Signs & Symptoms of Early Pregnancy

The first signs of pregnancy are different for each woman. In fact, some women may experience none of them while others will notice the early pregnancy signs before they even miss a period. If you’re impatient and want to know what are the early signs of pregnancy, below are the most common pregnancy clues to look for.

Pregnancy is the most beautiful experience one could ever be part of and brings a number of changes in a woman's body. These changes usually occur in the first days after conception and they are the result of hormonal changes. By far the clearest sign that you may be pregnant is definitely a lack of menstruation. But, there are other signs of pregnancy that can appear even before the missed period.

These early symptoms of pregnancy vary from woman to woman and from pregnancy to pregnancy. Some women will feel the first symptom of pregnancy a week after conception, but most of them start to feel pregnancy symptoms at 4 to 6 week of pregnancy. Here are the most common signs of pregnancy:

Breast tenderness

The breasts are often the first part of the body that receives notice of pregnancy. Breast tenderness is usually the first sign of pregnancy that appears at 1-2 weeks after conception. Your breasts may be extra tender, swollen, sensitive, or sore and this is a result of the early pregnancy hormonal changes. Your breasts might feel heavier and fuller and the area around the nipples may become darker. This symptom is usually noticeable at night when a woman tries to adjust to a comfortable sleeping position or during exercise, showering or dressing. One of the best things you can do if you're experiencing breast soreness is to buy a supportive and comfortable bra.

Fatigue

This symptom can occur just a few days after conception. If you constantly feel exhausted and sleepy, you might be pregnant. During the first weeks of pregnancy, your body is working 24/7 to support the pregnancy, so fatigue is a completely normal response. Due to the high progesterone levels, your basal body temperature rises which contributes to a lack of energy and fatigue. Try to avoid caffeinated beverages, eat a healthful diet, rest when you can and drink plenty of water to keep your blood pressure high enough.

Nausea

Signs of Pregnancy

Morning sickness is one of the most common early pregnancy signs that can begin as early as 3 weeks after conception. Morning sickness can strike at any time of the day and it's one of the clear signs that a woman is pregnant. Many pregnant women feel nauseated at 6 week of pregnancy, and some even earlier. Not all women experience morning sickness and for most women this symptom will disappear when they start the second trimester. Nausea is related to human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), a hormone that can be detected in the mother’s blood or urine before a missed period. The higher the HCG level, the sicker you may feel. Nausea is one of the earliest symptoms of pregnancy and is a protective effect the body has towards the baby.

Increased urination

Increased urination is also a common and very unpleasant sign of pregnancy that can occur at 6-8 week after conception. Your kidneys have to process more urine during pregnancy and your uterus that is getting bigger and bigger puts a lot of pressure on your bladder which results in frequent trips to the bathroom. So, if you find yourself urinating more often than usual, you might be pregnant.

Mood Swings

The hormonal changes that make you emotional and weepy during your monthly cycle stick around in early pregnancy, too. Mood swings are completely normal in early pregnancy. The high levels of hormones progesterone and estrogen are responsible for this situation. According to experts, fatigue and hunger can make mood swings worse, so rest when you can and eat several small snacks throughout the day.

Food aversions and cravings

One of the early signs of pregnancy before missed period is a heightened sense of smell. Food aversions can start as early as two weeks after conception. High levels of progesterone slows down the digestive processes which sometimes results in indigestion and constipation.

Pregnant women find themselves turning up their nose at certain foods or waking up at night drooling for a specific taste. Experts believe that the culprit behind these reactions to food is related to hormonal changes.

Take prenatal vitamins to make sure you're getting the needed nutrients and drink lots of fluids. Many women lose their disgust as they head into their second trimester.

Implantation bleeding

Slight vaginal bleeding also known as implantation bleeding is an early sign of pregnancy. This spotting happens when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus. For most women, this happens about 10 to 14 days after conception. Implantation bleeding usually lasts for a short time and occurs around the time of a menstrual period. Some women may feel slight cramping, but implantation bleeding is much lighter than menstrual bleeding and requires no specific treatment. However, we have to mention there are women who have normal pregnancies without implantation bleeding.

Cramping and bloating

Some pregnant women experience mild uterine cramps and bloating in early pregnancy. Many women mistake these symptoms of early pregnancy for PMS symptoms. However, cramping and bloating are actually caused by the hormonal changes and the growth of the uterus.

