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8 Early Signs of Pregnancy

5. Breast Swelling and Tenderness

Breast changes may be another early sign of pregnancy. "The best thing to do about breast tenderness is to get a better bra," Gross says.  A sports bra, for instance, can give you more support.

6. Frequent Urination

"In early pregnancy, the uterus grows and pushes on the bladder, triggering the urge to urinate more often," says Xavier Pombar, DO, an obstetrician at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

There is no way to avoid this, but going to the bathroom right before bed may allow you to get a little more sleep. "You will probably still have to get up at least once in the night to use the bathroom," Pombar says.

7. Shortness of Breath

Some women feel mildly short of breath when they first become pregnant and sometimes throughout pregnancy. "This is because you need extra oxygen due to the growing embryo," Pombar says. "The further along you are, the worse this gets. Still, don't just brush this off as a 'normal' sign of pregnancy." Talk to your doctor if you are concerned or if any of the following are true for you:

  • You have a sudden onset of shortness of breath that is not associated with exercise.
  • Breathing is at all painful.
  • The breathless feeling is worse when you are lying down.

These can be signs of something more serious.

8. Physical Changes

If you think that you may be pregnant because you've been sexually active without contraception, make an appointment with your doctor. There are changes in the vagina's color and the softness of the cervix that an experienced clinician can identify during a pelvic exam, Pombar says.

"Remember that while these are early signs of pregnancy, these are also the symptoms of other things, including premenstrual syndrome (PMS)," Moore says. "The most reliable early sign of pregnancy is your first missed period if you have regular periods."

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Reviewed on July 19, 2012

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