Pregnancy symptoms vary from woman to woman and pregnancy to pregnancy. Some women may not even experience any symptoms for a few weeks. Whereas, some others feel the early pregnancy symptoms within a week of conception. Pregnancy symptoms can also vary in their frequency, duration, and intensity.
Understanding the signs of pregnancy is important because such symptoms aren’t unique to pregnancy. Some of them can derive from other causes, indicating that you’re getting sick or that your period is about to start.
In a poll conducted by the American Pregnancy Association, the most common early pregnancy symptoms are as follows:
- 29% of women indicated that a missed period was their first pregnancy symptom
- 25% reported that nausea was the initial pregnancy symptom
- 17% of women reported that a change in their breasts was the first symptom of pregnancy
If you experience any of these pregnancy symptoms or suspect a possible pregnancy, a pregnancy test will be required. Pregnancy tests work best if you take them at least a day or two after you miss your period.
If your home pregnancy test results positive, make an appointment with your health care provider. The sooner you confirm your pregnancy, the sooner you can begin prenatal care. Whereas, if the pregnancy test result is negative, it is recommended to try it again a few days later to be sure.
Now, let us see below some of the early pregnancy symptoms you may experience during your pregnancy. Many of them can appear similar to routine pre-menstrual discomforts.
1. Missed Period
The most common and obvious early symptom of pregnancy is a delayed or a missed period. This symptom is what leads women to search for more details or take a pregnancy test.
However, it’s possible to be pregnant and still experience light bleeding. Some women can bleed while they are pregnant, but typically the bleeding is much shorter or lighter than a normal period.
2. Nausea with or without vomiting
Nausea or morning sickness is one of the most commonly reported pregnancy symptoms. It stems from the rising level of estrogen, which causes the stomach to empty more slowly. Pregnant women also have an increased sense of smell, so it’s easier for various odors to cause waves of nausea.
This symptom typically shows up between 2 to 8 weeks after conception and can be experienced at any time of the day, with or without vomiting.
3. Tender, swollen breasts
Another very frequent symptom of pregnancy changes in the breasts, such as swelling, tenderness, or soreness. One may experience such changes to the breasts as early as 1 to 2 weeks after conception.
Following conception, many women reported having felt extreme tiredness, during the first week. This happens due to the high levels of the progesterone hormone. At the same time, lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar levels, and a higher blood production may lower your energy during your pregnancy.
5. Slight bleeding or cramping
Sometimes, one of the first pregnancy symptoms may be a small amount of spotting or vaginal bleeding, also known as implantation bleeding. This symptom happens when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus – about 10 to 14 days after fertilization. It is usually spottier and lighter in color than a normal period and lasts for a shorter period of time.
Abdominal cramping can also be one of the early pregnancy symptoms. Such cramps are similar to menstrual cramps.
Another pregnancy symptom is constipation. This symptom happens due to the high levels of progesterone, which causes food to pass more slowly through the intestines, resulting in constipation.
During pregnancy, you may experience increased blood circulation which is caused by hormonal changes. As a result, you may experience frequent, mild headaches.
8. Faintness and dizziness
Another symptom of pregnancy may be lightheadedness or dizziness. This symptom comes as a result of the dilated blood vessels and low blood pressure. However, during the first stage of pregnancy, faintness may also be caused by low blood sugar.
9. Mood swings
The turmoil of hormones in your body in early pregnancy can make a pregnant woman unusually emotional and weepy. Mood swings are also common, especially in the first trimester. This is believed to be primarily caused by the hormonal changes that affect the neurotransmitters of the brain. Thus, some women alternate between states of happiness to states of depression or anxiety.
10. Raised basal body temperature
The basal body temperature is your temperature when you’re fully at rest. This temperature may slightly increase because of the ovulation and remains at that level until your next period.
11. Food aversions or cravings
Food aversions or cravings during pregnancy are very common. Like many other pregnancy symptoms, these food preferences are triggered by hormonal changes, especially in the first trimester, when hormonal changes are the most dramatic.
A pregnant woman may experience all of these symptoms or maybe have only one or two. But, if any of the above-mentioned symptoms become bothersome, talk with your doctor, so you can make a plan to offset them.
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