Pregnancy and Parenting Features

Early Pregnancy Symptoms & Signs

Many women who are pregnant may not realize early on that they are pregnant. Most of us have heard the stories about women who visit their doctor because of strange symptoms, only to find that they are somewhere in their third trimester! While this is not typically the case, there are some signs and symptoms of which you can be aware that may signal that you are pregnant.

The first sign of pregnancy for many women is a missed period. However, this is not always an indication that you are pregnant; a variety of other things, such as stress, vigorous exercise, and reproductive disorders may cause you to miss a period. In addition, many women have irregular periods, and may not be aware of actually “missing” one.

The most effective way that you can determine whether you are pregnant is, of course, with a pregnancy test. For most women, it may be possible to determine whether you are pregnant as early as 7-10 days after conception using a home pregnancy test. However, the time required depends greatly on the type of pregnancy test being used, as well as your own individual physiology.

Many women who are pregnant experience fatigue, especially during their first trimester. The hormonal changes taking place in your body can make you feel lethargic, or worn out after just a little bit of physical activity. These hormonal changes can also affect your mood. Some women will feel pronounced mood swings as little as a couple of weeks after becoming pregnant.

Implantation bleeding is another sign of pregnancy. When the fertilized egg attaches to the uterus, some women will have a very light bleeding. This will typically be from pinkish to reddish-brown in color, and typically lasts for 1-2 days.

Frequent urination can also indicate pregnancy. The old saying goes that the most dangerous place in the world is between a pregnant woman and a bathroom. While this is especially true later in pregnancy when your baby is pushing on your internal organs, many women experience a more frequent need to urinate throughout their pregnancy.

Nausea caused by pregnancy, sometimes called “morning sickness,” is a fairly common symptom of pregnancy. Around 70% of all new moms-to-be will experience morning sickness. Morning sickness can occur at any time of the day, not just during the morning. This nausea may be constant, as it is for some women; or, it may just occur occasionally. The degree to which you feel sick can also vary; you might just feel a little woozy, or you might experience full fledged vomiting.

Breast tenderness is one of the very earliest signs of pregnancy. Increased hormones cause breasts to be sensitive and sore, and often to swell.

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