Early signs of pregnancy can vary from one woman to another. If you have missed your period and are experiencing some unfamiliar symptoms it may be time to take a pregnancy test. We can perform an accurate urine or blood pregnancy test for you, but if you suspect that you may be pregnant what are some of the other signs and symptoms to look for?
The American Pregnancy Association (APA) conducted a survey and found that among pregnant women the first 2 signs of pregnancy included; 29% missed period and 25% nausea. Let’s discuss these two symptoms further:
Usually the first sign that a woman might be pregnant is that her period is late. The average menstrual cycle is 28 days long, but can range anywhere from 21 to 25 days in adults and 21 to 45 days in young teens. If you have missed your period by about one week or more, this could be an indicator that you might be pregnant. However, not every woman keeps an accurate account of her cycle, and some women have irregular cycles, so this symptom alone may not mean you are pregnant.
In the first trimester of pregnancy many women experience nausea, which may or may not be accompanied by vomiting. Although this is often referred to as morning sickness it can happen at any time of the day. The severity of nausea during pregnancy can vary from extreme to not at all. The reasons for morning sickness are not clear, but it is thought to be caused by hormonal changes.
What are some other signs that I might be pregnant?
There are other symptoms of pregnancy that you may not be as familiar with or they are less obvious. The first week of pregnancy is actually counted from the first day of your last menstrual period, so for the first couple weeks of your pregnancy you may not have any symptoms at all. As the pregnancy progresses some other symptoms that you may experience are:
Cramping and Spotting
By 7 to 14 days after conception a fertilized egg is implanted to the uterine lining. The implantation of the fertilized egg can cause cramping and spotting early in your pregnancy which could be mistaken for a menstrual period. Approximately 1/3 of women will have some bleeding when implantation takes place. If you are pregnant and spotting there usually is less bleeding, it is lighter in color and for a shorter amount of time. Likewise, cramps may seem similar to those experienced during a menstrual period but are different and can continue even after your missed period.
Do your breasts feel swollen or tender? 4 to 6 weeks into pregnancy you may develop swollen or tender breasts due to hormonal changes. The American Pregnancy Association sites that for 17% of pregnant women this was their first sign of pregnancy. If you are pregnant you may experience tingling, aching and swelling or enlargement of your breasts. This is normal and will usually subside after your body adjusts to pregnancy.
Although headaches can be common for pregnant women, they should not be relied upon alone as a symptom. Because of hormonal changes headaches, as well as light-headedness or dizziness, may also be a sign of pregnancy.
Sensitively to Smell and Changes in Appetite
Many women report that they are particularly sensitive to smells during the early stage of pregnancy. The sensitivity to smell can be a cause for nausea. If you are pregnant you may also experience changes in appetite. A food you once loved may now sound horrible to you, or you may crave something you wouldn’t normally eat. During pregnancy your body is changing rapidly, your hormones are adapting to these new changes, and this can cause these symptoms.
Are you using the restroom more frequently? Frequent urination can begin before you even miss a period. During pregnancy your body increases the amount of blood it pumps. This causes the kidney to process more fluid than usual, which can make you feel like you have to use the restroom more frequently.
Constipation, Bloating and Indigestion
Are you having tummy issues? The change in your hormone levels can cause pregnancy constipation and bloating. If this is an issue for you make sure to stay hydrated. Even if you never had it before, high levels of the hormone progesterone is likely to be the culprit for heartburn or indigestion.
Mood Swings and Fatigue
High levels of estrogen and progesterone may cause mood swings and fatigue. These hormones support your pregnancy and help produce breast milk, but can also make you feel reactive and moody. Additionally, your body is working hard to support a new life by pumping additional blood as early as week one of your pregnancy. No wonder these hormonal and bodily changes can make you sleepier and moodier than usual!
Raise Body Temperature and Increased Heart Rate
Your basal body temperature increases during pregnancy, which may make you feel even warmer during exercise or in the heat. Your heart also may begin to pump faster around 8 to 10 weeks which can sometimes cause palpitations or arrhythmias due to hormones. This is usually normal, but if you have an underlying heart problem consult your doctor.
I am experiencing some of these symptoms…now what?
We know that experiencing unfamiliar symptoms, wondering if you are pregnant, and if you are pregnant what to do next can be anxiety producing, even in the best of situations—but YOU ARE NOT ALONE. We are here to give you the support and care you need as you navigate what comes next.
Schedule a confidential and caring appointment by calling 800-771-5089 or online at Obria If you have a question you would like answered right away you can chat with or text a nurse by downloading our free app at Obria Direct. Find Obria Direct on the Apple Store or on Google Play. Book your appointment online now. It’s easy! We will do everything we can to provide you with excellent care!