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10 Weird Pregnancy Symptoms You Might Not Be Expecting
Updated on
November 15, 2023

10 Weird Pregnancy Symptoms You Might Not Be Expecting

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10 Weird Pregnancy Symptoms You Might Not Be Expecting.
10 Weird Pregnancy Symptoms You Might Not Be Expecting

Maybe even before you see that positive pregnancy test, you might be noticing some signs you might be pregnant. There are all the well-known ones that people tell you about, like a missed period, morning sickness, food cravings and strong sense of smell, but there are plenty of other pregnancy symptoms that likely no one will warn you about (so we’re doing it now).

It’s not a guarantee which signs of pregnancy you’ll have, if any, but if you experience any of these (honestly pretty weird) symptoms, rest assured that things are probably normal, though it’s never a bad idea to talk with your healthcare provider about anything that feels especially strange while pregnant.

Here are 10 weird pregnancy symptoms you might not be expecting (and what causes them):

Skin Tags

Skin tags are small, harmless growths of skin that typically appear on your body in places of high friction or where your skin folds, like armpits, neck, inner thighs and under breasts. There are a couple of reasons why skin tags can appear during pregnancy, including weight gain—you might gain anywhere from 11 to 40 pounds while pregnant, including swollen breasts and feet—which can increase friction in certain area, and an increase in the hormone leptin, which is responsible for the growth of skin cells.

Skin tags are totally harmless, but they can be pretty annoying, especially if they rub against your clothing. There are a variety of quick, easy treatment options to get rid of them, but it’s best to wait until after you give birth before trying to remove them (and they might go away on their own).


Even if you’ve never had a nosebleed before in your life, you may suddenly find a few red drips on your tissue or pillowcase at some point in your pregnancy. But try not to be alarmed—pregnancy-related nosebleeds are normal and totally harmless, though your nasal cavity may feel a bit sore.

What causes pregnancy nosebleeds? The amount of blood in your body doubles to support the growing fetus, and that raises the pressure in your blood vessels…and sometimes, that can cause sensitive vessels to rupture (like the ones in your nose). If you’ve got a cold or allergies and are blowing your nose a lot more than usual, or if the air around you is more dry than you’re used to, that creates the perfect conditions for overly sensitive pressurized nasal passages to rupture.

Vulvar Varicosities

Varicose veins are a fairly well known and pretty common symptom of pregnancy, but did you know they don’t just happen in your legs? Vulvar varicosities are enlarged veins that occur around your vulva. They’re caused by the increased blood volume and pressure of growing a baby, and they can feel like burning, stinging, itching or a combination of those sensations (ugh).

Varicose veins in your pelvic area (including hemorrhoids) can be hard to deal with, especially since they can make it difficult to sit down, but luckily there’s a relief option that’s pretty cool (literally): padsicles. Just pop a pad-shaped ice pack into your underwear and let the cold soothe away the itching and burning. For quick relief, try these instant cooling pads from FridaMom; and for a reusable option, we love these flexible clay cooling pads with washable cloth covers. And as a nice bonus, padsicles also work wonders for postpartum pain relief.

Lightning Crotch

While we’re talking about pain in your pelvic area, here’s another weird symptom that can really catch you off-guard. “Lightning crotch” is sudden sharp, internal pain in your pelvic area, often described as feeling like an electrical zap (hence the name), and you might feel it in your vagina or rectum.

There are a few potential causes, including round ligament pain and fetal movement that causes baby to press on specific nerves, and it’s most likely to occur in the later weeks of pregnancy.

Excess Vaginal Discharge

We’re pretty sure Cardi B wasn’t referring to symptoms of pregnancy, but excess vaginal wetness is a real thing that happens to a lot of pregnant people, and it can be pretty annoying, especially going through several pairs of underwear or panty liners per day.

But rest assured that a sudden increase in vaginal discharge is totally normal and may not be a sign of any kind of infection (though you should definitely talk to your healthcare provider if you notice any accompanying itching, strong smell or a change in consistency). All that extra discharge is your body’s way of keeping infections away, particularly as your cervix softens toward the end of your pregnancy.

You may even notice some discharge that’s tinged pink or brown. That’s likely a sign of spotting, which is totally normal in pregnancy, but if your discharge comes with any cramping or bright red color, you should check in with your doctor.

Excess Saliva

Blood and discharge aren’t the only bodily fluids seeing an uptick in pregnancy. (Kinda gross, we know—as wonderful as pregnancy can be, it also comes with some bodily functions that are less than appealing.) If you notice your mouth watering a lot more than usual, chances are it’s caused by being pregnant. Also known as ptyalism gravidarum, excess saliva can lead to some (honestly obnoxious) side effects like drooling, tonsil stones and maybe a few instances of embarrassingly choking on your own saliva mid-sentence.

Experts don’t know exactly what causes excess saliva during pregnancy, but the most likely causes are changes in pregnancy hormone levels (the culprit of many pregnancy symptoms) or your body’s response to nausea or heartburn.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Here’s another weird pregnancy symptom you can blame on the increase in blood volume. Thanks to all the extra blood in your veins and your blood flow slowing down a bit, various extremities may experience swelling (feet and ankles are common swelling spots during pregnancy). When the swelling happens in your wrists, it can put pressure on the nerves in your carpal tunnel, which leads to tingling, numbness or pain in your hands. These sensations are thankfully usually short and temporary, and you can use a splint and wrist wrap to keep your wrist and hand stabilized, or talk to your provider about seeking occupational therapy.

Stuffy/Runny Nose

Is it a cold? Is it the sudden onset of new allergies? If you’re pregnant, it might be pregnancy rhinitis—a runny or stuffy nose that’s literally caused by the fact that you’re pregnant, as if growing a baby takes over all your bodily functions. Weird, right? It’s yet another symptom that can be blamed on excess blood volume and swelling; the mucous membranes in your nose can swell, making you congested while also, unfortunately, increasing mucus production. So be sure to keep plenty of tissue on hand.

Change in Shoe Size

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but your favorite pair of shoes might not fit after pregnancy. The hormone relaxin helps loosen your joints during pregnancy to help your body prepare for giving birth, and while that helps a lot with relaxing your pelvic area, it unfortunately affects other parts of your body too…like your feet. Between relaxed joints and the excess weight you’re carrying, the ligaments in your feet have ample opportunity to stretch out. This means you could end your pregnancy with feet that are a half to a whole size larger than what you started with. The good news? Postpartum shoe shopping!

Blurry Vision

No, it’s not your imagination. If you’ve noticed your vision seeming a little fuzzier than normal, it could be related to pregnancy. All those fluids you’re retaining can actually have an affect on the shape of your corneas, which can cause your eyesight to blur slightly. And it can happen regardless of your pre-pregnancy eyesight, so even if you’ve never needed glasses or contact lenses before, you might find yourself wondering if you need them all of a sudden. But don’t run to the optometrist to update your prescription just yet—your vision will likely go back to normal during postpartum recovery.

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