If you're like most women, you're probably eagerly awaiting the day that you can take a pregnancy test and find out if those rumors are true — you're pregnant!
But before you can do that, it's helpful to know what signs and symptoms to look for in the early stages of pregnancy.
So today, we'll be discussing some of the most common early signs and symptoms of pregnancy. Keep reading to learn more!
Are you pregnant?
Some pregnancy symptoms, like a missed period or feeling nauseous, can be caused by other factors like illness or stress.
Likewise, you might not experience classic pregnancy symptoms and still be pregnant.
If you miss a period and exhibit any of the above indicators or symptoms, take a home pregnancy test or see your doctor.
If your home pregnancy test is positive, contact your health care provider immediately.
The sooner you can get started on prenatal care, the better. Take a daily prenatal vitamin if you want to conceive or are already pregnant.
Prenatal vitamins are designed to help your baby develop by providing essential nutrients like folic acid and iron.
How early can you tell if you’re pregnant?
Again, you’ll need to take a pregnancy test at the right time to confirm your hopes or suspicions.
But when it comes to the first symptoms of pregnancy, everyone is different.
Some people start to notice changes within a week after conception.
Others might not notice anything until they miss their period.
What are the first symptoms of pregnancy?
The number one indicator of pregnancy symptoms starting in its earliest stages is a missed period.
Your menstrual period is your body's method of getting ready for a possible pregnancy each month, and it begins with the thickening of your uterine lining, which is where a fertilized egg would implant to start a pregnancy.
Your period is when your uterus sheds the extra lining if you're not pregnant. If you're expecting, the lining stays put and you don't have your usual flow.
This is why a missed menstrual cycle is so often a sign of early symptoms in pregnancy.
To confirm other early pregnancy symptoms you can take a home pregnancy test.
What other symptoms can be early signs of pregnancy?
Here are several signs of pregnancy symptoms as early pregnancy progresses.
1. Spotting or light bleeding
Many women are surprised to learn that spotting or light bleeding can be an early sign of pregnancy, but about one-third of women experience it.
This is often called implantation bleeding. Doctors believe it occurs as the fertilized egg attaches (or implants) itself into the uterine lining.
When does implantation bleeding occur?
Implantation bleeding typically occurs 10 to 14 days after conception, which is just before or right around the time your period is due.
So, you may mistakenly think you’ve gotten your period. Smiling one second, frustrated the next.
You may feel like you're on an emotional rollercoaster ride during vaginal bleeding because your hormone levels are constantly changing.
Implantation bleeding is a light flow that usually starts and stops over a couple days, and it can be any color from pink to brown to light red.
In contrast, your period may start light in both flow and color but then intensify after a few days.
The hue will become darker red, and it can last anywhere from one week to ten days.
2. Lower abdominal pain or cramping
Many women experience cramps and lower-abdominal pain as a symptom of their period, but did you know that these same discomforts can also be an early sign of pregnancy?
What do implantation cramps feel like?
Implantation cramps are uncomfortable muscular contractions that can appear as aching, heavy, or sharp pains in your lower abdomen.
They can occur whether you're having your period or not, and they may feel distinct from menstruation cramps.
You might experience mild to severe pricking, pulling, or tingling over a few days that goes away and returns.
Menstrual cramps are often described as throbbing or dull aches, usually starting one or two days before your period.
3. Higher basal body temperature
If you're hoping to conceive and have been tracking your basal body temperature (BBT), you may know that it rises slightly post-ovulation.
If successful, instead of dipping back down again, your temperature will stay high as it's happen because of pregnancy hormones.
Of course, you could be running hot for other reasons, but if it persists for more than a few weeks, pregnancy may be to blame.
4. Changes in cervical mucus
Cervical mucus is always a great way to help predict fertility, but here's another reason to keep an eye on it: In the early weeks of pregnancy, cervical discharge may increase and change consistency, becoming stickier and whiter.
5. Breast tenderness, swelling or tingling
pregnancy brings about lots of changes in a woman's body, like increased levels of estrogen and progesterone to support the baby.
These hormone shifts can sometimes cause symptoms such as breast tenderness.
Frequently, soreness or tingling in the breasts begin to appear a few days before a missed period.
Breast discomfort in the week or two before your period, or right after it begins, is common.
Breast tenderness and swelling caused by pregnancy will likely be more acute than usual, and they'll stick around for a while.
You could also experience nipple soreness.
