Signs of Pregnancy

Signs of Pregnancy
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Last update: 16-06-2020
It’s useful for every woman to understand how her body functions before and after conception. 11 important early signs of pregnancy

1. Late or missed period

Surprisingly, this isn’t the most reliable sign as well as the results of a home pregnancy test. To confirm pregnancy, a woman needs to have a blood test for hCG and a gynecological exam. If a woman has a regular period, a delay of even 1-3 days may indicate pregnancy. If menstrual cycles are irregular, then a delay of 5-7 days is significant.

If a woman’s period is more than 10 days late and there is no pregnancy, it’s considered a pathological one.

Length of gestation is calculated in weeks starting from the first day of the previous cycle. The following signs of pregnancy will not appear before the fifth week.

2. Breast sensitivity

Pregnant women often notice their breasts become larger and heavier. At the same time, there is mild pain, and sensitivity increases markedly.

The areolas of the nipple significantly darken and their skin becomes a little rougher. There may also be itching, slight swelling, or tingling. Blood vessels becomes clearly visible.

After 12 weeks, there is the possibility of seeing colostrum—a yellowish discharge from the nipples. But more often, its production starts closer to the last months of pregnancy.

3. Raised temperature

Sometimes women don’t even feel it. Only in rare cases, temperature changes can be felt with a slight sensation of heat or chills. An ordinary temperature check will not show a noticeable deviation from the norm. To make sure that you are pregnant, you will need to measure basal temperature (BT). How do you do it?

Gently place the tip of a mercury thermometer in the rectum, vagina or mouth, without making jerky movements. You should do it in the morning upon waking up. This procedure will have to be done within a few days prior to ovulation or to take a home pregnancy test and should be repeated of the course of several days. BT is increased to 36.9-37.4°C during ovulation or pregnancy. However, during ovulation, the temperature drops after 3-5 days, and during pregnancy, it remains constant.

4. Nausea

Nausea  is not a definite indicator of pregnancy and can be caused by odors, food or seeing something disturbing or unpleasant. Not always, but often, nausea ends with vomiting and occurs mainly in the morning. Some women feel a strange persistent taste in their mouth. As a rule, it passes by itself and nothing will curtail it, such as breath mints or mouthwash.

Despite the stereotype, morning sickness is not the very first symptom of pregnancy. It may not occur at all and sometimes it begins at the end of the first trimester.

5. Fatigue

Dizziness, mild headache, tiredness, and sleepiness are natural reactions to successful conception. Pregnant women gets tired faster, need daytime sleep and experience weakness and low energy levels.

However, if these symptoms are too debilitating, they may indicate a low level of hemoglobin in the blood which may cause a miscarriage. Therefore, see your gynecologist immediately..

6. Troubles with elimination

Constipation and diarrhea are early signs of pregnancy, too. Sometimes, there is also bloating.

Urination becomes more frequent. Even with a small amount of urine in the bladder, a pregnant woman feels a need to go to the toilet. It happens because the uterus begins to grow and press on the bladder.

7. Unpleasant lower abdominal sensations

A slight dull pain, pulling sensation and spasms indicate a rush of blood to the uterus and growth of the fetus. The symptoms are very similar to those that occur before the usual menstrual period. Sometimes, the same pain can be felt in the lower back, too.

Acute or severe permanent pains with atypical discharges are considered pathological.

8. Spotting

Approximately 7-10 days after sex, weak spotting may occur. It’s a sign that means the fertilized egg has attached to the wall of the uterus. With normal functioning of the body, blood spots appear only for 1-2 days, and then stop.

The production of cervical mucus begins to increase, and its properties will change. A week or two after conception, it becomes more thick, sticky and transparent. Then, the mucus gradually acquires a white or slightly yellowish color. Later during the pregnancy, it will resemble raw egg white.

The nature of the discharge may indicate pregnancy even earlier than the pharmacy home test will show a positive result.

9. Mood swings

Pregnant women start feeling emotional early on. Their mood changes, regardless of external causes; it can be sad or, conversely, joyful on the verge of euphoria. A mother-to-be wants to cry constantly—because of sadness, irritation, joy or tenderness.

The slightest events distract from important tasks, absentmindedness appears and memory lapses, especially short-term. Emotional impulses can suddenly end with apathy. The reaction to ordinary things also changes during the first weeks.

And yet a hysterical, uncontrollable woman who is ready to stab anyone with a knife is a ridiculous stereotype. Yes, pregnant women’s hormones change drastically, but most of the mothers-to-be cope with it just fine.

10. Preferences changes

The most obvious changes are taste ones. As a rule, a woman begins to experience craving for a particular food—sour, spicy or sweet usually. Often, desired food combinations often appear on the verge of absurdity!

The appetite abruptly increases or, on the contrary, decreases markedly. Often there is a desire to eat something “out of season” (for example, a watermelon in the middle of winter).  Some women want beer or cigarettes, even if they have never smoked or drank alcohol.

Sensitivity to odors is another significant sign. Your favorite perfume may suddenly seem disgusting, and the smell at the gas station or of fresh paint will seem pleasant. During this period, a woman can easily desire to try something new; change her tastes in music, books, films, or hobbies.

11. Skin changes

Changes in the skin many not appear from the first moment of conception, but they occur early enough. Usually, there are only two options:

  • Oiliness, acne or pimples appearing, pores enlarging
  • Dryness, sensitivity increases, peeling, itching.

The problems may remain until the last months of gestation, or they can pass quickly and the skin will look even better than it was before.

Sometimes, pregnancy also affects hair and nails. For some women, they become more fragile with splitting and breaking hair and peeling nails. For others, the opposite is true—their hair acquires silkiness, shine, softness, and their nails become stronger.