Think you might be pregnant? For many women, the symptoms of pregnancy can begin as early as two weeks after conception. Other women may not even notice any clear symptoms. What’s interesting is that a lot of early pregnancy symptoms can be similar to those that a woman experiences right before her period is due. Of course, a home pregnancy test can help confirm your suspicions. Home pregnancy tests can show accurate results two weeks after conception but most doctors will recommend taking one after your first missed period. Alternatively, you could take a blood test for early pregnancy detection. These tests can show accurate results as early as 7-10 days after conception.
Here are some of the most common early signs of pregnancy that can help you determine if you should go ahead and take a pregnancy test.
1. Missed period
The most common indicator of pregnancy is a missed period. If your periods are usually irregular, you might want to wait a few days before taking a pregnancy test. Delayed periods might also be due to other factors such as stress or sickness. Even though most women will not get their next period once they are pregnant, some might still experience some light bleeding.
2. Spotting and cramping
Have you noticed light vaginal bleeding? This might be ‘implantation bleeding’. Implantation bleeding usually occurs around 10-14 days after conception and typically looks like a light pinkish-brown discharge. Since it usually occurs in the week before your period is due, some women might confuse it with an early period. However, implantation bleeding is very light, slightly different in colour and doesn’t last more than a couple of days at most.
You might also experience stomach cramps that are similar to those one experiences during menstruation, but a little less severe in intensity.
3. Breast sensitivity and darkening of the areola
In those early days after conception, a lot of women experience breast tenderness and sensitivity. Your breasts can feel sore or even swollen. The ‘areola’, which is the portion of skin around the nipple, also begins to darken in the case of some women. These could be signs that you are pregnant.
Another prominent symptom of being pregnant is a constant feeling of fatigue. You might feel very tired and sleepy in those first few weeks. Try and get as much rest as possible during this time and make sure you’re eating well. Here are our ‘Top 5 Superfoods for Pregnant women’. The good news is that pregnant woman usually experience this symptom mostly in the first trimester, after which it tends to get better.
In the movies, morning sickness or nausea is almost always a surefire sign of pregnancy, isn’t it? Well, there’s a good basis for it. Most women do tend to feel nauseous during the early stages of pregnancy due to fluctuating hormonal levels and other bodily changes. This can also be accompanied by severe heart burn after eating. If you’ve been experiencing these symptoms, check out this helpful blog article – 5 foods to ease morning sickness.
6. Headaches and Dizziness
A lot of women get frequent headaches during pregnancy. This takes place due to changing hormonal levels and changes in blood pressure and blood sugar levels. You may also feel dizzy or light headed. Again, this is more common during the first trimester.
Back pain is a normal symptom of your pregnancy and usually increases as your baby grows due to the added weight you’re carrying. However, lower back pain soon after conception is also one of the early signs of pregnancy.
8. Mood swings
If you’re feeling overly emotional or moody, this could be due to changing hormone levels during early pregnancy. Mood swings are pretty common during the first and third trimesters.
9. Aversions towards OR cravings for certain foods
If you’ve suddenly developed a liking for a food you earlier disliked or the opposite, it’s completely normal. While this usually happens in the second trimester, some women might experience it earlier. Read this article on ‘Understanding and dealing with pregnancy cravings’ to know more.
10. Frequent urination and/or Constipation
Even in those earlier stages of pregnancy, you might experience a sudden urge to urinate more often, mainly caused by an increase in flow of blood to the kidneys. You may also find yourself constipated during this time. Try and up your intake of water and include fibrous foods in your diet.
It’s important to remember that not all women experience these symptoms. Some women may experience just a few while some may barely have any. Although most of these symptoms are absolutely normal, it is always wise to speak to your healthcare provider in case of excess pain or discomfort.