Difference Between Pregnancy Symptoms and Menstrual Symptoms

Pregnancy and mensuration are the hallmarks a woman experiences in her reproductive age. The menstruation starts at her teen age and stops at menopause which usually occurs at her fifties. Menstruation and pregnancy are under hormonal influence. The hormones causes varies effects on the body which are reflected as symptoms in the woman.

Menstruation is cyclical bleeding via vagina. The uterus which was ready to carry the fetus is shedding blood when it did not receive the embryo. The uterine endometrium (the internal layer of uterus) is enlarged and secretes under the influence of estrogen hormone. Then the hormone progesterone keep the layer with out shedding. When the level of the progesterone hormone declines, the uterus endometrium breaks and flow as blood. Due to the hormonal changes, the breast may be enlarged and patient feels fullness or heaviness of the breasts. In the mid cycle, there may be mild abdominal pain due to the burst of the graffian follicle, which release the egg. Just before the menses, there will be lower abdominal pain which is craping in nature. Usually around menstruation, the females are irritable and may be mild depressive.

In early pregnancy, the absence of menstruation is a symptom. The mother feels good (euphoric). The frequency of urination will increase. This is due to the enlarged uterus pressing on the bladder. Some may feel the physiological vaginal discharge. Like pre menstrual symptom, the pregnant mothers also feel the heaviness of the breasts. Back ache, difficulties in breathing, ankle swelling, increased vomiting are the pregnancy symptoms. The morning sickness is due to the hormone hCG. The hormone will rise to the peak by the 12 week and then it declines. So the vomiting will be high in the 3rd month, then gradually settles.

In later pregnancy, abdomen is enlarged. There will be striae. The veins in the leg may be enlarged. The mother suffers constipation. The skin colour may be darkened. The areola size will be increased. Some mothers will secrete milk before delivery.

In summary,

Both menstrual symptoms and pregnancy symptoms are physiological.

They caused mainly by the hormones.

Most of the symptoms are mild and will be reversed.

In both conditions, the breast heaviness is present.

In menstruation the symptoms occurs due to lack of progesterone and estrogen.

In pregnancy the symptoms are caused by increased levels of the hormones hCG and progesterone.