16 Early Signs of Pregnancy: What to Expect in the First Few Weeks
Trying to conceive a child can be exciting for you. You would be making a list of to-do’s and don’t! You might be exercising more often. You would be tracking your ovulation, skipping coffee as you don’t want caffeine to impact your journey. You might be constantly thinking about the signs that can indicate early pregnancy so that you can be extra careful.
When you miss your period, it’s a clear sign of early pregnancy, but there are other signs that you might notice before that. If you are keeping an eye on such signs, it would be easy for you to know whether you’re finally pregnant this month or not.
You might experience the early signs of pregnancy just 1 or 2 weeks after conception. Let’s discuss what are the early signs of pregnancy so that you would know what to expect.
Understanding The Conception Timeline
You need to understand the pregnancy timeline as it can help you understand the phenomenon of early pregnancy. When you get pregnant, your doctor would use the gestational age to measure your pregnancy. To measure the gestational age, the doctor takes into account the date of your last missed period (LMP) and the current date.
A full-term pregnancy is 40-weeks as the doctor takes into account gestational age. You can hear people say that it’s 9 months.
The home pregnancy tests can detect early pregnancy during the two-week wait after ovulation and give accurate results, but it’s still possible to detect early pregnancy via other signs.
If the sperm unites the egg, it leads to egg fertilization and reaches the uterus through the fallopian tube. All this is happening 3DPO or four days past ovulation (4 DPO). You can experience the symptoms of implantation 6 days past ovulation and the embryo starts to develop. Implantation takes 3 to 4 days for completion. You can start experiencing the pregnancy symptoms once the pregnancy hormone hCG starts to release. You can experience implantation up to 12 days past ovulation.
At this point, you might start feeling different as if you’re pregnant. You may try the home pregnancy test, but it turns out to be negative. You might be looking for the signs of early pregnancy.
Let’s discuss the signs of early pregnancy for your ease.
Signs of early pregnancy
#1. Nausea And Vomiting
You might know about morning sickness. It’s nausea that you feel when you’re pregnant. It’s a common sign of early pregnancy and if you find yourself not able to digest much food, it’s possible that you could be pregnant.
A new study also discovered that 94% of women do experience some form of pregnancy sickness
With an increase in pregnancy hormone hCG, a pregnant woman would experience more nausea-like symptoms. It signs pregnancy so you should be happy!
If you feel nausea, it’s possible that you could be pregnant. It signs pregnancy.
Tips for Combating Morning Sickness
To combat morning sickness, you can try the following:
Rinse your mouth after vomiting: Your vomit has acidic bile in it that can affect the enamel of your teeth. You can use fluoride-based toothpaste for rinsing your mouth.
Avoid nausea triggers: There can be certain foods or their smell that can act as nausea triggers such as spicy foods. It’s better to avoid these triggers.
Snack often: Rather than taking three full meals in a day, you can opt for small snacks. Snack often and you might feel better.
#2. Frequent Urination
If you feel the urge to urinate more often then it’s a good sign as you could be expecting a baby.
You urinate more often as more blood is flowing to the kidneys. Your kidneys start producing more urine when you conceive so you can see urinating more often as a good early sign. It signs pregnancy so you need not worry.
You can experience frequent urination up to the first few weeks of the second trimester of your pregnancy, but eventually, it would return to normal so you need not worry.
Also, you should know that when you are pregnant, your uterus is holding a fetus, and thus, it would start expanding. It’s very close to the bladder so you can feel the pressure and thus, you would feel like urinating more often.
#3. Breasts Feel Tender, Sore, and Heavy
It’s possible that you would start noticing a change in your breasts. The breasts would be more sensitive.
You might notice an increase in the weight of your breasts as they would feel heavier. It is a sign of early pregnancy so you have to keep an eye.
There would be a change in the nipples and areola also. You can experience the colour getting darker.
When you would bring your little bundle of joy to this world, you would be a source of nutrition for your baby. You would nurse the baby so your breasts are preparing for the production of milk and hence they feel tender, sore, and heavy. Take it as a sign!
#4. Feeling Tired and Sleepy
It’s possible that you would feel really tired when you are pregnant. You might feel that you’ve slept enough, but it might not feel like it. Feeling tired and sleepy signs of early pregnancy. Since it signs pregnancy, you would know that you could be pregnant and not just lazy.
