Are you wondering if you might be pregnant? The only option to know for sure is by taking a pregnancy test. Actually, pregnancy tests and ultrasounds are the only ways to determine if you are pregnant. However, there are other signs and symptoms you can look out for. But as many say – there are early signs of pregnancy that may point to the possibility. You need to be vigilant and look out for the early signs and symptoms.
Many people assume that a missed period is perhaps the first sign of pregnancy. However, the earliest signs of pregnancy are more than a missed period. From morning sickness to acne and mood swings to sore breasts – it is different for each person and with each pregnancy. They may also include morning smell sensitivity, fatigue and many more.
Here we discuss a number of early signs of pregnancy that confirm you are really pregnant.
Do All Women Get Early Signs of Pregnancy?
You must be knowing the basics – every woman is different. So are their experiences of pregnancy. Not every woman will have the same symptoms or even the same symptoms from their previous pregnancy. But the early symptoms of pregnancy are quite subtle, and you might not realize that you are pregnant.
Below we describe some of the most common early symptoms of pregnancy. You should know that these symptoms may be caused by other things besides being pregnant. So even if you notice some of these signs and symptoms – it does not necessarily mean you are pregnant. The only way to be sure is with a pregnancy test.
Common Early Signs of Pregnancy
1 Spotting and Cramping
After conception, the first thing that happens is that the fertilized egg attaches itself to the wall of the uterus. This can cause one of the earliest signs of pregnancy, known as spotting and, sometimes, cramping. That is actually ‘s called implantation bleeding. It occurs anywhere from the first six to twelve days after the egg has fertilized.
These cramps often resemble menstrual cramps, so many of you mistake them and the bleeding – think of it as the start of their period. The bleeding and cramps, however, are slight.
Besides bleeding, you might notice a white, milky discharge from your vagina. That is related to the thickening of the vagina’s walls. This process starts immediately after conception. As there is increased growth of the cells lining the vagina, it causes the discharge to happen.
This discharge, which might continue throughout pregnancy, is typically harmless and would not require treatment. But if there is a bad odor related to the discharge accompanied by a burning and itching sensation. Your doctor can check on whether you have a bacterial or yeast infection.
2 Breast Changes
Changes in your breast are another very early sign of pregnancy. After conception, a woman’s hormone levels change rapidly. Because of the changes, the breasts might become swollen, sore, or tingly after a week or two. Or they might feel heavier, fuller or feel tender to the touch. The area around the nipples might start to darken.
There could be other things that could cause breast changes. But as these changes are an early pregnancy symptom, you need to keep in mind that it is going to take a while to get used to the new levels of hormones. But once you get used to it the breast pain should ease up.
Starting early on, you will feel very tired – it is normal in pregnancy. In fact, you can start feeling unusually fatigued as early as one week after conceiving.
Why? It is related to a high level of a hormone called progesterone. But there are other factors like lower blood pressure, lower levels of blood sugar, and a boost in blood production that can make you fatigue.
If you get fatigued during pregnancy, it is important to get plenty of rest. Eating foods that are rich in protein and iron can help offset it to a great extent.
4 Nausea or Morning Sickness
Morning sickness is perhaps the most famous symptom of pregnancy. About half of the pregnancy cases will have morning sickness. But do you know that – not every pregnant woman gets it?
Nausea during pregnancy could occur at any time of the day. But it is most common in the morning hours. Some women feel sick only at night, whereas some are sick the whole day, and others feel ill on and off with a unique pattern. In most cases vomiting may or may not be present.
The exact cause of morning sickness is not known but it is sure that the pregnancy hormones contribute to this symptom.
Also, you might crave or cannot stand certain foods when you become pregnant. This is actually related to changes in your hormone levels. The effect can be so strong that even the thought of your favorite food can upset your stomach.
It has been noticed that the symptoms of nausea, cravings, and food aversions could last for the entire pregnancy. Fortunately, for many, the symptoms lessen after the 13th or 14th week of their pregnancy. In the meantime, make sure to eat a healthy diet so that you and your developing baby get all the essential nutrients. You should also take of your dental health during this period. You should talk to your doctor for advice on this matter.
5 Missed Period
This is the most common and obvious early symptom of pregnancy. In fact, it is the only condition that prompts most women to get a pregnancy test. But note that – not all missed or delayed periods are caused by pregnancy.
Also, women might experience some bleeding during pregnancy. If you are pregnant, discuss with your doctor whether you should be aware of bleeding during pregnancy. For example, when your bleeding is normal and when is it a sign of an emergency?
Remember, there are reasons, besides pregnancy, for missing a period. Another reason could be that you gained or lost too much weight, which led to missed periods. Hormonal problems, stress or fatigue are a few of the other possibilities. Some women even miss their period when they stop taking birth control pills. But if your period is late and pregnancy is a possibility, you should get a pregnancy test done.
If you experience this symptom after you have confirmed your pregnancy the exercise and increased fiber in your diet can help. During pregnancy, because of the higher levels of the hormone progesterone, you tend to constipate.
Progesterone hormone causes the food to pass more slowly through your intestines. Progesterone in your body impacts multiple processes, primarily food digestion. The high levels of this hormone cause the digestion process to become slow, leading to constipation. To ease the problem, try drinking plenty of water, exercise, and eat plenty of high-fiber foods.
Also, once you start to take prenatal vitamins, the iron in them can worsen constipation. You may have to try a few options in order to find one that works best for you.
7 Frequent urination
If you are going to the washroom more than usual, that might be a sign that you are pregnant. Frequent urination is fairly common. This symptom generally starts around the sixth or eighth week after conception. This occurs because of the growing uterus. If you are pregnant, it is most likely due to hormonal levels. But otherwise, such a condition could be a urinary tract infection, diabetes, or using diuretics.
Other Early Signs of Pregnancy
As a pregnant woman, you could have all of these symptoms or maybe have only a few. If any of these symptoms become bothersome, discuss them with your doctor so that you can make a plan to offset them.
Pregnancy brings changes in your hormonal balance. And as a result, it causes other symptoms that include:
8 Mood swings. This symptom is common, especially during the first trimester. These are also related to the changes in your hormones. Do not be surprised or upset if you suddenly burst into tears or experience intense emotions.
9 Headaches and back pain. You might report frequent mild headaches. In fact, headaches are rather common during pregnancy due to hormonal changes. Others might experience back pain as well. This symptom can occur at any point in pregnancy but is mostly seen during the first trimester. If the pain is too much to bear, talk to your doctor about which medications are safe to use.
10 Dizziness and fainting. This symptom may be related to dilating blood vessels. Also because of lower blood pressure and lower blood sugar in your body during pregnancy.
Early Signs of Pregnancy – Take a Pregnancy Test
If you suspect that you are pregnant, take a pregnancy test. It is basically a urine test that measures the level of human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG. This is a hormone secreted when you are pregnant. Every woman secretes a little more or less of the hormone. So the tests are not completely accurate.
The better tests on the market generally measure 25 to 50 mIU/mL (milli-international units per milliliter) of hCG. This amount is found in the urine between the fourth and fifth weeks of gestation.
Blood tests are in fact, the most accurate (especially during Covid-19)and can be performed seven to ten days post-ovulation. This test is helpful as it helps predict your health during pregnancy at various points. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about your pregnancy tests and early signs of pregnancy.