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10 Early Signs of Pregnancy That You Must Know

Pregnancy is a beautiful phase in a woman’s life. The sheer idea of a life growing inside you can make any woman feel complete.

For those who are trying to conceive, the sign of a missed period can give them hope and send them looking for a home pregnancy kit. Although a missed period is a good early indicator of pregnancy, it is not the first sign.

As soon as you conceive, your hormones kick into gear and several changes start occurring in your body. However, most women don’t recognize the signals their bodies are sending.

By paying attention to what your body is telling you, it will be easier for you to detect pregnancy at the earliest stage. It will help you know when to see your doctor for a pregnancy test and plan things accordingly.

Here are the top 10 early signs of pregnancy.

1. Tender Breasts

Once you have conceived, the first symptom to show up is swollen, heavier and tender breasts. The breasts become sensitive and swollen due to changes in the levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone.

It’s similar to how your breasts feel before your period.

Tenderness in the breasts can be experienced as early as one week after conception. The discomfort diminishes significantly after the first trimester. Until then, the best way to relieve soreness is to wear a solid, supportive bra.

In some cases, the nipples become more protruding than usual. Also, the areolas may appear darker and spotted.

Breast tenderness also occurs during ovulation and right around the time of menstruation.

2. Dizziness

A little light headedness or dizziness right around the time of your expected period is a common indicator of pregnancy.

Due to a rise in the hormone progesterone, the blood vessels dilate, which in turn lowers your blood pressure. This leads to reduced blood flow to your brain, temporarily causing dizziness.

A 2010 study published in the Brazilian Journal of Otorhinolaryngology reports that hormonal dysfunctions in women during pregnancy can cause vestibular and/or cochlear disorders, leading to dizziness and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

This symptom is most common in the first trimester, but may also occur throughout your pregnancy. Anemic women are more susceptible to dizziness than others.

When you feel dizzy, avoid getting up quickly from a sitting or lying down position. Taking deep breaths can help alleviate this problem.

3. Fatigue and Tiredness

As soon as you conceive, your body goes through a lot of changes. The rising level of progesterone makes you tire more easily, leaving you feeling fatigued and exhausted frequently.

Lower blood pressure and blood sugar level during pregnancy can also make you feel very tired.

At the same time, the body is creating the placenta, the vital life support system for the fetus. This takes up all your energy and causes you to feel tired. Fatigue is most common in the first and third trimesters.

This early sign is easy to miss, as new mothers often relate it to normal fatigue.

If you are feeling tired all of a sudden even though you got plenty of sleep, and you are experiencing some of the other symptoms mentioned here, opt for a pregnancy test.

If it comes back positive, get plenty of rest and eat foods rich in proteins as well as iron.

4. Increased Sensitivity to Smell

Pregnancy can make you more sensitive to smells. In fact, increased sensitivity to smell is one of the signs that women notice before they even realize they’re pregnant.

The ongoing hormonal changes in the estrogen level in the body affect the olfactory system, which makes expectant mothers more sensitive and reactive to the scents around them.

This heightened sense of smell to certain scents or foods can lead to food cravings and aversions. It can cause morning sickness or a metallic taste in the mouth.

If you suddenly find yourself disliking the smell of your favorite food or you are becoming aware of more smells around you, then you may have conceived.

5. Nausea

Another common symptom associated with early pregnancy is morning sickness.

According to the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology, nausea and vomiting affect 70 to 85 percent of pregnant women. This queasiness and throwing up can strike at any time of the day or night.

This problem may start as early as two weeks after conception. The nausea feeling will go away by the beginning of the second trimester. Again, you can blame your hormones for the nausea.

Along with hormones, folic acid deficiency may trigger nausea during pregnancy.

For some women, morning sickness occurs only a month or two after conception, and some lucky ones do not experience it at all throughout their pregnancy.

To fight nausea, eat something starchy first thing in the morning and stick to easy-to-digest foods. Also, drink water frequently to stay hydrated.

6. Mood Swings

Early pregnancy can throw your emotions out of whack. You may be feeling unusually weepy and emotional as well as experiencing mood swings.

This is very common in the early days because of hormonal changes that affect neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain).

As feeling a little weepy and weird is also a premenstrual symptom, women often disregard this early sign of possible pregnancy. In fact, women who are normally moody may not even notice any subtle changes in mood.

Although frequent emotional changes are not an effective way to determine pregnancy, seeing a doctor is a good option.

Try to practice meditation and stay cheerful to keep your emotions under control.

7. Cramping

Some woman also experience cramping, which occurs a few days before the due date of their menstruation.

This happens when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus. It leads to uterine contractions that feel like cramps. This type of cramping is often mistaken for premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or menstrual cramps.

Cramping that is accompanied by bloating and indigestion is a sure sign of pregnancy. To minimize the cramps, walking or gentle stretching may help a lot.

While menstruation does not occur during pregnancy, there is a good chance that you may experience cramping in the pelvic area during the days when you are supposed to have your periods.

An ultrasound or pregnancy test can help detect pregnancy, even at the earliest stage.

8. Bloating

Feeling bloated despite following the same diet is another possible sign that you are pregnant.

Bloating, like other symptoms, is caused by the sudden hormonal changes in the body. When the progesterone and estrogen levels rise, the lining of your uterus thickens, which makes you feel more bloated.

Plus, hormonal changes make your digestive system slow down and this can cause bloating as well.

Some expectant mothers also complain of indigestion, abdominal gas and constipation.

As digestive-related problems are common throughout pregnancy, adding more fiber into your diet, drinking more water and exercising regularly can help reduce the discomforts to a great extent.

9. Frequent Urination

As the bladder starts reacting to body changes caused by a new pregnancy, you may also need to visit the bathroom more frequently even though you may not have increased your fluid intake.

The increased volume of blood during pregnancy is filtered by the kidneys, making the bladder become full more quickly and resulting in more urination. At the same time, you may be more thirsty than usual.

Increased frequency of urination is common in all stages of pregnancy. As the uterus wall expands to allow the baby to develop and grow, it reduces the amount of space for the bladder. This creates pressure on the bladder and makes you rush to the bathroom more often.

Always see a doctor if you experience any burning or stinging sensations during urination.

10. A Missed Period

Missing a period is one of the early possible signs of pregnancy that most women are aware of.

For a woman who is in her childbearing years and not using birth control measures, a period that is late by at least a week can indicate pregnancy. However, as no birth control measures are 100 percent effective, a missed period should not be taken lightly.

In some cases, there may be a small amount of bleeding at the time of menstruation. This happens when the fertilized egg implants itself in the wall of your uterus. This kind of spotting or bleeding is usually harmless.

Apart from pregnancy, other reasons that can lead to missed periods include diet changes, excessive stress, fluctuations in body weight, hormonal changes in the body and some kind of illness.

If your period is late or absent, the only way to be sure of your pregnancy is to take a pregnancy test. It is recommended to opt for a test 2 to 10 days after your cycle is normally due.

Additional Signs and Symptoms

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