By Karli Steenkamp 

There are ways to find out if you might be pregnant without a pregnancy test. The most accurate way of finding out will be to do a pregnancy test, see a doctor and do a blood test. You might be unsure or it could be a little early to do a test. You know your body and what is normal and what isn’t. If you think you might be pregnant, it means that you had intercourse since your last period. Using contraceptives doesn’t mean you can’t fall pregnant.  

Our bodies work in weird and wonderful ways and anything is possible. There are signs to look out for that indicate that you could be pregnant, however, many of these signs are also signs of your pre-menstrual cycle. You may have some of these symptoms, maybe all of them or none at all. Always seek medical advice as a backup if you feel you might be pregnant. 

  1. A missed period, spotting, cramping and a discharge 

A missed period is usually one of the first signs to make a woman wonder if they are pregnant. You usually have an idea when your next period is, whether you are regular or irregular. If you haven’t had your period recently, it certainly could be the first sign of pregnancy. If you haven’t missed your period, it is usually difficult to tell if you are pregnant, but there are great pregnancy tests that could show if you are a few days before your period should start. 

Spotting and cramping usually happen about a week before your period should start. This is due to the fertilized egg that is attaching itself to the uterus. The spotting is not like a period, it is lighter in colour and should not be as heavy. It will last a day or two. There might be some cramping, but this will feel like period pains. 

Some women experience a white vaginal discharge during their pregnancy. 

  1.  Tender and swollen breast 

The increased hormone levels in your body cause your breasts to swell, which could be painful or tender. The area around the nipples could get darker in colour. This usually happens as early as 4-6 weeks, but it could happen sooner. 

  1. Tired and Lethargic 

Your body is producing more hormones than usual. Your body is not used to working so hard and making space for another human. The hormone Progesterone helps your muscles, ligaments, and joints to relax, while the hormone Estrogen is working its magic in keeping mum and baby healthy. Let yourself rest, eat healthily and make sure you eat foods that can give you energy. 

  1. Nausea and vomiting 

Nauseousness also known as ‘morning sickness’ usually starts between the 2nd – 8th week and should ease by the second trimester. Some women are nauseous and others vomit. It could happen at any time during the day, but most women experience it in the mornings. During these times, it is important to drink plenty of fluids and eat healthy to get all the important nutrients for you and your baby.  

  1. Urination and Constipation 

About six weeks or even sooner, you might want to urinate quite often. This is due to the increased hormone levels in the body and blood volume level that makes the kidneys work harder. The expanding uterus could also press on the bladder, which could make you want to visit the ladies room more often. 

The progesterone, which causes the muscles in your body to relax could also cause constipation because the muscles that digest your food will also be more relaxed. Feeling bloated is also very normal at this time. Make sure you eat food rich in fiber. 

  1. Other symptoms 

There are many other symptoms that could be signs of pregnancy, however, they are not as prevalent as the others above, but worth taking notice of. 

  • Cravings / Food avoidance – Many women have weird cravings or can’t stand the smell or taste of certain foods. These could be foods that were their favourite a few weeks ago. 
  • Mood swings – Being on an emotional rollercoaster is part of the process. The increased level of hormones can leave you in a blubbering mess, feeling irritable, emotional, angry and happy all in the space of a short while.  
  • Headaches and back pain – The hormone levels and growing uterus could cause headaches and back pain. These are normal symptoms. 
  • Dizziness and fainting – your body is working hard to make sure you and your baby are getting enough nutrients. Make sure that you take plenty of fluids, eat healthily and take vitamins to make sure you and your baby are healthy. 

All these symptoms might be something you experience; you might have some of them or none. It is best to do a pregnancy test and speak to your doctor, but if you have most of these symptoms, it’s highly likely you could be pregnant. All women are different and so is every pregnancy. You know how your body works, either like a clock or irregular. Get your symptoms checked and know that most of these symptoms could also be pre-menstrual. These symptoms are most common during pregnancies and are a good indication, but check with your doctor to avoid disappointment. 

References:Babycenter Webmd Mayoclinic Clearblue