10 Early Signs of Pregnancy - Am I Pregnant?
Things to Look for During Your Two-Week Wait!
10 Early Symptoms of Pregnancy
When you are enduring that endless two-week wait (TWW) between conception and the time of your next period, any little twinge can feel like a significant symptom of pregnancy!
Many women do not have any early signs of pregnancy before four to six weeks in, but many do experience one or more of the symptoms listed below. Many of these symptoms are the same as those felt with PMS or other non-pregnancy related reasons, so don't take any one symptom too seriously. The best and clearest evidence that you are pregnant will be your missed period and a positive pregnancy test taken at the time your period is due. (While many tests can be taken earlier than this, they are less reliable when taken before the time you expect your period. So if you do one and get a negative, you will want to take another one several days later anyway!)
1. Implantation Bleeding
One of the earliest and lesser-known pregnancy symptoms is a slight bleeding or spotting 5 to twelve days after conception, when the fertilized egg begins to implant itself into the uterine wall. This is known as "implantation bleeding" and can also be accompanied by some cramping that feels like PMS. Not all women experience implantation bleeding, so it is not considered a reliable pregnancy sign.
But wait! This symptom could also be caused by: the start of your actual period, abrasion from sex, infection.
2. Tender Breasts
This can be an early (one to two weeks after conception) sign for some women. Your breasts may feel tender, swollen, somewhat sore, or even itchy. Nipples may be sore or extra sensitive, and sometimes can darken in color.
But wait! This symptom could also be caused by: PMS.
3. Higher Basal Body Temperature
Many women take their temperature each morning upon waking as a way to track their ovulation when trying to conceive. Normally, your temperature will spike after ovulation, then slowly decline as your period draws near. But if you are pregnant, your temperature does not drop and in fact may continue to rise (sometimes called a triphasic pattern). These changes in temperature are fairly small, often only a few tenths of a degree, and must be carefully measured at the same time each day before you have gotten out of bed.
But wait! This symptom could also be caused by: illness or not talking your temperature at the same time each morning.
Feeling tired or more easily fatigued can be an early symptom of pregnancy starting as early as a week after conception. Your regular schedule, work, exercise, or errands may suddenly seem exhausting.
But wait! This symptom could also be caused by: stress, especially if you have been on the trying to conceive (TTC) roller coaster for a while, illness, or depression.
An increase in headache intensity or frequency can be caused by hormonal swings early in pregnancy.
But wait! This symptom could also be caused by: stress, PMS, or caffeine withdrawal.
Morning sickness doesn't always happen in the morning—nausea at any time of day can be an early pregnancy symptom, and often shows up between two and eight weeks after conception, although not for all women. If you have nausea or vomiting, try eating bland, small meals more frequently throughout the day. Many women report that their nausea disappears like clockwork at the start of the second trimester, though others do experience it throughout their entire pregnancy.
But wait! This symptom could also be caused by: stress (again!) or an upset stomach from illness or food poisoning.
7. Frequent Urination
About six to eight weeks after conception, some women notice they are making more frequent trips to the bathroom, both during the day and overnight. This will probably only get worse as the pregnancy progresses and the growing baby competes with your bladder for space!
But wait! This symptom could also be caused by: diabetes or a urinary tract infection.
Some women experience a dull ache in their lower back, sometimes even before the baby has grown large enough to cause weight gain or spinal imbalance. Later in the pregnancy, many women have back pain because they are compensating for the weight of the baby with altered posture both while awake and while sleeping. Hormones also start to cause a loosening of your ligaments and connective tissue to allow for delivery. This can lessen the support for your spine and increase your discomfort towards the end of your pregnancy.
But wait! This symptom could also be caused by: PMS, stress, or poor posture.
9. Food Cravings
Some women experience aversion to certain foods or a heightened sense of smell. Pickles and ice cream may be famous pregnancy cravings, but the array of food and drinks that appeal to pregnant women is as varied as can be! Equally common are strong aversions to particular smells or tastes and a heightened sensitivity to certain aromas (food, perfume, cleaning supplies, gas stations, anything!). A good pre-natal supplement can sometimes ease some of these symptoms.
But wait! This symptom could also be caused by: PMS, or a nutrient-poor diet.
10. A Positive Pregnancy Test
You can drive yourself nuts watching for the signs and symptoms of early pregnancy—of which you may experience only a few, or none! If you can make it through your two-week wait, a pregnancy test is the best and most straightforward proof that you are indeed pregnant. Pregnancy tests work best when taken at or after the time you expect your period. If the pregnancy test result is negative and you still haven't gotten your period, try another one in a few days to be sure.