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PMS vs Pregnancy Symptoms- Learn To Differentiate Between The Two

by | December 24, 2018

PMS vs pregnancy? Why did I even think of writing on this topic? Well because…

After years of suffering through horrific PMS I was so excited to be pregnant. Obviously, I was thrilled because I was having a baby, but if truth be told I was more than a little happy at the thoughts of not having a period or PMS for nine whole months. Well, the glee was short-lived, why? Because for me pregnancy was like a nine-month-long bout of PMS.

While there are (for me anyway) a lot of emotional similarities between PMS and pregnancy, there are also quite a few physical similarities too.

pms vs pregnancy
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PMS vs Pregnancy- A Thorough Look At It

To understand the differences and give the whole thing a thorough look, lets have an insight into the symptoms first.

Common Symptoms of PMS

1. Tender and Swollen Breasts

The breasts can become tender and sometimes swollen and heavy.

2. Muscle Cramps, Back Pain and Spotting

Cramping before a period is very common, it can increase in intensity at the beginning of a period and diminishes as the flow gets lighter.

Some women also have spotting before their periods.

Lower back pain is another very common symptom that women experience right before and during their periods.

3. Aversion to Food or Food Cravings

Many women experience cravings for specific foods, such as chocolate and salty foods.

4. Mood Swings

A lot of women experience mood swings during PMS, with highs and lows like a roller-coaster.

5. Fatigue

Some women can feel exhausted before their periods.

6. Pimples or Acne

Hormones can cause breakouts before periods.

7. Weight Gain and Bloating

Some women experience water retention before their periods, causing them to gain a few lbs and bloat.

PMS vs Pregnancy continues below.

pms vs pregnancy

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Some Common Symptoms of Pregnancy.

1. Breast Tenderness and Areola Darkening

Breast tenderness is usually the first sign of pregnancy. The breasts can become swollen and feel heavy. The areola can become enlarged and darken in color.

2. Fatigue

Most women feel exhausted during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester.

3. Nausea and Dizziness

Morning sickness and nausea are extremely common during pregnancy, usually going away after the first trimester. Some women experience this throughout the whole nine months.

Some women experience lightheadedness, especially when the stand-up.

4. Increase in Basal Body Temperature

The body temperature rises by up to 1.5 degrees during pregnancy.

5. Mood Swings

Hormonal changes in the body can cause overwhelming mood swings.

6. Food Cravings and Aversions

Food cravings are very common during pregnancy, so also are food aversions. Even the slight aroma of what used to be your favorite foods can send you running to the bathroom.

7. Cramps

Some women experience mild cramps in the lower abdomen or lower back.

8. Skin Darkening

Some women experience melasma during pregnancy. The skin, usually on the face, can darken or develop blotches.

9. Frequent Urination

Frequent urination can be one of the earliest symptoms of pregnancy.


10. Headache


Headaches due to hormonal changes are pretty common during pregnancy.

There are a lot of similarities between PMS and Pregnancy. If you have a delayed period it can be difficult to distinguish between the two. If you think you may be pregnant, it’s best to take a test as soon as you can and consult your healthcare provider.

Share your thoughts on PMS vs Pregnancy symptoms below.

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Julie Nealon

Associate Editor, New York USA | Contactable via [email protected]

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