Are you wishing that you’re pregnant? If so, your heart might stop for a moment when you think you’ve just recognized a sign of pregnancy – but, how can you be sure? It might not yet be time to use the pregnancy test kit, but it’s such a long, torturous wait until then… But fret not! Even without the magic of the pregnancy test kit, you might just be able to determine with more accuracy whether you’re pregnant or not, with a little help from the 11 signs we’re about to introduce you to!
When do early pregnancy symptoms appear?
14 days before you start having your period, an egg is released into your fallopian tube. This egg will wait around hoping for a chance encounter with a sperm, and if that happens, you get a fertilized egg. If the egg is fertilized, it will travel down your fallopian tube into your uterus and make its home in the endometrium, the lining of your uterus, a week from the ovulation date.
When implantation occurs, pregnancy is established. If so, then the signs can only appear after implantation occurs. This means the signs of pregnancy start appearing about 1 week before your expected menstrual period date.
Early Pregnancy Sign 1: Spotting (Slight bleeding)
You might spot some spotting a few days before your period is supposed to start. Spotting, or light bleeding, is actually a result of the process in which a fertilized egg implants itself into the lining of the uterus, and so is called implantation bleeding.
The blood you see might range from brown to pink, to fresh red blood; it might be a light flow, like ordinary vaginal discharge, or as heavy as your period. These differences exist because of the independent factors in the individual. Usually, the spotting or blood flow goes on for about 3 days. If your bleeding continues for more than 4 days and is a strange color, or if you feel that something is amiss, go to the hospital for a check up.
Early Pregnancy Sign 2: Sore, tender breasts
Before your menstrual period comes, it isn’t uncommon to have sore and tender breasts. So how can you tell if it’s a sign of pregnancy and not your usual pre-menstrual signs? Breasts usually become sore and tender sometime after ovulation takes place – in other words, this is about 2 weeks before your period is supposed to take place.
If your breasts continue to feel sore on the day your period is supposed to come, and this drags on for up to more than a week, or if you feel that it’s more serious than usual and your breasts are hurting, this could very well be a sign of pregnancy.
Also, your nipples or stomach might hurt. The exact duration when this sign will appear and how sore or tender breasts may be cannot be specified – it differs according to the individual. Even if your breasts don’t feel sore or tender, don’t worry!
Early Pregnancy Sign 3: Lethargy, fatigue, drowsiness, lower back pain
Although this is another pre-menstrual syndrome that you might experience on a monthly basis, you might feel it all the more when it’s a sign of pregnancy. Instead of going for a meal with friends or your partner after work, you might find yourself too tired to move, and all you want to do it go home right away to sleep.
If this clearly isn’t the usual fatigue you feel, you might be experiencing a sign of pregnancy. This fatigue can also manifest in the form of lower back pains or a sore back. The general feeling this fatigue gives you might be reminiscent of the flu, so do bear in mind that you might simply just be down with the flu.
Early Pregnancy Sign 4: Changes in vaginal discharge
Implantation takes place a week before your next expected menstrual period, so around that time, you might see an increase in the amount of vaginal discharge, a change in color, smell, state and other differences.
If the discharge differs from what you usually see, then this could very well be a sign of pregnancy. After implantation takes place, two female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, are secreted, and these two hormones are responsible for the changes in your vaginal discharge.
Early Pregnancy Sign 5: Abdominal, lower abdominal pains
Pains around the area where your uterus is? Sudden pains, prickling-like sensations, or abdominal tightness could very well be signs of pregnancy. Lower abdominal pains are also common complaints, and can be taken as a sign of pregnancy.
However, note that these are signs after all, and because many women also have pre-menstrual cramps, it’s a shot in the dark – you might think it’s a sign of pregnancy or you could be adamant that it’s just your normal PMS. Don’t rule out the possibility of pregnancy just yet.
Early Pregnancy Sign 6: Headache
Progesterone causes blood vessels to enlarge. When pregnancy is established and progesterone is secreted in larger amounts, this could lead to a severe migraine on one side of your head.
