If you want to find out if you’re pregnant for sure, you’ll need to get a testing kit. You can buy a pregnancy test at most drugstores and pharmacies or order one online.
Many of the early signs of pregnancy are very similar to those you’d experience around the time of your period. None of these early signs of pregnancy can determine you’re pregnant for sure, so consider them symptoms to look out for rather than a reliable test. You’ll need to take a pregnancy test if you want to confirm that you’ve conceived.
Here are 10 common signs of early pregnancy.
The most common reason for someone to suspect that they are pregnant is missing a period. Pregnancy is not the only thing that can cause you to miss a period, though. Weight loss and gain, hormonal changes, and stress can all disrupt your cycle. You can’t be sure you’re pregnant until you’ve had a positive pregnancy test and had it confirmed by a doctor.
If a week or more has passed since your expected period, you may be pregnant. This can be unreliable if your menstrual cycle is irregular, though. If there’s any chance that you might be pregnant, take a pregnancy test as soon as possible and make an appointment with your doctor.
Breast changes are common during pregnancy, and for some women this is one of the early signs of pregnancy. Your hormone levels vary widely over the course of pregnancy, and this causes many changes in your body, including to your breasts.
You may notice that your breasts are:
- Darker around the areola (the area around the nipple)
Breast pain or discomfort can be troubling in the early stages of pregnancy, but once your hormones begin to settle down, you can expect most of these symptoms to resolve.
If you’re in the early stages of pregnancy, you can expect some changes to your usual bathroom routine. Hormonal changes are the cause of this, and it can mean that you need to make allowances in your day for more trips to the bathroom.
In early pregnancy, you will probably urinate more frequently than usual. This is a common symptom for pregnant women. Be aware that other conditions like diabetes and urinary tract infections can cause similar symptoms. For this reason, it’s best to consult your doctor if you think that frequent urination may be the result of something other than pregnancy.
During pregnancy, you’ll have more of the hormone progesterone circulating in your system. While this is perfectly normal, one of progesterone’s unwelcome side effects is constipation. This is because it delays the passage of food through your gastrointestinal system. If you’re one of many women who experience constipation during pregnancy, make sure to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water, exercising, and eating a high-fiber diet.
Soon after conception has taken place, the fertilized egg becomes attached to the wall of your uterus. Among other symptoms, this may cause you to experience abdominal cramps that are similar to those you have during your period. In fact, the cramps of early pregnancy are often mistaken for the beginning of menstruation.
Cramping during early pregnancy is mild and should lessen with time. Don’t hesitate to consult your doctor if the pain is severe or if it is accompanied by heavy bleeding or other worrying symptoms.
Popular culture means that most of us are familiar with morning sickness. For many women, nausea is a regular feature of the early days of pregnancy, but it’s not restricted to a particular time of day.
Nausea in early pregnancy is likely to be the result of the increase in circulating hormones and may occur at any time of day, but morning is the most common time.
Fatigue is a common early sign of pregnancy. For many pregnant women, this can result in a very draining tiredness. This may occur as early as the first weeks of pregnancy.
Even at this early stage, the rising levels of the hormone progesterone can cause unusual fatigue. At the same time, changes in blood pressure can contribute to feeling lethargic and lacking in energy.
If your low energy is the result of pregnancy, then try to fit more rest into your day. Make allowances in your social life to recover, and let work colleagues know that you may need their support. You may also find that adding a little more protein and iron to your diet may give you the boost you need at this early stage of pregnancy.
Strange food cravings may be one of the best-known signs of pregnancy. Just like many of the other symptoms of early pregnancy, food cravings are the result of the changes in hormone levels that are experienced after conception.
The same hormones that can make someone desperate for a certain type of food can make other foods a total turn-off. Food aversions can be so severe that even the thought or smell of these foods can cause very unpleasant nausea.
For some people, food cravings and aversions can last for their entire pregnancy, but in most cases they disappear by the end of the first trimester. Until then, try to eat a healthy diet that nourishes both you and your baby. Your doctor will be able to offer you advice.
Implantation bleeding is the light vaginal bleeding that occurs between 6 and 14 days after fertilization. It should not cause anything more than mild spotting that you may notice in your underwear. Implantation bleeding can also be accompanied by mild cramps that resemble the cramps of menstruation.
If the bleeding is heavy or if the cramping is severe, then contact your doctor for advice.
Along with light bleeding, some women notice a white, milky discharge from their vagina. This is completely normal and is the result of increased development in the lining of the vagina. The discharge may continue throughout pregnancy and does not usually have any other symptoms. Seek your doctor’s opinion if the discharge smells bad or if you have itching in your vagina. You may need to be treated for a bacterial or yeast infection.
If your emotions feel a little out of balance in early pregnancy, blame your hormones again. It’s most common in the first trimester, so the feeling of being on an emotional roller coaster will likely settle down after a little while.
As with other early pregnancy symptoms, you may find that staying active, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining a social life can help you deal with these symptoms.
If you forget to take one or more birth control pills and then miss your period, you may be pregnant. To be sure, take a pregnancy test and make an appointment with your doctor if it’s positive.
Pregnancy tests are very advanced nowadays. Most will give you an accurate result from the first day of your missed period. Some newer tests are even more sensitive and can be used before you miss your period — as early as four or five days before your period is due.
Everyone’s experience of pregnancy is different, and every pregnancy is different — even in the same person. Be aware of this when looking for signs of early pregnancy. Learn about common signs and symptoms, be alert to your own body and the signals it sends you, and don’t be too rigid about what to expect when you’re expecting.
Make sure you see your doctor as soon as possible after conception. This may contribute to a healthy pregnancy.