Do you think or feel that you are pregnant? In some women, the symptoms of pregnancy appear in the first few weeks after conception even before they miss their period.
Pregnancy symptoms vary upon individuals. Some women may have no symptoms at all except having a missed period. Even if there are symptoms, it can vary in frequency, duration and intensity.
Do not confuse your routine pre-menstrual discomforts with pregnancy symptoms though at times they may be quite similar.
Could I be pregnant? This may be your very first thought which comes to your mind when you have missed your period especially if you are trying to get pregnant. This possible sign of pregnancy is often what leads to women to search for more details of other pregnancy symptoms. Missed period is one of the signs of being pregnant but that is not always the case as missed period can also be caused by a variety of factors such as stress, changes in diet, weight gain and irregular hormone levels.
Slight cramping or bleeding
One of the initial signs of pregnancy is implantation bleeding. When the fertilised egg attaches to the wall of the uterus which takes about 10 to 14 days after fertilisation, a small amount of spotting or vaginal bleeding may occur. This type of bleeding is lighter in color than a regular period and doesn’t last long. Some women may experience abdominal cramping instead or even both. The cramps can be similar to menstrual cramps. In some women, the pain may feel like a needle piercing above their pelvic area.
During early pregnancy, mood swings are very common as the flood of hormones in your body can make you unusually emotional or moody which can last throughout the first trimester.
You may feel very tired during the early stages of pregnancy as the level of progesterone hormone increases. High concentration of the hormone is sufficient to put you to sleep. Decreased blood sugar levels, low blood pressure and increased blood production for the foetus consumes your energy during pregnancy.
Tender and swollen breasts
Within two weeks after conception, hormonal changes in your body may make your breasts tender or sore. You may also feel that your breasts are fuller and heavier.
Food aversions or cravings
When you are pregnant, you may start to like foods that you didn’t even like before and hate the food that you loved eating all the time. You may crave for even the unhealthiest food. This is due to the dramatic hormonal changes especially during the first trimester but can carry on till you deliver your baby.
Nausea and Vomiting
Morning sickness may not affect all women but when it does it can occur at any time of the day or night but most of them experience it in the morning. Uneasiness can begin as early as two weeks after conception. Pregnant women also may be sensitive to certain smell and odors such as foods which are being cooked, perfume and even garbage stench may cause waves of nausea. If you are vomiting excessively day and night, be sure to visit your gynaecologist to ensure you are not dehydrated as dehydration may cause harm to the unborn baby. Urine dipstick can be used to check if you are dehydrated. To stop severe vomiting, your doctor may prescribe some anti vomiting medicines which will be safe to use during your pregnancy.
Hormonal changes bring about increased blood circulation in the body which in turn trigger frequent mild headaches. Paracetamol is safe to be taken during pregnancy to relieve these headaches.
In early pregnancy, your blood vessels dilates and causes your blood pressure to drop causing you to feel lightheaded or dizzy. The feeling of fainting can be due to the decreased levels of blood sugar.
An increase in progesterone hormone causes food to pass more slowly through the intestines which can lead to constipation.
Raised basal body temperature
Your basal body temperature is the temperature you take when you first wake up in the morning. Basal body temperature increases slightly soon after ovulation and remains at that level till you are due for your next period. If you are monitoring your ovulation by charting your basal body temperature every day, continued elevation of the body temperature for more than two weeks may mean that you are pregnant.
How can you confirm if you are really pregnant?
The above symptoms may not necessarily indicate pregnancy but can indicate that your period is going to start. You can also be pregnant without experiencing any of these symptoms as every woman’s body is different.
Still, if you have missed your period or notice any of the symptoms listed above, you may want to take a home pregnancy test. If your home pregnancy test turns out positive, confirm the result with a general practitioner. Once your pregnancy is confirmed, you can begin prenatal care. On the other hand, if you are hoping to get pregnant and your home test pregnancy turns out negative, do not be disheartened. Hormone levels rise at different rates for different individuals. Take a pregnancy test after a few days again especially in the morning when hormone levels are the highest. Pregnancy tests work the best if you perform the test few days after you have missed your period.