Presumptive signs of pregnancy suggest nothing more than the fact that pregnancy is one possibility among many potential causes. There are a number of such signs to look out for.
Amenorrhea is a medical term which describes the absence of menstruation. While missing a period can be symptomatic of pregnancy, there are a number of equally valid alternative explanations, which can also account for the onset of amenorrhea. For example, amenorrhea can be symptomatic of early menopause, diabetes, endocrine imbalances, malnutrition, anemia, or anorexia. Moreover, the condition is commonly observed in people suffering from stress and in competitive athletes.
A further point worth considering is that in a significant minority of pregnancies expectant mothers will experience slight spotting during the early stages.
Generally, the onset of fatigue is observed to occur around the 12-week mark. However, numerous other conditions including anemia, depression, and cancer can similarly induce fatigue.
Expectant mothers experience increased urinary frequency as a result of the developing uterus exerting pressure on the bladder. Urinary frequency generally increases 6-12 weeks into pregnancy.
Tension, diabetes, and urinary tract infections are among the other potential causes of urinary frequency.
Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting are associated with morning sickness. Typically, these symptoms appear during the first weeks of pregnancy before then subsiding 6-8 weeks later. However, in severe cases, nausea and vomiting may persist beyond the 4-month mark and, as a result, cause the expectant mother to suffer weight loss and electrolyte imbalances.
Gastrointestinal disorders, emotional stress, and indigestion are among the alternative causes of nausea and vomiting.
At around the 6-week point, it’s typical for the breast to undergo a number of changes. On one hand, the nipples may become increasingly pronounced and tender. While, on the other hand, the breasts themselves may greatly increase in size and fullness. In pregnancy, such changes are indicative that the mammary glands are preparing for nursing.
Although potentially a sign of pregnancy, breast changes can also occur during menstruation.
Quickening describes the first sensations of fetal movement in the uterus. In first time mothers, quickening generally occurs around the 18-20 week mark. However, in mothers who have previously given birth, it occurs somewhat earlier, at about 15-17 weeks.
In addition to weight gain, during pregnancy, stretch marks can be indicative either of increased production of adrenocortical hormones or heightened sensitivity to adrenocortical hormones.
Stretch marks are considered to be one of the presumptive signs of pregnancy due to the fact that their appearance may be attributable to alternative causes. For example, both Cushing’s disease and sudden weight gain can induce stretch marks.