Pregnancy or Period: How to Tell the Difference (Symptom Checker)

Guest submitted blog post Sometimes, there are moments that it would be hard for a woman to determine

Guest submitted blog post

Sometimes, there are moments that it would be hard for a woman to determine if they are experiencing early pregnancy symptoms or if they are about to have their period. In fact, it is often a topic of discussion among parenting and women’s health forums all over the internet.

The symptoms that women experience either from pregnancy or period are often similar which makes it a little difficult to determine which is which especially when you currently have an active sex life or is prone to premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

How Can You Tell the Difference?

Cramps

As a PMS symptom:

 

Women who are experiencing premenstrual syndrome know very well that abdominal cramps are usually part of the equation. Dysmenorrhea is a common PMS symptom that usually occurs or happens about 24 to 48 hours before the onset of a woman’s period.

As the flow of the person, the pain usually subsides and eventually goes away towards the end. These episodes of cramping, however, will oftentimes decrease as a woman ages or after the first pregnancy but there will most likely be more cramping as she goes through menopause.

As a pregnancy symptom:

During the early stages of pregnancy, mild or light cramps are usually part of the experience. Oftentimes, these cramps are like the ones that a woman feels when going through PMS. These are commonly felt during the first few weeks of pregnancy.

Keep in mind, however, that if a woman has a known history of pregnancy loss, symptoms like this should not be ignored. As much as possible, get enough rest. If the pain from the cramps still persists from weeks up to months and is accompanied by a bleeding or a little discharge, don’t wait to see your doctor.

Change in Appetite

As a PMS symptom:

During a period of PMS, a woman often notices some changes in her appetite. It’s usually a craving for chocolates, carbs, sweets, chocolates, and some others. These are usually either specific or not at all.

Sometimes, they would feel that they’re hungrier than usual. That is why it’s easier to feel bloated or full if she gives in to her appetite. However, these cravings are not to the same extent as when she is pregnant.

As a pregnancy symptom:

When a woman is pregnant, it usually is very specific. They will have certain foods that they will usually have the aversion to even if they already like them. While this still varies from woman to woman, it’s still very common to have major appetite changes throughout one’s pregnancy.

 

Oftentimes, the cravings or aversions of a pregnant woman does not stop on food. Pregnancy also gives a woman an aversion to certain smell even to the ones they liked. It could be just about anything from a specific perfume to a certain natural smell.

Breast Tenderness

As a PMS symptom:

 

Your breasts will often feel very tender during the second half of your cycle. Sometimes, there’s even swelling and you would feel a little pain at certain points of your breasts. In addition, breast tissues may feel quite dense and bumpy and you would feel that your breasts have this fullness.

 

Such occurrence will then lead to the feeling of tenderness or having pain. While these may cause discomfort and tightness when you wear your bra, this will usually ease up during your period or after it ends.

 

As a pregnancy symptom:

 

Swelling and soreness of your breasts are usually felt during the early stages of your pregnancy. Like during PMS, you will feel tenderness or slight pain as well as feeling fuller and heavier.

 

However, unlike during PMS, the swelling and tenderness do not subside as fast because, during pregnancy, progesterone levels stay high. Therefore, this symptom is going to last for a while during your pregnancy.

 

Nausea and bleeding

 

As a PMS symptom:

 

Vomiting or nausea isn’t as common as a PMS symptom. However, there are some digestive issues or discomfort that is often felt usually with other PMS symptoms.

 

Bleeding is also not a symptom of PMS. If it’s premenstrual, bleeding should not occur.

 

As a pregnancy symptom:

 

As one of the most common pregnancy symptom, nausea is often regarded as morning sickness. While not everyone experiences this, it often occurs during after the first month of conception.

 

Bleeding as a pregnancy symptom is also called implantation spotting or bleeding. This happens 6 to 12 days after your ovulation and it usually lasts only for a day or two.

 

The Bottom Line

 

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it helps to find the cause of them occurring. If you have concerns, it also helps to consult experts or take some necessary tests just to make sure.

 

Take advantage of taking a pregnancy test to rule out if you’re really pregnant or not. And if you are, it’s best if you would know as early as possible so that you would get the best prenatal care that you and your baby deserves.

 

 

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