Womens Health

Top Ten Early Pregnancy Symptoms

If you think you might be pregnant, you will probably have a hard time thinking about anything else. And since many of the early signs of pregnancy can be attributed to other abnormalities, it can often be difficult to know when the symptoms you’re experiencing are, in fact, pregnancy signs. That’s why we have composed this top ten list of pregnancy symptoms to help women understand what they should expect if they’re expecting.

1. Missed Period

Delayed or missed periods are probably the most common reasons why women buy home pregnancy tests. However, for women who experience irregular menstrual cycles - or for those who simply do not monitor their cycle – other symptoms will be a more reliable indicator of pregnancy. Also, be aware that if you are on the birth control pill when you become pregnant, and seize to continue taking it, then it is likely you will still get a period once you start taking your sugar pills.

2. Nausea

Nausea and vomiting are other common symptoms of pregnancy. Often referred to as "morning sickness", the onset of nausea can actually occur at any time of day or night. And while these symptoms generally do not appear until about a month after conception, many lucky women do report feelings of nausea earlier on, while others never experience it at all.

3. Tender, Swollen Breasts

Beginning about two weeks after conception, the nipple area of the breasts (areolas) will start to darken and enlarge. Increasing hormone levels will also likely result in swollen or sore breasts. Luckily, this discomfort should start to diminish after the first trimester (or about 12 weeks after conception).

4. Fatigue

Can’t seem to wake up even after a good night’s sleep? One of the first signs of pregnancy is intense tiredness; and while we still do not know what causes pregnancy fatigue, it is likely that rapidly fluctuating hormone levels are responsible.

5. Implantation Bleeding

Many pregnant women also report experiencing a small amount of bleeding a week or two after conception as the embryo implants itself into the lining of the uterus. This type of bleeding is lighter in color than a normal period and only lasts for a couple of days. However, any woman experiencing bleeding during pregnancy should seek medical advice, as this could also be a sign of ectopic pregnancy.

6. Enhanced Sensitivity to Smells

No it’s not just an old wives tale – pregnant women actually do have an increased sensitivity to odor, which is why many become turned off by foods and smells they previously enjoyed. Likewise, some may become suddenly attracted to odors they previously repelled – anyone ever heard of bleach cravings?? If you are craving bleach, you should talk to your doctor right away, as this is likely a sign of a vitamin deficiency.

7. Bloating

Are your pants suddenly feeling a little tight? Just as PMS can cause bloating just before a period, hormonal factors during pregnancy can also result in abdominal swelling long before your uterus will start to expand.

8. Increased Urination

Beginning about six weeks after conception, an increase in bodily fluids will cause you to feel the need to urinate more frequently than normal.

9. High Basal Body Temperature

If you’ve been monitoring your basal body temperature to increase your chances of getting pregnant, then you’ll know that if the temperature has been reading 18 for several days in a row, you’re probably pregnant.

10. Positive Pregnancy Test

While many home pregnancy tests boast the ability to detect pregnancy even before a missed period, this is generally not the case. To be reliable, the test should be taken about a week after your period was supposed to begin. So if you do decide to take one before then, be aware that a negative result may not be accurate.

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