The earliest signs of pregnancy do exist and it is vital you should Know about them, so as to know when to relax and when to react. Suddenly, you realized you haven’t see your period in the last one month. Your last menstrual period was more than 1 month ago. And you begin to wonder whether or not, a baby is growing inside you. Could you be pregnant?
Well, “amenorrhea” or the absence of monthly period in a woman within reproductive age does not necessarily mean that she is pregnant. Sorry, if you feel disappointed. The truth is that you need a pregnancy test to confirm pregnancy. However, there are some earliest signs of pregnancy which may suggest the possibility of pregnancy.
Before we discuss some of the early pregnancy symptoms you may experience, you need to understand a few points. Every woman experiences pregnancy in different ways, even though certain physiological signs may still follow a predictable pattern. Hence, your current pregnancy symptoms may vary from those of another woman, or even your next conception.
Moreover, you may find it difficult to recognize the earliest symptoms of pregnancy because they often appear similar to what you experience during and after your menstrual period. Or maybe you are using the Mirena contraceptives and you think can’t get pregnant.
Well, the truth is that no contraceptive is 100% effective to prevent pregnancy. You could still get pregnant with Mirena and experience the famous mirena pregnancy symptoms. Sorry, if that sounds harsh!
Without any further delay, let’s now dwell on some of the earliest signs and symptoms of pregnancy. Bear in mind though that these signs and symptoms may suggest that you may be pregnant but it should not be taken as confirmatory, since other conditions may elicit similar signs.
As earlier mentioned, taking a pregnancy test of serum (or at least urine, though less reliable than blood) Beta HCG levels is the best way to confirm pregnancy.
Abdominal Cramp and Spotting
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One of the earliest signs of pregnancy is Spotting. Spotting may occur a few hours after conception because the fertilized egg tries to implant within the wall of the uterus.
The implantation causes mild abdominal discomfort, which a pregnant woman experiences as cramps and eventually spotting , some degree of mild bleeding through the vaginal.
Nausea & Vomitting
The early period of pregnancy is synonymous to nausea and vomiting in some women. This is due to the effect of the Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) hormone secreted by the developing embryo. HCG has a stimulatory effect on the vomiting center in the brain.
This is what is often referred to as the early morning sickness because the nausea is more in the morning, after waking up.
In the first few days as the pregnancy progresses, most women become nauseated easily, particularly worsened by any external stimulants such as smell. So, it is not uncommon to find out that you could no longer withstand the smell of food you were fond of in the pre-pregnancy state.
The nausea and vomiting is usually more pronounced in first timers than those who have had a previous pregnancy in the past. Although it may not be a sign of an emergency.
However, you should watch out if you experience other associated symptoms of electrolyte derangement such as dizziness, confusion, fainting attacks & lethargy, associated with severe vomiting. It could be a sign of a more dangerous condition called Hyperemesis gravidarum.
Hyperemesis gravidarum involves exaggerated pregnancy symptoms with metabolic derangement leading to conditions such as severe vomiting, lethargy, dizziness and sometimes convulsions.
You should see your Obstetrician ASAP if you suspect any of those symptoms highlighted above for Hyperemesis gravidarum, or if you continue to have multiple episodes of vomiting that are severe enough to interfere with your daily living.
Tender Breasts & Darker Areolar
As the pregnancy progresses, a woman experiences breast engorgement which may become painful and tender. The breast become fuller and the surrounding areolar gland becomes darker.
The nipples also tend to increase in size. The reason for all these breast changes can be attributed to rising levels of progesterone, a hormone which is synonymous with sustaining the uterus, especially during pregnancy.
Hence, progesterone is called pregnancy hormone. In addition to causing proliferation of your breast tissues, progesterone also helps your body retain water making you feel like you are bloated.
The Need to Urinate More Often
When your pregnancy is about 6 weeks old, you may start getting the urge to Urinate More Often. This can be attributed to pregnancy hormones which cause your body to retain more water. As a result, your kidneys are under pressure to work extra harder in order to cope with the large blood volume in circulation.
It is a normal physiological response for you to have the urge to empty your bladder when it becomes full. The reason being that failure to wee for a long time may lead you to develop secondary bacteria infection and urinary tract infection.
So, it’s advisable you don’t suppress your urge to wee. If you have difficulty or pain on micturition, you may need to see your doctor to rule out the possibility of a urinary tract infection.
If you have been regular on your monthly period, and it suddenly fails to come at its expected time or a few days after, then you may need a pregnancy test to confirm you are not pregnant. Sudden missed period in a regular cycle is strong sign that you may be pregnant. But as earlier pointed out, the best way to confirm pregnancy is to go a pregnancy test.
However, if your period has not been regular in the last couple of months, you may need more clues than just relying on a missed period. In this case, you need to watch out for other earliest signs of pregnancy such as tenderness of the breasts , feelings of being nauseated and making extra visits to Urinate.
This post was written by Dr. Adeniyi Adesanya, a qualified & passionate medical doctor who loves to educate people about healthy living and lifestyle. Adeniyi is the owner and publisher of the Human Health Hub website.