It's not uncommon to feel exhausted early on in pregnancy, and some women might even experience it before they realize they're pregnant.
In fact, fatigue could start as soon as one week after conception.
This is due to the sudden hormone changes taking place at this time, specifically an increase in progesterone levels.
7. Frequent urination
An increased demand for restroom trips around the same time your next period is supposed to occur may signify pregnancy.
Yes, the quantity of times you pee in a day is strongly determined by your drinking habits.
Pregnancy, on the other hand, boosts blood volume in your body, allowing your kidneys to filter and eliminate more waste.
If you're expecting, you might notice that you urinate a lot more than usual — a sign that may begin early on and (unfortunately) last throughout your pregnancy.
8. Nausea or vomiting
Maternal sickness is a disease that affects the physical and emotional health of both mother and baby.
It's one of the most well-known pregnancy symptoms, taking the form of food aversion or nausea, and vomiting for some.
This symptom can begin as early as two weeks after fertilization, which is around week four in pregnancy and right when you'd miss your period if you were pregnant.
Although called "morning sickness," some women may actually never experience nausea or vomiting.
Additionally, this symptom can present at any time throughout the day or night—not just in the morning.
9. Darkening areolas
Usually, the darkening and enlarging of your areolas (the area around your nipples) happens gradually throughout pregnancy.
Still, some women experience these changes early on, often along with other symptoms.
10. Bloating or constipation
Bloating and constipation are typical during pregnancy, but the cause is less than ideal- those pesky changing hormones.
They slacken down digestion which can then result in gas accumulation and eventually constipation.
Bloating or constipation early on in pregnancy may be mild and accompanied with other symptoms.
However, if you are pregnant, unfortunately these symptoms may continue throughout the entire pregnancy.
11. Metallic taste in your mouth
Many women experience a metallic taste in their mouth during pregnancy. Once again, hormones are to blame – particularly estrogen.
This symptom (as well as changes in taste overall) is typical during the first trimester, although it can occur at other times as well – especially before a missed period.
12. Sensitivity to smell
A heightened sense of smell is a common symptom in women who are pregnant.
In fact, studies show that anywhere from two-thirds to three-fourths of expecting mothers experience this change.
Frequently, even through the first trimester or beyond, this enhanced sense of smell can linger and contribute to other symptoms such as nausea, food cravings, and aversions.
13. Mood changes
There are many things that can affect your mood, from work stress to the natural changes in your menstrual cycle.
But during pregnancy, mood swings are very common – and they may be especially noticeable early on as your body gets a sudden influx of estrogen and progesterone.
If you are pregnant and experiencing mood changes, it is normal.
You may feel weepy or more sensitive than usual. It is also common to be more easily annoyed or tired.
These symptoms are often coupled with others such as fatigue or nausea." 14. Headaches Headaches are a universal occurrence.
They happen in the cold and during allergy season.
They're caused by tension, tiredness, or cutting back on caffeine to help your body prepare for pregnancy.
However, they can also be induced by pregnancy itself.
Nausea can lead to dehydration, which then causes headaches.
Hormonal changes and increasing blood volume during early pregnancy are also common headache triggers.
When blood flow increases during pregnancy, blood pressure can also drop and cause you to feel dizzy.
Usually, you'll only notice this symptom in your second trimester, but some women may start feeling it very early on.
16. Nasal congestion
Many people are surprised to discover that Nasal Congestion is a pregnancy indication.
You might be wondering if you're coming down with something or if your allergies are acting up.
However, if you experience a stuffy or runny nose alongside other pregnancy symptoms, you may want to take a test soon.
The mucous membranes in the nose are also influenced by hormones and increased blood flow throughout the body.
Blood vessels may swell as a result of this, causing congestion and even sneezing.
Could you have early pregnancy symptoms and not be pregnant?
Because many early pregnancy symptoms are similar to those associated with other diseases, it's important to remember that they might be caused by anything from a stomach bug to migraines.
So the best way to know whether your symptoms are due to pregnancy is to try and relax and wait for your test period until it arrives.
Congratulations on your pregnancy!
If you are like most women, you may be wondering about the early signs and symptoms of pregnancy.
This article has outlined some of the most common symptoms.
If you experience any of these symptoms, please consult with your doctor.
Early diagnosis is key to having a healthy pregnancy.
Have you experienced any other unusual symptoms?
Please share them in the comments below.