Undoubtedly the most assertive way to diagnose a pregnancy is through a pregnancy test or an ultrasound.
However, from the moment of conception, a woman’s body adapts to maintain a safe environment for the baby’s development.
These changes cause a set of early signs and symptoms that you can recognize.
Early signs of pregnancy 1st week
In the first week of pregnancy, the ovum fertilized by the sperm creates a group of fluid-filled cells known as a “blastocyst.” Later, the blastocyst will be the baby’s body.
From the first week to the fourth week, a whole process occurs at the cellular level. It is not common for signs to appear at this stage, but it can happen.
Early signs of pregnancy before missed period. Cramping and spotting
Between week 1 and week 4 the blastocyst implants in the lining of the uterus known as the endometrium.
The spotting is what is known as “implantation bleeding”, many women confuse this bleeding with menstrual bleeding, but it is an early sign of pregnancy. 25% of women experience it as light bleeding.
This staining has particular characteristics. These are very rare bleeds that are only detectable when cleaning or staining the intimate pad. They are also pink, red, or brown. It can be accompanied by early signs of cramps in pregnancy. Cramps are painful, although their intensity varies.
One of the most important features is that it lasts only 3 days or less.
Tiredness and fatigue
It is a common symptom among pregnant women. Many women say that from the first week after conception they experienced fatigue. These are early signs of pregnancy in the first 2 weeks.
Exhaustion is the result of increased progesterone and the body’s effort to create the perfect environment to support the pregnancy.
Morning sickness and vomiting during early pregnancy
They appear between weeks 2 and 6. Although they are most common during the early hours of the morning, they can occur at any time of the day. 25% of women say that nausea is the first sign of pregnancy.
It is not known exactly what causes them, however, they usually decrease in the second trimester, although they can continue throughout the pregnancy. Either way, a packet of crackers or toast can help relieve symptoms.
Missed period during early pregnancy
Amenorrhea is the medical term to describe the absence of menstruation. It occurs around the 4th week of pregnancy. Missing your period is the classic sign of pregnancy. It is because the body begins to produce human chorionic hormone (hCG) to maintain the pregnancy.
This early sign is easier to identify in women with regular periods.
Increased body temperature during early pregnancy
Body temperature increases slightly during the first weeks of pregnancy. It may be accompanied by unusual light sweating. This occurs from week 6.
To find out if you have this early sign of pregnancy, measure your body temperature upon waking in the morning and before eating breakfast. Also, consider that your temperature can increase if the weather is very hot without the need to be pregnant.
Breast changes during early pregnancy
Between weeks 4 and 6 of pregnancy, early changes occur in the breasts characterized by increased tenderness, pain, swelling, and growth resulting from hormonal alterations. They usually disappear after a few weeks.
Around week 11, the nipples and breasts grow larger. The area around the nipple or areola becomes larger and darker in color.
Frequent urination during early pregnancy
In the first trimester of pregnancy, urination frequency increases around weeks 4 and 6. This is because the heart pumps faster, carrying more fluids to the kidneys to be eliminated through the urine. Hormonal changes also play a fundamental role.
In the third trimester, the weight of the baby on the bladder also increases the frequency of voiding. Although by now, you will surely have noticed that a huge baby is growing in your womb.
Changes in mood during early pregnancy
Starting at week 6, progesterone and estrogen levels will be through the roof. This increase will cause alteration in mood such as being more reactive or emotional than usual.
Hypersensitivity to odors during early pregnancy
Being more sensitive to smells is a very enigmatic early sign of pregnancy. Although many women have reported it, there is very little scientific evidence on this.
Either way, increased sensitivity to odors could cause nausea and vomiting and cause a dislike of certain common foods. The characteristic of this sign is to perceive too intense or unpleasant common odors such as the smell of coffee, cleaning products, among others.
Other early signs of pregnancy:
- Bloating and constipation (week 4 to 6).
- Slight increase in blood pressure (week 8).
- Heartburn (week 9).
- Acne (week 11).
- Weight gain (week 11).
If you have one or more of the pregnancy symptoms, take a home pregnancy test. Consult with your health provider to start your prenatal control as soon as possible.
- American Pregnancy Association. (2015). Pregnancy Symptoms – Early Signs of Pregnancy. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from https://americanpregnancy.org/home-page-featured/early-signs-of-pregnancy-71062 in English content Exit Notification
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2019). Bleeding during pregnancy. FAQ038. Retrieved December 30, 2020, from https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/bleeding-during-pregnancy
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