How To Recognize Very Early Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy

person touching person's belly symptoms of pregnancy
Pregnancy’s very early signs and symptoms vary from woman to woman. Often the earliest signs of pregnancy are so subtle that a woman doesn’t think anything of them. Examples of subtle changes are bloating and fatigue. But a combination of unusual symptoms may be a sign of pregnancy.

Physical Signs of Pregnancy

Pregnancy signs and symptoms can begin as early as a week after conception. Women may notice that their breasts are swollen or tender to the touch and begin experiencing fatigue. Hormonal changes can trigger lower backaches, headaches, or abdominal cramps. Many women experience dizziness. All of these symptoms may be overlooked.

Most often, the first noticeable sign of pregnancy is a missed period. Although many women experience some bleeding during pregnancy, it is usually shorter and lighter than it is during a normal period. Even so, a missed period isn’t necessarily a sign of pregnancy. It can also signify other medical problems, such as hormonal imbalance, or it can be triggered by extreme stress.

It is usually about two to eight weeks after conception before morning sickness begins. Morning sickness is nausea with or without vomiting and doesn’t always happen in the morning. The degree of nausea varies from one pregnancy to the next. Some women don’t report nausea, while others suffer it throughout their pregnancy. Rapidly rising estrogen levels cause nausea. Many women have a sharp sense of smell and are sensitive to odors they have always been able to tolerate, such as cigarette smoke, strong perfumes, or mildew.

Emotional Signs of Pregnancy

Even without physical symptoms, some women “feel pregnant.” This is often recognized as women’s intuition and is often the first indicator of pregnancy for a woman.

Pregnancy can trigger emotional signs and symptoms as well. The first emotional reaction in some women is just awareness, a sense that something has changed. Many women say they “just knew” they were pregnant.

Mood swings are common among women in the first trimester, and many become emotional and weepy. Women may attribute feelings of irritability to premenstrual syndrome and may dismiss them. Mood swings can include feelings of exhilaration and excitement.

Confirming Pregnancy

These very early symptoms aren’t proof of pregnancy. They may also indicate that the woman is becoming ill or that her period is about to start. Some women experience no symptoms at all. The only way to know for sure is to see a doctor or take an at-home pregnancy test.

It is essential to confirm suspected pregnancy because the baby’s organs are being formed during the first trimester. Recognizing pregnancy allows a woman to be conscientious about choosing healthy foods and practicing good self-care.

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