Early signs of pregnancy?
From the first few weeks to the first three months of a pregnancy, it can be hard to tell what exactly is going on - especially if you are unaware that you are pregnant at all! While every woman, and every pregnancy, is different, there are a few ways you can tell if you're pregnant early on. If you notice these signs, and are unsure of whether or not you are pregnant, it is important that you see a doctor to be sure, because many of these signs are also symptoms of other medical occurrences. One of the easiest to spot early signs of pregnancy is morning sickness. Contrary to its name, it can last the entire day. Some women are very sensitive to the changes their body undergoes as it prepares a new life for the world, and start having morning sickness as early as the fifth or sixth week of pregnancy. Some women, however, do not experience any nausea through the duration of their pregnancy. Another very easy to spot sign is a missed, shortened, or unusually light period. However, this one is complicated. First of all, because menstruation is affected by many factors, including body weight, medications, diet, stress, and miscellaneous medical issues, you may miss your period for reasons that have nothing to do with pregnancy. Third, for some women, regular benign bleeding continues throughout pregnancy, so this symptom is never a sure indication of pregnancy. Frequent urination, a symptom commonly attributed to the third trimester alone, can actually be the first symptom of pregnancy, hitting as early as the fourth week. Because pain during urination may accompany frequency, this symptom is often mistaken for a urinary tract infection. Just as with menstruation, the hormonal changes that the body experiences during pregnancy may have an effect on mood. And if you are prone to heavy pre-menstrual symptoms in general, you are more likely to experience mood swings in pregnancy, from the first month to the twelfth week. Other signs that can occur during the first month include sudden, inexplicable fatigue; aversions to food; constipation; and heightened sensitivity to smell. The first rule of pregnancy is to listen to your body. Every woman reacts differently to hormonal changes; during your pregnancy, you may experience all of the symptoms here, or none!
When a woman may be pregnant, she often wants to know as soon as possible. Here are some early signs of pregnancy that can help her decide whether or not to take a test. Missing a Period The first sign for many women that they may be pregnant is a missed period. Late or missing periods can also be caused by stress, changes in weight and other factors, but for a woman with regular cycles it can be a telltale sign of pregnancy. Nausea While most people think of nausea as starting in the middle of the first trimester, some women may experience morning sickness as early as two weeks after conception. A physical response to the increased levels of estrogen in the body during pregnancy, morning sickness can actually happen at any time of the day or night. Breast Tenderness Usually seen as a normal PMS symptom, breast tenderness can begin just one week after conception. This is one of most common and least reliable pregnancy symptoms as it can also be caused by normal hormone variations or birth control pills. Exhaustion Abnormal levels of fatigue can be a sign of pregnancy for a woman whose activity level and sleep patterns have not changed. Pregnancy raises progesterone levels which can lead to tiredness. Hormone levels begin changing almost immediately after conception, so exhaustion may start as soon as one week after conception. Changes in Pigmentation Hormonal changes during pregnancy can lead to a darkening of the skin. This is most noticeable in the areolae, although it can also affect freckles and the labia. After pregnancy, the changes may lessen or go away completely, but for many women these changes are permanent. Pregnancy Glow Not just an old wives' tale, this glow is caused by two factors. When pregnant, a woman produces 50% more blood than usual and her hormone levels rise, stimulating her oil glands to work harder. The combination leads to the brighter, shinier skin known as a pregnancy glow. None of these symptoms guarantee pregnancy. However, if a woman is experiencing one or more of them for more than a day, it is probably a good idea for her to take a home pregnancy test. A positive home pregnancy test should always be confirmed by a physician.