I had been dating the same guy since high school and we got married before I finished college. Maybe it sounds crazy, but I lived in fear of getting pregnant. Not because I didn’t want children eventually. I did! I just needed to finish college and I wanted time for the two of us to enjoy married life, make some money, buy a house--you know? The American dream, I guess.
I was taking a pregnancy test every month, even though I was on birth control. I thought it would be like it was in the movies. If I got repulsed by someone’s tomato, mustard, and bologna sandwich and feel like puking over in the corner, I must be pregnant. If I act like an emotional lunatic, yelling at people for no reason, I must be pregnant. If my boob brushed against something and it hurt a little, if my period was a day late...or even an hour late, for that matter...I must be pregnant!
It caused a lot of stress and anxiety for me. My husband started joking that all I had to do was pee on a stick and the next day I’d be sure to get my period.
One month, I wasn’t feeling any particular symptoms, but I decided to buy an early pregnancy test...because...well...OBSESSION. “Find out five days before your period,” the box said. Sounded good to me. Let’s cross this off for another month.
The text was negative. Whew!
But five days came. And five days went. And I didn’t get my period.
“The test said I’m not pregnant and I don’t FEEL pregnant. Besides, I’m on birth control,” I told myself.
A week later, I took another test.
POSITIVE? How could that be possible?
I didn’t FEEL pregnant!
In hindsight, after learning more about the first signs of pregnancy, I definitely had some symptoms. They just weren’t as crazy and out of the ordinary as I expected them to be.
Yes, I got pregnant on birth control. No, I hadn’t been planning on having a baby before I finished college. But my anxiety about getting pregnant was far worse than actually finding out that I was.
Could You Be Pregnant?
For a variety of reasons, women can be filled with many heightened emotions about pregnancy. For some, they are desperate to get pregnant and wonder constantly if this will be the month. Others, like the woman above, want children someday but are anxious and worried about getting pregnant too soon. Many women fear an unplanned pregnancy for a host of other reasons.
The signs and symptoms of pregnancy are different for everyone, and many could be explained by other causes.
The Common Signs
In a poll conducted by the American Pregnancy Association, the most commonly reported first symptoms of pregnancy include:
29% of women surveyed reported a missed period as their first pregnancy symptom
25% indicated that nausea was the first sign of pregnancy
17% reported that a change in their breasts was the initial symptom of pregnancy
Along with mood swings, these are the symptoms most commonly portrayed in the movies or discussed among women. Therefore, they are the ones most women think of experiencing first if they are pregnant.
The Lesser Known Signs
Yet, there are lesser-known symptoms that could be the first indicators that you are expecting. They include:
Abnormal fatigue or tiredness
Food cravings or aversions
A heightened sense of smell
Darkening of the breast areolas
If you have been sexually active and are questioning whether you are pregnant or not, A Woman’s Place Medical Clinic offers free pregnancy testing, education, STI testing and treatment, and well woman exams. We are more than a pregnancy center. We are a wellness center, where women can access healthcare for female-specific needs at no cost.
In the world we live in there are so many reasons to experience anxiety. It’s our goal to reduce anxiety and stress as much as possible. We are here to walk with you through whatever comes your way.
There’s no judgment here.
Only people who will love and empower you through your circumstances. Our staff understands the dynamics that accompany an unplanned pregnancy, a sexually transmitted disease, or an unexpected test result.
We put ourselves in your shoes; and, in doing so, we are committed to valuing your needs and concerns above all else. We have qualified medical professionals and trained counselors on staff who are ready to listen and help.
Receive compassionate, supportive care through unexpected circumstances.