While pregnancy tests and ultrasounds are the only ways to determine if you’re pregnant, there are other signs and symptoms you can look out for. The earliest signs of pregnancy are more than a missed period. They may also include morning sickness, smell sensitivity, and fatigue.
When do the symptoms start?
During the first two weeks of pregnancy, it can be difficult to determine whether you’re pregnant. Signs may be subtle. However, if you notice any unusual changes, you may be pregnant. Taking a home pregnancy test may confirm your suspicions, but the surest way to know is to see a doctor.
Early Signs of Pregnancy
- Tender, swollen breasts. Hormonal changes might make your breasts sensitive and sore.
- Nausea with or without vomiting. Morning sickness, which can strike at any time of the day or night, often begins one month after you become pregnant. However, some women feel nausea earlier and some never experience it.
- Increased urination. You might find yourself urinating more often than usual. The amount of blood in your body increases during pregnancy, causing your kidneys to process extra fluid that ends up in your bladder.
- Fatigue. Fatigue also ranks high among early symptoms of pregnancy. During early pregnancy, levels of the hormone progesterone soar — which might make you feel sleepy.
- Moodiness. The flood of hormones in your body in early pregnancy can make you unusually emotional and weepy.
- Bloating. Hormonal changes during early pregnancy can cause you to feel bloated, similar to how you might feel at the start of a menstrual period.
- Light spotting. Sometimes a small amount of light spotting is one of the first signs of pregnancy. Known as implantation bleeding, it happens when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus — about 10 to 14 days after conception. Implantation bleeding occurs around the time of a menstrual period. However, not all women have it.
- Cramping. Some women experience mild uterine cramping early in pregnancy.
- Constipation. Hormonal changes cause your digestive system to slow down, which can lead to constipation.
- Food aversions. When you’re pregnant, you might become more sensitive to certain odors and your sense of taste might change.
- Nasal congestion. Increasing hormone levels and blood production can cause the mucous membranes in your nose to swell, dry out and bleed easily. This might cause you to have a stuffy or runny nose.
- Missed period.
Are you really pregnant?
Unfortunately, many of these signs and symptoms aren’t unique to pregnancy. Some can indicate that you’re getting sick or that your period is about to start. Likewise, you can be pregnant without experiencing many of these symptoms.
Still, if you miss a period and notice some of the above signs or symptoms, take a home pregnancy test or see your health care provider. If your home pregnancy test is positive, make an appointment with your health care provider. The sooner your pregnancy is confirmed, the sooner you can begin prenatal care.