What’s the difference between premenstrual syndrome and pregnancy signs?

(March 2, 2010)

The female body undergoes various changes due to the fluctuation in the level of hormones that takes place as a part of the natural menstrual cycle. These changes lead to what are popularly known as PMS (premenstrual syndrome) every month roughly 7 to 10 days prior to the period. Often the signs of PMS are quite similar to those of pregnancy so it might be a bit difficult to tell one from the other, especially if you have been trying to conceive. There are a few common physical and psychological changes that are common to both PMS and signs of pregnancy in the early stages. Women tend to go through mood swings due to the changing level of hormones in their bodies. Thus, anxiety, irritability, sudden bursts of anger, crying spells, inability to concentrate, lack of interest in socializing, anxiety and depression may precede the menstrual period. You may also experience these symptoms if you have become pregnant. Disturbances in sleep are also commonly reported by women before menstruation.

It is also common to experience tiredness and joint aches before your period. However, if you are pregnant you may observe that the intensity and extent of body pains and fatigue are much greater than what you are used to experiencing as a normal part of PMS. The pattern of abdominal cramps may also differ from the usual if you are pregnant. You may also have difficulty in digesting food and may experience abdominal bloating, but this may also be more severe than usual if the symptoms are caused by pregnancy. In addition, you are likely to suffer from morning sickness, that is, the feeling of queasiness and the tendency to vomit, if you are pregnant. This is a symptom that does not usually characterize PMS and may therefore be useful in differentiating it from the early signs of pregnancy. The craving for foods of a certain taste may also be more intense if you are pregnant than if you are just experiencing PMS. Excessive salivation and urination are also common to both pregnancy and PMS. However, you might feel unusually thirsty all the time if you are pregnant. Usually, the symptoms caused by PMS subside a couple of days before you are due to get your period. If this does not happen and you find that your period is getting delayed, chances are that you have conceived. A simple urine test should be sufficient to confirm pregnancy.

Submitted by P T on March 2, 2010 at 03:55

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