Clues That You
May Be Pregnant

Are you, or aren't you? Here are five surprising signs of pregnancy that might provide a clue to your parenting future.

Woman smelling foul odor

Vivid dreams

Have you noticed more depth and detail to your dreams? Thought to be due to a rise in hormones, many women report an increase in the vividness of their dreams and ability to recall them, which can begin well before that pregnancy test beams. Though the subject matter of the dream will change, these vivid dreams often continue throughout pregnancy, and aren't necessarily focused on anything that is obviously baby-related. According to Raina M. Paris, author of The Mother-to-Be's Dream Book, common "early pregnancy" dream themes may center on things that are water-related, and may include past lovers, vulnerable feelings or scenarios that focus on protecting something or someone. The dreams serve a healthy purpose, thought to assist in a mother-to-be's coping ability at being pregnant, dealing with the pending life changes it brings and in forming a primal bond to motherhood.

Bleeding gums

Once again, blame it on increased hormones. During pregnancy, gums will swell slightly, which may lead to an increase in bleeding, especially during flossing. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, up to 75 percent of women will develop "pregnancy-related gingivitis," which often increases in the second month of pregnancy and continues until delivery. Make sure you maintain a regular brushing and flossing routine while pregnant, and visit your dentist at least once to ensure the issue doesn't evolve into gum disease, which has been linked to lower birth-weight babies in some research.

Nausea

If you've blamed recent queasiness on the stomach flu, you may be right. Or you may be suffering the effect of rising levels of estrogen and progesterone in your body due to pregnancy. You've probably heard of morning sickness, but nausea -- even without vomiting -- occuring at any time of day can be a surprising sign of pregnancy. According to the Mayo Clinic, this symptom can appear within weeks of conception.

Heightened sense of smell

Have you noticed that your sniffer seems to be working overtime lately? Also due to a rise in estrogen, your sense of smell reaches almost superhero levels when you're pregnant, and it can be one of the earlier indications that something unusual is happening in your body. Unfortunately, that same sense can lead to more nausea -- and not just from food. If you've noticed that cigarette smoke, perfume and even hand soap fragrances seem to overwhelm you, it may be a clue that you're pregnant.

Nighttime potty breaks

Your mind may still be on ovulation tests and fertility monitors, but your body may already have moved past that phase. Even early in pregnancy, your uterus begins to expand to make room for baby. The increased pressure on your bladder, in tandem with an increase in hCG, a hormone that reaches high levels in your body during pregnancy, leads to an increased need to urinate -- especially during the night.

Tip

Feeling cramps, fatigue and tender breasts? It doesn't mean you're not expecting! The signs of pregnancy are surprisingly similar to those of an oncoming menstrual cycle.

More pregnancy tips

Tips for tracking your fertility
How pregnancy tests work
Ways to improve your chances of conception

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