What Are Symptoms I Might Be Pregnant?

Even though on the outside it might seem like there are no signs or symptoms of pregnancy, on the inside your body is going through tremendous and significant changes. Many of these changes will trigger symptoms even in just those first few weeks that when all put together point to the same answer – you are pregnant.

Early Signs of Pregnancy

One of the very first signs of pregnancy a woman might notice is very light bleeding, which can happen 10-12 days after conception. This is known as implantation bleeding from the fertilized egg implanting in the uterine wall. For women who do have implantation bleeding, many think that it is just an early, light or slightly unusual menstruation period. Don’t assume you’re not pregnant if you don’t have this symptom – many women become pregnant and never experience noticeable implantation bleeding. There are many other signs and symptoms of pregnancy that you can look for in those early weeks.

Mild Uterine Cramping – This symptom sometimes accompanies the implantation bleeding or can occur on its own. In healthy pregnancies this is a very mild symptom that occurs as your body reacts to the embryo implanting and beginning to change the environment of the uterus.

Changes in the Breasts – Your breasts might become swollen and tender, and the areolas may darken. These symptoms can happen as early as 1-2 weeks after conception, and for many women the tenderness is very similar to what they might experience during a typical period. However, this time around it might be caused by the pregnancy hormones making your breasts more sensitive and fuller feeling.

Fatigue – As those hormones continue to surge, progesterone can be responsible for making you feel more tired more often.

Image Courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Dizziness and Headaches – As your blood pressure changes in a reaction to the pregnancy you might feel lightheaded or dizzy in those first few weeks. Those changes in hormones can also be responsible for headaches early in pregnancy, especially if you are already sensitive to headache triggers. If you suspect at all that you might be pregnant, be cautious with what medications you use to treat your headaches.

Body Temperature Changes – If you track your basal temperature as you have been trying to get pregnant, you might notice that your morning readings remain elevated for more than the typical 10-14 days after ovulation.

Changes in Appetite – Pregnancy also results in changes in appetite and new food cravings or aversions in many women. While this might begin in early pregnancy, it is not uncommon for it to last throughout the entire nine months. You might also notice yourself more sensitive to smells, as well as tastes.

Morning Sickness – In reality nausea and vomiting can happen during any time of the day, but for some women is more pronounced in the morning hours because they haven’t eaten anything for a while. If you are experiencing this symptom, eat several small meals throughout the day and consider having crackers and water on hand to start your day. Other easy remedies include adding ginger to your diet.

Changes in Urination – Hormones might cause you to urinate more often, and as your pregnancy progresses the pressure on the bladder can make this a common experience.

A Missed Period – Even though this is what many women think of as the first sign of pregnancy, these other signs and symptoms can be present before you notice a change in your menstrual cycle. Some women do still have a very light period the month after conception, but this is unusual and after that first month can actually be a signal that something is wrong with the pregnancy.

If you suspect that you might be pregnant, talk with your doctor and use a home pregnancy test. When used correctly, these tests are extremely accurate. The sooner you confirm your pregnancy the sooner you can begin the prenatal care needed for a healthy pregnancy.

[Feature Image Courtesy of adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net]
Dr. Gareth Forde

About Dr. Gareth Forde

An obstetrician-gynecologist, a clinical professor, a researcher, and a father of five—and he delivered them all! He speaks and publishes extensively on maternal and child health issues, where he emphasizes the role of a healthy maternal lifestyle, good nutrition, and breastfeeding on infant development. He chose the field of obstetrics because it is a celebration of life, a happy and exciting profession. “Children are a blessing and they bring joy and laughter to the world,” he says. “I cherish my work, as a doctor and a dad.” The study of genetic imprinting is a major focus of both Dr. Forde’s research and medical practice. This looks at what happens in the womb, how the genes a baby inherits are expressed (turned on and off), and how this influences the child’s health after birth. “This field holds great promise, shedding light on many unsolved mysteries in health and disease from infancy to adulthood,” he adds. Dr. Forde grew up in London, England and Orlando, Florida. He received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School and is currently pursuing a fellowship in gynecologic oncology at the University of California, Irvine. Prior to this, he practiced with Grand Rapids Medical Education Partners, a consortium of Saint Mary’s Health Care, Spectrum Health, Grand Valley State University, and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine—where he was a clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology. He also has a master’s in molecular and cellular biology from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University; a Ph.D. in environmental science (computational chemistry) from Jackson State University; and a post-doctoral fellowship in biophysics from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in New York.”