Why the 10 signs of pregnancy? Glad you asked. The best way for a woman to find out she's pregnant is by taking pregnancy test and to have a reliable test, you may have to wait till about 2 weeks after the first day of a missed period. It means you have to wait for close to 4 weeks after conception.
The reason for the above is obviously because pregnancy test is conducted to detect the presence of specific pregnancy hormone in the urine or blood.
There is a particular hormone, called HcG that’s found in pregnant women only. The level of this hormone tends to increase as the pregnancy develops. Most times, there may not be enough of this hormone in the specimen (urine or blood) to indicate pregnancy when tested earlier than 2-3 weeks.
Besides, when you rely on missed period as a sign to confirm you’re pregnant, you could be mistaken. Why? Missed period is most reliable sign for women who have regular menstrual cycle and much more, a pregnant woman can have slight period sometimes. So, you may need more than a missed period to detect if you’re pregnant at the earliest time possible.
However, there are early signs and symptoms triggered by certain hormonal changes in your body which can help detect if you’re pregnant, even before you notice a missed period.
PregnancyMama once said, “One of the earliest and most ignored sign of pregnancy is the simple feeling that something is not the same. This feeling is mostly disregarded by many women as wishful thinking, especially in the case of those who have been trying to conceive for a long time”.
Don't ignore the signs that your body show. Your body changes and communicates that something unusual is happening through signs and symptoms.
These signs are both natural and normal ways of “intra personal pregnancy announcement”. Your body could be speaking, learn to understand.
The following are the earliest and most common signs of pregnancy you should look out for, when you suspect that you or someone else could be pregnant. They manifest even before a missed period.
Increased Basal Body Temperature
Most women trying to conceive may be familiar with the methods of keeping record of their basal body temperature. If you're one of such, you should notice an abrupt change in your basal body temperature at ovulation.
If the temperature remains high even when it's time for your monthly cycle, it could be an indication that you are pregnant. Learn more about basal body temperature here.
Spotting ( Light Bleeding ) or Cramping
Spotting or cramping ranks among the top ten signs of pregnancy simply because it could manifest even before you miss a period. A woman may experience a light bleeding and cramping sensation in her uterus a week or two after conception. This light bleeding also referred to as implantation bleeding, is initiated when the budding fertilized ovum implants itself into the uterine wall.
This is different from the usual menstrual period because it is lighter, shorter, and spottier. Some women also experience cramping during the earliest stages of pregnancy, and the cramp might feel just like a menstrual cramp.
Breast Changes (Tender, Swollen & darkened Areola)
During earliest days of pregnancy, conspicuous changes occur in your breast. The breasts become fuller, bigger and nipples are tender; feeling like it used to be about the time of your period.
As early as two weeks after conception, you breasts could feel sore, heavy, tender, and even tingling due to hormonal changes in your body and increased blood supply to your breasts.
In addition, the breast veins may show up and the nipples (areolas) may darken and stand out. This is one of the first signs of pregnancy, even before a missed period.
Morning Sickness or Nausea
Feeling sick or nausea is a common early sign of pregnancy. It could start as early as two weeks after conception and could be accompanied with vomiting. Though the name suggests “morning sickness”, it occurs not necessarily in the morning, but at any time of the day.
Fatigue is another common sign of pregnancy. You feel exhaustion and your body feels tired even doing nothing. For some women it could be temporary between 1-6 weeks of pregnancy, while others could feel very tired well into pregnancy.
Urinating More Frequently
As early as 6 weeks after conception, you may experience frequent urination; needing to pee often especially at night.
Despite the fact that uterus is yet to develop to an extent it can exert pressure on your urinary bladder, some argued that increased level of certain pregnancy hormones and extra workload on your body system can cause you to urinate more frequently.
In the early weeks many women are unaware that frequent urination could be a result of increased hormonal activity but as fetus grows and the uterus expands enough to pressurize the urinary bladder, urinating more frequently becomes noticeable.
We have practical evidences and experiences which evinced that unusual cravings for food result when a woman is pregnant. You'd be as hungry as anything all the time. Eating would be like something you just can't stop.
Metal Taste (strange mouth taste)
Having a strange taste in your mouth could signal a “take in”. Some women just go "off" certain things, like coffee or tea, tobacco, smoke or fatty food. This feeling is described by many women as a metal taste.
Being constipated is also indicative of pregnancy. It is believed that the activities of progesterone influence the intestines to be relaxed; affecting intestinal passage of food and slowing down the process of digestion.
A missed period naturally raises suspicion for pregnancy. Although a missed period may not necessary result from pregnancy perhaps due to other reasons, missed period is one of the most reliable signs of pregnancy especially for women who have regular monthly cycle.
These signs and symptoms of pregnancy are very early indicators from your body changes and often provide clues about your condition, even before you miss a period.
If you observe any of the 10 signs and suspect pregnancy, wait for a missed period. Even if you don’t have a regular menstrual cycle or can’t tell when next you’ll likely menstruate, then take a home pregnancy test for further personal confirmation.
Still unsure, in a dilemma between “am pregnant!” or “could I be pregnant?” The buck stops at your doctor’s desk. See your doctor for final clinical confirmation!