9 Unusual Pregnancy Symptoms
When most people think of pregnancy symptoms, they think of the typical ones such as morning sickness, sore breasts and, of course, a missed period. However, you may notice some odd symptoms that may actually be a sign that you’re pregnant.
It’s important to note that these symptoms may indicate something other than pregnancy. If you have some of these unusual symptoms along with some traditional symptoms, it’s time to take a pregnancy test.
Hot flashes don’t just happen during menopause! Hot flashes are sudden surges of heat that you feel mainly on your face, neck or lower body. Your face may become red and your heartbeat may speed up. With this, you may begin to sweat. Some pregnant women wake up in the middle of the night or the morning feeling like they are drenched in sweat, otherwise known as “night sweats.” Waking up feeling hot when the temperature in your room is normal is another similar pregnancy symptom.
There could be a couple of reasons why pregnant women experience hot flashes. One possible explanation is that hormone changes affect your body temperature and sleep patterns.
Hot flashes usually begin in the first trimester but can become more frequent in the second. While this is a normal pregnancy symptom, if it is accompanied by a fever, talk to your doctor.
If you’re experiencing this pregnancy symptom, here are a few quick tips:
- Sleep with the heat off.
- Keep hydrated throughout the day with cold water.
- Don’t stay outside in the sun for too long.
- Wear breathable fabric and less clothing to bed if you experience night sweats.
- Carry a mini fan around.
- If your hot flashes become severe, talk to your doctor.
If you’re having trouble pooping lately, maybe it’s not something you ate; maybe it’s a sign of pregnancy. This may be especially true if you’re someone who normally has great digestion and never has an issue going to the washroom.
Constipation is characterized by hard stools and bowel movements that occur less than 3 times a week and are painful.
So why does early pregnancy sometimes bring constipation? Once again, hormones could be to blame. These changes may slow down your digestive processes and relax bowel muscles, making it hard to go. Another reason could be because you’ve started taking prenatal vitamins, most of which contain iron. Iron can cause stomach and digestive issues for some women. As your pregnancy progresses, constipation may become worse. When your uterus gets bigger, it can put pressure on the bowels.
If you are experiencing constipation due to pregnancy, try these tips:
- Drink water frequently throughout the day.
- Add more fiber (such as fruit and raw vegetables) to your diet. If you’re not used to fiber, add it slowly to prevent causing more constipation.
- Try some safe pregnancy exercises to get things moving.
- Switch to a higher quality or liquid iron supplement that is less likely to cause constipation.
- If constipation doesn’t get better, ask your doctor what he or she recommends.
A stuffy nose and congestion may mean a cold—or it may mean that you’re pregnant. When you’re pregnant, you’re more likely to get a cold because your immune system is suppressed due to your hormones.
It’s actually so common that there’s a special name for it: pregnancy rhinitis. Pregnancy rhinitis is experienced by about 39% of pregnant women, according to one study. It has traditional cold symptoms such as:
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
Many women experience these symptoms during early pregnancy, but it can appear anytime throughout your journey.
If you’re experiencing these bothersome symptoms, consider trying the following:
- Keep hydrated.
- Steam can help relieve congestion. Take a warm shower or stay in a steamy washroom.
- Light and pregnancy-safe exercise can also help relieve congestion.
- Use a saline nasal spray.
It’s best to avoid taking medications while your baby is developing in the first trimester. If you’re contemplating cold or flu medication, talk to your doctor.
When you feel cramping, your first thought may be one of disappointment because you didn’t successfully conceive. However, a little cramping could actually be a sign of the opposite. In fact, it can be one of the earliest signs of pregnancy.
After you conceive and the egg is fertilized, it will attach to the wall of your uterus. This can cause cramping occurring 6 to 12 days after fertilization.
When the fertilized egg attaches to the wall of your uterus, you may not only experience cramping, as described above, but also some light bleeding. This implantation bleeding may also cause you to think you’ve gotten your period.
With signs like cramps and bleeding, how can you tell if it’s due to your period or implantation?
If it’s from conception, you’ll also probably notice:
- Milky, white discharge. As your vagina’s wall thicken right after conception, you may notice a discharge alongside the bleeding.
- Implantation bleeding is more “spotting” than a regular period flow.
- Pinkish color. Period blood is usually more red, whereas implantation bleeding is more of a light color, usually pinkish.
Having some pretty weird, intense, frightening or sexual dreams lately? If you usually have normal dreams and are starting to have some unusual ones, you may consider if it’s a sign of pregnancy. It’s actually quite common; 80% of women report vivid, bizarre and detailed dreams throughout pregnancy, according to a study.
If you already know you’re pregnant, this can be due to your anxieties about having a baby. However, if you haven’t even taken a pregnancy test yet, weird dreams could be caused by your fluctuating hormones. If you’re experiencing other early pregnancy symptoms, such as trouble staying asleep or waking up in the middle of the night to pee, that could also be a cause of weird dreams. Waking up during the night can simply cause you to remember your dreams more.
For more interesting information about this, read our guide on Intense Pregnancy Dreams and What They Mean.
Having a sudden case of vertigo? Maybe you’re just pregnant. During early pregnancy, some women experience dizziness and lightheadedness. Some even experience it before taking a pregnancy test. There are a couple reasons why this could happen. The pressure your growing uterus puts on your blood vessels or the fact that you’re needing more food may be a cause. Changes in blood pressure and hormones may also be a factor.
To deal with this symptom, keep the following tips in mind:
- Don’t skip meals and eat frequently.
- Avoid standing up quickly.
- Avoid tight, constricting clothing.
- Lie on your left side.
- Avoid very hot showers or baths.
Thrush isn’t the most pleasant of pregnancy symptoms. Characterized by soreness and itching around your vagina, thrush is often caused by a hormonal imbalance. Since your hormones are changing during pregnancy, you’re more prone to vaginal thrush.
If you think you have thrush, talk to your doctor. He or she may recommend different treatments depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy.
Aside from speaking to your doctor, you should avoid things that will further cause an imbalance.
- Don’t wash the area with soap. Use water only.
- Avoid other products such as shaving creams, lubricants or lotions in the area.
- Minimize your sugar and yeast intake.
Even if you’ve always had clear skin, you may notice a few blemishes and wonder why. You may contemplate if it’s a food you’ve eaten or a new skin product. But it could also be a sign of a bun in the oven.
This pregnancy symptom usually occurs in early pregnancy as your hormones are beginning to fluctuate. As they stabilize, you may notice your skin clearing again.
Unfortunately, most experts recommend staying away from over-the-counter spot treatments during pregnancy to be safe. While only about 5% of these products are typically absorbed by the skin, there’s not enough research to conclusively say they’re safe.
To stay on the safe side, consider these tips if you’re experiencing less-than-perfect skin as a result of pregnancy:
- Wash your face twice daily.
- Always wash off your makeup.
- Change your pillowcase to avoid bacteria.
- Try to reduce your stress as this may be a factor.
- Wash your phone screen.
- Avoid popping and squeezing pimples.
- If acne becomes severe, ask your doctor what other steps you should take or if there are safe medication options available.
Are you experiencing any unusual pregnancy symptoms? If so, comment below what they are. If you have any pregnant friends or family members, be sure to share this post with them, too!
P.S. If you’ve experienced an unusual pregnancy symptom and figured out you’re expecting, check out our fetal dopplers. Past 12 weeks, they’re designed to pick up your baby’s heartbeat so you can listen to it through earphones. Most mothers find this bonding experience reassuring. Check out our fetal dopplers here.