Feeling like you may be pregnant is a life-altering feeling. Whether joyous, confused, or frightened, it’s important to understand possible pregnancy signs and symptoms upfront. If you have any indication you may be pregnant, take a pregnancy test as quickly as possible.
Early signs of pregnancy tend to differ from one woman to the next, but knowing what those symptoms look like can save you a lot of hand-wringing and anxiety. Pay attention to your body and understand your options!
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 1
In a survey done by the American Pregnancy Association (APA), 29% of the women polled reported a missed period, and 25% reported nausea as the early symptoms of pregnancy. Let’s take a closer look
- Missed Period. For many women, a missed period is often the first sign that she may be pregnant, especially if she had a missed period of about one week. However, this symptom in itself may not be accurate if you’ve had irregular menstrual cycles.
- Nausea/Vomiting. Nausea is quite common in the first trimester and may or may not be accompanied by vomiting. Although known as morning sickness, you may experience both nausea and vomiting later in the day. The severity can differ from person to person. It isn’t totally clearthe cause for morning sickness, but it may be due to hormonal changes.
Other Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms
- Tender/Swollen Breasts.In the APA survey cited above, about 17% of women reported this as the first pregnancy sign. However, this can occur between four and six weeks into pregnancy. You may experience tingling, aching, and swelling/enlargement of the breast tissue. You may also notice darkening of the areas surrounding the nipples. Once your body adjusts to your new hormonal changes, these feelings should subside.
- Light Spotting/Bleeding/Vaginal Discharge. This is known as implantation bleeding and occurs after the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall. Implantation bleeding could be mistaken for a menstrual period, but there are some distinct differences. There may be a smaller amount, a shorter duration, a lighter color, and the absence of clotting.
- Cramping and pain. The cramps women experience when pregnant may seem similar to those during PMS. But just as we mentioned above, with implantation bleeding, implantation cramps are different. These cramps would be present even after you’ve missed your period. Other pregnancy signs and symptoms include leg cramping and soreness in the lower back.
- Headachesare so common that this one can’t be relied upon alone. In this case, you may also be experiencing lightheadedness or dizziness. These symptoms would be due to hormonal changes in your body. You should consider them in conjunction with other pregnancy symptoms you’re experiencing.
- Sensitivity to Smell. Though there may be little scientific consensus on this one, it remains a commonly reported symptom. Sensitivity to smell is something that many women say, particularly in the early stages of pregnancy. It may also be one of the causes of nausea during this time.
- Change of Appetite. Does the Caesar salad you usually love seem a little off-putting? Or does your craving for potato chips and spicy salsa seem out of character? Change of appetite is common as an early sign of pregnancy. Often, the foods you normally desire won’t sound appetizing to you at all. This may also be due to hormonal changesand changes in your senses.
- Frequent Urination. Are you having to hop up and run to the bathroom in the middle of the night? Unless you’re hydrating like crazy, this could be another pregnancy sign. Also, due to hormonal changes, it’s possible to experience this even before missing your period.
- Constipation and Bloating. Speaking of hydration, that’s not a bad idea considering this symptom can be very uncomfortable! If you’ve had fewer than three bowel movementsin a given week, you may be dealing with pregnancy constipation. Hormonal changes can be the culprit behind bloating and constipation.
- Mood Swings/Fatigue. Mood swings and fatigue are also attributable to hormonal changes. This is because your body is producing a hormone called progesterone. This hormone supports the pregnancyand is responsible for milk production in the breasts as well. As soon as one week after conception, you could experience fatigue due to your body working harder to pump additional blood to support this new life.
- Heartburn or indigestionmay affect more women in the second and third trimesters. However, it’s generally considered to stem from your increase in progesterone levels, so don’t rule it out. Especially if it’s not something you usually experience.
Am I Pregnant? Find Out for Sure
If you’ve experienced any of these pregnancy signs and symptoms and want further information, give us a call. You shouldn’t have to go through this time in your life alone. We’re here to help. We have offices in both Worcester (508-438-0144) and Springfield (413-351-0070).