11 Incredible Early Signs Of Pregnancy You Should Know About
Eager to know if you are pregnant? Even before you’ve missed your period, your body sends out subtle hints. Learn how to read the signs of conception with this list of pregnancy symptoms.
Early signs of pregnancy might be difficult to detect, particularly if you’ve not been pregnant before. “While home kits and blood tests give you reliable results, your body tells you in its own ways,” says Dr Anuradha Panda, Senior Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Apollo hospitals, Jubilee hills, Hyderabad. Identifying the signs of pregnancy in the first four weeks helps you to prepare and take better care of your health. “Remember, symptoms vary from woman to woman and it’s also alright if you don’t have any noticeable symptoms at all,” says Dr Panda.
11 Early Signs of Pregnancy
- Spotting and Cramping: Feels like your period may be early? Light spotting or bleeding, also known as implantation bleeding occurs 10 to 14 days after fertilisation. “When a fertilised egg attaches itself to the uterine wall, there could be a light spotting that could be red, pink or brown in colour,” says Dr Panda. There’s nothing to worry about unless you have a sudden, unexpected, heavy bleeding. “Also, you can have some aches, twinges in abdominal muscles and pelvic area which is a normal indication of conception,” she adds.
- Bloating: Does your stomach feel full or tight? “Bloating is one of the early signs of pregnancy,” says Dr Panda. When you conceive, there’s an increase in progesterone, a hormone that relaxes the body muscles causing a slower digestion. As a result, there’s abdominal bloating and constipation, she explains.
- Increased urination frequency: If you’re spending lots of time in loo, it’s your body’s way of indicating conception. Frequent urination usually occurs two to three weeks post conception due to increase in human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and progesterone.
- Nausea and vomiting: If you have an urge to throw up accompanied by discomfort and mild dizziness, you’re probably experiencing morning sickness—a common symptom of pregnancy that can strike at any time of the day or night. Morning sickness can occur as early as two weeks post conception. “Not every woman experiences nausea and vomiting. The intensity differs, some feel it severely while others feel it mildly,” says Dr Panda..
- Breast tenderness: Your breasts change along with the rest of your body during the early phase of pregnancy. You may feel sore, full, heavy, sensitive, or have tender breasts. The rise in progesterone causes breast ducts to enlarge. You begin to notice this in one or two weeks after conception, says the doctor.
- Fatigue: Feeling hot and tired? Fatigue is common as your body works extra hard to meet the needs of pregnancy. “This kind of weariness can often be spotted as early as one week after conception,” says Dr Panda.
- Mood Swings: Mood swings can hit even after one week of conception as both hormones, estrogen and progesterone, are high in the early days of gestation . This affects your mood and emotional response to situations.
- Vaginal discharge: The cervix and vagina undergo hormonally regulated changes post conception. You’re likely to have increased vaginal discharge in pregnancy, says Dr Panda. In addition, some women also secrete a sticky, white or pale-yellow mucus. “Note that the amount of discharge varies from woman to woman and there’s nothing to worry unless your discharge has a foul odour, frothy texture or abnormal colour like green or grey,” says the doctor.
- Darker Areolas: Breasts begin to change themselves for the upcoming lactation period. And, therefore swollen or black areolas (the area around your nipples) is quite natural, an early indicator of pregnancy.
- Elevated Basal Body Temperature: Another indicator of early pregnancy is a persistently high basal body temperature. The hormone progesterone begins to rise after you ovulate, creating an increase in body temperature.
- Missed periods: It’s normal to have a period that’s a few days late. But, if you’re someone with a regular menstrual cycle and if your period hasn’t started between the normal cycle range of 24-38 days, it’s worth your while to take a pregnancy test. “A missed period is the most common and obvious early sign of pregnancy. Once you conceive, your body produces hormones that prevent ovulation and shedding of uterus lining,” explains Dr Panda.