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Do pregnancy symptoms come and go in early pregnancy?

Although the range of symptoms women may experience during pregnancy can be challenging, most women are prepared to handle them. The only thing women might not be ready to face is the speed at which pregnancy symptom changes. A number of pregnant women in Australia report that their symptoms come and go, and often this occurrence doesn’t have a reason or rhyme, begging the question — can symptom changes be a sign of pregnancy trouble, or is it normal?

In this article, the Fertility2Family team will provide vital information to help women make informed decisions about their health and when to follow up with a healthcare professional.

Can pregnancy symptoms come and go early pregnancy?
Can pregnancy symptoms come and go early pregnancy?

Overview of Pregnancy Symptoms

It’s normal to feel anxious when you notice that your pregnancy symptoms are changing. You may become worried about whether your pregnancy is progressing normally or if there is a problem that needs to be addressed immediately.

By knowing what’s expected and what isn’t, you can eliminate concerns and prepare to deal with the occasional ups and downs you will inevitably face during pregnancy.

Normal Pregnancy Symptom Changes

Pregnancy symptoms may vary from one woman to another or from one pregnancy to another. For instance, some women may never experience morning sickness, while others will feel ill and nauseous for months. Other common symptoms experienced during the first trimester include frequent urination, acne, food cravings, cramping, breast tenderness, mood swings, bloating, dizziness, constipation, and back pain.

 10 Common Signs of Early Pregnancy
10 Common Signs of Early Pregnancy

10 Common Pregnancy Symptoms

Morning sickness

This ill-feeling occurs due to the rapid increase of oestrogen in the body produced by the placenta and foetus. Because the sense of smell is heightened, it’s normal to get morning sickness triggers due to fragrances, odours of certain foods, and cigarettes. Morning sickness often starts between the 4th and 8th week of pregnancy but can also occur two weeks after conception.

Morning sickness is a symptom most women experience, but its severity varies considerably. Some women feel sick only at night or in the morning, while others are sick throughout the day. Vomiting may also be present in some women.

Breast soreness

This is one of the first physical pregnancy signs you may experience, and most women find that it goes away once you get to the second trimester. The symptoms are caused by the rise of progesterone and estrogen hormones as they prepare the breasts for breastfeeding.

Fatigue

The need to nap regularly or not being able to stay awake is also common in pregnancy. The symptom starts early for some women because the body undergoes multiple changes as it prepares to carry a baby. Besides, the extra progesterone is a central nervous system depressant, leading to sleepiness.

Frequent urination

If you start visiting the bathroom more than usual, it could mean you are pregnant. Because of the growing uterus, frequent urination begins early in the first few months and then again during the third trimester. It’s important to stay hydrated during this time.

Cramping

Cramping is associated with impending periods but can be another early pregnancy symptom. Some people develop cramping because the uterus is starting to stretch to accommodate the growing fetus. However, if you experience severe cramping accompanied by bleeding, see your doctor immediately.

Acne

Pregnancy also brings about an increase in acne or other skin changes. You must be careful about your medications to treat acne to ensure your growing baby isn’t harmed. The best thing to do is talk to your doctor to treat bad skin safely during pregnancy.

Cravings

Most pregnant women have strange cravings. You may have aversions or cravings for certain foods, especially those with strong smells. This may affect you earlier on or throughout the pregnancy.

Bloating

Your belly is not meant to show during the early months of pregnancy. If you experience an enlarged belly initially, you may have a bloating problem. Weight gain is not noticeable in the first trimester, and it’s even common to lose weight because of food aversions or morning sickness.

Mood swings

During early pregnancy, your hormones fluctuate wildly, which can cause extreme mood swings. Do not be upset or surprised if you suddenly experienced intense emotions or burst into tears.

Constipation

The increased levels of progesterone in the body also affect food digestion. When hormone levels increase, digestion slows down, leading to constipation. The best way to deal with constipation in pregnancy is to exercise regularly and increase your fibre intake. You may also take prenatal vitamins containing iron to combat constipation.

Is it normal for early pregnancy symptoms to fluctuate?
Is it normal for early pregnancy symptoms to fluctuate?

The Frequency and Intensity of Early Pregnancy Symptoms

The intensity or frequency of these pregnancy symptoms can vary significantly, and you should not expect to feel all of them simultaneously. There are days you will feel dizziness or mood swings, and on others, you will have sudden food cravings for specific foods or back pain. On other days you will be entirely symptom-free and energetic. All this is natural and usual, so you should not be concerned.

