Early pregnancy detection signs vary with each individual and can be wide-ranging and easily mistaken for other causes. It may be a challenge to discern whether or not you’re pregnant. But don’t panic, we’ve got you covered.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the subtle and not so subtle indicators you might experience in the early days before you take a pregnancy test
WHAT ARE THE CHANGES THE BODY SHOWS?
The first and easily noticeable indicator is the swelling and tenderness of the breasts. This swelling and soreness is very common in early pregnancy, but it often occurs just before a period as well. Your breasts change during pregnancy to prepare them for feeding your baby due to the increase in the hormones estrogen and progesterone
Some women also notice that their nipples become larger or slightly darker as well as sensitive as they gain more fat and the milk ducts increase in size. However, the darkening of the nipple generally occurs later on.
This can sometimes be mistaken for an early period but it tends to be lighter and shorter than that of a menstrual period. Implantation bleeding happens when the embryo attaches to the uterine wall.
This is often described as spotting and it’s not something every expectant mother will experience.
Cramps are common just before or during a menstrual period, but some women also experience cramps in the first few weeks when implantation occurs or as the uterus expands.
If cramps come about but there is no bleeding or the bleeding is much lighter than your usual cycle, a pregnancy test might be in order.
NAUSEA AND VOMITING
The so called “morning sickness”, Nausea and vomiting are potential signs of early pregnancy. Some women experience this sensation early on during pregnancy whist the majority experience it after about a month.
However, it isn’t all women who get the morning sickness. Although not clear what the exact cause is, the change in hormones is the leading culprit.
Fatigue is a common symptom of early pregnancy, unless you’re a habitual night-owl. During pregnancy, the progesterone hormone levels tend to increase. This feeling of being tired may make it difficult for a pregnant woman to navigate through the day without taking a nap.
The fatigue usually eases as you enter the second trimester and find you have an increase in energy.
CRAVINGS AND CHANGE IN TASTE
Unusual cravings and tastes altering are common in the first trimester, though they sometimes persist through the entire pregnancy with most women being increasingly sensitive to certain odours. Some women are said to experience a metallic-like taste in their mouth and can crave non-food items such as sand.
BATHROOM HABITS AND FREQUENCY
From conception, your body begins to change in order to accommodate the human it’s about to house for the next couple of months. Coupled with pregnancy hormones, this will create more blood flow and may result in frequent bathroom visits.
Gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation and bloating can also be telling signs of early pregnancy. As the progesterone hormone increases, this causes the digestive system to slow down and leave you feeling bloated and constipated with occasional bouts of gas.
If a pregnancy test result is positive, see a doctor. The doctor can confirm the result with a blood test or schedule an early ultrasound.
How Marie Stopes Can Help You
We offer a comprehensive pregnancy care service to assist you throughout your pregnancy. If you do have an unplanned pregnancy, MSSA offers a safe abortion service should you choose to terminate the pregnancy. Book an appointment at one of our conveniently-located centres.