Differentiating Pregnancy and PMS Symptoms
Experiencing odd symptoms such as PMS or pregnancy symptoms a week before the period may be very confusing. It can be stressful if you have been sexually active and all these mysterious symptoms suddenly begin to appear. The little guide below shows how to determine if your period is coming or you are pregnant.
There are many easy ways to tell if these are normal cramps or something life-altering, but the question ‘how do you know if your period is coming or you are pregnant’ is best answered by getting a home pregnancy test. This is the only way to ease your mind and understand what is going on, but we do realize that a test might not always be available and false positives are not rare. We also know that for those who have too many negative tests that it is not always good to test too soon. Let’s dissect this further. Here are some ways in which PMS symptoms vs pregnancy symptoms differ.
PMS Vs Pregnancy
Menstruation or a period is a normal bodily function present in women of reproductive ages. It means that a woman bleeds for 3 to 7 days after a cycle of varying length (approximately 28 days). This process regulates the reproductive function in the body and is critical to her health. During this process, many women experience a range of symptoms. Some are tied to the duration of the bleed; others can come before or after the bleeding period. Women can experience symptoms including but not limited to breast tenderness, mood swings, cramping, and bloating. Know the natural remedies and good herbs for PMS cramps and mood swings.
Before a woman has her period, it can be preceded by a brief period after ovulation (release of the egg), characterized by the severe symptoms listed above. This period is referred to as PMS or premenstrual syndrome. Symptoms of PMS can include things such as fatigue, bloating, acne, appetite changes, and mood changes. Most women (90 percent) experience symptoms of PMS in a mild form, but research shows that 20 to 30 percent of women might experience severe PMS symptoms as well. Severe PMS symptoms can be similar to those described before but can be more debilitating.
On the other hand, many women also experience similar yet different symptoms in pregnancy. What do early pregnancy cramps feel like and how do they differ from PMS symptoms? Read below to understand their difference and similarities.
PMS Symptoms Vs Pregnancy Symptoms – The Similarities
Many women may be confused about PMS and early pregnancy symptoms. The signs of early pregnancy can often resemble those of PMS. These are the signs and the symptoms that these two conditions share:
- Most women in both conditions can experience severe mood swings and changes.They can experience a range of emotions from irritability, depression, anxiety, and even crying spells.
- In both cases, women can also experience digestive issues. The hormone progesterone often increases during this time in the menstrual cycle. This hormone has been associated with issues such as constipation. If you are constipated before periods, it can indicate PMS or even early pregnancy, as during pregnancy these hormone levels also increase in the body of a woman.
- Many women can experience headaches in both PMS and pregnancy. These can be normal headaches or migraines. If you experience severe headaches during PMS, topical creams such as PMS Balance Cream may help. This cream is rich in the hormone progesterone and may provide relief from the pain.
- Women can also experience increased urination during both pregnancy and PMS.
- Another symptom of both pregnancy and PMS is back pain. Many women report experiencing back pain during and before a period. In many cases, women who are pregnant can also experience this kind of pain. PMS symptoms relief in such a case may also be achieved with PMS Balance Cream.
- Many women know that breast tenderness, swelling, and pain are a clear sign of PMS. But this kind of pain can also signal that you are pregnant. If you are pregnant, your breasts may feel heavier, sensitive, or even sore.
The Difference Between PMS Vs Pregnancy
There might be slight differences in how pregnancy and PMS symptoms present themselves as well. Here are the things to look for:
- Nausea is a common sign of early pregnancy but not often in PMS. If you experience nausea and feel that you may vomit at any time, it can be a clear sign of pregnancy. You may even vomit several times. Severe vomiting and dehydration – called hyperemesis – can come on very early and should be discussed with a doctor asap. The only time PMS can result in vomiting might be due to a severe migraine or an upset stomach.
- Cramping is more common in PMS and usually indicates that your period is near. This does not occur as often in the early stages of pregnancy. The cramping in PMS is often present in the abdominal and pelvic region. If your cramps are especially painful, even to the point of suspecting endometriosis you might consider an anti-inflammatory such as Goodbye Cramps to bring relief. Chamomile tea can be very effective as well.
If you are pregnant, you might experience mild spotting (little discharge of blood) which is not enough to soak your pad or tampon in the middle of your cycle. This can be an indication of implantation of the embryo in the uterus. This bleeding is a different form of heavier bleeding a woman might experience at the start of her period.
- Fatigue can be present in both cases for many women. But, fatigue associated with PMS often stops once the period starts.
- Many women also experience food cravings during both pregnancy and PMS, but this increased appetite or food craving is more pronounced in pregnancy.
There is no way to minimize pregnancy symptoms, but PMS symptoms relief can be achieved with the help of different therapies and medications.
What Are The Unique Symptoms Of Pregnancy?
If you are still worried about what early pregnancy cramps feel like or if what you are experiencing is PMS, there are some clear signs that can indicate pregnancy. These symptoms are less likely to occur if you are experiencing PMS.
- If you are pregnant, you might have a white milky discharge out of your vagina.
- You might have slight one-time bleeding in the middle of your cycle, indicating implantation of the embryo.
- Your period might be late. The absence of bleeding indicates pregnancy.
- Your nipples might become larger and darker and even tender.
If you experience confusing and conflicting symptoms regularly, you might have hormonal imbalance or worse early recurrent miscarriages. Have your hormones checked using a zrt saliva home hormone test kit, consider natural progesterone creams such as PMS Balance Cream or Fertile Balance for example or see your doctor of choice.