15 Early Signs of Pregnancy

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Early signs of pregnancy

To confirm a pregnancy, you can take a pregnancy test. The most accurate is a gynecological examination and blood test. However, to take such action, you need to notice the first signs suggesting the possibility of pregnancy. What, then, might indicate the likelihood of pregnancy? The first symptoms appear in the first weeks of pregnancy. Pregnancy symptoms usually result from hormonal changes. Increased secretion of estrogen and progesterone can affect the whole body. Thus, the pregnancy symptoms are varied.

1. Absence of menstruation

What most often suggests pregnancy and draws a woman’s attention is the lack of a period. Menstruation consists of the cyclic exfoliation of the endometrium, or endometrium, which manifests itself in the characteristic menstrual bleeding.

Menstrual bleeding occurs once a month and lasts from three to seven days. It is a natural process, an integral part of a woman’s cycle. The occurrence of bleeding indicates that fertilization has not occurred. Therefore, when a woman notices a lack of bleeding, it can alert her. The exception is women who have irregular periods for various reasons.

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2. Spotting blood

Instead of a period, on the other hand, blood spottingTrusted Source may occur. Small amounts of blood-staining underwear can cause concern. This is because sometimes this symptom indicates disease and requires a visit to a gynecologist. In the case of pregnancy, it is implantation bleeding. It occurs when a fertilized egg cell nests in the lining of the uterus. This symptom can be seen among some pregnant women. Spotting usually occurs during consecutive, non-fallen periods.

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3. Contractions

During the first weeks of pregnancy, you may also notice cramps. They are similar to menstrual cramps. It is mild lower abdominal cramps that accompany implantation spotting. This first sign of a very early pregnancy is often disregarded, as women consider it intra-cyclic spotting or a slightly earlier onset of menstruation. However, if menstruation does not appear after spotting combined with cramps, there is a high possibility of pregnancy.

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4. Increased body temperature

Elevated levels of pregnancy hormones and accelerated metabolism in early pregnancy can cause a feeling of flooding heat resulting from increased body temperature. The high temperature remains constant and can last for up to three weeks. This increase is due to the effects of progesterone. A cold or even the flu easily explains the higher temperature and the associated malaise. Many women mention that the first symptoms of their pregnancy were similar to the flu.

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5. Nausea and vomiting

Morning nauseaTrusted Source is a classic pregnancy symptom, which vomitingTrusted Source can further aggravate. This symptom occurs in most pregnant women. They usually occur in the fourth week of pregnancy. Hormonal changes also affect the sensations of nausea.

The symptoms typically appear in the morning and last for several hours. But they can also occur at various times of the day. Certain smells and types of food can intensify symptoms of nausea and vomiting. Women during this period are susceptible to multiple stimuli. Sometimes this symptom can be too intense. Excessive vomiting can cause dehydration and significant electrolyte loss.

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6. Painful breasts

At the beginning of pregnancy, the breasts may become more sensitive, tender and even cause painTrusted Source. This happens thus due to an increase in estrogen and progesterone. Swelling of the follicular glands and ducts leading out in the nipples then occurs. Breast pain can take on various intensities. Sometimes it is imperceptible, and sometimes it causes severe pain. Breast-related pregnancy symptoms appear from the sixth week of pregnancy.

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7. Flatulence and constipation

Pregnancy can cause various symptoms related to the digestive system. Due to hormonal changes, the smooth muscle tone of the colon decreases. It causes increased water absorption, which results in constipationTrusted Source. You may also notice the symptom of a bloated abdomenTrusted Source.

Hormones cause the movement of food in the intestines to slow down. It causes gas buildup, belching, and the feeling of a distended abdomen. The bloating symptoms described above are not dangerous to health. They can be alleviated by optimizing your diet. It is advisable to eat regular meals and be physically active. Flatulence can occur in the early stages of pregnancy. Then the level of progesterone in the body begins to increase gradually.

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8. Frequent urination

Women in the first weeks of pregnancy may notice the need to urinate more frequently. The pressure of the enlarging uterus causes the urge to push on the bladderTrusted Source. There is also increased filtration in the kidneys. It causes more urine productionTrusted Source. Pregnancy does not significantly affect the color, so the yellow color of urine is an entirely natural body reaction.

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9. Heart palpitations

The symptom of palpitations may appear in the first trimester of pregnancy. This is because progressive hormonal changes increase the amount of blood in the body. The heart then works harder than usual, which may resemble increased palpitation. If vibrations occur frequently and last longer than a few seconds, it is better to contact your doctor.

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10. Heartburn

Increased progesterone levels can also cause heartburn. Heartburn is one of the most common pregnancy ailments, next to nausea. It most often appears already in the first trimester. Symptoms manifest as burning in the throat and esophagus and even chest pain.

Hormonal changes cause the esophageal muscles to relax. This is when gastroesophageal reflux occurs. It involves the backflow of gastric juices. It is what causes the symptoms of heartburn. Heartburn in pregnancy can also happen as a result of overeating and in women who enjoy fatty, spicy foods, sweets, and carbonated drinks.

