You don’t always need a pregnancy test to know that something feels a little off. The human body begins changing and adapting to pregnancy remarkably quickly, and you may start feeling unplanned pregnancy symptoms in a matter of weeks or even days.
If you are concerned that you might be pregnant, immediately see a doctor for confirmation. The information here is not intended to take the place of professional medical advice.
In the meantime, here are some of the most common early signs of pregnancy.
The name “morning sickness” is a little misleading, because it can show up at any time of day. Nausea is incredibly common during the first trimester of a pregnancy.
Fortunately, there are some short-term measures you can take relieve the feelings of morning sickness:
- Eat frequent, small meals
- Keep plain crackers nearby
- Stay hydrated with cold fluids
- Avoid tight-fitting clothing
- Use unscented bath and cleaning products
Although unpleasant, morning sickness often fades after the first trimester – and often, it is actually a sign of a healthy pregnancy.
If you suddenly find yourself feeling unusually tired, no matter how much you sleep, it may be a sign you are pregnant. In fact, fatigue can set in as early as a week after conception. Fatigue is usually caused by a boost in the hormone progesterone. Frequent rest, along with a protein- and iron-rich diet, can help give you the energy you need.
Missed Period or Spotting
Many women are prompted to take a pregnancy test or see a doctor after missing a period. While this can be a telltale sign of a pregnancy, it is often one of the last symptoms to arise.
In addition, women may also confuse their period with another common symptom: spotting. Spotting, or implantation bleeding, is very common and does not usually signify any problems with a pregnancy. It will usually occur within a week or a week and a half of an egg being fertilized.
Sometimes, women will experience spotting and mistake it for their regular menstrual cycle, taking it as confirmation that they are not actually pregnant. If you are concerned you might be pregnant and experiencing irregularities of any kind, consult a healthcare provider.
Cramps or Headaches
The cramps that can accompany implantation bleeding can also be mistaken for menstrual cramps, but they may actually be another early sign of pregnancy. Cramps are usually slight, so if you are experiencing any severe abdominal pain, consult a doctor immediately.
Along with cramps, some women report having mild headaches, dizziness, or sometimes even fainting. These symptoms are believed to be caused by a lowering of blood pressure and blood sugar, but your doctor will be able to confirm that they aren’t signs of something more serious.
In the earliest stages of pregnancy, your breasts may become swollen, sore, or tender. This is a sign that your body is getting used to the new levels of hormones, and it may not go away for several weeks if it is caused by a pregnancy. Tenderness may also be accompanied by a darkening of the areolas and pronounced veins around your chest.
In some cases, women may see no early signs of pregnancy at all. If a woman experiences intermittent bleeding that she mistakes for her period and feels no other symptoms, she may not even realize she is pregnant until later on.
For these reasons, the only way to confirm your pregnancy is to see a doctor. Not even pregnancy tests are one hundred percent effective. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, or if you believe you are pregnant for any other reason, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider.