Signs of pregnancy
In most women the first sign of pregnancy is missing a period or two or more consecutive periods, while this might be a telltale sign of pregnancy, a lot of women experience other symptoms. If you are pretty bad at tracking your period on a monthly basis or if your period isn’t regular, you might not be able to tell early on if you are pregnant, but if you experience some of the symptoms listed below, then you just might be pregnant.
About 60 percent of women have early pregnancy symptoms by the time they’re 6 weeks along, and roughly 90 percent have them by the time they’re 8 weeks.
Many of these symptoms do not always mean pregnancy but could be signs of other conditions, so please consult with your doctor if you think you might br pregnant.
- Swollen breasts or nipples
This is a common symptom of pregnancy caused by rising levels of hormones. Your breasts feel fuller and tender with nipples also feeling sore. The feeling of soreness and swelling resembles the way your breasts feel before your menstrual period. Women may notice this symptom as early as 1 to 2 weeks after conception. Normalcy should be restored as your body adjusts to the hormonal changes.
As early as 1 week after conception many women feel tired or exhausted during pregnancy. This according to experts might be as a result of a hormone at the time of implantation of the fertilized egg (about 6 to 12 days after conception) but is common in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
The sudden rise of hormones may trigger headaches early in pregnancy.
- Nausea and/or vomiting
Ever heard of “morning sickness”?Well, it is a reality for some women from as early as two weeks after conception and can last through the first trimester. Pregnancy-related nausea usually accompanied with or without vomiting can occur anytime during the day, not necessarily in the morning as the name suggests. Some women are lucky to escape this discomfort altogether while some get relief by the start of the second trimester.
- Food cravings or aversions
A sudden dislike of favourite food or craving for a particular food or like or dislike for certain aromas are not uncommon to feel when you are newly pregnant. This craving or aversion can sometimes last through throughout pregnancy or vary. No one knows for certain why this happens but it could be a side effect of rapidly increasing amounts of estrogen in your body.
- Mood swings
It is common to have mood swings during pregnancy caused by hormonal changes and this can occur as early as a few weeks after conception
- Frequent urination
You might feel the need to empty your bladder more often than normal. This is often because of hormonal changes in the body as a result of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin produced in the first few weeks of pregnancy which raises the rate of blood flow through your kidneys which in turn causes your bladder to fill more quickly, so you get the urge to pee more often. Frequent urination will continue – or intensify – as your pregnancy progresses.
High basal body temperature
If you’ve been charting your basal body temperature and you see that your temperature has stayed elevated for more than two weeks, you’re probably pregnant.
Even though your uterus is still quite small early on in pregnancy, you could still feel bloated at the waistline similar to how some women feel just before their period. This is also due to hormonal changes during the early stages of pregnancy
Light bleeding or spotting
No one knows for sure why it happens, but it might be caused by the fertilized egg settling into the lining of your uterus about 6-12 days after conception and is slightly lighter in color than normal menstrual blood. About 1 in 4 women experience spotting during their first trimester. This could mean nothing but sometimes it could mean a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. Please visit your doctor if the amount of blood unsettles you
A missed period
If you’re usually pretty regular and your period doesn’t arrive on time, you may decide to do a pregnancy test before you notice any of the above symptoms. But if you’re not regular or you’re not keeping track of your cycle, nausea and breast tenderness and extra trips to the bathroom may signal pregnancy before you realize you didn’t get your period.
Positive home pregnancy test
home pregnancy tests are not sensitive enough to reliably detect pregnancy until about a week after a missed period. So if you decide to take a test earlier than that and get a negative result, try again in a few days. Remember that a baby starts to develop before you can tell you’re pregnant, so take care of your healthwhile you’re waiting to find out, and watch for more early pregnancy symptoms.
Once you’ve gotten a positive result, make an appointment with your doctor and remember to take things slow. Congratulations!