase in your estrogens levels will expand the areolar size, causing it to darken as your pregnancy progress.
Increased basal body temperature: This is a mostly likely positive pregnancy sign if it persists for eighteen days or more after ovulation.
All in all, it might be easier to deduce the difference between pregnancy and PMS symptoms in black and white than when it’s the real thing. As an example, most cases occur when a missed period is a false alarm for pregnancy. This too can be said for darkening of the areola, among other things. In the end, the best way to know if you are experiencing pregnancy or PMS symptoms will be to take a pregnancy test.