It can be somewhat difficult to recognize the signs of pregnancy in the early stages. Many of the early pregnancy symptoms resemble premenstrual symptoms and are often mistaken for these. Let’s take a look at some of the more common early signs and of pregnancy and how they can be detected.
What are the Early Signs of Pregnancy?
This is often the first sign that a woman has that she may be pregnant. A missing period is a good indicator that conception has occurred, however it is not a definite indicator. Missing a period can occur for a number of reasons such as stress or major illness. Some women also continue to have their period during pregnancy. This may last for a few months until the placenta is developed enough or, in rare cases, throughout the entire pregnancy.
Very early in a pregnancy the breasts begin to change. The first thing that a woman may notice is breast tenderness. It may hurt to run, jump or even touch the breast. The nipples may also become sensitive and irritated. This occurs because the breasts are preparing to produce and deliver breast milk even at this early stage. A Lot of women find that they start growing out of their bras very quickly. The color and texture of the areolas (the dark area around the nipple) also changes. They will become darker and the little nodules called Montgomery’s Tubercles, may become more numerous or enlarged. The veins may become more noticeable across the breasts and under chest.
Along with changes to the breasts there are also changes to the vagina. May women notice an increase in vaginal discharge. The color of the vagina also changes as the blood flow to that area of the body is increased. The vagina may appear more purple than normal.
The first trimester of a pregnancy is one of the most exhausting periods. Fatigue is common because the body produces more hormones and directs all its attention towards growing a baby. The increased level of progesterone also has a sedating effect.
Craving and aversions
Some women experience aversions to particular foods and cravings for others. No one is entirely sure why this occurs but there is some evidence that the body craves food that can provide it with particular vitamins and minerals.
Heightened sense of smell
Pregnancy can heighten the sense of smell. Smells that do not usually cause a problem may begin to cause nausea and vomiting. In most cases it is related to food and cooking smells, but pregnant women can be sensitive to any smell or odor.
Nearly all pregnant women experience some form of morning sickness and for many women it is one of the first clues that they are pregnant. It may be mild and occur at certain times or it may be severe and occur continually. Despite the name, morning sickness can occur at any time of the day. Eating regularly and keeping the blood sugar stable is the best way to stop for vomiting and to keep the nausea at bay.
Another common sign in early pregnancy is frequent urination. Many women find that suddenly they need to visit the bathroom more regularly than normal. The pregnancy hormone hCG causes the bladder to become irritated and this increases the need to release urine.
Other common pregnancy symptoms
Cramping – This is the natural contraction of the uterus wall. If accompanied by bleeding it is best to speak to a medical professional.
Bloating/wind/constipation – The hormones produced in pregnancy cause the intestines to relax which may lead to some digestion issues.
Change in hormones – This can cause mood swings, pimples and acne, and symptoms similar to normal premenstrual symptoms.
Less common pregnancy signs
High BBT – If a woman is measuring her Basal Body Temperature she may notice that it says high when her period should be due. This is an indicator of conception.
Implantation bleeding – Some women may notice some cramping and spotting 8 to 10 days after conception. This is called implantation bleeding and is caused by the embryo burrowing into the wall of the uterus.