Do you suspect that you might be pregnant?
Some women begin feeling pregnancy symptoms as early as the time of their missed period, but many other symptoms don’t kick in for two to three weeks after that. Pregnancy symptoms vary from woman to woman, but most women experience at least a handful of these ten early pregnancy symptoms.
10 Common early signs of pregnancy
A late or missed period
A missed period, especially if you typically have a fairly regular cycle, is one of the first signs of pregnancy. For many women, the other symptoms don't show up until after they have missed their period.
Morning sickness -- nausea, whether on its own or accompanied by vomiting -- can begin as early as three weeks after conception and is likely caused by increasing levels of estrogen and progesterone, which make the stomach empty at a slower pace. Morning sickness is often intensified by a woman’s heightened sense of smell during pregnancy and can appear at any time of the day.
Swollen, tender, full breasts are often the first symptom noticed in early pregnancy and can begin as early as two to three weeks after conception when hormone levels begin to increase. Some women may also notice a darkening of the areola, the area surrounding the nipple.
Increased frequency of urination
If you find yourself making extra trips to the bathroom, or if you suddenly start having to go in the middle of the night, you might be newly pregnant. Increased urination is caused by hormonal changes, which send your kidneys into overdrive.
Fatigue is another extremely common sign of pregnancy that appears early on in pregnancy, when progesterone levels skyrocket and leave a pregnant woman feeling sleepy.
Many women suffer from headaches early in their pregnancy, which are likely due to a sudden, rapid increase in hormone levels.
Constipation and/or bloating
The increase in progesterone in early pregnancy slows down your digestive system and can leave you feeling constipated and unusually bloated.
Slight spotting, or implantation bleeding, either on its own or accompanied by cramping, can occur after the fertilized egg burrows into the uterine lining, which typically happens ten to 14 days after fertilization.
In early pregnancy, a woman’s blood vessels dilate and her blood pressure drops, which can leave her feeling dizzy or lightheaded. A drop in blood sugar that often occurs in early pregnancy can intensify this feeling of lightheadedness.
Elevated basal body temperature
If you have been charting your basal body temperature consistently and it remains elevated for 18 consecutive days after ovulation, you might want to buy a pregnancy test.
To know for sure
If you experience some or all of these symptoms, you should consider taking a pregnancy test, which is the only definitive way to know whether you are pregnant or not.
The sooner you know for certain that you're pregnant, the earlier you can begin receiving prenatal care, which is the first gift that you'll give your baby.