A woman’s intuition is a powerful thing, and for many women, it may be the first sign that they are pregnant. That feeling that something is changing, growing, and developing inside of them is hard to ignore. But there are other signs and symptoms of pregnancy that may appear very early on, such as:
Though missing a period is the most common and definitive sign of pregnancy, some of the symptoms that occur during pregnancy are eerily similar to those experienced during menstruation.
Breast tenderness is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. The breasts may feel swollen and sensitive, and even painful, like some women experience before the start of their monthly period. A slight amount of vaginal bleeding or light spotting may be seen at the time of implantation of the embryo. This is when the fertilized egg implants into the wall of the uterus and starts to grow, and this is also one of the first early signs of pregnancy. Feeling tiredness for no explainable reason can also be a sign of early pregnancy as the body goes through a hormonal upheaval. Some women find that they need more sleep than usual and can feel extremely sleepy. Many women also report having mood swings – feeling elated one moment and then tearing up the next.
A sudden change in taste or smell early on in pregnancy is nature’s way of protecting the mother and unborn child from any dangerous materials. Some women find that their sense of smell is at its most acute during the early days of pregnancy. The feeling of having to go to the bathroom urgently is another of the early pregnancy signs.
Morning sickness or nausea during other times of day may also be one of the first signs of pregnancy. For many women, there may be no symptoms at all and the first indication of pregnancy may be when she takes a test.
There are two types of pregnancy tests: those that tell you whether or not you’re pregnant on the day that your period would have been due, and those that can detect hCG, the hormone produced by the body during conception. If hCG is present in your system, it will show a positive result on a pregnancy test.
Some pregnancy tests are more sensitive than others and can detect a conception as early as 7 days after a woman ovulates. However, at this stage there may not be enough hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) in the blood stream or urine for a pregnancy to be detected, resulting in a false negative.
You will get more accurate results by waiting 14 days after ovulation or until you miss your first period to take the test. hCG levels will have risen enough by this time to show a positive result if conception has occurred.