Pregnancy Symptoms: 25 Early Signs You May Be Pregnant
You are a mother and had sexual intercourse in between your periods. You may have planned for your pregnancy and is eager to know whether something is right inside your womb or not. Well, you do not have to worry as here are the tips to help you know whether you were successful or not. These signs are not standardized and vary from one woman to another. Experiencing two or three signs at the same time should raise suspicion of possible chances of conception.
- 1 Tender, Swollen Breasts and Dark Nipples
- 2 Nausea
- 3 Headaches
- 4 Frequent Urination
- 5 Increased Body Temperature
- 6 Constipation
- 7 Mood Swings and Irritability
- 8 Fatigue and Tiredness
- 9 Cramping
- 10 Food Cravings and Changes in Appetite
- 11 Feeling Pregnant
- 12 Lower Back Pain
- 13 Increased Vaginal Discharge
- 14 Smell Sensitivity
- 15 Increased Heart Rate
- 16 Missed Periods
- 17 Bloating and Uncontrolled Passing of Gas
- 18 Pregnancy Glow and Sudden Change of Skin Complexion
- 19 Sudden Weight Changes
- 20 Excess Saliva
- 21 Heartburn
- 22 Diarrhea and Dehydration
- 23 Metallic Taste
- 24 Shortness of Breath
- 25 Dizziness
Tender, Swollen Breasts and Dark Nipples
Within the first two weeks of conception, you may experience the tenderness of your breast, often accompanied by sore nipples and sometimes protruding veins. This makes them swollen and heavy. Your areolas (the area around nipples) become larger and darker and sometimes may have some goose-like bumps around them. They tend to be sore and painful, even at the slightest rubbing by your bra and simple touches.
Breast changes are usually caused by two hormones, estrogen, and testosterone, which is produced by the ovaries, increase blood circulation in the body leading to high sensitivity.
Nausea can sometimes be accompanied by vomiting, but not always the case. This is commonly referred to as morning sickness and can be experienced within the first four weeks of pregnancy.It then disappears after three months. Though it mostly occurs during the morning hours, morning sickness can take place at any time of the day, and its symptoms may also include loss of appetite, high sensitivity to smell, anxiety, and depression.
Headaches are commonly felt during the first trimester and disappears towards the end of the second trimester. The following might be the cause:
- Increased blood flow.
- Hormonal imbalance.
So, if you experience frequent but inconsistent headaches, especially before your periods, implantation might have taken place and so the possibility of you being pregnant. To be sure, you need to perform pregnancy tests so that you can be psychologically prepared for the entire gestation and the well-being of your child.
Within the first three weeks of conception, you may notice the frequent urge to pee. This is because of a pregnancy hormone called hCG, which steps up blood flow to the kidneys and make them function more efficiently. As a result, more fluid produced is removed from the body by the kidney in the form of urine. Your uterus may also exert pressure on the bladder making it lose and also have less storage space for urine.
Increased Body Temperature
Basal body temperature is normally identified in the morning and is about 97.6 Degrees Fahrenheit. The measurement can be taken through the vagina, rectum or mouth. If you notice an increased body temperature barely two weeks after ovulation, there might be a higher probability that you are pregnant.
The rise in temperature may be due to a higher metabolic rate since much nutrients are now needed to take care of two. Hormonal changes in the body can also be a cause of this sudden increase in temperature.
Constipation in early pregnancies is caused by hormonal changes that make abdominal muscles to relax, as well as the pressure exerted in the intestines due to growing uterus. The relaxation causes slow movement of waste and food in your system. Other causes are anxiety, low fiber foods, and depression. Signs of constipation include abdominal pain, hard stools and inconsistent movement of bowels.
Mood Swings and Irritability
You might start experiencing some funny emotions that seem to be out of control. You sometimes find your spouse attractive, crying or getting frustrated over petty issues, being happy one minute and the next minute you are sad? Well, these are mood swings. It can be caused by fatigue, changes in metabolism as well as hormonal changes responsible for maintaining levels of brain neurotransmitters. The neurotransmitters work to regulate your mood and any change in their levels may have a direct effect on your emotional feelings.
