Pregnancy symptoms can occur within a few days after conception. It is important to determine whether or not someone is pregnancy as early as possible because this will help ensure a healthy and safe pregnancy. It is also beneficial to have an understanding of early pregnancy signs so that you are better able to determine when a pregnancy test is needed. To understand what your current symptoms could mean, you have to know when pregnancy symptoms normally start.
When Do Pregnancy Symptoms Start?
Fertilization can only occur when you ovulate, but this does not mean that you will have pregnancy symptoms. Once you have sexual intercourse, the man’s sperm can remain within your body for up to five days. If you ovulate during this time, the egg may become fertilized. Once the egg is fertilized, it takes about 7 to 10 days to travel from the fallopian tubes to the uterus. At this point, it will implant itself on the uterine wall during a time known as implantation.
You do not have pregnancy symptoms before implantation. Your body will not produce hormones or show symptoms of being pregnant until you reach implantation. Thus, it is impossible to have symptoms until this time. For most women, this day will be about four to seven days before your missed period. Many women will still not have symptoms at this point. It can take several weeks after implantation for some women to experience symptoms. Because of this, the first symptom of many women is a missed period.
A pregnancy hormone, called HCG, is generated during implantation. This hormone is what is detected on pregnancy tests. Before implantation, your body has not become aware that it is pregnant. You will not experience any symptoms before implantation occurs. The symptoms that occur due to implantation will be when the first pregnancy symptoms can possibly start. About one-third of women experience symptoms during implantation like cramping or very, very light bleeding. For these women, these early signs are the first indicator that they are pregnant.
While implantation occurs as early as seven to ten days after fertilization, many women first feel symptoms between the fifth and eighth week of pregnancy. This time frame and the symptoms experienced during implantation differ from person to person. It may be helpful to speak with family members about their experience during their pregnancy. They may be able to give you insight into the time frame that your unique physical chemistry can expect.
Symptoms of Early Pregnancy
Every woman is different, so you may experience all, none or just some of the following pregnancy symptoms. Often, your experience will be similar to your mother’s, grandmother’s or aunt’s experience because your physical chemistry is similar to theirs. While you may not experience all of the symptoms on this list, here are some of the most common symptoms during pregnancy:
Mental and bodily fatigue are both common early symptoms of implantation and may be noticed as early as one week after conception. You may feel as though you do not have the energy to move your body or you may notice that your mind is moving more sluggishly than normal. Pain caused by fatigue may be present in the body as well.
2. Breast Swelling and Tenderness
Swollen or painful breasts may be noticed within the first week as well. This is due to hormonal changes in the body, which may be similar to the changes experienced during a normal menstrual cycles. As this may not be the case, it is advisable to observe your body for other signs of conception. It is very easy to confuse PMS and early pregnancy symptoms because many of them are the same. We have another article on Med Health Daily that covers the differences and similarities between PMS and early pregnancy symptoms, so you can read through that article to make sure that your symptoms could only be caused by pregnancy.
3. Cramping and Light Spotting
Cramping and spotting are important symptoms of pregnancy. Cramping may be similar to normal period-related cramping, but it may be at the wrong time of the month or it may have a different intensity level. Light bleeding or spotting may be present at this time as well. This implantation bleeding is commonly lighter that normal period bleeding.
4. Morning Sickness
Morning sickness may be experienced as early as two weeks after implantation. Nausea, vomiting and a generally ill sensation may last for many weeks and may begin even as late as eight weeks after conception. While morning sickness is a well known sign of pregnancy, many women never experience it. Other women experience it during the evening or throughout the entire day, so the name is really a misnomer.
5. Missed Menstrual Cycle
By this time, it is likely that your normal period is late. Implantation bleeding may be present about a week before your normal period date. It will not be like your normal period. It will be lighter and less intense than your normal cycle. If you want to take a pregnancy test at this time, wait until you miss your period so that you are more likely to get an accurate result.
6. The Basal Body Temperature (BBT)
Checking your BBT may be helpful in determining pregnancy. If you track your BBT, you will see a drop in your temperature if you did not conceive. For those that are pregnant, the BBT will remain high throughout the pregnancy.
Symptoms as Your Pregnancy Progresses
At about two to three weeks, there are a few other common symptoms. Some symptoms such as mood swings or food cravings are common during early pregnancy. Mood swings, which are caused by hormonal changes, are particularly common during early pregnancy. Since mood swings are also common during a normal menstrual cycle, it may not be a solid indication of conception. It may be beneficial to consider your other symptoms before you assume that you are pregnant.
Foods often start to taste differently than normal during pregnancy. A food that you normally enjoy can taste abnormal, and foods that you generally dislike may become desirable. Foods and drinks may taste metallic or have a new flavor that you do not remember them having. These taste changes typically occur anytime during pregnancy.
Constipation may be noticed during early pregnancy. This is due to the body’s need to absorb all the available nutrients during digestion. This is done to aid the development of the child and may become more noticeable as the pregnancy advances. Feelings of gas and intestinal wind movements may increase.
Urination may become more frequent, and this often becomes especially worse during late pregnancy. This may be due to an increase in pressure on the bladder and the body’s natural processes. The need for frequent urination will become more intense throughout the pregnancy.
Some women may experience acne or pimples. These are natural and are due to changes in hormones. Avoid squeezing pimples as it may cause scars or pits. They will naturally go away within a few months.
The areolas and vagina may become darker. They may also become swollen and more pronounced. The small bumps on the areolas may become larger. Veins may become more prominent as well. The vagina may produce additional cervical mucus. These changes are due to increased blood flow in the area. Lower back pain and headaches are common. General pain in the body may increase as well.