When progesterone hormone increases in levels, it can make you sleepier. So you can blame pregnancy for the hormonal fluctuations. A change in hormonal level signs pregnancy in many cases.
Don’t forget that a fetus is developing inside your body so your energy is consumed for the developing fetus and thus, you would be feeling more exhausted. When you feel tired and sleepy, it can be a sign of pregnancy. It’s better if you’re taking good care of yourself during this tough time. Get a balanced diet and take care of your developing fetus as well.
#5. Metallic Taste In Your Mouth
You might not like the food that you used to! It’s because of the pregnancy hormones so you can take it as a sign. A metallic taste signs pregnancy so bear that in mind.
Dysgeusia is a change in sense of your taste and it can happen during pregnancy. It signs pregnancy and you might experience it even when you are not drinking anything.
There could be a metallic taste in your mouth even when you are not eating anything. Maybe try brushing your tongue and see if it helps.
You can experience dysgeusia during early pregnancy, but eventually, it would disappear during the second trimester and if not then after delivery. Use a mild solution of salt with water or baking soda with water for it!
#6. Heartburn and/or Indigestion
Acid reflux or heartburn is quite common in early pregnancy. You might find yourself burping after eating food. You might have a feeling of fullness and would feel as if something is burning in your chest. Heartburn signs pregnancy so when you are trying to conceive, keep an eye on this sign.
For some women, it can happen after 27 weeks of pregnancy and worsens onwards as your baby is growing and putting pressure on your organs.
Avoid spicy food and chew your food slowly. You can ask your doctor to advise you of medication for acid reflux. There are also over-the-counter medicines available, but it’s better to ask your doctor first whether you can use them during early pregnancy.
#7. Cramping and Light Bleeding
If you experience cramping and light bleeding then it would be a sign of early pregnancy. Since cramping also signs pregnancy, you might confuse it with routine cramping that you experience for the menstrual cycle.
Implantation bleeding happens when the fertilized egg is attaching to the wall of the uterus, but the implantation bleeding would be more like spotting. It would be lighter in colour and would be different from your period.
You can experience implantation bleeding one week before your period if your menstrual cycle is of 28-days. Heavier bleeding is a period or it could also be a sign of an early miscarriage.
#8. Weird Food Cravings
You might experience weird food cravings. For example, you might feel like having soup in summers though you are not a big fan of soups at all. When you feel like eating something you never liked before, it signs pregnancy so watch out for it.
The weird cravings are early signs of pregnancy. It’s because of the change in the level of hormones due to pregnancy. If you are experiencing weird food cravings, it could be a sign that you are pregnant.
You might have cravings for sweet food or it could be for salty food. Each woman is different, let’s see what’s your experience with the weird cravings.
#9. You Missed Your Birth Control Pill
It’s possible that you were on the birth control pill. You might think that missing a birth control pill might not make a difference especially if you accidentally skipped it for a day.
Missing a birth control pill can lead to pregnancy. So if you experience the above-mentioned symptoms then you may be experiencing early signs of pregnancy.
If you’ve missed the birth control pill and are experiencing the signs then book an appointment with your doctor to discuss your concerns. During pregnancy especially when it’s early you don’t want to take any chances.
Bloating is caused by an increase in the level of progesterone hormone. There would be water retention and you might feel as if something is pulling and pinching inside your belly. You could feel different during pregnancy.
Because of the increase in the progesterone levels, the digestion process is slowed down. There is more gas and hence you would be farting more than usual during pregnancy.
You can try keeping yourself hydrated if you experience bloating. It’s also good to eat the food in small portions and chew well to avoid bloating. During pregnancy, it’s important to take good care of yourself and your baby.
#11. Cervical Mucus Changes
Another early sign of pregnancy is the change in the cervical mucus. The vaginal discharge changes as your egg implants to the uterus, this vaginal mucus is called leukorrhea
You might experience light bleeding that would be pink or light brown. After the implantation, the texture of the vaginal discharge would change, but it would still be clear.
The change in the cervical mucus would be one week after conception so you can notice the change and it would be a sign that you could be pregnant.
#12. Missed Period
It’s a common sign. When you experience a missed period the first thing that comes to your mind would be the pregnancy.
