Carol Powell, BSN, MSN, RNC-OB
If you’re trying to get pregnant, or if you think you might be pregnant, it’s important to listen to your body and understand the early symptoms of pregnancy. These are a few things you may be experiencing if you are in the early stages of pregnancy:
1. You missed your period
If a week or more has passed without the start of your expected period (especially if you have a regular cycle), you may be pregnant. It’s best to take a test or visit your gynecologist to make sure.
2. Frequent urination
Since the amount of blood in your body increases during pregnancy, your kidneys need to process more liquid causing more frequent urination.
3. Swollen or tender breasts
Early pregnancy hormones may cause increased sensitivity and soreness in the breasts. This discomfort is not permanent and usually disappears a few weeks into pregnancy once your body has adjusted to being pregnant.
Increased fatigue is often a sign of early pregnancy. Progesterone levels are heightened during this time and may make you feel sleepy.
5. Nausea, with or without vomiting
You may have heard of ‘morning sickness’, but nausea can strike any time of day. It often begins a month after conception and is due to increased hormones during pregnancy.
6. Light Spotting
Light spotting or implantation bleed is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. This occurs when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining about 10 to 14 days after conception. It will occur around the same time as you are supposed to have your period. However, not all women experience light spotting.
Bloating is a common occurrence during early pregnancy. Heightened hormones in the body may cause you to feel especially bloated, similar to how women tend to feel at the beginning of their period.
Many women experience mild uterine cramping during the early stages of pregnancy.
An increased level of hormones during pregnancy can cause your digestive system to slow down, causing constipation. This does not affect all women.
10. Food Aversions and Sensitivity to Smell
Due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, your sense of smell may be heightened. Sensitivity to certain smells is a common symptom in pregnant women. You may also find that your tastes have also changed for certain types of food.
Experiencing one or more of these symptoms may not necessarily mean that you are pregnant. We suggest that if you are experiencing many of these symptoms and believe that you may be pregnant, that you visit your gynecologist.