What are the early signs of pregnancy?
Women can experience pregnancy symptoms soon after the egg becomes implanted in the wall, which is between 8 and 14 days after ovulation.
By 8 weeks of pregnancy, 90 percent of women will experience symptoms of pregnancy.
Early pregnancy and premenstrual symptoms are often similar and vague, leaving many women guessing whether they are pregnant or premenstrual. Not all women will experience typical pregnancy symptoms.
If pregnancy is suspected, it is important to make healthy lifestyle choices and speak to a healthcare provider as early as possible.
The article will explain 12 key signs that identify a pregnancy in the early stages.
12 early signs of pregnancy
A missed period
A missed period is usually an early sign of pregnancy.
A missed period is often the first sign of pregnancy to become obvious. Small amounts of bleeding may be normal.
Implantation bleeding can happen around the usual date of menstruation, and it is important to identify the source of the bleeding, as it can appear similar to a period.
Implantation usually involves light spotting, lasts less than a day, and comes sooner than the expected period.
Nausea, or morning sickness, is a common symptom for some women who are pregnant. Not all women experience nausea, while others experience it throughout their pregnancy.
Nausea can begin as early as 5 weeks, with most women experiencing some level of nausea by week 8 of pregnancy.
Changes in the breasts, especially at the start of a first pregnancy, can serve as early indicators of pregnancy.
Breast tissue increases in preparation for milk production. Veins become more visibly noticeable on the breasts, and the nipples might darken in color. Breasts and nipples can feel tingly, sore, and sensitive to touch.
Frequent urination often starts to occur early in pregnancy. It is caused by the growing uterus, as well as hormonal changes that increase blood circulation to the pelvis.
Many women experience a relapse of this symptom during the second trimester, although the pressure exerted by the fetus on the bladder later in pregnancy can result in even more frequent and urgent urination.
If urination becomes painful, or you think you might have a urinary tract infection (UTI), contact a healthcare provider.
Fatigue, dizziness, and nausea are common early signs of pregnancy.
Fatigue is one of the most common early pregnancy symptoms.
During early pregnancy, it is normal to feel tired, and women who are pregnant should increase the amount of time they spend sleeping, eat a healthy diet, and continue regular exercise to counteract this fatigue.
First-trimester fatigue is usually followed by increased energy in the second trimester.
Cramping similar to that experienced during menstruation is common. Mild uterine cramping without bleeding is normal in the first trimester and is the result of the uterus expanding.
If you have a confirmed pregnancy and experience intense cramping or vaginal bleeding, seek medical attention.
These are all symptoms that start at an early stage of pregnancy and will often continue for the entire gestation.
Nasal congestion is an often-overlooked early symptom of pregnancy.
As the blood supply increases, the slight swelling of the nasal passages can lead to congestion.
Food cravings and aversions
Food cravings and aversions are common in early and later pregnancy. There is no evidence that cravings relate to a lack of a particular nutrient or that aversions to certain foods are part of an instinctive mechanism that triggers certain responses.
It is important for the health of both the woman who is pregnant and the fetus to ensure adequate intake of calories from nutrient-dense foods during pregnancy. Both mother and child need a good intake of nutrients, especially protein and folic acid.
Sudden changes in mood might be related to hormone changes, fatigue, and stress in early pregnancy. It is normal to feel increased emotional sensitivity and abrupt fluctuations in mood.
If the mood changes are interfering with your daily life and relationships, seek professional help.
Light-headedness in pregnancy can result from changes in blood volume and pressure, altered balance due to weight changes, and other factors, such as iron deficiency anemia.
Light-headedness may occur when changing positions quickly, such as when standing or sitting after lying down. Some light-headedness is normal, but it should only be a cause for concern if this symptom persists after lying back down.
Changing positions more slowly, drinking plenty of fluids, and eating smaller, more frequent meals can help to reduce the frequency of light-headedness. If symptoms persist, speak with your healthcare provider.
Headaches are common in early pregnancy as a result of hormonal changes.
Speak with a healthcare provider for a list of over-the-counter (OTC) pain management medications that are safe to take during pregnancy.
A pregnancy test, whether at home or in the doctor's office, measures levels of HCG, a hormone produced when implantation occurs.
Early pregnancy symptoms can occur because of other conditions, so it is important to diagnose pregnancy as soon as possible.
There are three ways that medical professionals determine a pregnancy.
- Blood and urine tests: These check for the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Doctors and midwives use a similar urine test to a home pregnancy kit. HCG is a hormone produced after implantation. Some rare conditions and diseases can also cause high levels of hCG, so a positive blood or urine test is usually followed by an additional method of confirming a pregnancy.
- Ultrasound examination: The doctor creates an image of the fetus using sound waves and a specialized scanner. This method is often used to confirm pregnancy. A vaginal ultrasound probe may also be used in early pregnancy to visualize the growing embryo.
- Doppler ultrasound: This will check the fetal heartbeat. It may be used to confirm pregnancy, but only after about 10 weeks of pregnancy.
If you may have signs of pregnancy, contact your healthcare provider to begin prenatal care.
Early and consistent prenatal care improves outcomes for both mother and infant.
If you want to buy a pregnancy test, then there is a selection available online.
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