Fatigue and Tiredness
Fatigue is a common pregnancy symptom. It occurs during the first trimester and is likely to be caused by hormonal changes. During this time, your body tends to be overworked as more blood is produced to pump extra nutrients to the baby. High levels of progesterone, low blood sugar and pressure levels in the body are the primary causes of fatigue.
Also known as implantation bleeding, cramping comes in the form of pain that resembles heartburn in your tummy days before missed periods. This can be followed by light cramps caused by hormonal shifts together with implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus. Though most women mistake this with menstrual bleeding, cramps are always lighter and come out in the form of drops. The closer it happens before beginning cycle, the higher the chance of you not being pregnant.
Food Cravings and Changes in Appetite
When you suddenly find yourself having higher urge to take some foods you used not to like before, you may be having something in your womb. It normally occurs as early as two weeks after conception and is said to be a way of your body responding to the changing needs of extra nutrients. For example, if you experience a craving for fried liver, it could be a nutrient signal for iron.
Sometimes, this can be opposite as you may find your favorite food most annoying and less appetizing. Depending on how your appetite changes, you can either add or lose weight.
Women tend to have very powerful intuition. When you “just feel different” and have “weird” feeling inside your belly, something unusual is likely to be happening. It normally has some emotional attachment, and for that, it is advisable that you listen to your sixth sense. Never ignore such feelings. Instead, you should perform a pregnancy test to be sure that you are pregnant and get rid of any pending fears.
Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is a common pregnancy sign during early stages, especially if it is accompanied by morning sickness and missed or irregular periods. The pressure exerted on the uterus, nerves, and blood vessels are the leading causes of lower back discomfort, and the feeling can be painful. Weight gain is also to blame as it tends to shift a woman’s posture and center of gravity, thus affects the stability. Urinary tract infection and progesterone have also been suspected to be the cause. Progesterone softens the discs and ligaments that support the upper part of your body.
Increased Vaginal Discharge
During the first trimester, you might start noticing some unusual white mucus in your underwear. It is a regular occurrence, and every pregnant woman must notice this during her early days of pregnancy. This discharge, also known as leukorrhea is caused by high levels of estrogen, which is responsible for increased blood flow to the pelvic area, leading to increased discharge. The mucus has a slight smell which is hardly noticeable, and so if you have never been a mother and start noticing this, you better prepare yourself as this may be a sign of baby coming soon.
Women tend to have an increased sense of smell when they are pregnant. Before you even think you are pregnant, your nose can give you a clue. If all of a sudden, you start having that sharp smell of onions or garlic, you might be a mother in waiting. These spontaneous reactions may be as a result of hormonal changes related to morning sickness. On the other hand, this sensitivity can make some smells more pleasant and attractive.
Increased Heart Rate
Since the body is undergoing a lot of changes during pregnancy, your heart tends to beat faster than normal. This is because it needs to pump more blood responsible for oxygen and nutrient supply to the body. Due to increased metabolic demands, your heart will also beat faster to cope up with the sudden change in body functions and also protect you from abnormal psychological functioning.
Sometimes, your periods may delay for two to three days due to problems associated with your menstrual cycle. This is a normal occurrence, but a delay of more than one week should raise the alarm. It is evident that you will miss your menstrual bleeding when pregnant due to implantation of fertilized eggs on the uterus wall and so no scrapping of the uterus wall that is normally responsible for menstrual bleeding.
Bloating and Uncontrolled Passing of Gas
Since the presence of progesterone causes relaxation and slow function of body muscles, the same also happens in the digestive tract during pregnancy. The rate of digestion is slowed down, and nutrients take more time to get absorbed into the bloodstream. This process can cause excessive gas in the stomach. Also, the pressure exerted on the rectum by the expanding uterus loosens its muscles, thus making it harder to control the passing of gases.
Pregnancy Glow and Sudden Change of Skin Complexion
You all of a sudden start looking radiant and glowing and has no clue of what might be the cause? Well, it is neither that food you eat, nor the water you drink, but hormones produced due to pregnancy. One primary suspect is acne. This hormone makes your body produce a lot of oil, which softens the body tissues. Excessive production can also produce pimples, especially on the face. Production of melasma can cause some parts of your body to darken, including areas around your face. It happens within the first three months of pregnancy but fades away afterward.
