PregnancyPregnancy15 Early Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms

15 Early Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms

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Are you trying to figure out the early signs of pregnancy? Or do you think that you are pregnant but aren’t quite sure? We describe a range of indicators and symptoms that can help you work this out – though trying to figure out the early pregnancy symptoms is hard since many pregnancy symptoms can mimic an illness or even PMS. Additionally, pregnancy indications are not a ‘one size fits all situation.’ They vary from woman to woman. That is why consulting your OBGYN is something we would recommend.

However, It is still handy to know some pregnancy tells and we also discuss how to monitor these signs. So if you are preparing for the possibility, these tells based on experience may aid you in understanding your body as it changes.

15 Early Pregnancy Symptoms

1. Missed Menstruation Cycle

Missing your menstruation cycle is one of the earliest and most prevalent indicators of pregnancy.

So if you miss your menstrual cycle or have a light period, it can signify pregnancy because pregnancy causes hormonal changes that affect the regular menstrual cycle. You’ll also experience irregular menstrual periods during the early stage of pregnancy.

Furthermore, you need to note that not all women will experience a missed period as an early sign of pregnancy. You may have irregular menstrual cycles or light periods even before pregnancy.

Additionally, premenstrual symptoms like breast tenderness are similar to early pregnancy signs, so it’s difficult to tell the difference.

2. Hormonal Changes

When pregnancy symptoms start, your body undergoes significant hormonal changes to support the growth and development of the fetus. Two of the primary hormones involved in these changes are estrogen and progesterone.

Estrogen helps the uterus to thicken its lining, which is necessary for the fertilized egg to implant and grow. Similarly, progesterone plays a vital role in preparing the uterus for pregnancy and maintaining the pregnancy by preventing premature contractions of the uterus.

3. Nausea or Morning Sickness

Another prevailing manifestation of early pregnancy is nausea. And this is also called morning sickness, which occurs even at night. Nausea is due to hormonal changes in the body. However, it is not a solid sign because some women get nausea, whereas others may not. Also, you can feel nausea earlier than other women during pregnancy.

If you are experiencing nausea and vomiting, you can try eating small and frequent meals to avoid it. Also, it’s not a big problem if you get nauseous. However, you need to seek medical attention if your vomiting results in dehydration.

After that, you may have to take the anti-vomiting medication health care professionals provide to counter morning sickness.

4. Tiredness

Another common symptom you may experience is tiredness. It’s also the first symptom in pregnant women and can be as early as a few weeks after conception.

But even if you feel tired, you don’t need to worry much because your body works harder to support the growth of the fetus, which makes you tired.

Besides, with the growth of pregnancy, the pressure of the uterus on your bladder also makes it harder for many women.

To help with the tiredness, you can add more rest time to your routine, eat a healthy diet and perform light exercise. Also, you must avoid doing heavy activities that cause fatigue.

5. Food Cravings And Aversions

While pregnant, food cravings are the most common symptom from the earlier stage. You may also experience food aversions, which are strong dislikes for certain foods. These symptoms can build up as early as a few weeks after conception.

The cause of food craving and aversion is not clear. But you can crave some sweet foods while others crave salty or spicy foods.

This type of food craving is not the same in all women and can vary, which is normal. You also need to maintain a healthy, balanced diet despite these cravings.

6. Emotional Changes or Mood Swings

Emotional changes or mood swings are common pregnancy symptoms, particularly in the first trimester. These changes emanate from the sudden increase of estrogen and progesterone in the body and the psychological pressure of pregnancy, such as insecurity and fear of childbirth.

These hormonal fluctuations can affect a woman’s emotional state and lead to mood swings, sadness or anxiety, and irritability. It’s important to remember that these feelings are normal during pregnancy and to talk to a healthcare provider, friends, and family for support.

7. Lower Back Pain

During pregnancy, lower back pain is also a common pregnancy symptom. It’s also caused due to hormonal changes by an increase in progesterone. And this hormone helps to relax ligaments and joints, leading to lower back pain.

Besides, the growth of the uterus also puts pressure on your muscles and ligaments in the lower back. Which, in addition, causes pain and discomfort in your lower back. You can try light exercises to take care of the lower back pain. Also, follow good posture, use heating pads, take warm baths, etc.

Moreover, avoid any heavy activity that can cause pressure and stress your lower back. Also, if you are having severe pain, then it’s good to consult a health professional.

8. Frequent Urination

During the early stage of pregnancy, you may experience frequent peeing. The increase in progesterone in your body causes the blood flow to your pelvic area. Therefore, which causes sensitivity to your bladder and can fill it faster.

