Am I pregnant? The ultimate list of early symptoms, signs, and tools for detecting pregnancy

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So you think you might be pregnant? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. There is a ton out there about the symptoms of pregnancy.

Since there is so much info, we’ve compiled the best from the top sources on early signs of pregnancy into our own list.

If you have some of these symptoms or signs, it’s probably a good idea to pick up a pregnancy test. If your test is positive, call your doctor or OB-GYN to schedule an appointment.

Signs of early pregnancy

 

Missed or late period

The most common pregnancy symptom is a late or missed period. If you become pregnant, you should miss your next period. Especially if you have a regular cycle and your period is late, you should head out and grab a pregnancy test.

 Sore breasts

Swollen or tender breasts is a symptom of pregnancy that could start as early as 1-2 weeks after conception. Tender and heavy-feeling breasts can be uncomfortable and a tell-tale first sign that you’re pregnant. Darkening of the areolas and more pronounced veins on your chest can be other early signs of pregnancy.

 Fatigue

If you feel suddenly exhausted, it might be your body’s response to the increasing hormones caused by pregnancy. For many women, tiredness begins the first week after conception, continues through the first trimester, but then subsides in the second trimester.

Fatigue can be related to a high level of the hormone progesterone, low blood sugar, low blood pressure, or a boost in blood production. Eating foods rich with protein and iron can help offset sleepiness, and of course sneaking plenty of naps.

 Nausea

Most women don’t start to get queasy until about 6 weeks into their pregnancy, but some experience morning sickness as early as 3 weeks after conception.

Morning sickness can happen in the morning, afternoon or night, and this nausea during pregnancy is most likely caused by changing hormones.

Morning sickness usually ends in your second trimester, and eating foods that settle your stomach (like saltines and ginger ale) in the meantime will help.

 Frequent urination

During pregnancy, your body produces an excess of fluids which causes your bladder to work overtime. This leads to frequent pee breaks at probably inconvenient times.

Starting around 6-8 weeks after conception, you may find yourself making a few extra trips to the bathroom. If you’re pregnant, frequent urination is probably due to hormone levels. 

 Cramping

If you're feeling crampy, it might be your uterus stretching to prepare for a baby. Of course, it could also mean your period is right around the corner. Like all of these symptoms, cramps should be taken in context with your normal cycle and other symptoms. 

 

Cravings or food aversions

We’ve all seen the movies/TV shows with pregnant moms eating pickles and ice cream but the reality is many women do crave certain foods when they are pregnant.

Some women have aversions to certain foods as well, which can last throughout your pregnancy. Like most other symptoms of pregnancy, these food preferences can be because of hormonal changes.

 Spotting

A small amount of spotting or vaginal bleeding is sometimes one of the first signs of pregnancy. This spotting is known as implantation bleeding, which happens when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of your uterus and causes a little bloodshed.

This occurs 10-14 days after conception and generally lasts for a short time around the time of your menstrual period. However, implantation bleeding is usually much lighter than menstrual bleeding.

Mood swings

Furious at your husband for no reason? Feeling unusually emotional and weepy? It might be your body adjusting to the flood of new hormones. Don’t worry, these mood swings are quite common and the roller coaster of emotions will be over soon.

 

Less obvious signs of early pregnancy

Shortness of breath

You may experience shortness of breath because your growing fetus needs oxygen, taking away from your full supply. This may, unfortunately, continue throughout your pregnancy as your baby grows and puts more and more pressure on your lungs and diaphragm. 

Headaches

You may get headaches early in your pregnancy because of the sudden rise of hormones in your body. Just in case you are actually pregnant, try drug-free remedies (like resting in a dark room) or taking pg-safe acetaminophen instead of ibuprofen to handle the pain.

 Backaches

Lower backaches may be an early symptom of pregnancy. Unfortunately, it is also common to experience a dull backache throughout your entire pregnancy.

Back pain can be caused by loosening ligaments and may be exacerbated by pregnancy weight gain and a shifting center of gravity which can mess with your posture.

 Constipation/bloating

You may feel constipated or bloated due to pregnancy because of an excess of the hormone progesterone. Progesterone causes food to pass more slowly through your intestines, slowing down your digestive system. To ease constipation, drink tons of water, exercise, and eat high-fiber foods, like corn or beans.

 Elevated basal body temperature

Your basal body temperature, your temperature when you first wake up, increases soon after ovulation and remains at that level until your next period 2 weeks later. If your BBT is elevated for more than 2 weeks, you could be pregnant.

 Super smell

Are you repulsed by certain smells? Finding you have an increased sensitivity to odors? Your keen sense of smell might mean you’re pregnant.

Dizziness or fainting

Pregnancy causes your blood vessels to dilate and your blood pressure to drop. Low blood pressure, as well as low blood sugar, can cause dizziness or fainting.

If you find yourself feeling lightheaded or dizzy, make sure you eat enough and stay well-hydrated. 

Still not sure if you’re pregnant?

Maybe taking a pregnancy quiz will help clear things up.

We’ve listed some of our favorite pregnancy quizzes below:

http://www.thebump.com/a/am-i-pregnant-quiz

http://firsttimepregnancy.org/am-i-pregnant-quiz/

http://thestir.cafemom.com/pregnancy/181572/very_early_pregnancy_symptoms_signs

 

Now what?

Keep in mind that taken individually each of these symptoms may be a sign of something other than pregnancy.

Context matters, so if you have any of these symptoms and have missed a period, it’s a good idea to take a home pregnancy test.

 

Your turn

Did we miss something? Did you have a different set of signs for your pregnancy?
Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.


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