While there are a myriad of pregnancy symptoms, most of which are just part of a healthy pregnancy, there are some pregnancy symptoms you should never ignore. If you experience any of these symptoms you should consult your doctor immediately.
Abdominal pain and cramping
It isnt unusual to have some cramping very early on in pregnancy but beyond the first weeks, all abdominal pain and cramping should be investigated.
Vaginal bleeding or unusual discharge
Some women do experience bleeding in early pregnancy but generally, if you experience vaginal bleeding particularly if the blood is fresh and bright red or you notice any discharge that is unusual for you, you should consult your doctor.
Aside from the rare little accident thats the result of a pregnant bladder under pressure, you should never leak fluid. This fluid is likely to be amniotic and as such, is a serious concern.
Burning sensation when you urinate
If urinating burns or is painful, check it out with your doctor. This becomes more urgent if you also develop a fever and backache.
Ongoing fainting or dizziness
While it isnt unusual for women in early pregnancy to experience dizziness, it is unusual for this symptom to persist into the second and third trimester.
A fall or injury to your abdomen
Pregnant women do sometimes fall in late pregnancy as their centre of gravity shifts throughout pregnancy, but any fall or injury that effects your abdomen should be seen to even if you cant see any signs of trauma.
If your vision becomes blurry, or you suffer from vision disturbances such as white lights or flashes, dots in front of your eyes, double vision or dimming, see your doctor for advice.
If you have become unusually thirsty but your urine output is minimal or non-existent, see your doctor immediately.
Sudden swelling of hands, feet and face
This swelling (called oedema) can be symptomatic of several medical conditions so have it checked by your doctor immediately.
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Some pregnant women suffer from more headaches than usual in early pregnancy because of the increase of hormones in their system, but if you are suffering from severe headaches that last more than a couple of hours, this could indicate there is a medical problem.
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Decrease in babys movements
If you notice a dramatic slow-down of your babys movements after 21 weeks or feel no movement at all in a 24 hour period discuss this with your doctor.
Onset of vomiting and nausea
If you experience nausea or vomiting that is persistent in later pregnancy (long after your morning sickness has dissipated), consult you doctor, particularly if these symptoms are accompanied by pain or a fever.
An all-over itching
This is more likely in late pregnancy and may be accompanied by dark urine and pale stools.
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You dont feel right
Call it mothers intuition, but if youre feeling anxious about your pregnancy symptoms (or even if you cant quite put your finger on whats wrong), discuss this with your doctor because no-one knows your body like you do.
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This article was written by Ella Walsh for New Zealands leading pregnancy resource, Kidspot.