Pregnancy Symptoms – Early Signs of Pregnancy

Do you think you might be pregnant?

Pregnancy symptoms differ from woman to woman and pregnancy to pregnancy. Symptoms also vary depending on how long you’ve been pregnant. Pregnancy symptoms at one week are different from pregnancy symptoms at four weeks. Some women experience early signs of pregnancy or symptoms of pregnancy within a week of conception. For other women, pregnancy symptoms may develop over a few weeks or may not be present at all.

The most common early pregnancy symptom is a missed period. Not everyone notices this, however. The early symptoms of pregnancy can be easy to overlook, especially if you lead an active lifestyle or have missed periods before. Many women skip periods due to other factors, including dietary or lifestyle changes, stress, exercise, or illness. However, there are other early pregnancy signs that can help you determine whether you should take a pregnancy test.

Understanding the early signs of pregnancy is important because each symptom may be related to something other than pregnancy. In order to find out if the symptoms you are experiencing are pregnancy related, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis with a pregnancy test and an ultrasound.

Below is a listing of some of the most common pregnancy signs and symptoms. If you have been sexually active and are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it is important to take a pregnancy test.


Implantation Bleeding

Implantation bleeding can be one of the earliest pregnancy symptoms. About 6-12 days after conception, the embryo implants itself into the uterine wall. Some women will experience spotting as well as some cramping. Other Explanations: Actual menstruation, altered menstruation, changes in birth control pill (switching brands), infection or abrasion from intercourse.

Delay/Difference in Menstruation

Delayed or missed menstruation is the most common pregnancy symptom leading a woman to test for pregnancy. When you become pregnant your next period should be missed. Many women can bleed while they are pregnant, but typically the bleeding will be shorter or lighter than a normal period. Other Explanations: Excessive weight gain/loss, fatigue, hormonal problems, tension, stress, ceasing to take the birth control pill or breast-feeding.

Swollen or Tender Breasts

Swollen or tender breasts are a pregnancy symptom which may begin as early as 1-2 weeks after conception. Women may notice changes in their breasts; they may be tender to the touch, sore, or swollen. Other Explanations: Hormonal imbalance, birth control pills, impending menstruation (PMS) can also cause your breasts to be swollen or tender.

Fatigue or Tiredness

Feeling fatigued or more tired is a pregnancy symptom which can also start as early as the first week after conception. Other Explanations: Stress, exhaustion, depression, common cold or flu, or other illnesses can also leave you feeling tired or fatigued.

Nausea/Morning Sickness

This well-known pregnancy symptom will often show up between 2-8 weeks after conception. Some women are fortunate to not deal with morning sickness at all, while others will feel nauseous throughout most of their pregnancy. Other Explanations: Food poisoning, stress, or other stomach disorders can also cause you to feel queasy.

Backache

Lower backache may be a symptom that occurs early in pregnancy; however, it is common to experience a dull backache throughout an entire pregnancy. Other Explanations: Impending menstruation, stress, other back problems, and physical or mental strains.

Headaches

The sudden rise of hormones in your body can cause you to have headaches early in pregnancy. Other Explanations: Dehydration, caffeine withdrawal, impending menstruation, eye strain or other ailments can be the source of frequent or chronic headaches.

Frequent Urination

Around 6-8 weeks after conception, you may find yourself making a few extra trips to the bathroom. Other Explanations: Urinary tract infection, diabetes, increased liquid intake or taking excessive diuretics.

Darkening of Areolas

If you are pregnant, the skin around your nipples may get darker. Other Explanations: Hormonal imbalance unrelated to pregnancy or may be a leftover effect from a previous pregnancy.

Food Cravings

While you may not have a strong desire to eat pickles and ice cream, many women will feel cravings for certain foods when they are pregnant. This can last throughout your entire pregnancy. Other Explanations: Poor diet, lack of a certain nutrient, stress, depression or impending menstruation.


Your Next Step:

If you have been experiencing any of the above early pregnancy symptoms, you should take a pregnancy test to find out whether or not you’re pregnant. Hope Pregnancy Center offers free, confidential pregnancy tests to Oklahoma women. Our pregnancy tests are lab-quality and up to 99.8% accurate.

Once you have the results from your pregnancy test you should get an ultrasound to determine if your pregnancy is viable. Many pregnancies naturally self-terminate after just a few weeks. In addition, you may have an ectopic or tubal pregnancy (a pregnancy seated in the fallopian tube rather than the uterus) which requires immediate medical attention.

If you weren’t expecting to get pregnant or aren’t feeling ready to be pregnant, we can offer you guidance and education about your pregnancy options. Hope Pregnancy Center employs trained volunteers who will listen to your concerns and help you consider and understand your options. We don’t offer judgement or criticism; we only want to help you and support you. If you’re uncertain, scared, sad, or feeling alone, we can help.