The initial symptoms of pregnancy are so widely known that in most instances you, as the prospective mother, make the diagnosis yourself shortly after conception has taken place.
Some pregnancy signs and symptoms appear when you are only 3 weeks pregnant. On the other hand, you might suspect that you are pregnant when you are not, because these symptoms could be associated with other conditions as well. Likewise, you can be pregnant without experiencing any of these symptoms.
The signs of pregnancy may be classified according to their reliability – presumptive, probable, and positive. The very early pregnancy signs and symptoms are presumptive signs, and doubtful evidence regarding your pregnancy. The last, which is positive signs of pregnancy, are infallible proof that you are pregnant. Therefore, you should not be surprised when your pregnancy signs become positive, after your suspicions were first aroused.
The earliest pregnancy symptoms include abdominal cramping that feels like menstrual cramps. This cramping is not, however, associated with menstrual bleeding. Instead of that, you might experience light vaginal spotting or mucus discharge. This very light bleeding occurs a bit earlier than your expected normal periods. The spotting is lighter in color than the normal menstrual blood, and doesn’t last as long either. These earliest signs of pregnancy — abdominal cramping and spotting — are also known as implantation symptoms of pregnancy.
Increased need to urinate is a common early sign of pregnancy that occurs shortly after conception, and prevails for several weeks. Some pregnant women may also have difficulty in urination, and a few may experience discomforts with it. The reason for the need to empty the bladder frequently may be connected with the changes in the reproductive organs after pregnancy has become established. The supply of blood is increased to all the organs concerned with the reproductive process, shortly after conception. Partly because of this congestion, and partly because of the embryonic development, the uterus becomes altered in a number of ways. These early changes may irritate the bladder causing the increased need to urinate. All the bladder symptoms gradually disappear by the fourth month, but become prominent again towards the end of pregnancy.
The failure of menstruation to appear, when it is expected, is almost always a symptom of pregnancy. This early sign of pregnancy is the one that most commonly attracts attention. As a rule, when this happens to a healthy woman during her childbearing years — which usually extends from the fifteenth to the forty-fifth year — it indicates pregnancy. But there are exceptions to this very good rule. Besides pregnancy, several conditions cause temporary suppression of menstruation. Diseases of the womb may interfere with the menstrual process. Menstruation is also influenced by certain ovary conditions. In addition to a busy lifestyle or major lifestyle changes, excessive dieting or exercise as well as weight gain or cessation of oral contraceptives, may interrupt the regular appearance of the menstrual cycle. Emotional turmoil and grief, and strong fear or hope for pregnancy, may cause the absence of menstrual periods.
It is doubtful whether menstruation ever continues after conception. Instances in which the menstrual function is believed to persist are not uncommon. In most cases it is a sign that there is some danger of miscarriage. Since miscarriage often occurs about the same time that a menstrual period is expected, there is a probability for confusing the symptoms.
In conclusion, implantation symptoms, increased need to urinate, and missed periods, are the most important very early signs of pregnancy. In all events, pregnant women err much more frequently in suspecting that they are pregnant than in overlooking these conditions. Pregnancy is one of the most thrilling highlights in a woman’s life. Thus, it is not surprising that we are all very excited about the first signs and symptoms of pregnancy.