Early Pregnancy Symptoms
While pregnancy test and ultrasound are the only ways to know if you’re pregnant, you can look out for other signs and symptoms. The earliest signs if pregnancy are more than a missed period. They may also include:
- morning sickness
- smell sensitivity
When do the symptoms start?
Though it may sound odd, your first week of pregnancy is based on the date of your last menstrual period . Your last menstrual period is considered week 1 of pregnancy, even if you weren’t actually pregnant yet.
The expected delivery date is calculated using the first day of your last period. For that reason, you may not have symptoms during the first few weeks of your 40-week pregnancy.
Pregnancy signs and symptoms
If you’re pregnant, you may notice early signs such as:
- mild cramping and spotting
- missed period
- tingling or aching breasts
- frequent urination
- motion sickness
- mood swings
- temperature changes
Other signs may include:
- high blood pressure
- extreme fatigue and headtburn
- faster heartbeat
- breast and nipple changes
- noticeable weight gain
- pregnancy glow
Cramping and spotting during early pregnancy
From weeks 1 to 4, everything is still happening on a cellular level. The fertilized egg creates a blastocyst (a fluid-filled group of cells) that will develop into the fetus’s organs and body parts.
About 10 to 14 days (week 4) after conception, the blastocyst will implant in the endometrium, which is the lining of the uterus. This can cause implantation bleeding, which may be mistaken for a light period. It does not occur for everyone. If it does occur, it will usually happen around the time you expect your period.
Here are some signs of implantation bleeding:
- Color. The color of each episode may be pink, red, or brown.
- Bleeding. Implantation bleeding is usually much less than your usual period. It’s often described as light bleeding that never turns into a flow or enough to need a tampon.
- Pain. Pain is usually milder than your usual menstrual pain. It may involve some cramping. It can be moderate or severe, but it’s most often mild.
- Episodes. Implantation bleeding is likely to last less than 3 days and does not require treatment. It can sometimes last only a few hours.
If you think you may be experiencing implantation bleeding:
- Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, or using illegal drugs, all of which can be associated with heavy bleeding.
- Do not use a tampon if you think you may be having implantation bleeding and not your usual period. Using a tampon could lead to a greater risk of infection.
Missed period during early pregnancy
Once implantation is complete, your body will begin making human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This hormone helps the body maintain the pregnancy. It also tells the ovaries to stop releasing mature eggs each month.
You will likely miss your next period 4 weeks after conception. If you typically have an irregular period, you’ll want to take a pregnancy test to confirm.
Most home tests can detect hCG as soon as 8 days after a missed period. A pregnancy test will be able to detect hCG levels in your urine and show if you are pregnant.
- Take a pregnancy test to see if you’re pregnant.
- If it’s positive, call a doctor or midwife to schedule your first prenatal appointment.
- If you’re on any medications, ask your doctor whether they pose any risks to the pregnancy.
Raised body temperature during early pregnancy
A higher basal body temperature may be a sign of pregnancy. Your body’s core temperature may also increase more easily with exercise or in hot weather. During this time, make sure to drink more water and exercise cautiously.
Fatigue during early pregnancy
Fatigue can develop anytime during pregnancy. This symptom is common in early pregnancy. Your progesterone levels will soar, which can make you feel sleepy.
- The early weeks of pregnancy can make you feel exhausted. Try to get enough sleep if you can.
- Keeping your bedroom cool can also help. Your body temperature may be higher during the early stages of pregnancy.