Pregnancy starts at the point of conception when the sperm of a male fuses with the egg of a female. This can lead to several changes in your body. In fact, most women opt for a pregnancy test only after they observe symptoms such as missed periods and tender breasts. However, these changes may also occur as a result of simple hormonal changes in your body. Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers that affect your sexual function, mood and reproduction, and increased or reduced production of certain hormones may lead to symptoms that may mimic pregnancy.
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About four percent of women in the United States suffer from secondary amenorrhea, or missed periods due to reasons other than pregnancy, according to the website Medline Plus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. The causes may include hormonal imbalances that occur due to conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome and thyroid diseases. However, these conditions require specific blood tests and ultrasound for diagnosis. In the meantime, some of you may get suspicious about being pregnant. Talk to your doctor if you miss your periods for more than two months at a stretch.
Nausea is one of the most common symptoms associated with pregnancy. However, abnormal levels of certain hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and cortisol may also lead to nausea in young women and may make them feel pregnant. In fact, according to a study published in the July-August 2008 issue of the journal “Women’s Health Issues,” the fluctuating levels of estrogen during the menstrual cycle may increase your susceptibility to nausea and motion sickness.
Many women also experience significant breast tenderness in the early stages of pregnancy. However, you may experience these changes as a result of your hormones as well, even when you're not pregnant. In fact, the varying levels of estrogen and progesterone in your body can lead to swelling, tenderness and pain in your breasts. Your breasts may also feel lumpy during certain stages of the menstrual cycle. However, if you're not pregnant, they revert back to the normal size once the periods start.
Vaginal discharge is the mucous secreted by the cervical glands throughout the menstrual cycle. Its amount depends on the levels of circulating estrogen in your body. Increased vaginal discharge is another symptom of pregnancy that can also occur as a result of hormone imbalance as well and make you feel pregnant.