The increased hormones of early pregnancy produce many distinct signs in women. Some of these symptoms begin shortly after conception, while others don’t start until several weeks later. Some pregnant women experience all of the pregnancy signs while others don’t experience any of the symptoms. Many of the signs of pregnancy may originate from other causes, so a positive pregnancy test is the only certain method to confirm pregnancy.
Fatigue or a general feeling of exhaustion is often one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. A pregnant woman may notice that regular activities seem strenuous. She may feel the need to go to bed early or have difficulty making it through the day without a nap. Increased hormones, particularly progesterone, are believed to be the cause of the exhaustion that many women feel early in pregnancy. The body is also adjusting to all of the changes rapidly occurring due to the pregnancy.
Another early sign is a missed period. Abdominal bloating, similar to bloating that may occur during PMS, can be an indicator of pregnancy. A woman may experience this bloating with implantation bleeding and assume her period is on its way. A missed or delayed period, particularly in a woman with regular menstrual cycles, is a strong indicator of pregnancy. There can be other medical causes for a missed period, so a pregnancy test should be administered to confirm pregnancy.
Any woman who has experienced morning sickness will agree that is not appropriately named. The nausea that frequently accompanies early pregnancy often occurs throughout the day. Vomiting may or may not accompany the nausea. Brushing one’s teeth, certain smells or particular foods may induce vomiting or intense nausea in pregnant women. Nausea typically begins around week four of pregnancy and subsides by the end of the first trimester. However, some women experience nausea throughout the pregnancy.
Swollen, sore or tender breasts indicate pregnancy in some women. Breast changes are often an early sign of pregnancy and are due to the increased hormones. The body begins to prepare the breasts for breastfeeding early in pregnancy. Breasts may become more sensitive. A pregnant woman may also notice changes in the nipples, including increased sensitivity or darkening.
Very light bleeding lasting a day or two is a possible sign of pregnancy. This bleeding typically occurs 11 or 12 days after conception and often occurs around the time of the missed period. It is thought to occur when the fertilized egg implants itself into the lining of the uterus. Implantation bleeding does not occur in all women so it may not be a reliable sign of pregnancy. However, a woman experiencing light bleeding near the time of her period may suspect pregnancy.
While the image of a pregnant woman waddling to the bathroom frequently is often associated with the end of pregnancy, frequent urination often occurs early in the pregnancy as well. Pregnancy creates extra fluids in the body, resulting in more fluids leaving the body. As the uterus begins to grow, it may put pressure on the bladder. More frequent trips to the restroom may begin near six weeks and may continue throughout the pregnancy.
There are many other possible signs of pregnancy. These signs may be less common but are also good indicators of pregnancy. Headaches may result from the increased hormones that accompany pregnancy. The hormones may also cause mood swings or overwhelming emotions. Changes in the circulatory system may cause a pregnant woman to feel faint, weak or dizzy. An increased basal body temperature occurs after conception. This sign of pregnancy may be an indicator for women who regularly chart their basal body temperatures. Sensitivity to odors may accompany pregnancy. Many women find certain scents or foods suddenly unappealing.