What are the signs of pregnancy problems?

Pregnancy is the implantation, growth and development of a fetus for a full term (40 weeks), which results in childbirth. Pregnancy typically lasts nine months from the end of your last menstrual period.

Pregnancy Symptoms Spotlight

Missing one or more menstrual periods in succession is the hallmark sign of pregnancy. However, this should not be interpreted as definitive until you are evaluated by a health care provider or have a positive home pregnancy test. Many women have periods that are shorter or longer than the standard 28-day cycle. You could miss a period for a number of reasons, especially if you are just starting menstruation, are in poor health or are malnourished, have reproductive conditions such as endometriosis or cysts, or are going through perimenopause or menopause. Every woman’s cycle is different and the more you are aware of your menstrual patterns, the easier it will be to detect any irregularities.

Others signs and symptoms of pregnancy may include moodiness and crying, extreme cravings for or dislike of certain foods, increased appetite, fatigue, insomnia, swollen and painful breasts, and headaches (often due to the increase in circulating estrogen). Some women report a metallic taste in the mouth. Pregnancy can also affect your sleep. An increased need to sleep is common, as is the inability to sleep, especially in the final trimester when your growing size may make certain positions uncomfortable, or you may experience strange or vivid dreams.

Although some bleeding is normal during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, heavy bleeding, especially when accompanied by cramps, can indicate a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy (in the early months of pregnancy). Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, are pregnant and start to experience heavy bleeding or clotting with discharge, cramping or low back pain, or a clear liquid gushing from your vagina.

SYMPTOMS

What other symptoms might occur with pregnancy symptoms?

Pregnancy symptoms may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. These can include symptoms that affect the digestive tract and other body systems.... Read more about pregnancy symptomssymptoms

CAUSES

What causes pregnancy symptoms?

Pregnancy symptoms signal that your body is preparing for pregnancy and childbirth. Many symptoms occur due to the higher levels of hormones in your body. The signs and symptoms of pregnancy can also be related to conditions that do not involve pregnancy, such as malnutrition and ovarian cancer.... Read more about pregnancy symptomscauses

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.