If you feel that the killer migraine you have now is somewhat different from what you usually have in terms of its severity and type, or if you have nausea in addition to this headache, then it might be that you’re experiencing a sign of pregnancy.
Early Pregnancy Sign 7: Frequent urination, constipation, diarrhea
If you’re pregnant, there will be changes in your bowel movement. You might see yourself tripping off to the toilet more often, have constipation or diarrhea, or basically see a change in your bowels.
This is an early sign of pregnancy that continues well on even into the second trimester of pregnancy for many women, and could add to the morning sickness misery. Even if you lose your appetite, make sure you keep your fluids up!
Early Pregnancy Sign 8: Changes in sense of taste and smell
“What happened to my favorite drink? What a stink – since when did the vegetables in the supermarket smell like this? Oh, I never noticed how bad people’s body odor could be until now!” If you have had more of such thoughts recently, this could mean that you have a heightened sense of smell – one of the signs of pregnancy!
Although the peak of morning sickness is from Week 8 to Week 11, and you might become especially sensitive to smells and tastes then, but your body might already be registering what could possibly make you nauseous way before you confirm your pregnancy.
Early Pregnancy Sign 9: A high BBT for more than 2 weeks
Two weeks after your period usually ends, you enter the follicular phase, a period in which the basal body temperature is in a low range period. After this low range period ends, ovulation takes place and you will enter the luteal period.
This is a period in which your BBT (basal body temperature) increases because progesterone is secreted, and it pushes your body temperature up. As a result, you might have a high BBT for more than 2 weeks.
If a fertilized egg doesn’t implant itself into the endometrium, the amount of progesterone secreted decreases. However, if pregnancy is established, an increased amount of progesterone will be secreted, and this high BBT will continue on for more than 2 weeks. If you record a BBT that is higher than your usual BBT for about 3 weeks, this might mean that you’re pregnant.
In addition to a high BBT for weeks, another sign of pregnancy is experiencing a warm sensation through your body or having the chills.
Early Pregnancy Sign 10: Skin troubles
The changes in the levels of hormones might cause some skin troubles for you, and you might see eruptions on your face that might be itchy or dry. Many women experience skin troubles on a monthly basis before their periods come, so it’s easy dismissing these skin troubles as the usual pre-menstrual syndromes. What you can note is this: Are your usual cosmetics giving you unexpected problems?
Some women say that the cosmetics they have been using for a long time suddenly result in skin troubles – this could mean something different is going on, and what else could it be? It might just be a sign of pregnancy.
Early Pregnancy Sign 11: Feeling emotionally down
When you’re pregnant, the changes in your body, the uncharted waters of labor and delivery (if this is the first time), the changes in the levels of female hormones in your body can all work together to work against you by making you feel insecure and worried. These are the reasons why pregnancy is an emotional roller-coaster ride.
Even though you might not know you’re pregnant, you might feel like you’re exceptionally blue for no particular reason or feel more sentimental or emotional. These feelings might hit you faster than it can take for any hormonal or physical changes to manifest in your body. Sometimes, all the science in the world cannot beat the basic instincts in the human body; you might just want to trust your guts this time round.
Signs of being pregnant : Hit the bullseye or miss the mark
Did any of the descriptions hit the bullseye? Or completely missed the mark? As pregnancy or even labor and delivery is never the same for anybody, the signs of pregnancy also differ for each mom.
You might find it difficult to differentiate flu as a sign of pregnancy from flu as a premenstrual syndrome, among the many other vague and confusing signs, but take it as reference signs you can use to make a guess at whether you’re pregnant or not.
A pregnancy test kit can be used to confirm your pregnancy only a week after your expected menstrual period start date – so if your period is late, or if you’re wondering what’s up with all the changes in your body lately, you might want to get a kit and prepare yourself for what might come your way.
If you get a positive result, remember that this concerns the life of your fetus, so find the time to go down to your practitioner’s and get yourself checked.