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Early Pregnancy Symptoms - What to Expect and When to Expect It

Early Pregnancy Symptoms - What to Expect and When to Expect It

Whether you are actively trying to get pregnant or not the only way to know for sure if you are pregnant is with a pregnancy test. Early pregnancy symptoms are very similar to period symptoms and because of this many women can get the two confused. The only way to determine if you are pregnant is through a pregnancy test. However, you may be able to determine if you need a pregnancy test sooner if you know what early pregnancy symptoms to look for. In this article, we will detail what early pregnancy symptoms are and what to expect. 

When Do Symptoms Start

Many women are under the assumption that they cannot get pregnancy symptoms until they have missed a period. This is not true. You can experience early pregnancy symptoms almost a week and a half before your period is scheduled to come. In addition, your pregnancy is calculated based on the first day of your last period, even if you were not pregnant at that time. For example, you could have conceived a week after your period ended, but doctors will calculate your due date based on the first day of your last period. This means that the first few weeks when you technically weren’t pregnant are still considered to be the first few weeks of your pregnancy.

For this reason, it is not uncommon to not experience any symptoms in the first few weeks of pregnancy. In addition to the pregnancy calculation, once you have conceived it takes about 10-14 days for the fetus to implant into the uterus. It is also for this reason that many people do not experience symptoms until after they have missed a period. 

Early Pregnancy Symptoms

There are a variety of early pregnancy symptoms that can indicate you are pregnant. However, many of them are also symptoms of getting sick or beginning your period. Because of the similarities between symptoms, many women tend to overlook the early pregnancy symptoms they experience until they miss their period. 

Spotting/Bleeding/Cramping

Approximately 10-14 days after conception is when the egg implants itself into the uterine lining. This implantation can cause spotting or bleeding that resembles a menstrual cycle. The implantation bleeding can cause light cramping and typically lasts less than three days. Implantation bleeding is pretty common and occurs in about 25% of pregnant women.

Increase in Discharge

Soon after conception, the vaginal walls begin to thicken. This change can cause an increase in the amount of discharge that you experience. The discharge is typically white/milky in color. This discharge remains consistent throughout the entirety of your pregnancy. 

Fatigue

As your body prepares to grow a child a lot of hormonal changes occur. One hormone that increases is called progesterone. The increase of this hormone, coupled with low blood sugar, or low blood pressure, can cause fatigue. If you find yourself becoming tired easier it may be an early pregnancy symptom. 

Breast Tenderness/Soreness

With the change of your hormone levels, your breasts may become tender or sore. This tenderness usually lessens as your body adjusts to the new hormone levels. 

Increased Urination

As your body begins to create a new body inside of it, your fluid levels will increase. This increase in bodily fluids leads to an increase in kidney usage which can cause you to have to pee more frequently. If you find yourself running to the restroom more often than usual you may be experiencing an early pregnancy symptom. 

Nausea/Vomiting

The infamous first-trimester nausea/vomiting is no joke. As your progesterone levels increase your body will need to adjust to the new hormone levels. This adjustment period usually lasts around 3 months--your first trimester of pregnancy. Your increased sensitivity to smells can exacerbate this symptom which can lead to vomiting. Morning sickness is a very common symptom of early pregnancy, and it is often one of the first ones to be noticed. 

Missed Period

Perhaps you have experienced all of these symptoms, and you think you might be pregnant, but you aren’t sure. Once you miss your period you can be almost sure that you are pregnant. For some women, missing their period is actually the first early pregnancy symptom that they notice. Whatever the case, a missed period is a big indicator of pregnancy and it is often the one that leads you to buy a pregnancy test. 

Do all women experience early pregnancy symptoms?

No two women are the same and no two pregnancies are the same. Some women may experience all of the above symptoms, others may only experience a few of the symptoms, and still, others may experience none of them. Early pregnancy symptoms are not a tried and true way to determine if you are pregnant, only a pregnancy test can do that. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, or if you have any reason to believe you are pregnant, take a home pregnancy test. If the pregnancy test is positive make sure you schedule an appointment to see your doctor. Once you have a confirmed pregnancy you can begin to prepare for your new addition to the family. 

Key Takeaways

Early pregnancy symptoms include spotting/bleeding/cramping, an increase in discharge, fatigue, breast tenderness/soreness, increased urination, nausea/vomiting, and a missed period. Every woman is different and everybody is different. What may indicate pregnancy to one person may not indicate pregnancy to another. These early pregnancy symptoms are a great baseline to help you determine if you need to take a pregnancy test, but they should not be used to determine pregnancy. Once you have a positive pregnancy test and have confirmed with your physician that you are pregnant you can begin the prenatal preparations. 

 

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Cynthia Suarez

  • Dec 08, 2020
  • Category: News