Top 10 Symptoms Of Early Pregnancy
You must know that pregnancy tests and ultrasounds are the only ways to determine if you’re pregnant for sure. But to make it easier for you until then, there are other signs and symptoms you can look out for.
The beginning of it all
Though it may sound odd, your first week of pregnancy is based on the date of your last menstrual period. Your last menstrual period is considered week 1 of pregnancy, even if you weren’t actually pregnant yet.
The expected delivery date is calculated using the first day of your last period. For that reason, the first few weeks where you may not have symptoms also count toward your 40-week pregnancy.
- Missed period during early pregnancy
You will likely miss your next period four weeks after conception. If you have an irregular period, you will want to take a pregnancy test to confirm soon.
Once implantation is complete, your body will begin producing human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This hormone helps the body maintain the pregnancy. It also tells the ovaries to stop releasing mature eggs each month.
Most home pregnancy tests can detect as soon as eight days after a missed period. A pregnancy test will be able to detect hCG levels in your urine and show if you are pregnant for real.
- Tender/ Swollen breasts
Your breasts may provide one of the first symptoms of pregnancy. Breast changes can occur between weeks 4 and 6. You’re likely to develop tender and swollen breasts due to hormone changes. Or your breasts may feel fuller and heavier. This is likely to go away after a few weeks when your body has adjusted to the hormones.
Nipple and breast changes can also occur around week 11. Hormones continue to cause your breasts to grow. The areola which is the area around the nipple may also change to a darker color and grow larger.
Fatigue and tiredness also rank high among early symptoms of pregnancy. During early pregnancy, levels of the hormone progesterone soar. In high enough doses, progesterone can put you to sleep. At the same time, lower blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure and increased blood production may team up to sap your energy during your pregnancy.
Keeping your room cool can also help during this time. Your body temperature may be higher during the early stages of pregnancy.
Nausea and morning sickness usually develop around weeks 4 to 6. Although it’s also called morning sickness, it can occur any time during the day or night. It’s unclear exactly what causes nausea and morning sickness, but hormones may have a role to play in this.
During the first trimester of pregnancy, many women experience mild to severe morning sickness. It may become more intense toward the end of the first trimester, but often becomes less severe as you enter the second trimester. Nausea may or may not involve vomiting. Pregnant women also have a a heightened sense of smell, so various odors – such as foods cooking, perfume or cigarette smoke – may cause waves of nausea in early pregnancy. You must stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and call your doctor if you cannot keep your fluids or food down at all.
- Mood swings
The flood of hormones in your body in early pregnancy can make you unusually emotional and weepy. Your estrogen and progesterone levels will be high during pregnancy. This increase can affect your mood and make you more emotional or reactive than usual. Mood swings are very common during early pregnancy and entire first trimester. It may cause feelings of depression, irritability, anxiety and euphoria.
- Increased heart rate
You may just climb few stairs and will stop to take a breath. Well, around weeks 8 to 10, your heart may begin pumping faster and harder. Palpitations and arrhythmias are common in pregnancy. This is normally due to hormones.
Increased blood flow due to the fetus happens later in pregnancy. Ideally, management starts before conception, but if you have an underlying heart problem, your doctor can help you supervise low dosages of drugs.
- Food cravings/ aversions
No one really knows why food cravings develop. In addition to food cravings, many pregnant women also develop a sudden dislike or aversion for certain strong-tasting foods.
Food cravings and sudden food aversions may have something to with the effects of pregnancy hormones, which can change the way some foods taste and smell.
Like most other symptoms of pregnancy, these food preferences can be chalked up to hormonal changes – especially in the first trimester, when hormonal changes are the most dramatic.
- Bloating and Constipation
It is a little similar to symptoms of a menstrual period. Bloating happens during the early stages of pregnancy too. This is due to hormone changes which slowdowns your digestive system down. An increase in progesterone causes food to pass more slowly through the intestines, which can lead to constipation. As a result, you may feel constipated.