Are you aware of the early signs and symptoms of pregnancy? Maybe you are thinking how do you know if you’re pregnant, or could I be pregnant right now?
The proof can be found by taking a pregnancy test, but there are signs of pregnancy even before your period is missed.
Let’s take a look at some of first signs of a pregnancy and why they happen.
There are lots of early symptoms of pregnancy
If you start to notice any of these symptoms, it could be an early sign of pregnancy and it is a good idea to take a pregnancy test as soon as possible:
- Your period is late
- You feel very tired
- You have noticed that you need frequent trips to the toilet to wee
- You have a metallic taste in your mouth
- You have a sensitivity to certain smells that you didn’t have before
- Your breasts are tender and sore.
Changes in appetite
In the early stages of being pregnant, you may crave certain foods or go off others.
The morning cuppa that you used to love might seem repulsive now, while you’re pining for Marmite despite previously being a hater.
Sickness, nausea and vomiting
If you’re sitting in meetings fighting the urge to vomit, you’re definitely not alone. About 50% to 80% of pregnant women will throw up or feel nauseous. That can start happening any time from two to eight weeks after you conceive your baby.
The most likely cause is fluctuating levels of pregnancy hormones.
Oh, and the term morning sickness is a bit misleading too. Nausea or vomiting can happen at any time during the day.
A small number of women might find themselves with a severe form of nausea and vomiting called hyperemis gravadarum (HG). HG can lead to pregnancy complications like dehydration, weight loss and electrolyte imbalance so you might need to be admitted to hospital.
Strange taste in your mouth
Some women get a strange metallic taste in their mouth when they’re pregnant, which can be an early sign.
Sensitivity to smells
You might also notice that you’re more sensitive to the smell of food or cooking. This can make you a little queasy and might put you off some foods.
In a lot of women, being pregnant can lead to constipation and bloating. This could be because you’re producing a large amount of progesterone so your digestive system slows down. For more on how to prevent constipation in pregnancy, see here.
Going to the toilet a lot
How do you know if you’re pregnant if you are frequently needing to wee? When you’re pregnant, the urge to wee will come over you often, sometimes even leaking out before you get there.
This happens as your body pumps more blood than normal when you’re pregnant. That means the kidney processes more fluid than usual, leading to more fluid in your bladder.
In the later stages of pregnancy, you’ll run to the loo even more often because of the increased pressure of your baby’s head.
One of your earliest pregnancy symptoms can be headaches, which might be down to rising hormone levels. It could also be because of increased blood flow.
Speak to your midwife if you’re suffering as in some cases, they can be a sign of something more worrying. Your midwife will also advise you on what you can and can’t use to treat your headaches when you’re pregnant.
Because of the changes in – you guessed it – hormone levels, changes in your boobs can be one of the earliest pregnancy symptoms. You might find your breasts change between four and six weeks of pregnancy.
These changes can include:
- Breasts getting bigger (see our article about bras for pregnancy if your old bras are getting too tight)
- Your boobs feeling tender
- