Are Period-Like Symptoms Common When Pregnant?

Symptoms such as breast tenderness, spotting and cramping are experienced by many women during menstrual periods. Sometimes a woman may not be aware that she is pregnant because period-like symptoms are also common during pregnancy. If you experience period-like symptoms at times other than during your period, consult your doctor so that he can assess if you are pregnant.


Many women experience cramps before and during monthly periods, according to Cramps are dull or throbbing pains in the lower abdomen and pelvic area. Mild cramping during pregnancy is normal; however, severe cramping is not a good sign, according to March of Dimes Health website. Severe cramping during pregnancy may be a sign of a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy and preterm labor. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop severe cramps during your pregnancy.


Smiling pregnant woman on bed with her hand at belly

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Spotting is very light bleeding that you may experience a few days prior to a monthly period. Spotting during early pregnancy is normal, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Spotting during early pregnancy can occur when the embryo implants itself into the uterine wall. If you experience spotting during pregnancy, call your doctor even if the bleeding stops. Serious pregnancy complications such as miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, vaginal infections and preterm labor can also cause spotting.

Swollen, Tender Breasts

Experiencing swollen, tender breasts is a period-like symptom that is also common during pregnancy. Your breasts may swell and become sore one to two weeks after conception, according to the American Pregnancy Association. These changes in a woman's breasts are caused by hormonal imbalances during monthly periods or pregnancy. Consult your doctor if your breasts continue to be sore after your periods.

Other Period-like Symptoms

Smiling pregnant woman on bed with her hand at belly

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Other period-like symptoms you may experience during pregnancy include:

  • fatigue
  • acne breakouts
  • backaches
  • headaches
  • bloating
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • strange food cravings
  • irritability
  • mood swings
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • difficulty concentrating
  • sleeping problems
  • according to the American Pregnancy Association

Consult your doctor if these symptoms prevent you from completing daily tasks.