Call your doctor if the pain becomes more severe and the symptoms are accompanied by bleeding.

Headaches

Many women have headaches early in pregnancy and this is also related to the increased progesterone levels. Headaches in pregnancy can also occur if you're not drinking enough fluids or you're anemic. However, as the pregnancy progresses, headaches will become less frequent. Drink plenty of fluids especially during the first few weeks and get your blood work done to check for anemia.

Dizziness

This symptom may come as a surprise if you still don't know that you are pregnant. During pregnancy, fluctuations in your blood pressure may make you feel dizzy and lightheaded. Climbing stairs, waiting in line, standing for a long period or even a longer walk can cause dizziness and fainting. If you have low blood sugar, it's recommendable to eat smaller meals more often throughout the day. For many women, this lightheaded feeling gets better after the first trimester.

Constipation

Hormonal changes in pregnancy can slow down your digestive system, which can lead to constipation. The uncomfortable constipation is a result of the increased progesterone levels. If you want to avoid this unpleasant symptom, you need to drink lots of fluids and increase your fiber intake to keep things moving smoothly. Mild exercise can also help, but if your constipation is bothering you, your doctor will recommend some mild laxative or stool softeners that are safe for pregnant women.

Backache

Many pregnant women suffer from back pain during the pregnancy, while others will have a backache only in the first few weeks. If your lower back is a little sore, it could mean that your ligaments are loosening.

Unfortunately, this symptom might continue throughout the entire pregnancy.

Bleeding gums

Bleeding gums are caused by changing hormone levels and it's also one of the earliest pregnancy signs before missed period. Many pregnant women have swollen, tender gums that bleed when they brush in early pregnancy. Your gums react more to the bacteria in plaque and this pregnancy gingivitis affects about half of pregnant women.

Elevated basal body temperature

If you're wondering whether or not you're pregnant, take your temperature as soon as you wake up and this can give you the answer. If your basal body temperature stays elevated for more than two weeks, it might be because you're pregnant. It is not advisable to take medication to lower the temperature because this is not a result of an illness and the temperature will quickly fall to normal.

Vaginal discharge

Thick and milky white vaginal discharge is common in early pregnancy, especially around the time of a missed period and is the earliest sign of pregnancy. Women will notice an increase in vaginal discharge along with other pregnancy symptoms before missed period such as nausea and fatigue. This happens as a result of the changing hormones which stimulate the vagina to increase production of vaginal secretion. Thick white or clear white discharge during pregnancy is common, and it is rarely associated with an infection.

Cloudy urine

During pregnancy, a woman's vagina is leaking a lot of fluids which can mix with urine causing it to appear cloudy. However, what you think is cloudy urine could just be a vaginal secretion. Cloudy urine during pregnancy could be a sign of a urinary tract infection which is quite common among pregnant women. This is often harmless and will clear up on its own after a day or two. However, if it's foul smelling, it should be checked by a doctor right away.

Late period

A missed period is the most common symptom of pregnancy. The absence of menstruation is a normal occurrence when a woman gets pregnant. If your menstrual cycle is regular and you're late, you should head to the drugstore to get a pregnancy test. However, some women still get their periods when pregnant, but these periods will be significantly shorter and lighter than usual.

Will I notice pregnancy signs at two weeks?

Every woman is different and so are her experiences of pregnancy. Not every woman will have the same symptoms and some can be pregnant without experiencing any of these symptoms. The early symptoms of pregnancy are noticeable at 2 weeks but they are similar to PMS symptoms, so they aren't always recognized. Also, these signs aren't unique to pregnancy and they can also indicate that you're getting sick.

How long does it take to know your pregnant?

If you want to know for sure whether you're pregnant, you might want to go to the drugstore and take a home pregnancy test. A positive pregnancy test is a clear sign that you are an expectant mother. For the most accurate results, you should wait about a week after a missed period. If the pregnancy test is positive, make an appointment with your health care provider. Most doctors won't see you until you're around 8 weeks along.

If you get a negative result and your period is still late, it just might be too early for the test to detect. Most home pregnancy tests are not sensitive enough to detect pregnancy until about a week after a missed period.

Wait a few days and try the test again.

Keep in mind that a baby starts to develop even before you can tell you're pregnant, so take care of your health while you're waiting to find out.