Attention Woman: I am not a doctor writing this article. Nor is this story a good substitute for a store-bought pregnancy kit. But these 15 early signs of pregnancy might be a tip-off — even before you miss your period. So if you’re trying to conceive, be alert for these telltale symptoms.
1. Nausea and Morning Sickness
When looking for early signs of pregnancy, this is the one everyone pays attention to. It makes sense; this is the thing that happens in every TV or movie to let the audience know what’s going on.
Although the American Pregnancy Association says that most women first realize they’re pregnant when they miss a period, nausea is the second most common early symptom affecting 25 percent of women. Nausea can begin between 2 and 8 weeks after conception. Sometimes it happens only in the morning (hence the name “morning sickness”) but it can happen at any time of day.
As if having cramps during your period wasn’t enough…
Cramps are often dismissed as PMS. They can occur with, as well as separate from, implantation bleeding. (What’s that? Keep reading.)
3. Implantation Bleeding
You might notice faint spotting between six to 12 days after conception. WebMD notes that this occurs when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterine wall. Brown or red spotting may be accompanied by cramps and/or a thick white discharge.
4. Sore Breasts
Changes in the breasts can occur as soon as a week after conception and are often mistaken for a PMS symptom. You may notice that your breasts are swollen, sore, tender, heavy or sensitive. These changes are caused by an influx of estrogen and progesterone hormones.
5. Missed Period
This sort of goes without saying. But if you’re trying to get pregnant, tracking your periods is the best way to detect pregnancy early. Modern pregnancy tests are often effective within just a day or two of a missed period.
If you’re thinking of using a period tracker, make sure to know the facts about the product before signing up.
6. Elevated Basal Body Temperature
Your basal body temperature is your resting temperature and can be measured first thing in the morning. By doing this regularly, you’ll establish a baseline. You might be able to tell you’re pregnant by an unusual elevation in your basal temperature.
7. Cravings and Aversions
Another sign that’s often promoted in TV shows and movies, it’s also legit.
Can’t stop thinking about pepperoni pizza? Used to love sushi but can’t stand the thought of raw fish? Appetite changes like these can signify that conception has occurred.
An increase in progesterone will make you feel sleepier than usual. If you feel exhausted and haven’t been overexerting yourself, take heed. Reduced blood pressure and blood sugar also contribute to this symptom.
Like most early pregnancy symptoms, headaches are tied to a surge in hormones. Increased blood volume after conception also plays a role. If you’re trying to conceive or think you may be pregnant, stick to acetaminophen (Tylenol) if you have a headache.
10. Mood Changes
If you often feel moody before your period, you might not even realize that you could be pregnant. Many women experience changes in mood after conceiving and may even feel anxious, stressed, restless, irritable or depressed with no known cause. This occurs because hormones affect the neurotransmitters in the brain that influence your emotions.