Flu symptoms are an uncommon sign of early pregnancy, however, many women who participated in this discussion, just as the discussion starter, reported a feeling of malaise that could be attributed to flu, asking if it could be somehow related to pregnancy.
The member who replied first listed common pregnancy signs that don't include flu-like symptoms:
- missed period
- excessive weight gain or loss
- hormonal problems
- swollen, tender breasts
- morning sickness
She suggested that the discussion starter should take a pregnancy test to be sure.
The participant who replied nest told that above are indeed some early pregnancy signs, some of the more common ones. In addition, women can also have an altered (heightened) sense of smell and taste, foods that suddenly disgust them, abdominal cramps, bloating, needing to pee more often, and mood swings. She also added:
Some people do report flu-like symptoms as well, though you never see that listed anywhere. My guess is that this is caused by pregnancy just being hard work for the body, and it can weaken your immune system. That then makes you more vulnerable to illness.
Many others who joined the discussion, reported the same flu-like symptoms along with the late period or other symptoms that may indicate pregnancy.
The following flu-like symptoms have been reported:
- achy. sore muscles
- loss of appetite
- sore throat
- runny nose
- stuffy nose (congestion)
- temperature fluctuations
Many women who had these symptoms also reported that their period is several days/weeks late. Some women confirmed that the flu-like symptoms are indicators of a positive pregnancy.
I am now 4 weeks and 4 days pregnant and right after I found out that I was pregnant I had the flu-like symptoms...This is my second pregnancy. I lost the first exactly a year ago and I had the exact same signs then too.
I had what felt like the flu right around the time that I tested positive for all three of my pregnancies.
Those women who weren't sure decided to take the pregnancy test, but for many, it came out negative, making the problem even more confusing.
Could I still be pregnant? When should I test again?
As one participant pointed out, most pregnancy tests read false negatives early on in a pregnancy, so the women experiencing these symptoms "need to play the waiting game." Another participant added that urine pregnancy tests are often unreliable.
The only positive way to be completely sure is to go to your doctor and get a Blood test. Even urine tests can produce a false positive or negative.
There were a lot of different opinions and suggestions further in the discussion, but none of them were conclusive about whether or not flu-like symptoms can be an early sign of pregnancy.
What do experts say?
We're all familiar with the classic signs of pregnancy, such as a missed period, tender breasts, fatigue and morning sickness. But pregnant women can also experience a lot more symptoms beyond these early signs. Many women experience cold- or flu-like symptoms early in pregnancy, just like many participants in this discussion reported.
Indeed, symptoms like headaches, fatigue, muscle aches, nausea, and vomiting are all early pregnancy signs. However, these symptoms can also indicate flu, especially if other symptoms like cough and fever are present, which are not related to pregnancy and may indicate illness instead. It is important to tell the difference because flu is more likely to cause severe illness in pregnant women than in women who are not pregnant.
Early pregnancy signs
Early signs of pregnancy differ from woman to woman. Even the same woman can experience different symptoms from pregnancy to pregnancy. The most common sign of pregnancy is a missed menstrual period. The following early signs may be experienced as well:
- Swollen, tender or enlarged breasts
- Darkening of the areolas
- Slight bleeding or spotting, which may be implantation bleeding
- Nausea or vomiting (morning sickness)
- Fatigue or lightheadedness
- Food cravings or aversions
- Frequent urination
- Mood swings
As the pregnancy progresses, the other symptoms that could be related to pregnancy or flu may develop:
- A general feeling of malaise or not feeling well
- Nasal congestion (stuffy nose)
Some of the early pregnancy symptoms can mimic flu, a contagious respiratory illness. The signs and symptoms of the flu include:
- Muscle or body aches
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Loss of appetite
- Vomiting and diarrhea (mostly in children)
Flu symptoms, like signs of pregnancy, can differ from person to person and can vary in severity. Some symptoms, such as fatigue, nausea, headaches or muscle aches may be related to either condition. However, pregnancy is not known to bring on cough, chills or fever (you may feel warm or flushed in pregnancy though, but that's not a fever). If you experience any of these symptoms in the pregnancy, you should seek medical help, because flu may make things worse for you and your baby.
Pregnancy and flu
Changes that happen during pregnancy and that affect the immune system, heart, and lungs make pregnant women more prone to severe illness if they catch the flu, including illness resulting in hospitalization. If you're concerned that you might either be pregnant or have the flu, talking your doctor is a good idea. Especially if you've been actively trying to conceive and aren't sure if you are pregnant. The flu can be particularly risky in pregnant women, for both women and their baby.
According to the most OB-GYNs, it’s best to avoid all medications in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, which can make treatment of flu during pregnancy difficult.
Home remedies, such as getting plenty of rest and drinking a lot of fluids can help alleviate the symptoms, but they can't cure the flu.
Getting a flu vaccine is, therefore, the first and most important step in protecting against flu. Pregnant women should get a flu shot that would help protect both the mother and her baby. Flu vaccination has been shown to reduce the risk of flu-associated acute respiratory infection in pregnant women by up to one-half. Pregnant women who get a flu vaccine are also helping to protect their babies from flu for the first several months after their birth when they are too young to get vaccinated.
- I have been on the pill when I go on my break I always come on and I have had a break for two weeks and haven't come on which is no like me, I'm emotions, tired, moody, tender breasts, constipation but now looseish stools,got a sore throat and am crying at such silly things, I was like this before!
- I had a really bad headache, achy, sore muscles, loss of appetite, nausea, sore throat, and today my head is stopped up.
- Well ive been feeling neausa, stuffy nose, can't sleep at night but during the day thats all i want to do.
- throughout the day, i had no energy and then all of a sudden, i was experiencing flu like symptoms (sensitive skin, hot and colds, chills) then to add to it, I had some really bad cramping in my lower abdominals.
- I've been feeling generally very bloated with heartburn & gas (burping - very, very weird for me), no matter what I eat or how much I exercise.
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