Women experience a variety of symptoms throughout a normal month due to their menstrual cycles, pregnancy, or for many other reasons such as stress or illness. Not all symptoms that are common with pregnancy are directly related to pregnancy, though. Sometimes women go through a multitude of things that can cause them to feel different symptoms that they might mistake as meaning something totally different than what it really is.
The human body produces symptoms as a way of telling us that something is happening on the inside of us internally, and maybe we need to pay attention to what those symptoms are so we know what’s going on within our own bodies.
Pregnancy is a very complicated process for many, but for some, it is even more convoluted than one could imagine. Some women experience no symptoms, while others may experience every symptom imaginable. Sometimes certain symptoms also have more than one cause as well, like with nausea. Most people associate nausea in women with pregnancy, when it can be something totally unrelated. If a woman is nauseous, it could be for other reasons such as something as simple as she is getting sick, or that she is on a certain day in her menstrual cycle.
15 Back And Side Pain
Back pain, while typical during pregnancy, does not always indicate pregnancy. If the pain is in the lower region, but off toward the left or right side, that is very indicative of a kidney infection, or a urinary tract infection. The job of the kidneys is to clean waste and extra water from the blood. The kidneys also happen to be part of the urinary tract system too, so they are all intertwined.
Urinary tract infections, or UTI’s, also happen to cause frequent urination which happens to be another symptom of pregnancy. So, just because a woman would happen to have the back pain along with frequent urination that does not necessarily mean that it's pregnancy-associated symptoms.
14 Right Abdominal Pain
When it comes to women, people tend to associate any form of belly pain to be pregnancy related but that is so nowhere near accurate. If a woman is having pain in her abdominal area, specifically on her upper right side, that could be a sign of gallbladder or liver issues. Gallbladder issues could be caused by a number of things such as gallstones, or the gallbladder may not be emptying properly for whatever reason. Gallbladders are organs that are able to be removed, and that humans could still live and function without.
If the pain is a symptom of liver issues, there are numerous conditions and issues and underlying problems that could be causing the pain. Something as simple as a medication that the woman is taking could be causing the pain, but also something as serious as liver disease caused by alcohol consumption could also cause concerns as well.
13 Onset Of Fatigue
Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy that actually, sometimes, has nothing to do with pregnancy. Fatigue can be caused by countless issues and underlying medical conditions. Something as simple as not getting enough sleep at night can cause a person to feel regularly fatigued or being under a lot of stress can zap a person of all of their energy. Certain medications can also cause a person to feel drained.
For women, where they are at in their menstrual cycle can also determine their energy levels and how fatigued they are feeling. Some women can become extremely tired and have low energy weeks before they are due to get their period, or even while they have their period. It varies for every woman. An iron deficiency can also be a culprit of fatigue in woman.
12 Mood Swings
When people think of mood swings and women being overly emotional, they tend to think of pregnancy. Just because a woman’s mood is all over the place does not mean that it is pregnancy related. Sometimes mood swings actually have nothing to do with pregnancy at all, and more to do with where they are in their menstrual cycles due to the hormonal changes that women go through regularly every month - regardless if they are pregnant or not.
Mood swings also have to do with the level of stress that women are enduring and their environmental and situational circumstances in life. Everyone’s moods are affected by the events that are going on around them, no matter if they are male or female, pregnant or not pregnant. Life happens.
11 Abdominal Cramps
Cramps are not always just an indicative symptom, or sign, of early pregnancy or a pregnancy-related complication. Sometimes cramping actually has nothing at all to do with pregnancy, and has more to do with what stage of their menstrual cycle a woman is in, or is going into. Cramps can also by an underlying symptom of other medical concerns such as ovarian cysts, or other issues that women don’t want to think about such as sexually transmitted infections.
Cramping can also be something much less complicated, and something as simple as it’s almost time to take a number two or that the spicy dinner was not good for one's stomach. Sometimes, cramping can also be a side effect of certain medications.
10 Sudden Dizziness
A sudden onset of dizziness does not actually always have to be pregnancy related. There are plenty of underlying conditions that can cause dizziness as a secondary symptom. Sometimes something as simple as making quick, rapid movements is enough to trigger a sudden burst of dizziness. At times, it can get bad enough to a point where one may feel like they are about to faint. A sudden drop in blood pressure will also cause the same thing to happen.
Taking certain medications can also cause a person to feel dizzy. Sometimes even up to a few hours after a medication has been ingested, a sudden onset of dizziness may feel like it has randomly appeared out of nowhere and can last anywhere from a few seconds to hours.
9 Belly Bloating
Bloating can be a common symptom of pregnancy, but just because a woman may be experiencing bloating, that does not necessarily mean that it's a symptom of pregnancy. Bloating can be caused by a list of various things such as water retention, poor dieting choices, gastric issues, and what part of her menstrual cycle a woman is in. Water retention is a major bloating factor and that can come with consuming a lot of sodium, or salt.
A lot of times, people will assume that just because they aren’t sprinkling table salt all over their food, that they are not consuming a lot of salt. Sodium is in almost everything we eat, whether we realize it or not.
