Every woman knows that a missed period is the first sign of pregnancy, but it could also be a reaction to imbalances in the body caused by stress or drastic physical changes. Even if you’ve been pregnant before and had a specific set of symptoms, your next pregnancy could be completely different to the first – so bear in mind that you probably won’t experience all of the symptoms listed below and that they may be more subtle or more marked depending on your individual pregnancy.
Tenderness of the breasts
May women experience increased sensitivity or even pain and swelling of the breasts in the very early stages of pregnancy. The area around the nipple may also become darker in color.
Nausea or ‘morning sickness’
Despite its name, you can experience this symptom at just about any time, but mornings are the most common. You may or may not vomit, but you will find yourself feeling quite nasty for little or no apparent reason. Fortunately, not all women experience morning sickness and in most cases, it becomes less severe as the pregnancy progresses. However, some women begin experiencing morning sickness within three weeks of conception.
Although no-one knows for sure why your hormonal changes cause nausea, the cause of tiredness during pregnancy results from your increased level of progesterone.
Weird reactions to food
The thought of what was once your favorite food may be enough to make you feel queasy. At the same time you find yourself craving certain foods that didn’t really feature in your list of favorites before.
Cramps and light spotting
When the fertilized egg attaches itself to the wall of the uterus, many women experience very light bleeding that results in ‘spotting’ and may experience cramps that are very similar to menstrual cramps.
Urinating more often than usual
Of course, this could be a symptom of a urinary tract infection or the onset of type II diabetes, but it’s also a perfectly normal symptom of pregnancy. Visit your doctor to make sure.
Surprising mood swings
We often get tired of hearing about hormones, women and mood swings, but in the early stages of pregnancy, they’re a reality for many.
If you feel dizzy or faint, it could be a symptom of pregnancy.
Your digestive system slows down while your body has other priorities to attend to. Sometimes, this results in constipation.
If you’ve been trying to conceive, you may have been monitoring your temperature in order to determine just when ovulation took place. At this time, your body temperature rises and remains elevated until it’s time for your period. If you noticed the rise in temperature more than two weeks ago and your body temperature remains elevated, you may be pregnant.
I’ve got some of these symptoms: what now?
If you’re not physically uncomfortable or worried about anything, a home pregnancy test will be your next step. If it’s positive, you should have the result confirmed by a doctor. If it’s negative and the symptoms are persistent, worrying or uncomfortable, a consultation with your doctor should also be your next step.