Pre-menstrual syndrome are very similar to those experienced in early pregnancy. "Is this PMS or Pregnancy" is a worrying question women ask.
Keep reading to find out how to tell if it pregnancy symptoms or PMS symptoms.
WHAT IS PMS?
PMS stands for premenstrual syndrome. It is a combination of any symptoms that occur 1-2 weeks before a period starts. It usually occurs anytime after ovulation and disappears as soon as the period starts.
These group of symptoms are similar to early pregnancy symptoms.
WHEN DOES PMS STARTS?
PMS usually starts 1-2 weeks before the your period starts. PMS can start from anytime after ovulation until your monthly bleeding stops.
What are the symptoms of PMS?
PMS has over 150 symptoms. The severity of the symptoms varies from woman to woman.
The Common Symptoms are:
- Breast Tenderness and Swelling
- Mood Swings
- Weight gain
- Food and Sugar Craving
- Water Retention
- Crying Spells
- Anxiety and Tension
Early Signs of Pregnancy
Early symptoms of pregnancy are similar to premenstrual symptoms. In fact most women who are trying to get pregnant don't know they are until a missed period.
Common signs of pregnancy are:
1. Tender or swollen Breast
Tender or swollen breast is one of the most common symptom of early pregnancy. Breast changes can become noticeable as early as 1-2 weeks after fertilisation has taken place.
2. Frequent Urination
The need to pee all the time is due to the enlarge uterus on your bladder. Some women start having this from the very beginning of pregnancy. It is worse in the third trimester, where you may need to pee every hour.
Also after conception, the blood flow to the kidney increases. This makes the kidney to produce more urine and in turn you visit the toilet more frequently.
3. Feeling Tired
Tiredness and Fatigue can set in as early as a week after successful fertilisation. This is because of the rising level of progesterone hormone in pregnancy to help thicken the uterine lining.
4. Nausea and Vomiting
Morning sickness also known as nausea and vomiting. For some women, Nausea and vomiting can start as early as 2 weeks after conception. It is caused by the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) produced in low levels after fertilisation.
Even though it is called morning sickness it can occur at any time of the day.
5. Implantation Cramps
Implantation occurs around 6-7 days after conception. Implantation is the process in which the fertilised egg attaches its self to the inside lining of the uterus(womb).
The process involves the embryo digging a hole or burrowing through the lining of the womb. this can cause a mild cramp and also spots of blood to be shed.
6. Implantation Spotting or Bleeding
When the embryo attaches itself to the uterine lining, some blood may be shed. This scanty and light blood is usually light pink in color and last for 2 hours or for up to 24 hours.
Not all women, experience bleeding during implantation.
how to tell the difference between pms and pregnancy symptoms with chart
"What is the difference between PMS and Pregnancy?" is a common question.
Most symptoms over lap but here are the differences between the two:
10. Breast Pain
In PMS, breast pain and tenderness starts after ovulation in the luteal phase. When your period starts, the pain improves or goes away immediately.
In Pregnancy, your breast feels sore and sensitive to touch. Also the darker part of your areola and nipple becomes darker. Breast may also feel heavier and fuller as early as 1-2 weeks after conception.
9. Bleeding or Spotting
Implantation bleeding or spotting is only a symptom of pregnancy. Spotting a week before your period is a common sign that you may be pregnant.
In PMS, Spotting or abnormal bleeding is not a sign of pms.
8. Food Craving
During PMS, you mostly crave carbohydrates and sugar or salty foods.
In pregnancy, you are very picky on what you eat. You start having an intense desire to consume specific foods. While some specific foods can irritate you and cause you to vomit.
In PMS, you may experience menstrual cramps days before your period begins. This menstrual pain is known as dysmenorrhea. This lower abdominal cramps can happen 24-48 hours before your period starts.
The pain can be severe and very similar to the ones you have during your period.
While in early pregnancy, just 6-7 days after conception, you have a mild or very light cramping when the egg attaches it self to the lining of the uterus(womb). This cramps are mild that it is bearable noticeable for most women.
Some women, experience insomnia, tiredness and fatigue during PMS. This is due to the hormone fluctuations going on in your body before your period starts. Eating healthy foods and doing some exercise will help reduce tiredness.
