Am I pregnant Early signs and Symptoms? While ultrasounds and pregnancy tests are the only ways to determine if you’re pregnant. Since 1976, pregnancy tests have been used at home to detect pregnancy. However, pregnancy tests use antibodies to notice human chorionic gonadotropin (Birken S, Berger P, Bidart J-M., et al). In addition, there are other signs and symptoms you can look out to notice.
When do the symptoms start?
The first week of pregnancy is counted from the date of your last menstrual period. It is considered 1 week of pregnancy, even if you weren’t actually pregnant yet.
The expected delivery date is also calculated by counting the first day of your last period. Therefore, the first few weeks when you may not have symptoms also count in your 40-week pregnancy.
Are pregnancy symptoms the same for every woman?
Every woman is different from others. So as the same, their experiences of pregnancy are also not the same. Every mom experienced different symptoms or even different symptoms from one pregnancy to the next.
Also, because the early symptoms of pregnancy often feel the same as you might experience right during menstruation, therefore you may not realize you’re pregnant.
So following is the list of most common early symptoms of pregnancy. But keep in mind that these symptoms may be caused by other conditions besides being pregnant. So be aware that these symptoms do not always necessarily mean you are pregnant. The only best way to tell for sure is with a pregnancy test. Research shows that with urinary pregnancy tests, it is possible to notice pregnancy up to 4 days before the expected period (McChesney R, Wilcox A J, OʼConnor J F. et al.Intact HCG).In addition, blood tests help you more to notice pregnancy earlier than urine pregnancy tests.
Symptoms and Signs of Pregnancy
Following are the symptoms of pregnancy that are most commonly experienced by moms.
Spotting and Cramping
After conceiving, the fertilized egg attaches to the wall of the uterus. This can cause spotting and cramping sometimes, which is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. This is known as implantation bleeding. It occurs within 6-12 days after the egg is fertilized.
The cramps feel like menstrual cramps, so some women mistake them. The cramps and bleeding, however, are slight.
Besides bleeding, women also experience a white, milky discharge from their vagina. Which starts after conception and is related to the thickening of the vagina’s walls.
Another early sign of pregnancy is breast changes. A woman’s hormone levels change after conceiving. Because of the changes, their breasts may become sore, or swollen. In addition, feel fuller or heavier or feel tender to the touch. The area around the nipples (areola) may also darken.
In the starting stage, feeling fatigued or tired is normal in pregnancy. A woman can usually feel tired as soon as one week after conceiving. It happens because of the high level of a hormone called progesterone. In addition lower blood pressure, lower levels of blood sugar, and a boost in blood production can also contribute to it.
Getting plenty of rest and eating foods that are rich in iron and protein can help offset it.
Nausea (Morning Sickness)
Morning sickness is the common symptom of pregnancy. But not every pregnant woman experienced it.
No one knows the exact cause of morning sickness but pregnancy hormones contribute to it. During pregnancy, nausea may occur at any time of the day but usually in the morning.
In addition, some women crave certain foods when they become pregnant. That’s also connected with hormonal changes.
The most common early symptom of pregnancy is a missed period. And also the one that prompts most moms to get a pregnancy test. But keep in mind that not all delayed or missed periods are caused by pregnancy.
In addition, most women can experience some bleeding during pregnancy. If you are going through it, ask your doctor so you should be aware of bleeding. For instance, when is bleeding normal in pregnancy and when it is a sign of an emergency?
Besides pregnancy, there are lots of reasons for missing a period. It might be that you lost or gained too much weight, fatigue, hormonal problems, or stress, etc. However, if you missed a period and pregnancy is a possibility, you may have to get a pregnancy test.
Other Early Symptoms of Pregnancy
Pregnancy changes the hormonal balance and that can cause other symptoms such as:
- Frequent urination: For many moms, this starts around the 6th to 8th week due to hormonal changes after conception. If other symptoms occur, such as burning on urination, you should ask your doctor to make sure you are not suffering from a urinary tract infection.
- Constipation: Higher levels of the hormone progesterone during pregnancy can cause constipation. Because Progesterone food passes more slowly through your intestines. To ease the problem, exercise, drink plenty of water and eat high-fiber foods.
- Mood swings: These are common, especially during the early stages. These are caused by hormonal changes. It may also be caused by stress or other factors.
- Sensitivity to certain smells: Certain smells may bring on vomiting or even nausea early in pregnancy.
- Constipation: Some women also experienced constipation because of hormone levels in early pregnancy.
- Shortness of breath: Some moms feel shortness of breath because of the increased demand for oxygen by the body. However, this symptom is more common in later stages of pregnancy.
- Headaches: Many pregnant moms report frequent mild headaches. It may be related to hormonal changes and may occur throughout pregnancy.
- Back pain: Moms can experience back pain throughout pregnancy. But in the early stages of pregnancy, low back pain can actually begin.
- Dizziness and fainting: Perhaps related to changes in hormones affecting glucose levels or blood pressure, lightheadedness, feeling faint and dizziness can occur in early pregnancy.
A pregnant mom could have all of these symptoms or maybe have only a few. If any of these symptoms become severe, ask your doctor about them so you can make a plan to offset them.