Pregnancy: Know the Signs & Symptoms

Generally, pregnancy symptoms vary from woman to woman and pregnancy to pregnancy; every pregnancy is different. However, one of the most important pregnancy symptoms is a missed or delayed period. Understanding the signs and symptoms of pregnancy is significant because each symptom may have causes other than pregnancy. You may notice pregnancy signs within a week of conception and some women may not experience any symptom for a few weeks. Here are the top signs and symptoms of pregnancy.

The First 10 Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy

The most common signs of pregnancy, but also the best known, are late menstruation, nausea, and high body temperature. The more the symptoms multiply, the more the suspicion of pregnancy may be important, even if the tests of urine or blood can confirm the presence of an embryo in the belly of the woman.

1. Missed/Delayed Periods:

The most prominent symptom of pregnancy is, of course, missed menstruation. However, do not shout victory too fast because you are late in your period, it may be just a passing event. In order to verify the presence of an embryo, the safest method to confirm pregnancy is the urine test that we all know, at least for having seen it in many movies, when the heroine shows her test of pregnancy to her fiance who does not understand anything!

2. Spotting:

Some women may have very mild blood loss/spotting 1-2 weeks after conception; it does not last more than 2-3 days. This spotting may be due to implantation of the fertilized egg into the uterus. If this happens to you, consult your gynecologist without delay.

3. Frequent Urge to Urinate:

This happens at the beginning and end of the pregnancy. This phenomenon is explained in the first weeks by the hormonal changes that relax the muscles of the bladder and the urethra; it becomes more difficult to hold back. Moreover, during pregnancy, the amount of fluid and blood circulating in the body increases and the kidneys work more.

4. A feeling of bloating:

Hormonal changes related to pregnancy can give you a bloated feeling similar to what one feels during the premenstrual period.

5. Breasts Sensitivity:

A painful, swollen and tender breast is one of the most common signs among expectant mothers. The breasts can swell, increase in size and be extremely sensitive due to the increase of progesterone and estrogen in the future mother. This symptom is manifested a few days after fertilization of the egg. But be careful because of the swelling of the breasts and their hypersensitivity can also be the indicator of the other diseases.

6. Nausea and Vomiting:

Morning sickness during pregnancy is another familiar symptom to expectant mothers. The duration of nausea can be of a few weeks (during the first trimester), but can also last during all the pregnancy for the less fortunate ones. This nausea appears between the 2nd and the 8th week after conception and is the result of variations of the hormones produced by the placenta.

7. Aversion for Certain Flavors and Smells:

There may also be a change in the perception of tastes and flavors, as well as abundant salivation. These symptoms do not occur until 2 to 8 weeks after fertilization.

8. Feeling Tired and Drowsy: 

Fatigue is another familiar symptom of pregnancy. Hormones generated during pregnancy such as progesterone and chorionic gonadotrophic hormone are the source of these sudden fatigue strokes. In addition, it must be taken into account that the mother-to-be uses much of her energy to make this new life that is taking shape in her body. In general, from the second trimester of pregnancy, this feeling of tiredness/fatigue disappears.

9. An Increase in the Body Temperature:

The increase in body temperature may be another sign of pregnancy. This symptom is however unreliable because you can simply have a cold, which also generates an increase in temperature.

10. Constipation:

The concentration of progesterone, responsible for muscle relaxation, also causes slow intestinal transit and therefore results in constipation. The pregnant women are advised to drink a lot, to eat fruits, vegetables and to exercise: walking at a good pace may be enough to prevent constipation.

How Do You Check that You are Conceived?

Regrettably, many of these signs and symptoms aren’t unique to pregnancy. Some symptoms can indicate that you are getting sick or that your period is about to start. Similarly, you can also be pregnant without experiencing many of these signs/symptoms.

However, if you have a delayed/missed period and notice some of the above signs or symptoms, take a home pregnancy test, if it is positive, make an appointment to consult your health care provider. The sooner you know that you are conceived, the sooner you can begin prenatal care.

Written by MedPlus