Early Signs of Pregnancy
There are several signs and symptoms of pregnancy that you may experience very early on in your pregnancy, before your period is ever missed. Unfortunately, these signs are not unlike the symptoms you experience before your period, making it hard to distinguish what is really going on. Determining you are pregnant before a missed period or before you take a pregnancy test is a bit like putting together the pieces of a puzzle. You may or may not experience all of the signs, but it is likely that you will experience at least one of them.
First, you may notice that your breasts are very tender. Many women experience tender breasts and associate it with PMS, but raging hormones also cause this when you first become pregnant. The breasts may not be tender, but they may be a bit swollen in the first hours and days after conception. From the moment you become pregnant your body is preparing itself for the development and birth of your child.
You may notice that you have a general lack of energy. Many women feel very tired early on in their pregnancy. They often attribute this tiredness to other things that are going on in their lives, but it is often owed to pregnancy. This fatigue is a result of changing hormones and body chemistry as well as the sheer amount of work that a woman’s body is doing when conception occurs. The best thing you can do if you experience this is to get to bed earlier and even sleep in later if you can!
Next, you may experience implantation bleeding. This is a very rare sign of pregnancy, but it does happen. A few days before your menstrual cycle should begin; you may experience a brown or slightly pink vaginal discharge. This discharge occurs when the fertilized egg implants in the uterus. If you don’t experience the implantation bleeding it’s not a sure sign that you are not pregnant, as it is only experienced in 1/3 of all pregnancies.
Perhaps the hallmark of early pregnancy signs is nausea. This is also a symptom that many women will blame on food poisoning or a bug that they must have caught at work. Because the nausea usually grows gradually, being very slight the first few days and then increasing, it’s often thought to be a stomach flu or something of the like. Nausea that doesn’t subside is often the first indication to a woman that she may be pregnant, especially if she hadn’t planned the pregnancy. Many women report that they feel achy along with the nausea; although many doctors believe that this is simply a psychological response to the mental preparation for one’s period.
A missed period is a sure sign that there is something going on, usually pregnancy. If you do not keep track of your periods or you do not have regular periods this one can take awhile to catch onto, but if the nausea doesn’t tip a woman off to the fact that she is pregnant, than the missed period usually will.
About the time that the missed period and nausea set in, other women report an increase in hunger. This is probably owed to the fact that the body is working hard to support the development of the embryo. Other women report that they have no appetite at all. This sign can swing either way and may vary from day to day depending on nausea and other pregnancy symptoms.
Unfortunately there isn’t a checklist that one can be given to determine that she is pregnant. Every woman, in fact, every pregnancy has different symptoms. Some women report that they had no symptoms at all, while others realize they had all of the signs and symptoms listed here, and then some! Some times pregnancy signs are seen in hindsight, but if you are looking for them, there is a good chance you’ll catch onto what your body is telling you long before you use a pregnancy test!