Below is a list of symptoms that might help you know you’re pregnant even before you’ve taken the pregnancy test. So here’s what we have.
Delayed or Late Period
This is the most common pregnancy symptom, and not only in the movies, where a woman notices that she missed her period and runs to buy a pregnancy test. There can be other explanations for this, of course, such as excessive weight gain or loss, hormonal problems, tension, ceasing to take the pill or changing to a different pill, and more.
Another well-known pregnancy symptom. Many women feel nausea between 2-8 weeks of pregnancy. There are some lucky women who hardly experience nausea, but some suffer from it throughout most of their pregnancy. There might be other explanations for your nausea, such as a simple food poisoning, but if it tends to show up in the morning, better buy that pregnancy test.
Swollen or Tender Breasts
Your breasts might feel swollen, sore or tender as 1-2 weeks of pregnancy. Other explanations might be hormonal problems, birth control pills, or even PMS.
Headaches are a possible symptom, due to the sudden rise of hormones in your body. However, any woman who suffers from chronic headaches or migraines should probably not count on that symptom.
Extreme tiredness or sleepiness are common symptoms. If you’re pregnant, you might feel more tired than usual as early as the first week after conception. Of course, it also might be that you’re just tired or caught the flu.
One of the earliest pregnancy symptoms can be implantation bleeding. It might happen about 6-12 days after conception, when the embryo implants itself into the uterine wall. Some women will experience light bleeding as well as some cramping. It usually lasts from one to three days; very rarely for five days. The color of the bleeding usually ranges from pink to brown. In rare cases, it can also be black, but only rarely red. Unlike in menstruation, you’re not supposed to see any clots. However, this is where you should track your cycle, because it might be that you’re experiencing actual menstruation. Changing your pill abrasion from sex and infection might cause spotting as well.
Some experience lower backaches early in pregnancy, and even throughout the whole pregnancy as well. However, many women will feel backaches during or before menstruation. Possible back problems, and physical strain are to be considered as well.
Increased Thirst and Frequent Urination
Now this is a symptom that is easy to miss, and although many women experience it around 6-8 weeks after conception, they don’t realize the reason for it. What’s happening is that in early pregnancy your blood volume increases, which can cause frequent urination but can also make one feel thirsty. Of course, it also might be that you drink a lot, or suffer from a urinary tract infection or diabetes, but if you don’t it might be the time to check if you’re pregnant.
In early pregnancy, the skin around your nipples may get darker. During the pregnancy and after you give birth, you may notice additional changes: Darker color can progress throughout the pregnancy, the areola diameter may increase (it differs from one woman to another). Montgomery glands become larger, the skin the areola and nipples gets thicker, the nipple gets bigger and the whole breast may enlarge as well. Your body is preparing itself for breastfeeding the future baby. You can expect the areola to return to its pre-pregnancy size after you quit breastfeeding, but it’s not always so. The color of the areola may lighten but it isn’t likely to become as light as it was before becoming pregnant. The shape of the breast may change as well.
Food Cravings or Aversions
Many women crave for certain foods when they are pregnant. Others don’t. Some won’t eat anything but bread because other food makes them sick, and some lose their appetite for meat. This can last throughout the entire pregnancy. As so many other things in pregnancy, this is strictly individual. Then again, it might be that you’re craving for a certain dish just because your body lacks a certain nutrient, or you just stressed.
Like other symptoms in early pregnancy, bloating is caused by hormonal changes. As your progesterone and estrogen levels rise, the lining of your uterus thickens, making you feel more bloated. Hormonal changes can also cause your digestive system to slow down, which can cause bloating as well. It may be hard to tell the difference between premenstrual bloating and pregnancy bloating, for early pregnancy symptoms and PMS symptoms are often similar. However, pregnancy symptoms are often more exaggerated.
Constipation or Diarrhea
In the previous paragraph we mentioned that hormonal changes in early pregnancy can cause your digestive system to slow down. In addition to bloating, this can cause constipation. Taking iron, which is often prescribed to pregnant women, can add to the problem. Try adding more fiber to your diet and drink more fluids. Hormones sometimes affect women differently though. While most women will have issues with constipation during early pregnancy, some will have diarrhea instead. As already said – each woman has her reaction.
Typically, around ovulation women will have an increase in cervical mucus. After ovulation cervical mucus dries up and generally stays dry through the remainder of her cycle. In pregnancy, estrogen levels increase which may cause a woman to secrete more cervical fluid, usually described as creamy, lotion like, or yellowish. However, bear in mind that normal estrogen changes can also cause vaginal discharge.
Women are famous for their PMS mood swings. The bad news are, that during early pregnancy, some women experience similar symptoms. It’s more tears than breaking plates, though, so warn your husband to get the tissue-box ready!
Other possible symptoms of early pregnancy may be heightened sense of smell (possibly due to the increase in estrogen levels) and cramping, though it can easily be mistaken for PMS or menstrual cramps. You might notice it as your embryo implants into your uterus.
Remember, none of the symptoms (except maybe nausea) is 100% reliable. Many of them, such as breast tenderness, backaches and cramping, are common PMS symptoms. A blood test will always give you the answer, and most of the home pregnancy tests are reliable as well, though the tests’ sensitivity level varies.