Sudden Weight Changes
At first, this happens slowly and may not be noticed immediately. Towards the beginning of the second trimester, weight changes are more noticeable and can be as much as 10 pounds. The weight is not always to the mother, but the growing baby and is common for mothers having gestational diabetes are more exposed to this that mothers without it. Food cravings and overeating can contribute to this weight gain. On the other hand, some women, especially the overweight, can experience slight weight loss due to factors associated with pregnancy, such as anxiety, depression, and loss of appetite. Whatever the case, if you experience unusual weight changes, you better be cautious as this might be a sign of your baby being on the way.
During your early pregnancy, you may start experiencing an increased and continuous build up of saliva in your mouth. This is normally accompanied by morning sickness. The excess saliva may be annoying yet harmless and sometimes makes you feel uneasy when taking meals. This experience is temporary and often disappears after the first trimester. There is no exact cause of excess saliva, but hormonal changes may be a suspect. Nausea may also make women feel disgusted when swallowing saliva and so find it easier to spit instead.
Heartburn also causes excess salivation. When acidic body contents get into contact with the esophagus, it gets irritated, and the acid sensors trigger production of saliva from the salivary glands.
You may experience sudden, frequent heartburn when you get pregnant. This occurs first thing even before you realize you have missed your periods and gets worse towards the beginning of the third trimester. Slow digestion causes heartburn due to hormonal changes in the body especially progesterone. Hormones cause relaxation of sphincter muscles which allows the gastric juice to have its way into the esophagus, causing this discomfort known as heartburn.
Diarrhea and Dehydration
In some women, having loose or watery bowel movements may be an early sign of pregnancy. Though it is associated with hormones such as estrogen and HCG which has a direct effect on the digestive system, it rarely affects women and only a very small percentage of women are victims. Diarrhea does not last long and should therefore not cause alarm. If it occurs just before you miss your periods, you should know that there might be something wrong and in most cases, you might be pregnant.
You may also start feeling dehydrated as a result of losing more water and so frequent urge to take more fluids
This feeling is also called dysgeusia and occurs within the first three weeks of conception. The taste can be as a result of changes in smell and most cases; you will feel like you are chewing soft metals like aluminum. When it starts, it can be uncomfortable and annoying, and first mothers fail to understand why this occurs until they are confirmed pregnant. Women who experience morning sickness are more likely to have this feeling as compared to those who rarely affected by hormonal changes.
Shortness of Breath
Also called dyspnea, this is another early sign of pregnancy. Here, you experience some intense feeling of a congested chest or suffocation. You also feel like you are being deprived of oxygen and may start gasping while performing simple exercises or tasks. For example, you may find it difficult doing simple washing or cooking. The following are some of the causes of short breath during pregnancy:
- Immediately you conceive, there is the need for more blood and oxygen to enhance proper growth and development of the fetus.
- Since your body tends to live a life it was not used to, it still needs more time to adapt to the higher oxygen demand.
- Since oxygen is now shared between you and your child, you may not have enough supply to support both of you and so the feeling of suffocation.
When you are dizzy, you feel like fainting and sometimes lightheaded. It does not last for long and can go away soon after taking some rest or lying down for some minutes. If you experience dizziness sometime before you miss your period, it can be because you are expecting. So what causes dizziness?
- Increased hormones that widen and relaxes blood vessels, making blood pressure to be lower than normal. This leads to the low supply of blood and oxygen to the brain and so the dizzy feeling.
- Due to increased metabolism, there might be low levels of sugar in the body, and this forces the body to adapt to this sudden change due to lack of enough energy supply. Nausea and vomiting can also be contributing factors to low blood sugar levels.
From the above signs, you should now be able to tell whether that change in your body appearance and functioning is a normal one or pregnancy related. Closely monitor your body, and any noticeable change should not be taken slightly. If you are not sure, whether you had safe sex or not, planned for pregnancy or not, do not sit and relax, consult your doctor for any possible chance of pregnancy.
You should also treat yourself independently and never compare yourself to what happens to others as your experience may not be similar to what is experienced by other women.
Now that you are aware that you are soon becoming a mother take care of yourself, and I wish you safe motherhood.