Did you miss or have a delayed period? One of the most significant and common symptoms of pregnancy is missed periods. The most reliable way to tell whether you are pregnant or not is the pregnancy test. In addition, there are many other symptoms experienced during the early stages of pregnancy.
The symptoms, frequency, and severity may differ from depending on the individual. Some may develop symptoms within a week of conception, while some others may not have any symptoms even after few weeks. Moreover, some of these symptoms are similar to that of experiences before, after, and during menstruation, and are often ignored.
The experiences of the early stages of pregnancy may be different for every woman:
- Spotting and cramps – One of the earliest symptoms of pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg is implanted in the uterine wall. This may lead to slight bleeding (called implantation bleeding) and cramping in some women. This usually happens within the first two weeks after fertilization. As this happens around the time of usual periods, that too accompanied by cramps similar to menstrual cramps, it makes women believe that it is the starting of periods.
- Changes in breast – Hormonal changes triggered by conception lead to some changes in the breast. This includes tenderness, slight pain, swelling or a heavy feeling. The area around the nipple may become darker than usual. The changes can be noticed within 12 days of conception, and the pain may reduce as the body get used to the increased levels of hormones.
- Tiredness – From the beginning of pregnancy, fatigue is a very common symptom. This is also caused by the increasing hormone levels in the body.
- Morning sickness – Nausea or vomiting, often early in the day, is one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy. This morning sickness is caused by the delay in the emptying of stomach with the increase in hormone levels. This feeling may reduce considerably by the 13th week of pregnancy in most women. But in some this may remain for a long time, even till the last day of pregnancy.
- Increased body temperature – An increase in the body temperature is also a common symptom of pregnancy at an early stage.
- Increased frequency of urination – Most of the time, women feel an increased feeling to urinate, especially in the night. They may also feel like urinating with a cough, sneeze or even a big laugh. Frequent urination is believed to be stimulated by increase in the levels of human chorionic gonadotrophin hormone.
- Back pain and headaches – Dull back pain and headaches are also very common during the early stages of pregnancy. These non-specific pains are also related to the changes in the levels of hormones in the body.
- Mood changes – Sudden changes in the levels of hormones may result in drastic changes in the moods with heightened emotions or crying spells.
- Food cravings and aversions – Many women report that they have strange cravings or aversions towards certain types of foods. This feeling may last until the end of pregnancy.