Signs of pregnancy such as nausea or vomiting are well known. But are these always the first signs of pregnancy or are there other possible causes for such symptoms?

Are these signs of pregnancy?

An essential prerequisite for considering whether or not they are signs of pregnancy is sexual intercourse within the cycle. If this is the case, the question is of course of interest: pregnant or not?

The catch: Even if the first signs of pregnancy appear, it is often still too early for a pregnancy test. Early tests are often not reliable. Conventional urine tests do not provide a reliable result until the expected period has elapsed.

And especially when the monthly cycle is irregular, the fertile days cannot be determined retrospectively or other confusion is present, it is important to be able to distinguish the first signs of pregnancy from symptoms of illness. It cannot be ruled out that both a disease and a pregnancy are present.

Safe signs of pregnancy

Even if nausea, fatigue and the like are generally regarded as typical signs of pregnancy, from a medical point of view they still do not belong to the safe signs of pregnancy. “In themselves, each of these signs may have other causes. Many women are typically familiar with breast tenderness or cravings from the days before menstruation. The fact that menstruation does not take place is also not necessarily a clear sign. Large stress can cause approximately that the bleeding shifts or also once completely omits , confirm also the health experts of the federal center for health clearing-up in the article ?I am pregnant? on familienplanung.de.

The safe signs of pregnancy, on the other hand, include:

  • A positive pregnancy test by the doctor
  • increased basal temperature for at least 18 days
  • An ultrasound image showing an amniotic sac and embryo
  • First heart sounds of the child during the ultrasound examination
  • The embryo can be palpated through the abdominal wall
  • Recognizable child movements

Signs of pregnancy – and other possible causes

Below we have listed twelve typical signs of pregnancy. As a woman, you have to assess the probability that these are signs of pregnancy on the basis of the situation at hand: How likely is it that one of the following diseases or causes is present?

Absence of menstruation (period)

Especially for women who do not try to get pregnant quickly, the absence of a period is a cause for concern: pregnant or not? Of course, it also depends on how regular your cycle normally is. Since the female cycle is very susceptible to disruption, the absence of menstruation does not always have to be a sign of pregnancy.

Possible other causes: Hormone disorders, underweight, lack of ovulation, prolonged, severe psychological stress, climate change, taking medication, (prolonged) pill use and menopause.

Labia are more supplied with blood and therefore bluish discoloured.

At the beginning of pregnancy, the body increases its blood volume in order to supply the unborn baby with nutrients and oxygen. This can also cause the labia to swell slightly. In addition to but not suddenly lower blood pressure, the following causes are more likely than pregnancy.

Possible other causes: sexual arousal, dark skin type, generally good blood circulation, e.g. through sport.

Dizziness and circulatory problems

If the body adapts to the new blood volume during the first weeks of pregnancy, dizziness may occur. They are therefore among the typical symptoms of pregnancy.

Possible other causes: low blood pressure, high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid problems, infection, malnutrition / diet or anxiety.

The breast has become more sensitive and / or bigger

As the very first sign of pregnancy, many women call a feeling of tightness in their breasts. However, just as many women report this feeling shortly before their period.

Possible other causes: Weight gain, skin more sensitive due to sun exposure, creams or other external influences.

Persistent fatigue despite adequate sleep

The pregnancy hormone progesterone makes mothers tired. There are, however, many other causes for prolonged fatigue, which is why it is not very meaningful as a sign of pregnancy.

Possible other causes: Infection (e.g. influenza, but also HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis…), inflammatory processes, e.g. in the frontal sinus, teeth and jaw, low blood pressure, problems with the thyroid gland, iron deficiency, psychological exhaustion, depression and anxiety.

Nausea (in the morning or during the day)

There is no doubt that nausea is one of the best-known signs of pregnancy, and many women suffer from it in the first few weeks. But it is also certain that there are so many other reasons for a flat stomach.

Possible other causes: Gastrointestinal infections, hypoglycaemia, eating disorders, food poisoning, after drinking alcohol, taking medication, migraines, sunstroke, concussion, digestive disorders, appendicitis or anxiety.

Increased sensitivity to odours with distinct dislikes

Pregnancy often also causes women to have a fine nose – as protection against bad food that can harm the unborn child.

Possible other causes: Gastrointestinal infection, stress, migraine, ENT disorders, hormone disorder, medication or anxiety.

Increased temperature daily in the morning for more than 2.5 weeks

If you know your body well and regularly measure your basal body temperature for family planning purposes, you can classify a constantly elevated temperature in the morning for several weeks as an early sign of pregnancy.

Possible other causes: Inflammation in the body (teeth, jaw and appendix), fever, stress, alcohol consumption, jet lag, lack of sleep or shift work.

Ravenous appetite, unaccustomed cravings

The sour cucumber is not necessarily a cliché: some women feel this pregnancy desire. However, there are a number of other reasons for the ravenous appetite.

Possible other causes: Malnutrition, mental stress and diets

Increased vaginal discharge

In a contribution to “Signs of pregnancy & pregnancy test”, the gynaecologists on the Net explain: “Hormone changes during pregnancy lead to increased discharge. This vaginal discharge is usually colourless or white, odourless and not associated with discomfort.” If itching and an unpleasant smell are added, it is probably not a sign of pregnancy, but probably a vaginal infection. Have it checked by a doctor.

Possible other causes: Infection (e.g. fungi, chlamydia, trichomonas), cycle-related, allergic reaction, forgotten tampon, stress (also emotional stress).

Frequently urinating

Do you have to go to the toilet more often than usual and have pain when urinating? Then you may have cystitis: This should not be considered a sign of pregnancy in the first place. Please have it checked by a doctor.

Possible other causes: Bladder inflammation, high fluid intake (especially coffee, alcohol), dehydrating medication, mental stress, diabetes, kidney disease, poor pelvic floor muscles, uterine prolapse, high blood pressure, space-consuming process in the lower abdomen, …

Fluctuations in sensation, irritability

Possible other causes: Premenstrual syndrome (PMS), lack of sleep, mental stress (e.g. partner conflict), drug use, mental illness, diabetes and hypothyroidism.

You’ve been watching a lot of these signs? Pregnancy likely

The more of these signs of pregnancy occur in parallel – such as the absence of periods, increased temperature and/or nausea – over a longer period of time, the more likely a pregnancy is. If you have not yet taken a test, this should always be a reason to consult your doctor and look for the cause!

Signs of pregnancy despite a negative test

If you conclude that your symptoms are signs of pregnancy, a negative pregnancy test should also be reviewed by a doctor. Sometimes signs of pregnancy appear late and it is an advanced pregnancy – in which case the hormones would already be too low to be detected in the test.