Dizziness can be an early sign of pregnancy, but it is unlikely to occur in the first week of pregnancy. Dizziness during pregnancy may be due to reduced blood pressure, morning sickness, blood vessel changes, and more.
It is worth keeping in mind that doctors calculate pregnancy from the first day of the last menstrual period, rather than conception. A person may not be pregnant during the first week of this time frame.
This is because pregnancy really begins with implantation — the fertilized egg embedding in the uterus — which takes place
It is only after implantation that the body
By the time a person knows that they are pregnant, it is usually week 4 or later.
In this article, we explore what can cause dizziness in early pregnancy. We also look at how to manage and prevent dizziness.
Several factors can cause a person to feel dizzy during pregnancy. These include:
Reduced blood pressure
Low blood pressure can occur during pregnancy, and it can cause dizziness and lightheadedness. The walls of the blood vessels
During pregnancy, people
For some people, the nausea of morning sickness causes dizziness. And if morning sickness is severe, a person may vomit so frequently that they become malnourished or dehydrated.
Blood vessel changes
During pregnancy, the body
Low iron levels and blood pressure can keep oxygen from reaching the brain as effectively as usual. This can result in dizziness.
Also, as the uterus expands, it can put pressure on blood vessels. This, too, can affect blood supply and lead to dizziness.
Iron deficiency anemia
During pregnancy, the body needs additional nutrients to enable the fetus to grow. People
Various factors can lead to anemia, and a doctor will likely carry out tests to identify the cause.
People with vegetarian or vegan diets may be particularly
Standing up too quickly
People with any risk factors for dizziness during pregnancy may find that the dizziness is worse when they
HIgh levels of progesterone
Most people have blood tests early in pregnancy, and some people have needle phobia or fear the sight of their blood.
A sudden drop in blood pressure, called a vasovagal response, can result from fear. This response can cause dizziness or fainting.
If a person experiences this type of dizziness, lying down with their feet slightly raised and their body tilted slightly to the left usually resolves it.
Every pregnancy is different. There is no standard timeline for pregnancy symptoms.
The levels of hCG
Some common early pregnancy symptoms
- breast changes, such as breast pain or swelling
- body aches
- morning sickness, nausea, or vomiting
- a frequent need to urinate
- mood changes
- food cravings
- aversions to certain foods or smells
- bleeding that is lighter than a period, which occurs in up to one-quarter of pregnancies
- lower back pain, which can occur from the early stages, as the ligaments soften to prepare the body for pregnancy
May people experience feelings of warmth and reduced sensitivity to cold during pregnancy. Some research suggests that around
It is possible to be pregnant and have no symptoms, just as it is possible to have many of the symptoms above and not be pregnant.
People with dizziness during pregnancy should take care to reduce the risk of falls and injuries.
- lying on the left side when resting or sleeping
- wearing loose clothing
- making sure not to drive during a dizzy spell or after any known dizziness triggers
During a dizzy spell, it can help to lie down with the feet raised or sit down and put the head between the legs. This encourages blood flow to the brain.
Some strategies that may help prevent dizziness include:
- eating small, regular meals to avoid hunger and low blood sugar
- drinking plenty of water to prevent dehydration
- asking a healthcare professional about ways to reduce nausea and vomiting
moderatelybut regularly to promote heart health, unless a doctor advises otherwise
- standing up slowly and holding onto something stable for support
- avoiding sitting or standing for too long
- taking walking or stretching breaks
- avoiding extreme heat
During pregnancy, discuss all symptoms with a doctor or midwife at each appointment. Doing this helps them identify any problems early and recommend safe ways to ease discomfort.
Call a member of the healthcare team if any of the following occurs:
- severe dizziness that does not go away
- fainting or losing consciousness
- a racing heart with dizziness
- heavy bleeding and dizziness
- vomiting that makes it hard to consume enough foods and drinks
Dizziness is a common pregnancy symptom, and like other early symptoms, it often goes away without medical treatment. Dizziness may return later in the pregnancy as the growing uterus puts pressure on various blood vessels.
If dizziness is severe, a doctor may recommend diagnostic tests, such as for anemia.
A person should not ignore dizziness or other symptoms during pregnancy, as these can be a warning from the body.