8 early signs that you may be pregnant
Did you miss your periods? Wondering you might be pregnant? While the only way to know for sure that you are pregnant is by taking a pregnancy test. However, some early signs of pregnancy, seen a week before the missed period, may point towards the possibility of being pregnant. REMEMBER, it is always advisable to confirm your pregnancy through a pregnancy test at home or a proper medical check-up.
Spotting or slight bleeding: A study has shown that almost 25% of pregnant women experience spotting or slight bleeding that is lighter in color than usual menstrual bleeding. This occurs when the fertilized egg gets implanted in the uterus (about 6-12 days after conception), but it can occur in the first 12 weeks of the pregnancy.
Tenderness in the breast/swollen nipples: This symptom can be experienced as early as 1 to 2 weeks after conception. The increased level of pregnancy hormones makes women feel nipple pain commonly, and the breast tenderness can cause these areas to feel more sensitive to touch. For many pregnant women, breast pain feels like a dull ache, soreness, heaviness, fullness, or tenderness. However, some women may also feel sharp, shooting pain.
Fatigue: Several pregnant women feel more tired early in their pregnancy. This may happen as early as one week after conception. The reason for feeling fatigued is that the body produces increased progesterone hormone to maintain pregnancy and encourage the growth of milk-producing glands. Additionally, the body channels more blood to carry nutrients to the foetus.
Headaches: In some women, the sudden rise in hormones may trigger headaches early in pregnancy. Headaches are usually an early sign of pregnancy and may appear in the first trimester with the rising hormones and blood volume. You may feel a dull aching sensation or even an intense throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head. Pregnancy hormones and several other triggers may cause your headache during every stage of the pregnancy. Some of these triggers are fatigue, tension, eye strain, increased hunger, low blood sugar levels, or emotional stress. If the headache persists and is beyond control, it is always important to consult your doctor.
Nausea and/or vomiting: Nausea can feel like a sudden, intense urge to vomit or a long-term, diminished sense of discomfort and mild dizziness. The symptom can start from 2 to 8 weeks after conception and may even persist throughout the pregnancy. The term ‘morning sickness’ used for this condition is a misnomer as it can occur at any time during the day.
Frequent visits to the loo: The urge to urinate increases during pregnancy and commonly occurs throughout the pregnancy. Due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, there is often an increased amount of blood in the body. To process the increased blood flow, kidneys need to produce extra fluids, which eventually land up in the bladder. Also, in the later stages of the pregnancy, the developing baby inside the body may create an extra pressure in the balder which is another reason for increased urination.
Food cravings/aversions: This symptom may persist throughout the pregnancy. Sudden cravings or a dislike of a favorite food may develop during pregnancy. The food cravings or aversions may last throughout the pregnancy or vary throughout the period.
Mood swings: The hormonal changes during pregnancy can lead to sharp mood swings. This symptom can be seen as early as a few weeks after conception.
It is important to note that these symptoms can also be signs of other conditions such as stress or a change in oral contraception. Hence, it is essential to seek medical advice as soon as you suspect that you may be pregnant.
1. National Institutes of Health. (2017). What are some common signs of pregnancy?
Retrieved April 22, 2021, from https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/pregnancy/conditioninfo/signs
2. American Pregnancy Association. (2015). Pregnancy symptoms—Early signs of pregnancy.
Retrieved April 22, 2021, from https://americanpregnancy.org/home-page-featured/early-signs-of-pregnancy-71062