Some symptoms may not disappear but become less noticeable in some situations because your body is starting to cope with the frequent changes occurring during pregnancy. Over time you will find viable ways to deal with rigorous nausea or constipation or understand your mood swings and food cravings.

By the time you get to the second trimester, most of these profound symptoms will dissipate, and other symptoms may continue until the day you deliver your baby. Neither of these situations can be considered a sign of a ‘more normal’ or ‘less normal’ pregnancy.

When Should You Be Concerned About Changes in Pregnancy Symptoms?

There are cases when pregnancy symptom changes warrant concern and immediate attention. The primary of this is fetal movement. Although it might take a while to feel fetal movement (somewhere between the 16th and 25th week), any changes in activity from this point must be reported to the doctor immediately.

You should act fast if you notice a fetal movement decrease or a complete cessation of the movements. While other pregnancy symptoms can subside as the pregnancy advances, fetal movement should not. Of course, there will be days when the baby is quieter, but if you notice any unusual activity changes, visit an emergency room or see your doctor immediately.

The same should apply if you suddenly realise you have no symptoms. In this case, we are not talking about the symptom-free days but a situation in which you have been dealing with different symptoms and suddenly have none. A sudden disappearance of the symptoms may signify miscarriage, mainly if you are still in the first trimester.

Although this does not necessarily mean there is a problem, you should immediately see a doctor for a detailed investigation. This will help determine the reasons behind the sudden symptoms change. Even if you have no other signs of a miscarriage, such as severe cramping or abnormal bleeding, it’s still vital to see your doctor sooner than later.

The Bottom Line on Pregnancy Symptoms

While milestones and markers are common to all pregnancies, the experiences vary depending on the individual. It is essential to remember that the frequency or severity of the symptoms isn’t a clear indicator of how the pregnancy is progressing. It is perfectly natural to experience a cycle of symptoms that come and go throughout the pregnancy, and you may also have no symptoms on certain days.

Do not hesitate to contact your doctor if changing symptoms causes stress or anxiety. They will conduct a simple ultrasound to determine your pregnancy status, giving you peace of mind.

Alongside a wide range of fertility products, including pregnancy tests, ovulation tests, and fertility kits, Fertility2Family’s website is also home to hundreds of blogs on a wide range of fertility topics, helping you stay informed as you start the exciting journey. Contact our team today if you have any questions.

Sources:

Fertility2Family only uses trusted & peer-reviewed sources to ensure our articles’ information is accurate and reliable.

Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care (2022d) Constipation, Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care. Available at: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/pregnancy-care-guidelines/part-i-common-conditions-during-pregnancy/constipation (Accessed: 15 October 2023).

BellyBelly – Pregnancy, Birth & Parenting (2023) When do your breasts stop hurting in pregnancy?, BellyBelly Australia. Available at: https://www.bellybelly.com.au/pregnancy/when-do-your-breasts-stop-hurting-in-pregnancy/ (Accessed: 15 October 2023).

Healthdirect Australia (2021) Morning sickness, healthdirect. Available at: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/dealing-with-morning-sickness (Accessed: 15 October 2023).

Healthdirect Australia (2022) About the placenta, – role and complications | Pregnancy Birth and Baby. Available at: https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/about-the-placenta (Accessed: 15 October 2023).

Healthdirect Australia (2022) First trimester, Pregnancy Birth and Baby. Available at: https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/first-trimester (Accessed: 15 October 2023).

Rive, M (2020) Wind and bloating in pregnancy, BabyCenter Australia. Available at: https://www.babycenter.com.au/a562886/wind-and-bloating-in-pregnancy (Accessed: 15 October 2023).

Products, C. for T. (2021) How smoking affects reproductive health, U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Available at: https://www.fda.gov/tobacco-products/health-effects-tobacco-use/how-smoking-affects-reproductive-health (Accessed: 15 October 2023).

Safer Care Victoria (2021) Decreased fetal movements, Safer Care Victoria Australia. Available at: https://www.safercare.vic.gov.au/clinical-guidance/maternity/decreased-fetal-movements (Accessed: 15 October 2023).

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Evan Kurzyp

Evan is the founder of Fertility2Family and is passionate about fertility education & providing affordable products to help people in their fertility journey. Evan is a qualified Registered Nurse and has expertise in guiding & managing patients through their fertility journeys.

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