Early signs of pregnancy vary from woman to woman and even from pregnancy to pregnancy. If you are particularly attuned to the rhythms of your body, you may suspect that you are pregnant soon after conception.
Are you pregnant?
For most women, there are no early signs of pregnancy until the fertilized egg implants itself in the wall of the uterus, an average of six to 12 days after ovulation. Other women may not notice any signs of pregnancy until a delayed or absent menstrual cycle, one of the most pronounced and significant symptoms of pregnancy.
Whether you’re trying to conceive or not, it’s important to understand the signs of pregnancy, as each symptom can be related to something other than pregnancy.
Below is a list of some of the most common early signs of pregnancy – some of which may appear before a home pregnancy test can be used – to let you know that you may be on your way to becoming a mother. You may experience all, some, or none of these signs that you might be pregnant:
Granted, it’s a cliche, but cravings can sometimes be an early sign of pregnancy. Don’t count on pickle and ice cream cravings as a sure-fire symptom of pregnancy — it can be anything in your head, or even a sign that your body is lacking in certain nutrients — however, if the craving is accompanied by some of the other symptoms on this list, it could mean that you might be eating for two.
What else it could mean: Poor diet, malnutrition, stress, depression, or impending menstruation.
Darkening of your areolas
If the skin around your nipples is darkening, you may be pregnant, although it can also be a sign of a hormonal imbalance unrelated to pregnancy, or it may be a holdover from a previous pregnancy.
What else it could mean: Hormonal imbalance that is unrelated to pregnancy or may be a holdover from a previous pregnancy.
Easy bleeding or cramps
Implantation bleeding can be one of the earliest signs of pregnancy, when the embryo burrows into the uterine wall around 6 to 12 days after conception. As a result, some women experience implantation spots — a slight discoloration that is pink or brown in color — as well as mild cramping.
You could confuse implantation bleeding with a very light period, since spotting can occur around the time you expect your period.
What else it could mean: Actual menstruation, menstrual changes, birth control pill changes, infection, or abrasions during intercourse.
Once the embryo implants and starts producing the pregnancy-maintaining hormone that the embryo secretes shortly after conception (usually about six to eight weeks after conception), you may find you need to run to the bathroom more often.
What else it could mean: UTI, diabetes, excess fluid intake, or overuse of diuretics.
Do you feel sleepy? No, make that absolutely wiped. High levels of the hormone progesterone during pregnancy can make you feel like you’re running a marathon even though you’ve only had a normal day at work. This sign of early pregnancy can occur as early as the first week after conception (before a positive pregnancy test can be obtained), but don’t necessarily assume you’re pregnant just because you’re feeling exhausted.
What Else It Might Mean: Stress, exhaustion, depression, the common cold or flu, or other illnesses can also lead to leaching.
Tender, swollen breasts
When you’re pregnant, your breasts are likely to get fuller and feel increasingly tender, similar to how they felt before your period but more pronounced. These changes can begin as early as one to two weeks after conception.
What Else It Could Mean: Hormonal imbalance, birth control pills, impending menstrual period (PMS) can also cause your breasts to swell and become more sensitive.
Already a few days after conception you can feel nauseous and queasy? it often shows up between two and eight weeks after conception. Despite the common name of this well-known pregnancy symptom (morning sickness), it doesn’t just happen in the morning hours: morning sickness can occur at any time of the day or night.
If you’re lucky, morning sickness won’t hit you until a few weeks after conception, and some women are lucky enough to escape it altogether.
What else it could mean: Food poisoning, stress or other stomach problems can also make you feel uneasy.
back and headaches
Lower back pain and headaches can occur as early signs of pregnancy as a result of the sudden surge in hormones.
What else it could mean: impending menstruation, stress, back problems, as well as physical or mental overexertion, dehydration, caffeine withdrawal, eyestrain.
A missed or different period
If you become pregnant, your next period should be missed, and a missed period is often one of the first signs of pregnancy women experience. Many women experience bleeding during pregnancy, but the bleeding is usually shorter or lighter than a normal period. If you’ve been sexually active, are late, and experience mostly clockwork visits from Aunt Flo, it’s worth trying a pregnancy test.
What else it could mean: Excessive weight gain/loss, tiredness, hormonal imbalance, tension, stress, stopping birth control pills, or breastfeeding.
A positive pregnancy test
A positive pregnancy test is the clearest sign that you are in the family. Are home pregnancy tests (urine) available at most drug stores? There are early home pregnancy tests, such as the EPT Digital Early Pregnancy Tests, which can provide results as early as five days before your missed period, and traditional home pregnancy tests, which recommend using the test until at least the first date of a pregnancy waiting for a missed period to ensure adequate levels of pregnancy hormone.