Knowing the Early Signs of Pregnancy
Many women first clue into the fact that they might be pregnant with a missed period. However, while a missing period is one of the most obvious signs, there are many others too. Understanding the signs and the symptoms of pregnancy is essential because the more signs you have the more likely you are pregnant. If you suspect, it’s best to purchase a home pregnancy test. These are fairly cheap, extremely reliable and easy to use. Home pregnancy tests are about 99 percent accurate, one week after the first day of the missed period. If you use them before, the results are so faint that they may be misunderstood.
9 of the most common early signs of pregnancy
Amenorrhea is defined as the lack of menstruation and it is considered the most obvious sign of pregnancy. For women with irregular cycles, being late now and then is part of the “normal” pattern. For these women, variation in cycle length is the rule, not the exception. And in stressful times, women may miss their period. Stress produces the hormone cortisol, and adrenaline. When your body produces these hormones as a coping mechanism for an extended period, it upsets your overall hormonal balance. A missed or delayed period may be the result. Or you may miss your period in response to jet lag, tiredness, change in medication, weight changes, tension or anxiety.
If you feel that your senses are heightened, particularly if your sense of small is more acute, it might be the moment to ask yourself whether you could be pregnant. Morning sickness can make you want gag any time you smell anything. Or it can also take the form of nausea and vomiting. You might feel disgust at smells you used to think pleasant, or drawn to some that you once found repulsive. Such unexpected changes are caused by your changing hormones as your body prepares for the pregnancy. While morning sickness is most common in the morning, it also occurs throughout the day. Morning sickness can appear as early as the second week since conception. Some women do not have morning sickness at all but some have it for many months. The nausea though could be for another reason: it can also appear because of food poisoning, digestive problems, stress, intense fatigue or poor diet.
Your breasts may experience a range of symptoms such as increased size, uncomfortable mild to severe pain and sensitivity to touch. The skin surrounding your nipples, called areola, may become darker and your nipples become softer and more withdrawn. These symptoms appear about a week or two after conception. Usually, the menstruation is preceded by similar symptoms like sore and sensitive breasts but if the pain is amplified and they are visibly bigger and more tender, pregnancy is a possible option. Besides PMS and pregnancy, your breasts may suffer modifications caused by hormonal imbalances, side effects caused by birth control pills, extreme stress and even by wearing an inadequate, tight bra.
Fatigue and sleepiness
After conception, the level of a certain hormone called progesterone increases. If you feel more tired than usual and you are sleepy almost all day long, these changes might be generated by progesterone. This sleepy mood might be confused with exhaustion but if the symptoms persist regardless of how much you rest, it can be a sign of conception. Fatigue is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. Your body goes through a series of modifications and it needs much rest to recover. Try to associate these symptoms with other ones because these too may have other origins such as depression, the flu, a cold, lack of rest and other types of hormonal imbalances.
Headaches in combination with other symptoms of pregnancy can also be taken into account. The level of pregnancy hormones grows from the first weeks of pregnancy, so it might end up causing you headaches. Of course, headaches are very common but not persistent and might have multiples reasons: stress, fatigue, dehydration, giving up caffeine and/or nicotine, being close to menstruation, eye strain, hunger and incorrect posture of the spine.
High basal body temperature
On the list of the early signs of pregnancy we can include the basal body temperature. During ovulation, the basal body temperature is higher than usual, but if you are not ovulating and the temperature is higher for a longer period of time, it may also be a sign of pregnancy. You must be consistent in measuring your basal body temperature as it has to stay high for about three weeks.
Constipation and bloating
Bloating and constipation can be clues for pregnancy. Actually these problems are quite common in new mothers. The internal changes generated by the body’s effort to transform itself into a perfect home for your fetus may stomach and gut issues such as bloating, constipation and diarrhea.
Understanding this sign of early pregnancy may require an in-depth knowledge and awareness of your own body and moods. Of course, there are multiple reasons that can cause decreased libido, but in the case of a pregnancy, the hormonal changes are responsible. If this symptom persists and some of the other problems appear, you can investigate further.
If you noticed at least some of the early signs of pregnancy listed above, it is recommended for you to do a pregnancy test. On average, home pregnancy test kits, are about 99% accurate. False negatives are possible, but they tend to occur when the testing is done too early, i.e. before six to 12 days after ovulation, which is when implantation of the fertilized egg occurs. False positives are also possible. If you remain concerned, or receive a positive pregnancy test, consult your gynecologist or obstetrician.