Moreover, the growth of the uterus also puts pressure on your bladder, which causes you to urinate frequently. Furthermore, during pregnancy, your body produces more liquid to support the development of the fetus, causing you to urinate more often.

9. Headaches

Headaches are a common symptom during pregnancy. And several factors, such as stress, fatigue, the body preparing for childbirth, and the sudden increase of blood volume in the body can cause them. Other reasons for headaches during pregnancy include lack of water and nausea.

Headaches often occur together with other early pregnancy symptoms, such as back pain. And this makes it a double discomfort for pregnant women. So to counter headaches, we recommend you drink plenty of water, get enough rest, and engage in relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation.

10. Constipation or Bloating

Constipation or bloating is another common pregnancy sign many women experience. Pregnancy hormone changes cause these symptoms. These hormones affect the digestive system and slow it down, leading to a buildup of air in the gut. And this is a common experience for many pregnant women and they can feel it throughout the pregnancy.

11. Smell Sensitivity

Sensitivity to smell is one of the first signs of pregnancy, affecting more than 65% of pregnant women. This sensitivity can last throughout the first trimester and even longer. It can make it difficult for pregnant women to be around certain smells, particularly food, as it may worsen their symptoms.

Thus to manage this sensitivity, we recommend avoiding strong smells and to keep the windows open to let in the fresh air. If the sensitivity becomes overwhelming, it is essential to consult a healthcare provider for further advice and recommendations.

12. Vaginal Discharge or Cervical Mucus Changes

In the early stages of pregnancy, a woman may experience changes in her vaginal discharge and implantation bleeding. A standard change is an increase in milky discharge from the vagina caused by the thickening of the vaginal walls. This typical and harmless process continues throughout the pregnancy. Additionally, the discharge may become thicker and stickier.

It is crucial to maintain proper hygiene to avoid discomfort or infections. Women should pay attention to the smell and itching, as it can signify an infection, such as a yeast or bacterial infection. For severe cases, you should discuss them with a healthcare provider. To prevent irritation and infection, women should wash the area with mild soap and water, avoid harsh products, and wear breathable underwear.

13. Shortness of Breath

During the early stage of pregnancy, shortness of breath can occur commonly. Due to hormonal changes, your blood vessels will relax and widen. And this causes your heart to work harder to pump blood, making breathing hard.

As the pregnancy matures, the growing baby presses on the diaphragm, making breathing hard. You can aid yourself with light exercise to cope with the breathing problem. However, you must consult your doctor if you have chest pain, dizziness, fainting, or shortness of breath.

14. Blood Pressure Changes

During early pregnancy, it is common for a woman to experience changes in her blood pressure. As the pregnancy progresses, the body produces more blood to support the growing fetus, which can cause a change in blood pressure. This drop in blood pressure can result in feelings of dizziness or lightheadedness. However, it is essential to note that these symptoms can also be from other factors and you should discuss with a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis.

Another possible symptom of pregnancy is hypertension or high blood pressure. And this can be difficult to detect, but it is essential to be aware of it as it may occur within the first few weeks to 20 weeks of pregnancy. High blood pressure can lead to severe complications if ignored.

So to ensure a healthy pregnancy, we recommend that women regularly check their blood pressure and consult with their healthcare provider if they notice any sudden or abnormal changes.

15. Positive Pregnancy Test

Another sign is a positive home pregnancy test to confirm your findings. You can easily take this test using a pregnancy test kit available at a health store. This test can detect the presence of a hormone called chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine. And the existence of this hormone is a clear indication of pregnancy. Also, it’s a reliable indicator and makes it easy to know if you’re pregnant.

How We Made the List of Early Pregnancy Symptoms

Before making a list, we thoroughly researched pregnancy signs and how they affect the body. This article describes over a dozen common symptoms, but also take a look at our guide to unusual early symptoms of pregnancy.

Consulting Healthcare Professionals

To make the list of early pregnancy signs, we consulted with healthcare professionals such as obstetricians and gynecologists. We talked with them about the typical symptoms, behavioral changes, body changes, and mental effects reported by women during pregnancy.

Doing this helped us to gather a more in-depth understanding of the different symptoms and their causes.

Furthermore, they provided us with their professional insights and experiences, which helped us to create a comprehensive list of symptoms commonly reported by women during the early stages of pregnancy. Also, we looked through some current pregnancy cases to better understand the situation.