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11. Change in facial skin condition

Changes in hormone production can affect the condition of the skinTrusted Source. A pregnant woman may notice symptoms of acne. During the first weeks of pregnancy, sebum may be overproduction. Increased sebaceous gland activity affects the clogging of pores and the appearance of pimples. Discoloration of the face may also appear. In the second and third trimesters, the production of androgens increases, and the complexion improves.

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12. Headaches and dizziness

There are many causes of headaches. Headaches can be caused by noise, stress, or fatigue. Inadequate oxygenation can also cause a headache and insufficient sleep – too long-term or too short. But a headache can also be one of the first pregnancy symptoms, in which case its cause is an increase in estrogen levels.

Also, dizziness in pregnancy is an ailment that occurs frequently in most pregnant women. They appear most often in the first trimester. They are caused by a large amount of blood circulating through the uterus. The more advanced the pregnancy, and the larger the belly of the future mother, the pressure of the uterus on the inferior vena cava is more substantial, and it can manifest as dizziness or even fainting.

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13. Weight gain

A woman’s weight can change from the beginning of pregnancy. Some women gain about 6 pounds in the first few months of pregnancy. However, usually by the 14th week of pregnancy, the weight does not change. Weight gain is a natural phenomenon in the later stages of pregnancy. In contrast, weight gain may be related to hormonal changes at the beginning of pregnancy.

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14. Back pain

Various pain experiences can occur during pregnancy, such as back pain. Back pain is a symptom that usually appears later – in the second or third trimester of pregnancy. They can be caused by hormonal changes, weight gain, and changes in posture due to a growing belly. The enlarging abdomen and breasts force the pelvis and shoulders forward. Taking care of proper posture, sleeping on your side, and daily physical activity can help alleviate pain.

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15. Genital area changes

From the 5th-6th week of pregnancy, congestion of the labia can be noticed. The skin may resemble blue or heavily blooded. It happens due to the effects of progesterone. Because of it, there may also be swelling and increased elasticity of the vagina.

During pregnancy, hormone levels increase. Then there is also an increase in the production of vaginal secretions. Changes in secretions can begin as early as 1-2 weeks after conception. That is, even before noticing the absence of menstruation. Normal secretions at the beginning of pregnancy are transparent or white. They do not have a strong odor—only their abundance changes.

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Psychological pregnancy symptoms

In addition to the physical symptoms of early pregnancy, there are several psychological symptoms. Both of these groups interact with each other. Unpleasant symptoms, pain, and fatigue can affect your mood. A woman’s brain does not undergo permanent changes during pregnancy, but hormonal changes can also affect brain workTrusted Source—progesterone and estrogen act on neurons, which can have problems processing information.

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Pregnancy is a time of tremendous changes in the body. Significant hormonal changes can therefore affect mood swingsTrusted Source. Women may feel emotions more intensely during pregnancy. They tend to cry. Mood swings occur in the first three months of pregnancy. An earlier and more specific symptom is increased sensitivity to stimuli. It is related to frequent nausea, activated by various smells and tastes. Sometimes there are also problems with concentration and memoryTrusted Source. But it usually occurs in the later stages of pregnancy.

Pregnancy test

It is worth taking a pregnancy test to confirm whether the symptoms you are experiencing signal pregnancy, which can be purchased at a pharmacy. A pregnancy test works accurately in determining the presence of pregnancy, although there are times when the result is wrong.

Tests can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. But generally, they give about 95% reliability if taken about ten days after intercourse. A pregnancy test examines the presence of the hCG hormone in a woman’s urine. This hormone in the woman’s body just a few days after conception, and through progesterone secretion, is responsible for maintaining pregnancy.

Determining the week of pregnancy

The first symptoms of pregnancy and a positive test result may raise the question. How many weeks does the pregnancy last? Sometimes it is difficult to determine, and then only a gynecological examination can give the exact duration of pregnancy.

There is also a way to calculate the week a woman is pregnant. Counting should start from the first day of the last period, after which fertilization occurs. A woman who has noted this day on the calendar can calculate for herself what week and day of pregnancy she is. Detecting pregnancy is more difficult for women with irregular menstrual cyclesTrusted Source. It can cause many women’s health problems.

In general, a normal pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. To confirm the pregnancy, it is best to perform an ultrasound. The first gynecological examination can be performed before 11 weeks. However, after 11 weeks, gynecological examinations are already mandatory, intending to check the proper formation of the fetus.

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What pregnancy symptoms occur and when they occur is a very individual matter. Each woman may have different experiences with pregnancy, so there are no clear signals that always happen. Some women experience symptoms early. Even a week after conception. Others being pregnant, may not experience any symptoms for some time. Therefore, to be sure, it is worth taking a pregnancy test. And the best way to confirm pregnancy is a specialized gynecological examination.

The various pregnancy symptoms can also often be mistaken for disease entities. Multiple pains and discomforts may have a completely different cause – they do not always indicate pregnancy. In case of unpleasant and disturbing symptoms, it is always worthwhile to consult with a doctor.


June 7, 2023
10 minutes read

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