Every woman has different experiences when it comes to pregnancy. Likewise, the early signs of pregnancy can vary from one woman to another and from one pregnancy to another. There are some women who know the time of conception. Others, on the other hand, know from signals that they sense. These signals are known as the first signs of pregnancy.
However, there are also women who do not suspect that they are pregnant until after they miss a period. In fact, a missed period is considered the most common reason why women take a pregnancy test, as pregnancy is the most likely reason for a missed period. However, other causes are also possible like stress and other ailments.
There are some women who experience pregnancy symptoms several days before they realize that they missed a period. Pregnancy brings about a shift in the hormone production in the body. With this shift, changes in the body take place, which alert the woman that she is pregnant. Those women who develop these symptoms after a missed period are very in tune with their body.
There are several early pregnancy symptoms before a missed period. Here is a list of the most common ones:
- Abdominal Cramps and Implantation Bleeding. Abdominal cramps may also be experienced early in pregnancy. This symptom is associated with the implantation of the fertilized egg into the lining of the uterus. This often happens eight to 10 days after ovulation or four to six days before a missed period. This type of cramping is the same to the cramping women feel prior to a menstrual cycle. Spotting may also occur during implantation. This is often coined as implantation bleeding. This type of bleeding does not last long.
- Aversion to Certain Smells. This is considered as one of the first signs of pregnancy. In most cases, a pregnant woman finds certain aroma of foods and drinks bothersome. This symptom can become rather frustrating for those who suddenly find foods they normally enjoy unappetizing. This is associated with the increasing levels of progesterone in the body.
- Cravings and Changes in Eating Habits. Another symptom can come in the form of changes in a pregnant woman’s eating habits. In fact, a lot of pregnant women find themselves feeling hungry more than usual. They also develop cravings.
- Morning Sickness. Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy is also known as morning sickness. This is considered as one of the early indicators of pregnancy, occurring as early as one week after conception. Nausea can occur with or without bouts of vomiting. In addition, this can last all day long. This is believed to be triggered by the increasing levels of progesterone and estrogen in the body. Other theories associate this with the high levels of hCG or human chorionic gonadotropin in the body. Relief may be experience as the pregnancy reaches its second trimester.
- This is another common symptom occurring early in pregnancy. This symptom develops rather suddenly. Most women who have this think that they are coming down with flu. This is caused by high levels of progesterone in the blood. Progesterone can have a sedation effect.
- Frequent Urination. Hormonal change occurring early in pregnancy triggers the increase in blood flow to the kidneys. This occurs, the bladder fills up rather quickly, which leads to frequent urination. This may be relieved in the second trimester, as the uterus pushes up. However, this can worsen in the third trimester as the baby engages and gets ready for delivery.
- Tender and Swollen Breasts. This symptom is associated with high levels of progesterone in the body. This feels the same way as the symptom right before a menstrual cycle. However, this is more severe during pregnancy. During pregnancy, the breasts become more sensitive, tender, sore and ticklish. In addition, they will also become bigger, fuller and heavier.
- Darker and Larger Areolas. This is the colored part surrounding the nipple. This becomes darker and covers a larger area during pregnancy. This is associated with the increasing levels of hCG in the body. The areolas also tend to become enlarged as the pregnancy progresses.
- Increase in Body Temperature. Immediately after fertilization of the egg cell, the woman’s body temperature will increase slightly. During ovulation, a woman’s temperature increases. If fertilization did not occur, the temperature will return to normal. However, if it remains elevated, there is a good chance that a pregnancy has occurred.
- Metallic Taste in the Mouth. There are some women who experience a metallic taste in their mouth early in pregnancy. This is associated with shifting hormones in the body. This can last throughout the pregnancy period.
- Mood Swings. Mood swings are also common early in pregnancy even before a missed period. This symptom is also associated with the changing hormone levels in the body.
- Dizziness and Headaches. This symptom is rather common early in pregnancy. This is associated with dilation of blood vessels in the body to improve blood circulation and the drop of blood sugar levels in the body during pregnancy.
While all the mentioned symptoms are associated with pregnancy, there is also a chance that you experience them due to other factors like an infection or a disease. But, if you do experience them, it is advisable to take a home pregnancy test or seek a consultation from your primary health care provider. You also have the option to wait for a missed period and have a pregnancy test a week after a missed period. Since many of these symptoms can also be considered premenstrual symptoms, you have to know your body well to differentiate between the symptoms. If you find out that you are indeed expecting, you have to seek medical advice right away to discuss proper prenatal planning to help make you and your growing child healthy as the pregnancy progresses.