So, is it finally happening? You feel food rising up, your period is late, you are ridiculously fatigued as you wait in line for your morning coffee. Could this be it? Are you pregnant?
Here, we’d like to review the early tell-tale signs of pregnancy.
1. Implantation Bleeding
Obviously the first thing that might make you go, uh-oh, would be your missed period. But about 6-12 days after the egg is fertilized, you might feel cramps that remind you of period cramps, and you could have some spotting, but without having a full-on period. This is what is called “implantation bleeding” and it is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. The cramps are caused by your uterus stretching to start to accommodate its expansion in the next 9 months.
2. Sore breasts
Your breasts might become sore, swollen and tender one or two weeks after conception. The areola may also darken. Symptoms might ease up after the body gets used to the new hormones several weeks into pregnancy.
As early as one week after conception, you could be hit by a wave of fatigue. This is often related to a hormone called progesterone. It is important as your pregnancy progresses, to listen to your body and get plenty of rest, whenever you feel like you need it. A diet rich in protein and iron can also help to ease fatigue.
4. Increased Basal Body Temperature
Your BBT is usually higher from the time of ovulation until you get your period two weeks later. But if you miss your period and your BBT stays elevated beyond two weeks, it might be a sign that you’re pregnant.
Your husband has made tuna sandwiches for the both of you to take to lunch. You wake up and suddenly the smell of the tuna churns your stomach. Welcome to nausea and/or morning sickness! Even food that you used to like can suddenly be a turn-off for no reason. This is all related to hormonal changes and in part due to your body trying to send nutritional signals according to what the fetus needs. It isn’t very fun but strange and abrupt reaction to certain foods and increased sensitivity when it comes to certain smells are pretty accurate indicators of pregnancy.
6. Baby bump so early…?
Those skinny jeans feeling a little tight two weeks after conception? No, it is not because you’re already showing a baby bump. Blame that pesky hormone, progesterone. If you’re feeling bloated or constipated, it is because progesterone slows down your digestive system.
7. Mood Swings
Did you suddenly cry because you missed the train? If you feel a lack of control over your emotions, you might be suffering from mood swings, a natural side effect of your body trying to get used to all those new hormones.
Again, a side effect of the body getting used to elevated hormone levels and of the body’s increase in blood volume. Mild tension headaches should ease up as your body adjusts to the changes brought about by pregnancy.
9. More bathroom breaks
You’ll urinate more as your kidney goes into overdrive in the early days of pregnancy. This is because the kidney is kickstarting getting used to flushing out liquids more effectively in the course of the pregnancy.
10. A positive pregnancy test
If all these signs lead you to the drugstore to get a test and you get a positive, well that’s a pretty strong sign that you could be pregnant.
Pregnancy can usually be detected by a home test about two weeks after conception (since you’d only be able to conceive during ovulation). Pregnancy tests pick up on the presence of the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), in your urine or blood. Besides a urine test, you also have the option to take a blood test. Blood tests are more sensitive and can pick up the presence of hCG as early as 6-8 days after ovulation.
But remember all those comedies about false positives in pregnancy tests? False positives and false negatives do indeed exist. And about 1 in 10 women can have very low levels of hCG even during the time of a missed period. Thus, a negative result with a pregnancy test is not always a negative. If you have other symptoms of pregnancy as discussed on this list, test again later!