Most women suffer from premenstrual syndrome symptoms, but consider them normal. 
Premenstrual syndrome is related to the cycle  and symptoms:

  • They appear about a week or two before menstruation,
  • They disappear when the menstrual cycle begins.

Therefore, many women confuse pre-menstrual symptoms with those of pregnancy.
The symptoms are almost similar and it is very difficult for a woman to distinguish the cause.
All women have different symptoms, premenstrual disorders may be absent in some women, but may be severe in others.

The first symptoms of pregnancy can begin immediately after ovulation and are caused by:

  • The level of hormones estrogen and progesterone altered,
  • Nidation (implantation of the embryo in the uterine mucosa).

Symptoms of premenstrual syndrome begin within the same period and are caused by:

  • Alteration of the relationship between estrogen and progesterone,
  • Reduced levels of serotonin, that is, the hormone of good mood.


Differences Between Early Pregnancy Symptoms and Premenstrual Syndrome

The symptoms that can distinguish pregnancy from premenstrual syndrome are:

1) Absence of menstruation: it can be considered a reliable sign of pregnancy if it occurs in women with regular menstrual cycles .


2) Colic and blood loss

The loss of light blood and colic are symptoms of both:

  • Pregnancy,
  • Pre-menstrual syndrome.

Colic during premenstrual syndrome are more common and severity varies according to:

However, some women experience cramping and loss in the first few days after conception.
Sometimes these are the first signs of pregnancy.
How to know what the cause is?

Colic and loss during premenstrual syndrome Colic
or dysmenorrhea are common symptoms in the two days prior to menstruation.
As soon as the cycle begins, the pain gradually diminishes until it disappears when the flow stops.

Implant bleeding: occurs during the implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterine wall.
It usually occurs 6 to 12 days after fertilization of the egg.
The bleeding is lighter, lasts no more than 2 days, and the blood appears pink or has a brownish color (anomalous). It does not occur in all women.

Nesting bleeding is the first symptom of pregnancy, many women have abdominal pain and mild blood loss.
In case of pregnancy, the cramps occur in the lower back or the lower abdomen and continue for weeks or even months.


3) Refusal of some foods and desires

Often, women are strongly attracted to some foods as early as the first weeks of pregnancy.
However, many women suffer from similar symptoms before menstruation and have a constant urge to eat some foods, such as dark chocolate or sweets.

Eating needs during premenstrual syndrome
If a woman wants to eat sweets, chocolate, sugars and a strong appetite, it is possible that menstruation is coming. You can hardly resist those desires.

Desires in pregnancy
Among the early symptoms of pregnancy, there is the sudden urge to eat strange foods.
A woman may feel like eating foods she never imagined.
This is one of the first reliable symptoms of pregnancy.
In some women, these symptoms only occur early in pregnancy, while in other women they continue during pregnancy.

Some women also suffer from a disorder called picacism during pregnancy, ie the desire to eat non-food materials, for example:

  • Dry paint,
  • Metal parts,
  • Ice.


4)  Increased sensitivity to smell

Pregnant women may develop extreme aversion not only to certain smells, but also to the scents they considered pleasant before pregnancy.


5)  Morning sickness

It occurs in 90% of pregnant women. Refers to the feeling of nausea . Although it is called so, it can happen at any time of the day.
Nausea is a frequent pregnancy symptom, but some women may have this symptom before menstruation, although it is rare. In case of nausea, almost certainly the woman is pregnant.

Nausea and premenstrual syndrome
Women do not have nausea or  vomiting when the cycle is delayed , so it is possible to safely rule out nausea as a symptom of premenstrual syndrome.

Nausea and Pregnancy
Morning sickness is one of the most common problems of a pregnant woman.
Most women feel nauseous, especially in early pregnancy.
If the cycle is delayed and nausea appears, it is very likely that conception has occurred.
Experts say that nausea attacks start during the first three weeks of pregnancy.
Many women have vomiting, but not nausea.
An American Pregnancy Association study shows that not all women suffer from morning sickness in the early hours of the day.
This symptom can occur at any time of the day.


6)  High basal body temperature

If it persists for more than 16 days after ovulation, it most likely is a sign of pregnancy.
If the woman is not pregnant, usually after 12 days the temperature begins to drop because it varies with progesterone levels in the blood.


7) Weight gain and swelling

Pregnancy causes weight gain and a feeling of bloating. But these symptoms are also typical of premenstrual syndrome.

Weight Gain and Premenstrual Syndrome
The body has a significant fluid retention in the days leading up to menstruation.
Swelling is a common symptom in women a few days before the menstrual cycle.
The bra gets tight and the abdomen becomes more prominent, also the pants get tighter than usual.
Many women gain weight a few pounds before the cycle.
These symptoms pass when menstruation arrives.

Swelling and weight gain in pregnancy
An increase in abdominal weight greater than usual in the days before the cycle can be a sign of pregnancy.
The swelling is one of the first novelties of pregnancy and often the woman feels uncomfortable because of this symptom.
If conception has occurred, this symptom does not pass within a few days. The responsible for the swelling is the hormone progesterone.


