Signs of pregnancy can vary in different women…
Every woman is different. In line with this, a woman’s experiences in pregnancy are also different. In fact, not every woman has the same symptoms or even the exact same symptoms from one pregnancy to the next. Most of the early signs of pregnancy are not often recognized as they are the same with what happens before and during menstruation. Thus, it is necessary to have a pregnancy test to confirm the pregnancy as the symptoms may be caused by other things besides becoming pregnant.
Missed Period, Spotting and Cramping
One of the earliest sign of pregnancy is a missed period. However, bloating, spotting, and cramping may also indicate a pregnancy. Several days after a woman’s egg cell is fertilized, this fertilized egg will attach itself to the uterine wall. When this occurs, spotting and cramping can occur. This is often termed as implantation bleeding. This happens six to 12 days after fertilization. The cramps experienced during this period resemble menstrual cramps. In fact, some women often mistake them as the start of their period. However, the bleeding and cramps during this time are minimal.
Aside from the spotting or minimal bleeding, increase in vaginal discharge may also be noticeable. This white discharge is associated with the thickening of the vaginal walls. This symptom is harmless and may continue throughout the pregnancy. However, if burning sensation and a foul odor is associated with the discharge, medical consult is necessary to determine if there is a yeast or bacterial infection.
Since a woman’s hormone levels rapidly change after conception, breast changes will become evident. A pregnant woman’s breast will become sensitive and swollen, as her hormone levels change. The soreness as well as the swelling is more prominent compared to the breast changes occurring just before a menstrual period. The breast may feel swollen, sore, heavier and tender to touch. The areola or the colored area around the nipples may also darken. The discomfort, however, will decrease after the first trimester, as the body adjusts to the changes.
Becoming easily tired is normal in pregnancy. In fact, this feeling can start as early as one week after conception. Fatigue is very common in the first trimester. This is a response to the changing hormone levels in the body. However, this may also be caused by low blood sugar, low blood pressure, and an increase in blood production. This symptom will improve as the pregnant woman enters the second trimester.
Cravings, Food Aversions and Nausea
This symptom is quite famous in pregnancy. However, not all pregnant women get this. This symptom can occur any time of the day. The cause of this symptom is not known. However, this is often associated with pregnancy hormones. Health experts recommend having small frequent meals to control this symptom.
Some women also develop food cravings and aversions. There are certain foods that a pregnant woman can’t stand and foods that they crave. However, the experiences for every woman are different. This can last for the entire pregnancy.
The kidneys need to process more urine during the course of the pregnancy. In addition, as the uterus grows in size, this adds pressure on the bladder, requiring frequent trips to the bathroom. This symptom begins to appear on the sixth or eighth week after conception.
Mood swings are also common in the first trimester. These are related to the changing hormones in a pregnant woman’s body. Hormonal changes affect the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. Every woman responds differently to these changes. In fact, some may experience heightened emotions while others feel more anxious or depressed.
A pregnant woman can have one or two of these symptoms. However, there are others who experience all of them. If you suspect that you are pregnant, it is ideal that you take a pregnancy test to confirm the pregnancy. These symptoms may subside and improve once the pregnant woman enters the second trimester. However, if any of these symptoms become severe or bothersome, medical consultation is necessary. Your health care provider will be able to help you formulate a plan that can offset the symptoms.