While a missed period is considered the first sign of pregnancy, there are actually other symptoms that occur around this time. You have to be careful about assuming that you are pregnant though because some of the symptoms of early pregnancy are similar to PMS symptoms as well.
You will not have pregnancy symptoms until after the egg implants in your uterus. At this time, you may experience cramps or slight pain as the egg implants. Once implantation has occurred, your body begins to produce the pregnancy hormones that cause pregnancy symptoms. This implantation occurs a few days before your missed period, so you may start to have pregnancy symptoms around this time. If you are trying to figure out if you are pregnant before you can actually take a pregnancy test, we have a few of the early signs of pregnancy before a missed period that you can check out.
Most pregnancy tests will only work from around when your period was supposed to start. If you do not want to wait to find out if you are pregnant or not, then there are some other symptoms that you can watch out for.
1. An Elevated Basal Body Temperature
If your are trying to get pregnant, then you may have already started tracking your basal body temperature (BBT). This is actually one of the more effective ways of telling when you are pregnant, but you need to track your basal body temperature for several months beforehand so that you know what your temperature normally is.
Several weeks before you ovulate, your BBT will be between 97.2 to 97.7°F. This is the average women have during pre-ovulation. A day or two after ovulation, your BBT increase by about 0.4 to 1 degrees. Once your period happens, it drops back down again. If you are pregnant, then your BBT will remain at the higher level. While this method is fairly accurate, you need to track your BBT for several months to learn what is normal for your body.
2. Implantation Bleeding
When you have unprotected sex before, during or right after ovulation, you can potentially become pregnant. While this is not true for everyone, some women will experience light spotting, cramping or bleeding when the egg implants in the uterus. This generally happens about 6 to 10 days after you have ovulated. If you have a 28-day cycle, then implantation would take place around days 20 to 24 of your menstrual cycle. For many women, this is the earliest symptom of pregnancy.
During implantation, there may be light spotting for several hours or a couple of days. If the bleeding is heavy, then it is probably from an early period or a miscarriage.
3. Frequent Urination
This symptom tends to occur quite a bit later than a missed period. If you feel like you have to pee all the time, then you could be pregnant. Hormonal changes during pregnancy cause an increase in blood. Your kidneys go into overdrive to filter this blood, which leads to frequent urination.
Most women do not see a baby bump until much later in their pregnancy. In the beginning, the baby bump that you think is starting is probably because of bloating. The fetus is only a tiny collection of cells, but the bump exists because of digestive changes. The increase in progesterone can cause flatulence and bloating in early pregnancy. You may find yourself passing gas and burping throughout the day. This can be uncomfortable, so make sure to eat healthily. Avoiding fatty or fried foods can also help reduce the bloating that you experience.
5. Heavy or Tender Breasts
Another change in your body is your breasts. Hormonal changes during pregnancy signal your breasts to prepare for feeding a baby. The blood vessels in your breasts dilate, the areolas become darker and the breasts become enlarged. This can start to occur several weeks after conceiving. Because of the sudden changes, your breasts may feel tender, uncomfortable to touch or larger. Keep in mind though that this cannot be the only symptom that you use to determine if you are pregnant or not. Your breasts also increase in size during your menstrual cycle, so it is easy to confuse PMS-related breast changes with pregnancy- related breast changes.
Becoming pregnant can drop your blood pressure. As a result of your low blood pressure, you may feel dizzy at times. This is a common symptom during the first trimester, and it will generally go away once your blood pressure returns to normal in the second trimester. Watch out though. If you also experience abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding, you could have an ectopic pregnancy. If you experience these symptoms, go to your doctor right away.
Morning sickness is normal during pregnancy, although it can actually happen at any time of the day. You may even start to experience this symptom before you miss your period. You may feel weak, dizzy and nauseous at times. Mornings tend to be the worst, and about three out of four women experience this symptom. Morning sickness is also generally the worst in your first pregnancy and can get better with subsequent pregnancies. While most women stop having nausea after the first trimester, some unlucky ladies experience this symptom throughout their pregnancy.
Because of the increase in progesterone levels, your digestive system may stop working like normal. As a result, you may suffer from constipation. If you suddenly start to feel constipated all the time, it might be a good idea to take a home pregnancy test.
Fatigue is one of the most common early pregnancy symptoms. All of the changes in hormones can cause you to feel sleepy and exhausted all of the time. Your body is also creating more blood to support your baby’s growth, which can leave you feeling fatigued. During this time, it is extremely important to get plenty of fluids and eat a balanced diet. Skip caffeine and get plenty of sleep to fight fatigue. Since fatigue can also be caused by medical conditions like hypothyroidism and anemia, you cannot assume you are pregnant by just this symptom.
10. Food Aversions
Another common symptom in early pregnancy is food aversion. An estimated 85 percent of women experience some type of food aversion during their first trimester. The scent or taste of a certain food may make you feel nauseous. In some cases, these food aversions go away during the second and third trimester.
11. Backaches and Headaches
Obviously, you can get headaches and backaches for a number of reasons, so you cannot just assume that you are pregnant if you are having these symptoms. If you have other symptoms as well though, you could be pregnant. When your body starts to increase progesterone and estrogen levels for the baby, it can lead to lower blood sugar levels. As a result, you may experience frequent headaches.
Back pains are caused by your body preparing for the pregnancy. The ligaments in your body begin to loosen up, and your uterus starts to stretch for the growing baby. Some aches can also be caused by implantation. If you are pregnant though, you need to talk to your doctor before taking any pain medication because you do not want to unintentionally hurt the fetus.
12. Feeling Thirsty
Your body is trying to make extra blood as it prepares for the baby’s growth, which can lead you feeling extra thirsty. Plus, the frequent urination in early pregnancy can also leave you feeling extra thirsty.
13. Mood Swings
Mood swings are a normal symptom in early pregnancy. Your hormone levels are fluctuating, which ultimately affects the neurotransmitters in your brain. As a result, you may experience extreme emotions that range from anger to weeping spells. All you can do is try to relax, take a nap and make sure to communicate with the people around you who might be affected.
14. Lack of Appetite
If you are vomiting and nausea all the time, it is unsurprising that you won’t want to eat. Some women have hunger pangs and cravings for certain foods. Other women do not want to eat at all because of the nausea. Luckily, this will generally improve in later pregnancy, but you might not feel like eating much at the moment.
Believe it or not, drooling can actually be an early pregnancy symptom. While this does not affect every women, the condition known as ptyalism gravidarum does happen to some pregnant women. Most likely, this condition is linked to the morning sickness and heartburn that happen during early pregnancy. Plus, you might not be swallowing saliva because of morning sickness. If this happens, extra fluid can build up in your mouth.
What You Should Do Now
If you think that you could be pregnant, take a pregnancy test to find out for sure. You can also go to your doctor to get a more accurate blood test. In the meanwhile, make sure to eat a healthy diet to support your baby’s growth. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and nicotine until you know for sure if you are pregnant or not.