There could be other possible reasons for a missed period, but when you are trying to conceive, you would take it as good news. A missed period is not just because of pregnancy so you have to keep other factors in mind for the missed period.
As mentioned previously, each woman is unique, and thus, what signs you are experiencing might be different from someone else, but when you experience a missed period it can indicate that you are pregnant. However, it’s best to rule out the possibilities by going ahead with the home pregnancy test especially after a missed period.
You can use a home pregnancy test to find out if you are pregnant or not. By the time you experience a missed period, the home pregnancy tests can detect the pregnancy on the first day of your missed period. So missed period is a common sign!
During the first trimester of the pregnancy, you might experience headaches. It’s possible to experience migraines as well.
Many reasons can lead to headaches during pregnancy. It can be because of the change in hormone levels. During early pregnancy, you might experience nasal congestion and thus, it would lead to headaches.
You might be dehydrated because of morning sickness or you could be experiencing a low blood sugar level. All such issues would lead to headaches.
Before conceiving or when you started to try you might have decided to cut down the consumption of caffeine and thus, it could be causing headaches.
You might be experiencing migraines also. It’s best to discuss the whole situation with your doctor.
Leukorrhea is a characteristic type of vaginal discharge and you might experience it during the pregnancy. What does early pregnancy discharge look like?
You might have noticed that there is a whitish discharge that you experience between your menstrual cycle, but it’s usually this would be heavier.
It’s also possible that you might experience leukorrhea with a mild odour. You are experiencing leukorrhea because of the change in estrogen levels. You can experience leukorrhea in the early pregnancy, but it can continue throughout the pregnancy.
You need to keep in mind that if you experience a change in the consistency, for example, if the vaginal discharge appears like cottage cheese and there is some fishy odour then talk to your doctor about it. You may have an infection. There is tons of information that you can get online, but your doctor would be the best source of information for you especially during the pregnancy.
You might also experience a change in your bowel movements. It’s possible that you could experience constipation during pregnancy. If you are passing less than three stools a week and it’s hard then you’ve constipation.
The change in the level of hormones would lead to constipation during pregnancy. Don’t forget that your body is going through a major change. There is a fetus developing inside your body. You can experience constipation and this sign can indicate your pregnancy.
An increase in progesterone levels would make your bowel movements slow. Your body is also taking care of the nutritional needs of the baby.
Laxatives aren’t safe to use during pregnancy so you’ve to discuss the situation with your doctor. Constipation during pregnancy can be quite uncomfortable. There are chances of hemorrhoids also when you are experiencing constipation. Make sure you are taking a diet that is rich in fibre and also drinks plenty of water during pregnancy to keep yourself hydrated.
#16. Sensitivity to Smell
During pregnancy, your sense of smell might be heightened (hyperosmia). You would notice a smell that’s not noticeable by others in the room.
When you experience sensitivity to smell it could indicate early pregnancy. Some of the nausea triggers would make you vomit.
It’s not clear yet as to exactly why the pregnant woman experiences sensitivity to smell, but it could be because of the fluctuations in the hormone levels that are also playing an active role in your morning sickness.
Common Questions About Signs of Early Pregnancy
You might be confused about the signs of early pregnancy and there could be tons of questions on your mind. You can ask your doctor to guide you as the best source of information for any kind of question is your doctor.
Let’s discuss some of the common questions to put your mind at ease:
When should you take a pregnancy test?
If you’re testing too soon, a false negative is possible. When you are taking the pregnancy test, it’s possible that your pregnancy hormones are not high enough to detect the pregnancy. It’s best to wait until the first day of your expected period and then test again.
It’s common to have a false negative test, but a false positive test is very rare. So if you get a positive result on your test then it means you’re expecting. Book an appointment with your doctor.
Can you miss a period and not be pregnant?
A missed period doesn’t always mean that you’re pregnant. It’s possible that you are experiencing stress or there is a change in the level of hormones. When you miss your period, you can take the test for your assurance. It’s always better to be on the safe side and using the home pregnancy test can clear your confusion.
How early can you take a pregnancy test?
You are able to take an easy home pregnancy test (HPT) from as early as seven days past ovulation. Our Fertility2Family Dip and Read tests can detect hCG at very low levels of 10mIU/ml making them the best early pregnancy test on the market