8 Skin Changes
Acne sometimes gets attributed to being a total pregnancy symptom, when at times it actually has nothing at all to do with being pregnant. Acne can be caused by a number of things, not just the old wives tale of a daughter stealing her mother’s beauty. Being under a lot of stress can cause a lot of little breakouts on the face, even for people who normally have clear skin.
A poor diet that consists of a lot of greasy food has also been known to contribute to causing acne breakouts. And just like with a lot of other symptoms for women, acne can be more prevalent during certain times of the month depending on what stage of the menstrual cycle a woman is currently in.
7 Weight Gain
Weight gain is a very common symptom of pregnancy, but that does not always mean that every time a woman gains weight it is automatically related to a pregnancy. There are countless reasons and instances of things that can cause a woman to gain weight. The number one reason probably being poor diet choices. If someone were to eat a dozen donuts, one would expect to put on some weight. Another cause of weight gain is stress. Stress can cause a lot of physical ailments to the body.
Women also tend to have their weight fluctuate before their periods due to bloating and can range anywhere from just a few ounces to a few pounds. Medications can also cause weight gain, along with certain medical conditions such as a thyroid disorder.
6 Missing A Period
Missing a period is typically the first major symptom or sign that a woman will get to indicate a possible pregnancy. However, that actually does not always have anything to do with pregnancy. There are other factors that can play a part in a woman missing her period. Stress can play a big part in delaying a monthly visit from Mother Nature or even just causing irregular periods in general. A woman's stress level can have an effect on her hormones, and her hormones can affect when she gets her period.
Other conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, a condition in which a woman can get little cysts all over her ovaries that can cause infertility among other issues, and going through menopause can cause an absence of a period as well.
5 Swollen Feet
A common symptom of pregnancy is swelling of the feet, but that does not necessarily have anything to do with pregnancy. There are other reasons that a woman’s feet can become swollen such as working in fields where they are on their feet all day, or even careers like like nurses and cashiers. Water retention is also a widely known cause of swelling of the feet. I know I already touched on the subject, but water retention can be caused by excess sodium consumption.
There are also certain medications that have been known to cause swelling of the feet or other bodily regions such as some medicines that can be used to treat blood pressure issues. Swelling of the feet can also happen to a woman based off of what phase of her menstrual cycle she is currently in.
4 Lower Back Pain
Some people often mistake lower back pain as automatically having to do with pregnancy for women, when in all actuality it may have nothing to do with pregnancy. Lower back pain can be caused by so many underlying issues such as sleeping in the wrong position or lifting improperly. For women, lower back pain can also be a symptom of an impending menstrual cycle. It can usually happen a week or two before they are actually due to get their periods.
A lot of people are actually unaware of this, but back pain can also be caused by stress levels and anxiety, or more commonly known as muscle tension and pain. Lower back pain that travels down the right or left leg can also be associated with the sciatic nerve. Some medications can also cause muscle tightness which can cause pain as well.
3 Classic Tenderness
Breast tenderness is a very common symptom of pregnancy. Although, it sometimes actually has nothing at all to do with being pregnant, but can happen for other non-pregnancy related reasons. One of the most common reasons for breast tenderness when it has nothing to do with a pregnancy is caused by menstruation and where a woman is currently at in her menstrual cycle. Some women can have sore breasts a few weeks before they are even scheduled to get their periods.
Another cause of sore and tender breasts is certain medications. Sometimes, there are inactive or active ingredients in medications that may cause a woman breasts to feel sore. Also, injuries to that localized area will cause some mild discomfort.
2 Changes In Desire
Changes in sex drive are another common symptom of pregnancy, maybe more so in the later stages of pregnancy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it actually has to do with pregnancy. There are other things that can cause a change in sex drive, whether it’s in an increase or a decrease. Sometimes medications, especially psychiatric medications can cause a change in sex a woman’s sex drive. Stress also plays a factor in changes of a person’s sex drive.
As with a lot of things on this list, a woman’s menstrual cycle also plays a key factor in their sex drive. For women, they find that when they are closer to menstruation, and sometimes even during menstruation, that their sex drive actually increases causing them to want to be intimate more often.
1 Frequent Urination
When people think of pregnancy symptoms they think of missed periods, nausea, and going to the bathroom a lot. Frequent urination, while a major symptom of pregnancy, is not always indicative of actually having anything to do with pregnancy. Frequent urination can be caused by an increase in person’s fluid intake, especially if they are drinking fluids that don’t have much nutritional value such as coffee.
Another common cause of frequent urination is urinary tract infections. They can give a person the urge to consistently use the bathroom over and over while only being able to get out a tiny amount. Certain medications may also increase the frequency of urination, making it seem like a symptom a pregnancy.
Sources: Bustle.com, BabyCenter.com, MamaMia.com.au, Healthline.com, WebMD.com, EverdayHealth.com, MedlinePlus.gov, Spine-Health.com, MedHealthDaily.com