Early symptoms of pregnancy are usually different for every woman. Some women might experience the first symptoms a week or two after conceiving, whereas others don’t feel anything for months. Many women may tell if they are pregnant within two or three weeks of conceiving, and some women know a lot sooner, even within a few days. It really depends on a woman’s ability to pick up on the changes occurring within the body and how sensitive they are to them. Doctors may always run a blood test, which can typically detect pregnancy as early as one week after conception.
As per the research done on 136 women who were trying to get pregnant, they kept daily records of their symptoms from the time they stopped using birth control until they were eight weeks pregnant (That's counting eight weeks from the first day of their last menstrual period). The results were as follows:
- 50% had some symptoms of pregnancy by the time they were five weeks pregnant.
- 70% had symptoms in six weeks.
- 90% had symptoms by eight weeks.
- The first sign of pregnancy is usually a missed period.
- The most common symptoms to follow are nausea, vomiting, fatigue, frequent urination, breast tenderness, and swelling. These symptoms can be mild or severe.
- Spotting or cramping: According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), spotting and cramping may occur 6-12 days after sexual intercourse. It is when the embryo implants on the uterine wall. Implantation bleeding can seem like a shorter or lighter period. However, not all women experience this symptom.
- Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes and increased blood flow might make breasts feel sore, swollen, and tender as early as one to two weeks after conception. They might also appear larger, feel fuller and heavier, and change in appearance. Increased hormones might also make areolas look darker. The sudden rise in hormones can also cause headaches early on in pregnancy. Changing hormones might also disrupt sleep patterns during the first few weeks of pregnancy. Hormonal changes may cause food cravings or aversions early in pregnancy. These changes in your food preferences may last throughout the pregnancy. Hormonal changes during pregnancy often cause sharp mood swings. These can occur as early as a few weeks after conception.
- Morning sickness and tiredness: This may be the most common symptom, typically making an appearance between two and eight weeks after conception. Nausea may be accompanied by vomiting and tiredness. This symptom won't necessarily be restricted only to the morning hours; hence it is considered the most difficult pregnancy symptom to deal with.
- Fatigue: Exhaustion throughout the day and lows are a common sign of pregnancy. It is due to the fluctuations in the hormone.
- Raised basal temperature: Some women keep a track of morning basal temperature to chart their cycle; they usually notice that the temperature often dips the day before the period arrives. If basal body temp is staying high even when they are expecting their period, it might be a sign of a missed period and pregnancy.
- Frequent urination: During pregnancy, the kidneys produce more fluid. Women may notice that they are making frequent trips to the bathroom between weeks 4 and 6.
What is the best way to confirm pregnancy?
The best way to confirm pregnancy is to do a blood test measuring the human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) hormone. Women can also take a home pregnancy test. Home pregnancy tests are fairly reliable but may occasionally be a false-positive. This can occur for a number of reasons, including having a chemical or ectopic pregnancy or even taking certain medications. Following a positive home pregnancy test with a doctor’s visit for a urine or blood test to confirm the pregnancy is the best way to confirm a pregnancy.
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