Medical Journals

We also read medical journals that provide scientific evidence and insights into pregnancy.

The journals we read were published by reputed organizations and have been peer-reviewed by certified healthcare professionals. Also, this ensures that the information provided is high quality and based on scientific research.

The articles we read contained data collected from many pregnancy cases and provided insights into the most common symptoms reported by women during the early stages of pregnancy.

Doctor’s Websites

We also visited the websites of certified Gynecologists and Obstetricians, read their blogs, and looked into their pregnancy guides. Additionally, we contacted some of them personally for guidance and their professional insights and experiences.

Forum Discussions

Furthermore, we visited popular forums, asking questions and looking at the experiences shared by mothers or currently pregnant women.

It’s important to note that every pregnancy is unique, and not every woman will experience all of these symptoms in the same way or intensity. Therefore, we recommend consulting an OBGYN to confirm pregnancy and get personalized advice.

By combining this information with the data gathered from medical journals, forums, live Q&A sessions, and doctors’ websites, we were able to compile a comprehensive list of symptoms commonly reported by women during the early stages of pregnancy.

FAQs

How can I make sure I am not pregnant?

The most effective way to determine pregnancy is through a pregnancy test, which checks for the presence of the hormone hCG in the urine. These tests can provide accurate results starting from a week after a missed period. Additionally, a healthcare provider can also perform a pelvic examination and a blood test to confirm pregnancy.

How does your lower stomach feel in early pregnancy?

During pregnancy, you might feel lower stomach pain. And this is because of stretching muscles in your lower abdomen to support the growing uterus. That often happens while you sneeze, cough, sit, etc.

What pains are typical in early pregnancy?

During early pregnancy, it is common for women to experience mild discomfort or pain in their lower back, uterus, stomach or abdomen, and head. These pains result from adjustments made by the body to prepare for childbirth.

How do I know I’m pregnant without a test?

Signs and symptoms that may indicate pregnancy before taking a test include missed periods, breast changes, frequent urination, smell sensitivity, nausea and vomiting, fatigue and tiredness, and more. However, it’s always best to consult a healthcare provider to confirm pregnancy, as other factors can also cause these symptoms.

Do you smell more when pregnant?

Yes, your sense of smell increases during pregnancy due to hormonal changes. And you may feel sensitive towards certain foods and perfumes. And this can cause occasional nausea and vomiting.

What are unusual pregnancy symptoms?

There are several unusual pregnancy symptoms in many women. For example, nose bleeds, acne, dizziness, metallic taste, itchy skin, etc. Some women may get an increase in pigmentation as a pregnancy sign.

Can pregnant women eat spicy foods?

Pregnant women can eat spicy food, but they should not overeat. Eating average spicy food is usually safe during pregnancy. Still, it is best to avoid highly spicy food as it can cause stomach problems such as acid reflux and indigestion. It is always good to ask your doctor before making any changes to your diet.

Should I exercise during pregnancy?

Yes, it is good to exercise during pregnancy, but it is important not to push yourself too hard. You can safely do up to an hour of exercise that makes you breathe harder, like walking, swimming, or cycling.

It’s best to exercise with someone else for safety. You can also hire a personal trainer who trains pregnant women. If you have any problems, it’s best to start slowly. Always check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program during pregnancy.

Are pregnancy test kits 100% accurate?

Pregnancy test kits are very accurate if used properly. Companies manufacturing these test kits claim that their products have an accuracy rate of 99%. However, it is crucial to follow the instructions provided in the kit to ensure the most reliable results.

Factors such as using the test at the wrong time or not using the test correctly can affect the accuracy of the results. If you have doubts about the results, it is best to consult your healthcare provider for confirmation.

Conclusion

Pregnancy is incredibly exciting and the starting point is in finding out whether you are pregnant or not. Always remember that everyone has different symptoms, so you should not compare them with others. Also, be mindful of the most common symptoms like nausea, fatigue, lower back pain, etc. If you have any of these symptoms, it’s best to visit healthcare providers and prioritise your health and wellbeing.

Good luck and we look forward to seeing you here again to find out about the next phase of your pregnancy! Take a look at what happens in the first trimester of your pregnancy.

References

Written by

Anna Thornhill
Anna Thornhillhttps://conqueringmotherhood.com/
Anna is one of our expert writers and, as a mom of two lovely kids (a daughter and son), she has plenty of practical experience to draw on when writing guides and reviews. Anna writes about techniques she's used both during pregnancy and as a new mother, such as combination feeding, and guides to products that have made feeding and care of her kids a little easier.

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