Signs of pregnancy can vary from woman to woman and they can even vary from one pregnancy to the next. Some women start to experience symptoms within a week after conception, while others might not notice anything until they miss their period.
Many of these symptoms are subtle and can be mistaken for other problems. However, if you experience more than one of the early pregnancy symptoms, then it’s very likely you’re pregnant. Here are some early signs of pregnancy:
1. Missed period
Missed period is the most obvious early sign of pregnancy. But not all missed or delayed periods are caused by pregnancy. Other factors such as stress, menopause, and overweight can also cause this symptom.
2. Morning sickness or nausea
Morning sickness is a condition that affects more than half of all pregnant women. The common symptoms include nausea and vomiting. But some may not experience nausea or vomiting at all. And despite its name, morning sickness can actually happen at any time of the day or night.
Many people experience mild to severe morning sickness during the first trimester of pregnancy. It may become more intense toward the end of the first trimester but often becomes less severe as you enter the second trimester.
3. Breast changes
Breast changes are another early sign of pregnancy. During pregnancy, your body experiences big changes in hormones to support your growing baby. This change in hormones can contribute to many symptoms, including the breasts become fuller, swollen and tender. The area around the nipples, called the areola, may also darken.
4. Increased urination
If you’re making more trips to the bathroom than usual around the time your next period is due, it may be a sign of pregnancy.
This because the amount of blood in your body increases during pregnancy, causing your kidneys to process extra fluid that ends up in your bladder, so you need to pee more often.
5. Vaginal discharge
Increasing vaginal discharge is one of the early signs of pregnancy. In your first trimester of pregnancy, vaginal discharge increases in an effort to remove dead cells and bacteria from the uterus and vagina to help prevent infections. The amount of vaginal discharge you experience will increase gradually as your pregnancy progresses. As long as it remains generally colorless and odorless, it is normal and not always a cause for concern.
6. Food cravings
Cravings for certain foods are very common in pregnancy, especially for sweet foods. This is probably due to hormone changes, especially in the first trimester of pregnancy, when hormonal changes are the most dramatic.
7. Mood swings
During pregnancy, some women may experience mood swings such as irritability, and others experience feelings of elation. It is thought that the pregnancy hormones affect the neurotransmitters of the brain, causing mood changes.
Mood swings are very common during pregnancy, but if you’re struggling with depression, please contact your healthcare provider. Some women prefer to go directly to a counselor or mental health professional.
Women may experience cramps very early on in pregnancy. These are due to implantation, which is when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus.
Implantation cramps may occur a few days after ovulation, and many women say that they feel cramps around 5 days post ovulation (DPO). These cramps may occur in the lower back, abdomen, or pelvis.
9. Light spotting
Light spotting or implantation bleeding around the time your period is due is sometimes an early pregnancy symptom. It happens when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus — about 10 to 14 days after conception. This is where it will stay and develop in the next nine months.
A woman can start feeling unusually fatigued as soon as one week after conceiving. This occurs due to an increase in hormone called progesterone in your body. This symptom usually subsides after the second trimester.
If you start to feel some of the early pregnancy symptoms above, there is a high chance that you are pregnant. But, the surest way to know you’re pregnant is to take a pregnancy test.