Pregnancy can bring in many changes to your body. This includes physiological as well as psychological ones. The most common symptoms of pregnancy that are known to all are missed periods, swollen or tender breasts, and perpetual tiredness. But some women also notice weird changes just as they test positive for pregnancy. If you are planning a baby, you could also experience peculiar symptoms. Here are some unexpected changes that your body could be subjected to if you are pregnant:
1. Shortness Of Breath
Finding it difficult to climb the stairs or go for your usual morning run? You could be pregnant! As a result of fluctuations in hormonal levels, pregnant women notice changes in their breathing patterns. Around fifty-sixty percent of pregnant women experience myocardial dysfunction, which causes difficulty in breathing (1). While this may scare you, it might not be a major cause of concern as your body is only preparing the uterus to accommodate a new life. High progesterone levels cause pregnant women to have a higher oxygen demand, causing shortness of breath (2).
2. You Feel Constipated
Pregnancy causes women to feel bloated as the digestive system goes haywire. Again, an increase in progesterone levels is to blame for the slowdown of food movement down the intestine. Constipation in pregnant women can be caused due to a combination of hormonal and mechanical factors that alter the GI function in the body (3). Including more fluids and fiber-rich foods can help you relieve constipation.
3. You Crave Non-food Items
Pica happens to be an unusual symptom of pregnancy. It is an eating disorder that is caused due to iron or zinc deficiency. Pregnant women can feel a strange desire to consume inedible substances like rocks, wood, chalk, clay, soap, etc. This peculiar behavior can develop at any stage of pregnancy (4). Pica is most likely to affect women living in rural areas (5). It can also result in anemia, having severe consequences for the mother or the baby.
4. You Have A Heightened Sense Of Smell
Moms-to-be can develop a strange sense of smell, especially in the first trimester. This can cause irritation and discomfort to the expecting mother as strong aromas and scents can drive them crazy. Smells can either show up in the form of addiction towards certain odors or can cause an outright repulsion (6).
5. You Have A Runny Nose And A Cough
Your immune system can be compromised when you are expecting a baby. Hence, you are prone to contracting an infection, cold, or flu. The slow immune response to germs is usually a good thing as your body is prevented from considering the growing fetus a foreign body. Hence, you are vulnerable to developing a runny nose, sore throat, cough, or chest congestion when you are pregnant (7).
6. Your Gums Bleed
Sore gums or pregnancy gingivitis is an early sign of pregnancy. Gum and teeth problems can be recurring issues throughout pregnancy. You will notice that your gums are now tender, red, ultra-sensitive, and weak (8). While this is likely to get back to normal after delivery, bleeding gums can be treated with good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups.
7. You Develop A Metallic Taste
Another unusual symptom of pregnancy is that food tastes weirdly metallic or sour. This may lead to food aversions during pregnancy. Morning sickness causes pregnant women to avoid foods, especially those containing toxic substances like caffeine and alcohol (9). Studies show that physiological changes in the body, such as weight and consequent immune response, result in taste modulations during pregnancy (10).
Hormonal fluctuations can lead to patterns of skin changes in expectant mothers. If you notice a sudden appearance of skin tags on your body, it could be an early sign of pregnancy. If you already have them, they may multiply or grow bigger (11). The most common sites where skin tags are likely to appear are the neck, groins, underarms, or below the breast (12). It would not be advisable to try to remove them on your own or worse try to cut them. Consult your doctor and rely on the prescribed medication. When properly treated, skin tags will disappear without leaving any scars or marks. Moreover, the chances of infection are also less when treated in a non-invasive way.
Changes in hormone levels can at times affect nasal functioning as well. Nose bleeding is medically referred to as epistaxis and is usually caused when there is an increase in the blood flow volume or hypersensitivity of the nasal cavities or both (13). Mild levels of bleeding from the nose are nothing to be alarmed about. Such occasional bleeding can be taken care of by just holding your nose in a tilted position for some time. But if you are facing severe bleeding visit your doctor as soon as possible.
10. Headaches And Dizziness
Headache and related issues are common during pregnancy. It might arise due to a multitude of reasons and as long as it is mild and under control, there is no need to worry about it. Mild headaches, often referred to as primary headaches, are often random, and determining their exact reason might prove tricky. But since they leave as fast as they come, we don’t have to overthink them. However, secondary headaches are something we should not take lightly. Secondary headaches originate from life-threatening conditions like tumors, stroke, hypertension, etc.(14) Ignoring the symptom i.e the headache, in this case, could prove dangerous for the mother as well as the child.
The human body undergoes multiple changes during the gestation period. Talk to your doctor if pain or discomfort interferes with your routine functioning. Though one or two symptoms in isolation do not point towards being pregnant, if you experience more than half of these at the same time, you should consider taking a pregnancy test. Did you undergo some unusual or weird signs during pregnancy? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below.
- Shortness of Breath During Pregnancy: Could a Cardiac Factor Be Involved?
- Shortness of Breath In Pregnancy
- Constipation And Pregnancy
- Pica In Pregnancy: New Ideas About An Old Condition
- Pica Practices Of Pregnant Women
- Pica And Olfactory Craving Of Pregnancy: How Deep Are The Secrets?
- Population-based Case-control Study Of The Common Cold During Pregnancy And Congenital Abnormalities
- Association between Perceived Oral Symptoms and Presence of Clinically Diagnosed Oral Diseases in a Sample of Pregnant Women in Malaysia
- Morning Sickness: A Mechanism For Protecting Mother And Embryo
- The Impact of Pregnancy on Taste Function
- A Clinical Study Of Skin Changes In Pregnancy
- Pregnancy and Skin
- The Way A Nose Could Affect Pregnancy: Severe And Recurrent Epistaxis
- Headache And Pregnancy: A Systematic Review