The sooner you know you’re pregnant, the sooner you can begin taking measures to care for yourself and your baby. If you’re trying to get pregnant, or if you think you might be pregnant, look for the ten most common signs of early pregnancy below – and find out what you should do if you experience them.
If you have questions or concerns you’d like to discuss with an expert, request an appointment with one of our OB/GYNs.
Common Signs of Early Pregnancy
1. A missed period
For most women, a missed period is often the first sign they’ve entered the early stages of pregnancy. If a week or more has passed without the start of your period, especially if your cycle is regular, you may be pregnant.
2. Frequent urination
Once you conceive, the amount of blood in your body will increase. As your kidneys work to process the increased amount of liquid, you’ll experience a more frequent need to urinate.
3. Swollen or tender breasts
Early pregnancy hormones may cause increased sensitivity and soreness in breasts. This discomfort is not permanent and usually disappears a few weeks into pregnancy once your body has adjusted to being pregnant.
Progesterone levels rise once you become pregnant, which often leads to sleepiness and increased fatigue.
5. Nausea, with or without vomiting
A rise in hormone levels can cause nausea in the early stages of pregnancy. Though pregnancy nausea is often called “morning sickness,” it can occur any time of day.
6. Light spotting and cramping
Light spotting, also known as implantation bleeding, can occur when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining. This can happen about 10 to 14 days after conception, around the same time that you are supposed to have your period. Light spotting may also be accompanied by cramping, which can feel similar to menstrual cramps.
Heightened hormones in the body can cause you to feel bloated, similar to how you may feel at the beginning of your period.
8. Mood swings
Once your hormone levels begin to rise, you may find yourself more emotional and subject to mood swings.
The influx of progesterone experienced during pregnancy can slow down your digestive system, causing constipation.
10. Food aversions and sensitivity to smell
Sensitivity to certain smells is a common symptom for pregnant women. You may also find that your tastes have changed for certain types of food.
Any of the above signs can mean you’re pregnant, but there are women who conceive and experience none of them. Likewise, you can experience all ten and not be pregnant. The best way to confirm pregnancy is to schedule an appointment with a provider, preferably your gynecologist.
If you notice a few of the early pregnancy symptoms above and think you may be pregnant, wait one or two days after your missed period and take a pregnancy test. If the test is negative, wait a few more days and take another, just in case the first was a false negative. If the test is positive, schedule an appointment with your OB/GYN.
At Baptist Health, we’re committed to helping women through every stage of their health journeys. If you’re trying to conceive or thinking about getting pregnant, read through our preconception to-do list, or if you have an upcoming OB/GYN appointment, learn how you can get the most out of your visit.