8) Swollen and sore breasts

The swollen, sore breast is common both in pregnancy and before menstruation. How to distinguish these situations?

In case of premenstrual syndrome
The breasts are likely to become sore and swollen in the second half of the menstrual cycle. In younger women, the symptoms are more intense.
Every woman has a different pain and can be mild or severe.
The pain is more irritating before the beginning of the cycle and decreases when the flow begins.

In most cases, the pain passes when the bleeding completely ends.
In the case of premenstrual syndrome, the breast tissue may become more sore and swollen, especially on the outside. Some women report having larger and swollen breasts.
However, this change lasts only a few days and passes after the start of the cycle.

Breast changes are also frequent pregnancy symptoms.
It is possible to feel pain or tingling in the chest. It can also get heavier.

Swollen breasts in pregnancy
Changes in the breasts during pregnancy can occur two weeks after conception.
During the first few days of pregnancy, the breasts may become sore or tender to the touch.
Swelling and numbness are caused by an increase in progesterone levels in the body.


9) Blackout of the areola

High levels of estrogen in the mother’s body increase the size of the areola in the breast. It also becomes darker with the progress of pregnancy. This symptom does not occur before the cycle.


10) Pimples and acne

Hormonal changes can affect the skin. The eruption of acne and pimples during adolescence or before the cycle is frequent.
However, many women develop acne during pregnancy.
It can be difficult to distinguish between  pimples that occur before menstruation or early in pregnancy.

Pre-menstrual syndrome
Several studies show that up to 78% of women notice the explosion of acne and pimples before menstruation.
Often, gynecologists prescribe hormonal contraceptives, such as the pill to solve the problem.
However, acne disappears in a few days.

Acne During Pregnancy
The pregnant woman has an increased production of androgens, hormones in the body that cause the expansion of the sebaceous glands in the skin.
These hormones are also responsible for the increased production of sebum that clogs the skin pores.
The consequence is acne .
Spines that remain for more than 10 days are a sign of pregnancy.


11) Melasma

Also known as the pregnancy mask, melasma is the darkening of areas of skin more exposed to the sun. Disappears at the end of pregnancy.


12) Extreme fatigue and exhaustion

The exhaustion and fatigue extreme can be a sign of premenstrual syndrome, but also of pregnancy.

Fatigue and premenstrual syndrome
If the woman feels tired for a day, even though she has not done anything strenuous, and the cycle is coming, it is likely to be a sign of premenstrual syndrome.

Fatigue in pregnancy
If the cycle is late and the woman experiences extreme fatigue , this is likely to be one of the first symptoms of pregnancy.
Women often complain of fatigue during the first and third trimesters of pregnancy.
The cause is an increase in levels of the hormone progesterone that causes a decrease:

Pregnant women suffer from fatigue as important as after a marathon.


Physical, behavioral, and emotional symptoms of premenstrual syndrome

Physical symptoms

• Pimples on the face ;
• Fatigue ;
• Swelling ;
• Pain in the legs ;
• Menstrual pain,
• Dizziness ;
• Headache ;
• Pain in the belly and pain in the ovaries ;
• Migraine ;
• Pain in joints and muscles ;
• Weight gain;
• Swollen breasts ;
• Abdominal pain ;
• Pain in the breasts ;
• A lot ofintestinal gas  or air in the stomach ;
• Low back pain , abdominal cramps ;
• Skin and hair changes;
• Photophobia and hypersensitivity to noise,
• Loss of fluid through the nipples when pressed.


Emotional and behavioral symptoms

• Eating disorders (sweet / salty);
• Anxiety ;
• Cry;
• Lack of sexual desire ;
• Insomnia ;
• Aggressiveness;
• Low level of surveillance.


First symptoms of pregnancy

As in premenstrual syndrome, pregnancy is different for every woman.
These symptoms do not necessarily indicate pregnancy and are often equal to premenstrual symptoms.

Physical symptoms

• Abdominal cramps ;
• Swelling;
• Melasma ;
• Pain in the legs ;
• Constipation ;
• Amenorrhea ;
• Acne ;
• Dry eyes that may cause burning of the eyes ;
• Dry and cracked lips;
• Loss of fluid through the nipples;
• Morning sickness;
• Darkening of the areola;
• Pain in the breasts;
• Appearance of veins in the breast;
• Shortness of breath ;
• Increased basal temperature (low fever);
• Swollen breasts;
• Headache , back pain , kidney pain ;
• Dizziness or fainting;
• Chills ;
• Frequent urination ;
• Extreme and unexplained tiredness ;
• Nesting bleeding;
• Vaginal discharge (white and milky in appearance);
• Increased sensitivity to pleasant and unpleasant odors.

high fever is not a symptom of pregnancy, so it is necessary to seek medical attention immediately.


Behavioral symptoms

• Food cravings or aversions to particular foods;
• Mood changes and nervousness ;
• Insomnia ;
• Decreased libido (in the first trimester, due to high progesterone levels),
• Increased desire (in the second trimester).

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