Earliest Signs of Pregnancy
The earliest signs of pregnancy can vary by woman and even by pregnancy. In addition, early pregnancy symptoms are often maddeningly similar to premenstrual symptoms.
If you do conceive, changes in your body begin almost immediately. Hormone levels surge, your blood volume increases, and your entire body prepares to nourish and protect your developing baby. Your earliest pregnancy signs can begin as soon as a few days after conception, but they can also pass unnoticed. Don’t worry if a missed period is your first clue that you may have conceived!
Below are the most commonly reported and earliest possible signs of pregnancy.
Tender breasts - Changes in your breasts may be one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. Increased tenderness to the touch, tingling, soreness, and swelling are common.
Frequent bathroom visits - A new pregnancy signals your body to dramatically increase your blood volume. As your body processes the increased fluid levels, you may need to visit the toilet frequently. Many women report waking in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.
Dizziness- The hormonal surges in early pregnancy can cause sudden drops in blood sugar and dilated blood vessels. You might experience this early pregnancy symptom as dizziness and feeling faint.
Change in cervical mucus – Typically after ovulation, your cervical mucus dries up and disappears until your next fertile period. However, if you become pregnant, your estrogen levels will rise instead of fall and you may notice an increase rather then decrease of cervical mucus after ovulation. Women often describe “pregnant” cervical mucus as thick, creamy and lotion-like. It’s important to note that vaginal secretions can be affected by a variety of factors, thus cervical mucus is not a highly reliable symptom of early pregnancy.
Altered sense of smell and taste – All of a sudden you can’t stand the smell of the morning coffee you usually crave. Or perhaps passing a fast food restaurant turns your stomach. You can smell the dog’s breath from across the room? You may be expecting!
Nausea - Although commonly labeled “morning sickness”, many newly pregnant women will attest that it can strike at any time during the day or night. Nausea may or may not lead to vomiting.
Cramping and Spotting – When a fertilized egg implants into the lining of your uterus, you may notice slight cramping and a very small amount of bleeding (usually light pink or brown staining). Women who experience implantation cramping often describe it as very similar to premenstrual cramps.
Changes in Areolas - You may notice that your nipples turn from pink to light brown or from light brown to a darker brown. They may also seem to increase in diameter. Some women also notice the veins in their breasts becoming more visible beneath their skin.
Fatigue - A surge in progesterone from a new pregnancy can make you unbearably sleepy. If you find yourself nodding off during your morning meetings and falling into bed by 8 pm, you might be pregnant!
Bloating and constipation - As your body makes the hormone progesterone, your digestive system slows down which commonly leads to bloating and constipation.
Acne – Increasing hormone levels are usually the culprit. Unfortunately, acne is also a common PMS symptom.
Increased saliva – The official name of this annoying symptom is ptyalism. You may feel the need to spit out the excess saliva. Often associated with nausea.
Headache – Increasing estrogen levels can cause blood vessels to constrict and lead to uncomfortable headaches.
Late or missed period – If you are lucky enough to have a regular period, you may know to the hour when to expect your period. However, even for the most regular among us, many factors can delay menstruation including stress, diet, or illness. However, if you’re a few days late and trying to conceive, it’s time to take a pregnancy test. Pregnancy tests detect the presence or absence of hCG in your urine or blood. A positive pregnancy test, either done at home or by your doctor, is the first and earliest sure sign that you are pregnant!