Some Symptoms Can Even Appear Before a Missed Period.
Early Signs of Pregnancy
The Full 9 Months
|Early Signs of Pregnancy
Even before taking a pregnancy test, your body may be giving you some hints that something is changing. The following are some of the early signs of pregnancy to watch out for:
One of the first and obvious signs of pregnancy is a missed period. There are other possible reasons for missed periods or irregular periods including illness, jet lag, stress or medical conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). However, if these causes are ruled out then the first thing to do is take a pregnancy test. Yet, even without testing for pregnancy, you may feel your body is giving you some hints. Early pregnancy symptoms can appear within a week of conception and include:
Also known as the dreaded morning sickness, nausea can appear within a week of conception, although it is more common around week six. Studies show that nearly 75 percent of moms-to-be experience morning sickness (nausea and/or vomiting). It seems to be partly caused by rapidly rising levels of estrogen.
Some women experience sore breasts or nipples. These symptoms can occur as early as fertilization when sperm meets egg. Generally as a pregnancy progresses, tenderness becomes more pronounced. You may also experience a tingling feeling and notice that the veins in your breasts have become larger. These are also common signs of a period, so are easy to miss. One clear indication is if the areolas become darker - that is the dark skin around the nipples. See also: pregnancy breast changes.
It is common for a woman to experience some pregnancy cramps and light bleeding during pregnancy, particularly in the first week after conception. Spotting or light bleeds are also known as implantation bleeding. Implantation happens between 6 and 12 days after fertilization. The fertilized egg implants in the line of the uterus so that the fetus can grow. Sometimes there is a light bleed, which may be mistaken for a period. However spotting is lighter, pinker in color or sometimes looks like a brownish discharge.
If you are suddenly more tired than usual, without cause, this can be one of the early signs of pregnancy. It may even start on day one of conception, and is perhaps the body's way of telling you to slow down. Pregnancy causes an increase in hormone production, the heart rate to increase and the metabolism to burn energy overtime. Additionally the body starts to use more water and nutrients. All this can lead to sudden exhaustion. If you are not sure if you are pregnant take a look at pregnancy questions. See also, why am I so tired all the time?
Stomach feeling bloated? It can be difficult to tell the difference between a premenstrual bloat and a pregnancy bloat. If you are expecting, then it is too soon to put a swollen tummy down to baby growth, but you can blame those pregnancy hormones. Another common sign is lower back pain caused by all the changes taking place in the uterus. This may mistakenly be attributed to menstruation or back strain. See back pain while pregnant.
Pregnancy can lead to a sudden spike in hormone levels, which in turn can lead to headaches. This may be mistaken for stress, tiredness, allergies or a number of other common reasons. If you have further questions on this topic, check our womens health questions area. It includes questions such as can you get pregnant while taking the pill? and when is it safe to get pregnant after stopping the Pill?
Are you suddenly more sensitive to smells, particularly food smells? Out of the blue repulsion of meat (particularly raw chicken), fried foods and coffee are common. Taste changes are more usual after week six, although many women can become sensitive within days of conception. Food cravings and sensitivity to everyday regular perfumes are also early signs of pregnancy. Some women complain of a metallic taste in the mouth. See also: pregnancy cravings.
Are you feeling more weepy and emotional than usual for time of the month? The flood of pregnancy hormones to the body can cause this, although mood swings are more common later in the first trimester.
Faintness or feeling dizzy is a common early sign of pregnancy. This is caused by blood vessels dilating and the result of rapidly rising levels of blood pumping through the body. In other words, it is nothing to worry about. See: dizziness while pregnant.
The basal body temperature increases slightly soon after ovulation and remains at that level until your next period. If you have been charting your basal body temperature to work out when you ovulate, a continued elevation for more than two weeks may mean that you are pregnant. You may experience the side effect of sudden hot flashes.
If you suspect you might be pregnant, then you should take a home pregnancy test. Results are more accurate if the test is carried out after the first day of your missed period. There are some kits now however which can give results a few days before this. If you would like more reassurance, ask your doctor to carry out a blood test which is accurate within a few days of conception. If you receive confirmation, it will be time to read our prenatal care guide.
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