Do you feel something different about your body despite not missing your period? Have you noticed some pre –menstrual symptoms immediately after your periods like a change in energy levels, irritability, fainting and breast size changes? Don’t be surprised you might just need to have a pregnancy test done. Here are 8 early signs that show you are pregnant:
- Tender breasts: One of the very first signs of pregnancy is a full and tender breast. Some people notice that the area around their nipple (areola) starts to itch and darken than usual. Treesa Mclean, a licensed midwife, stated that most early pregnancy symptoms including tender breasts are related to rising levels of the hormone progesterone. Changes to the breast can occur between 1-2 weeks after conception. The breasts get tender and fuller as a result of the hormone progesterone which causes water retention in the body during pregnancy.
- Spotting or light bleeding: Doctors associate this with implantation bleeding. It occurs as a result of the embryo implanting on the uterine wall between 6 to 12 days after conception. Some women will experience spotting and cramping. When this implantation occurs, light bleeding is absolutely normal. Many women will conceive and not notice any implantation bleeding. Therefore, do not worry if you do not see this sign, you can still be pregnant.
- Missed period: A delayed or missed period is one of the most common early signs of pregnancy that leads a woman to test for pregnancy. When pregnancy occurs, usually the women miss their next period, but some women still have their period. In this case, the bleeding will be shorter or lighter than a normal period. Many factors can cause a missed period like stress and other conditions. This is an only a probable sign of pregnancy.
- Nausea or morning sickness: Nausea or morning sickness is the second most commonly reported sign of pregnancy. Experienced to some degree by most expecting women, nausea typically shows up between 2 to 8 weeks after conception. Change in hormonal levels triggers the vomiting centre of the brain thereby causing nausea and vomiting. You can experience nausea with or without vomiting. Though you can feel nauseous anytime of the day, the early morning is usually worse. About 75% women experience nausea which varies from one woman to another. It usually occurs during the first trimester and subsides after that in most women but some experience nausea throughout the pregnancy.
- Mood Swings: Majority of expectant mothers frequently experience moods swings. These common early signs of pregnancy are caused by the hormonal changes that affect the neurotransmitters of the brain. These mood swings vary from woman to woman. Stress accompanies mood swings. Some may experience elevated high and low mood swings whereas others alternate between states of happiness to states of depression or anxiety. It is important to note that mood swings are normal; however, if you find yourself struggling with depression or extended periods of sadness, you should contact your healthcare provider.
- Fatigue or Tiredness: Following conception, in the first trimester of pregnancy, many women experience signs of extreme body aches and tiredness. Some even get to the point of losing interest in activities they love. Excessive sleep follows this tiredness, which can be at any time of the day, especially in the morning. This occurs as a result of the release of pregnancy hormones in the body which causes an alteration in normal states of hormones existing before conception. As the body begins to produce more blood to support your baby growth, you are likely to feel more tired if your diet lacks the required vitamins, minerals and iron. Fatigue can also be due to other conditions like infection, hypothyroidism, and anaemia, so you can’t rely on this sign to assume pregnancy.
- Backaches/ headaches: Experts believe that the sudden rise of hormones in the body can lead to a headache or a backache in expectant mothers. Lower backaches and headaches are commonly reported by women who discover that they are pregnant. These back aches occur as one of the early signs of pregnancy, but women also experience it later as the pregnancy progresses. Backaches occur as a result of the loosening of ligaments to bear the weight of the baby. This makes it an easy pregnancy symptom at week 27 to week 34. Medical practitioners advise expectant mothers to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activities. They also encourage them to take as much rest as possible. Increased blood flow or low sugar in the blood may cause headaches during pregnancy. There is an approximately 50% increase in the volume of blood flowing during pregnancy. It is advisable for expectant mothers to eat well at this stage.
- Food aversion: Majority of women find food they enjoy less appealing and disgusting. Some can’t stand the smell talk more of taste some of these foods. The release of hormones and neurotransmitters in the body during pregnancy causes the decreased sensory perception of taste and smell. Foods which are okay become absolutely sickening. Some discover a funny taste in their mouth which they can’t get rid of, which results in excessive salivation. The food that expecting women crave or seek to avoid varies and are quite sporadic. You can pursue those cravings and avoid the things you don’t want. As long as you are getting the nutrition you need for a healthy pregnancy. These cravings or aversions can occur as one of the early signs of pregnancy or anytime throughout your pregnancy. Though most women come back to their appetites at the second or third trimester of their pregnancy.
These early signs of pregnancy are only probably not confirmatory due to several other medical conditions that may show similar signs. To ascertain a positive test for pregnancy, we advise you to take an accurate medical test from your health care provider.