You think there’s a possibility that you could be pregnant, but you’re not sure. Identifying very early pregnancy symptoms can be challenging for several reasons. Different women experience very different pregnancy symptoms depending on their body chemistry and stage of life. In addition, identifying very early pregnancy symptoms can be challenging simply because the symptoms associated with pregnancy can also be attributed to other explanations.
For example: Headaches and backaches – very early pregnancy symptoms – may also be attributed to stress or simple muscle strain. Cramping and bloating – also very early pregnancy symptoms – may also be signs of your approaching menstrual period or even pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS).
While it’s more than likely symptoms won’t show up until several weeks after intercourse (after all, it takes roughly six weeks for the hormonal changes to take place in order to produce symptoms), it is possible for some symptoms to show up within a week of conception.
Some of the most common very early pregnancy symptoms include the following:
Cramping – You may experience what feels like menstrual cramping, and it very well could be. But it could also be due to a pregnancy. Your uterus must expand to support the developing baby, hence the cramping. Generally this symptom will subside towards the end of the first trimester.
Spotting – Roughly 10-14 days after conception, you may experience some light spotting or vaginal bleeding. This is also known as implantation bleeding. Implantation bleeding happens when the fertilized egg implants itself into the lining of the uterus. It will only last for a short time and is much lighter than a normal menstrual flow.
Breast Changes – Within two weeks of conception, you may experience a sense of heaviness or soreness in your breasts. This is due to hormonal changes taking place during the developing pregnancy. In addition, your areolas may become darker in color and they too may become exceptionally sore and sensitive. As the pregnancy progresses, you may notice that your breasts have grown larger. All of these changes are signs that your body is preparing itself for a nursing infant.
Nausea/Vomiting – Morning sickness is one of the most common early signs of a developing pregnancy. Any kind of nausea or vomiting is due to the myriad of hormonal changes taking place within your body. Generally this symptom settles down as you move into the second trimester. Keep in mind as well that morning sickness does not always have to occur in the morning, it can occur at any point in the day. Make sure you always keep something on your stomach as this helps to minimize the nausea.
Fatigue – Another very early pregnancy symptom is fatigue – in fact it is one of the most common early signs of pregnancy. Fatigue early on in the pregnancy is usually caused by increased levels of progesterone and low blood sugar. If you experience fatigue and you suspect you may be pregnant, do not treat the fatigue with caffeine. Excessive caffeine may be harmful to your baby. Pay attention to your body and give it the rest that it needs.
Frequent Urination – Making frequent trips to the bathroom could be the result of a whole host of things. It could be attributed to a urinary tract infection (UTI), it could be increased fluid intake, or it could mean that you’re pregnant.
Usually at around 6-8 weeks post-conception, your body begins to expel extra blood and other fluids used during the pregnancy. All of these things are excreted through the kidneys – hence the need to urinate frequently. Then as the baby grows and develops, it will begin to put pressure on your bladder. Therefore this need to urinate frequently doesn’t really go away until after the baby is born.
In order to help you sleep through the night, stop your intake of fluids up to an hour before you go to bed. The type of fluids you drink also make a difference. Avoid beverages that contain caffeine as it acts as a diuretic.
Heightened Sense of Smell – In the weeks following conception, you may notice that your sense of smell is a bit sharper. This is usually caused by an increase in hormone levels. Smells, even those you previously enjoyed, may make you queasy now. There isn’t a whole lot you can do about it except to avoid the smells that aggravate your senses.
Late Period – Probably one of the most common very early pregnancy symptoms, along with fatigue, is a skipped or late period. This will become particularly apparent, especially if you normally have “like clockwork” menstrual cycles. During a regular menstrual cycle, your “flow” is sourced by your body expelling an unfertilized egg and the unused uterine lining. When you are pregnant, there is no need to expel these materials – hence the late or “missed” period. Your body actually needs these materials for the baby to survive, grow, and be nourished.
Keep in mind that implantation bleeding, or light spotting, is easily distinguishable from menstrual bleeding. So you will definitely be able to tell whether you have your period or not.