Early Signs of PregnancyIt isn’t all that difficult to spot the early signs of pregnancy once you know exactly what to look for.Every pregnancy is different, even for the same woman, but nevertheless, certain signs, especially two or three of the following together, can be a strong indication that you’ve conceived. A urine test is most reliable from two weeks after a missed period, although a positive result may show up after just a few days, but before even this stage you may notice other changes in your body. These may be the early signs of pregnancy – or they may not: you need to assess them carefully.Wondering if you might be pregnant is a highly emotional time for most of us. Whether you’ve been longing for a baby, or if it’s important to you that you’re not pregnant right now, you have a lot of your hopes and fears invested in how this turns out. This can cloud your judgement of whether certain early pregnancy signs actually exist or not! So before you even look at the checklist below, it may be a good idea to jot down how you feel, both physically and emotionally including anything that you think may be relevant. If you ask your partner or a close friend or relative for their observations too, it can help to make the list more objective. Then check your own list against the one below.
Very Early Signs of Pregnancy:Tender, swollen breasts or nipples: Contrary to popular opinion, missing a period isn’t always the first indication that you are pregnant. The first signs of pregnancy often occur very early on when you may notice that your breasts feel tender or full. This is caused by the sudden increase in the hormones oestrogen and progesterone.A missed or late period: A missed period isn’t always one of the signs of early pregnancy but if you suspect you have, you can buy a urine testing kit from a pharmacy or ask for a test at your local doctor’s surgery or family planning clinic. As mentioned above, although a test can be positive a few days after a missed period, a false negative result can also occur at this time. Therefore, a test taken two weeks after a missed period is the most reliable indication of whether you are pregnant or not.Tiredness or unusual fatigue: The rapid changes that pregnancy causes to your body often result in feelings of fatigue.
The hormone progesterone, in particular, steps up its production considerably and this on its own can cause you to feel sleepy and lethargic.Light bleeding or spotting: When a human egg has been fertilised it implants itself into the lining of the uterus. This happens 10 to 14 days after conception and can cause very light bleeding or spotting. This is often so slight that you could easily miss it but if you know what to look for, it can be an extra early indication that you may be pregnant. Slight cramping pain: This can feel very like period pain and again, occurs very early on and so may not be especially noticeable. It’s caused by the uterus expanding, causing muscle spasms.Emotional swings: Again, these may be hard to distinguish from pre-menstrual tension but the changes in your hormone levels can mean that you feel unusually emotional about things or burst into tears more easily than usual.
It’s often not you but your partner or a close friend who spots the mood swings that may be early signs of pregnancy!Morning sickness: Nausea, with or without actual vomiting, can occur not just in the mornings but at any time of day. It’s some way down our list of very early pregnancy signs here because most women don’t experience it until weeks 4 to 8 onwards. However, a few women experience morning sickness from as early as the second week after conception. Running to the bathroom!: For most women, this symptom makes itself increasingly felt during the first three months onwards, as the growing uterus presses against the bladder. For a few, however, increased visits to the bathroom can be one of the early signs of pregnancy.If you notice just one of these very early pregnancy signs, it may not be significant on its own. If you have been trying for a baby for some time, it can be an emotional rollercoaster looking out for the longed-for indicators and it’s all too easy to imagine signs that aren’t there. Two or three of these signs together, though, can add up to a pregnancy!For a quick checklist that you can print out if you want, have a look at our concise.