If you’ve missed a period, you might be wondering, “Am I pregnant?!” The only way to know for sure is by taking a pregnancy test. The early signs of pregnancy tend to show up around the time you’ve missed a period. For some women, pregnancy symptoms show up a week or two before or after their missed period.
If you start to feel some of the early pregnancy symptoms listed below and you haven’t gotten your period, you may be pregnant.
5 Common Pregnancy Symptoms
The 5 most typical early signs of pregnancy include:
- A missed period.
If a week or more has passed without the start of your period, you might be pregnant. If your cycle is pretty regular and you now have missed your period, you may decide to do a pregnancy test before noticing other symptoms. However, if you’re not regular or you’re not keeping track of your cycle, symptoms like nausea and breast tenderness may signal that you’re pregnant before you realize you didn’t get your period.
- Sore breasts.
One common early pregnancy symptom is sensitive, swollen breasts caused by rising hormones levels in your body. The swelling and soreness may feel like an exaggerated version of how your breasts feel just before you get your period. As your body adjusts to these changing hormones, your discomfort will probably decrease after a few weeks.
- Nausea and/or vomiting.
Pregnancy-related nausea (with or without vomiting) can be a problem morning, noon, or night, making the term “morning sickness” misleading! Some women start having morning sickness about a month or two after conception. But, some pregnant women feel nauseous earlier, as early as two weeks. A few lucky ones never experience it.
Most women with nausea or morning sickness feel complete relief by the start of the second trimester. It takes another month or so for the queasiness to ease up for most other women.
- Needing to pee all the time.
You might find that you need to pee more often than usual. Shortly after you get pregnant, hormonal changes prompt a chain of events that raise the blood flow rate through your kidneys. This causes your bladder to fill up more quickly, so you need to pee more often.
Frequent urination will probably continue (and even intensify) as you progress through your pregnancy. This is because your blood volume rises dramatically during pregnancy, leading to extra fluid being processed and ending up in your bladder. The problem is intensified as your growing baby puts more pressure on your bladder.
Fatigue is another common early pregnancy symptom. No one knows for sure what causes early pregnancy fatigue. Rapidly increasing levels of the hormone progesterone may be adding to your sleepiness. Of course, morning sickness and having to pee often during the night can add to your fatigue, too.
You should start to feel more energetic after entering your second trimester. However, fatigue usually returns late in pregnancy because you’re carrying a lot more weight. Plus, the common discomforts of pregnancy tend to make it more challenging to get a good night’s sleep.
Other Signs of Pregnancy
Some lesser-known symptoms of pregnancy that you might experience are:
- Moodiness. Mood swings, weepiness, and being really emotional in early pregnancy is caused by the surge of hormones in your body.
- Light spotting. For some women, a bit of light spotting is one of the first signs they’re pregnant. This is called “implantation bleeding,” and it happens about 10-14 days after conception when the fertilized egg adheres to the lining of the uterus. This bleeding happens about the time of a period.
- Cramps. Some pregnant women feel mild uterine cramping early on.
- Constipation. A pregnant woman’s digestive system can slow down, once again due to hormonal changes.
- Food sensitivities. If you’re pregnant, you might get grossed out by certain foods, and your sense of taste might change.
- Stuffy nose. Rising levels of hormones and blood production may cause your nose to swell, dry out and bleed easily, causing you to get a stuffy or runny nose.
Am I Pregnant?
Unfortunately, lots of these symptoms aren’t unique to pregnancy. Some of the signs may mean you’re getting sick or that you’re about to start your period. And, some pregnant women don’t experience any of these symptoms.
If you’ve experienced a missed period and have some of the above symptoms, take a home pregnancy test. If you get a positive pregnancy test, make an appointment with your doctor right away. The earlier your pregnancy is confirmed, the earlier you can start prenatal care.
Early Pregnancy Symptoms and Unplanned Pregnancy? Help Is Available
If you are experiencing early pregnancy symptoms and unplanned pregnancy, resources are available to help you. You can always contact Lifetime Adoption, even if you do not know what you want to do. You can still have access to helpful resources and emotional support during this difficult time. They also have an online pregnancy due date calculator you can use, at www.LifetimeAdoption.com.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on September 6, 2017, and has since been updated.