You experience a number of signs and symptoms when you enter menopause. These symptoms indicate your body is experiencing a change. However, it is important to bear in mind that the symptoms you think are of menopause might sometimes be the classic signs of pregnancy. So, are you experiencing menopause or pregnant? Let’s find out now!
How to Know If You Are Pregnant or in Menopause
The answer relies heavily on what symptoms you experience. While there can be an overlap in symptoms, certain symptoms are limited to menopause or pregnancy only. Here is what you need to know in this regard.
1. Know the Signs of Pregnancy
The most common signs of pregnancy include the following:
- Swollen Breasts: Your breasts are likely to become swollen and tender during early pregnancy. You will feel more comfortable with time because your body eventually adjusts itself to hormonal changes.
- Morning Sickness or Nausea: You can feel nauseous any time of the day or night, but it is usually the strongest when you wake up in the morning. If your nausea is severe, this may be because you are pregnant.
- Increased Urination: With pressure increasing on your bladder, you are likely to use the bathroom more often than usual. Similarly, the amount of blood goes up during pregnancy, which makes your kidneys process extra fluid and send more in the bladder.
- Fatigue: It is also one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy and hits you early in your pregnancy mainly because of the levels of progesterone going up.
- Mood Swings: The change in hormones in early pregnancy can cause serious mood swings. You may become unusually emotional and weepy during those early days.
- Gas and Bloating: Most women feel bloated in early pregnancy, all thanks to the flood of hormones in the body. The bloating you experience is usually similar to how you experience at the start of a period.
- Light Spotting: It is another sign of pregnancy which can help you identify you are in menopause or pregnant. It is quite common for women to notice light spotting in the early stages of pregnancy. The bleeding you notice is the result of the fertilized egg attaching itself to the lining of the uterus. The implantation usually takes place about 10-14 days after conception.
- Food Aversions: You might become more sensitive to the taste and odor of certain foods. It makes you feel nauseous when you taste something that you never had a problem with before becoming pregnant.
- Nasal Congestion: You may experience nasal congestion mainly due to a change in hormones and blood production. There are mucous membranes in your nose that dry out and swell as hormone levels increase. You may also notice occasional bleeding with a runny or stuffy nose.
What’s more, you may also experience other common signs of pregnancy such as uterine cramping as well as constipation.
2. Know the Signs of Menopause
Is it menopause or pregnant? There will also be certain symptoms associated with menopause. Paying attention to the following symptoms will help you.
- Menstrual Cycle: You will notice your menstrual cycle change when you are close to menopause. Sometimes, your periods occur close together, but on other occasions, they do not arrive on time. Your flow may also become heavier or lighter than usual.
- Hot Flashes: A common symptom of menopause that is not always associated with pregnancy is the presence of hot flashes. Whenever you experience a hot flash, you feel warm from your head to your chest. You may sweat a lot and your skin may turn red as well. It is also normal to feel dizzy while having a hot flash. Headaches and palpitations are also present when you have hot flashes.
- Vaginal Dryness: You will notice the skin of your vulva and vagina become thin and dry. It happens because your vagina loses its ability to produce enough lubrication, and this may also make sexual intercourse a bit uncomfortable.
- Urinary Tract Problems: It is quite common for women to develop bladder and urinary tract infections during menopause. Seek medical attention if you have issues such as frequent urination, painful urination, and an inability to urinate.
- Weight Gain: You may put on some weight during menopause, and that is why it is important to pay attention to your diet and exercise regularly to keep you fit.
What’s more, you may have to deal with night sweats, headaches, tiredness, and trouble sleeping during and after menopause. Night sweats wake you up in the middle of the night, which keeps you from getting enough sleep. This in turn makes you feel tired, stressed out, and moody during the day.
3. Take a Pregnancy Test
When you cannot decide if you are in menopause or pregnant, you may consider taking a pregnancy test. Use a pregnancy kit to find out if you are pregnant. You can find these kits in drugstores and there are quite a few of them. Just remember that pregnancy kits are effective but they are not 100% accurate. That is the reason why it often makes sense to consult your doctor to be sure. Your OB-gynecologist will consider your symptoms and conduct a physical exam to decide.
Note: Knowledge about the signs and symptoms of menopause and pregnancy puts you in a better position to decide your way forward. If it is pregnancy, you should mentally prepare yourself to embrace parenthood. In case you are reaching the menopausal stage, you should talk to your doctor and get more information about how to take better care of yourself. You need to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle to be fit.