In early pregnancy, fatigue is caused by high level of progesterone hormone. Your body and hormone starts going through lots of changes after conception. Your body works hard to produce more blood. This blood is also carries nutrients to the growing baby.
In PMS, your body retains fluids and you start suffering from water retention. Bloating before periods is a common phenomena.
Bloating is one of the very first sign of pregnancy. Hormonal changes at the beginning of your pregnancy, can slow down your digestive system.
4. Morning Sickness or Nausea
Nausea before period can be mistaken for pregnancy. Premenstrual nausea is one of the common pms signs.
Women who are trying to get pregnant watch out for signs and symptoms before carrying out a pregnancy test.
In pregnancy, morning sickness can start as early as 2 weeks after conception. Nausea and vomiting can happen at any time of the day. For some women they feel nauseated or vomit throughout.
HOW TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PERIOD CRAMPS AND PREGNANCY CRAMPS
Period cramps are sharp or throbbing pains felt in the lower abdomen of a woman, before or during her mensuration. They are caused by prostaglandins.
Prostaglandins makes the uterus contracts and relaxes to shed it's lining as your period.
During contractions(tightenings) pressure is applied on the blood vessels that transport blood and oxygen to the lining of the uterus. The shortage of blood supply to the uterine lining causes this pain.
Women with high level of prostaglandins, have more cramping pains than women with lower levels.
Menstrual cramps could occur in the lower abdomen or lower back. And can begin 1 -2 days before mensuration and can last for about 2-4 days.
Early Pregnancy Cramps
These cramps is also known as implantation cramping.
Implantation is a process in which a developing embryo attaches itself to the lining of the womb.
At ovulation, a matured egg is released. The egg only has 12hrs -24hrs to survive. If it is fertilised by a sperm, it starts dividing rapidly into multiple cells. The fertilised egg then travels through the fallopian tube slowly.
It arrives in the uterus 6-7 days after fertilisation. The embryo, digs a hole in the lining of the uterus(womb) where it attaches itself to the lining.
When the embryo digs a hole in the walls of the uterus, it causes a mild cramping and may be accompanied by a light bleeding or spotting.
Early pregnancy cramps can last for just a few hours or 1- 2 days. Implantation cramps usually occurs about 3-7 before your period starts.
The difference between period cramp and pregnancy cramp is that period cramp is more painful while implantation cramping is mild or the pain is un noticeable.
Also implantation cramps happen about a week before your mensuration is expected and you may also have a light pink discharge.
PMS SYMPTOMS BUT NO PERIOD
Sometimes women will have symptoms of PMS but no period. It may mean you are pregnant. Premenstrual symptoms and early symptoms of pregnancy are very similar.
Signs such as breast soreness of tenderness, fatigue and tiredness, nausea, frequent urination, are both symptoms of period coming or pregnancy.
Premenstrual syndromes tend to go away as soon as your menses start. But a missed period with PMS symptoms means pregnancy.
Take a pregnancy test a week after you have missed your period.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PERIOD AND PREGNANCY BLEEDING
Implantation spotting or bleeding happens in early pregnancy. It occurs a week after fertilisation, when the fertilised egg attaches it self to the inside lining of the uterus. It is a very scant and light spots of blood. The color may be light pink or bright red.
Implantation spotting can last between 2 hours to 48 hours. It is a very light bleeding caused by the implantation process.
Your normal period is the shedding of the uterine lining, 2 weeks after ovulation. The blood flow during mensuration is usually light at the beginning, becomes heavy in the middle and light at the end.
A period can last for 3-7 days long.
WHAT DOES BREAST TENDERNESS FEEL LIKE IN EARLY PREGNANCY?
Breast in early pregnancy feels sore and sensitive to touch. The may also feel fuller, rounder or heavier than usual. All this changes is due to hormonal changes going on in the body after conception.
Breast tenderness starts as early as 1-2 weeks after a successful conception. The areola and nipples can gets bigger and darker in color.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS WEEK BEFORE PERIOD?
These are usually the symptoms your period is coming.
They are similar to the premenstrual signs mentioned previously.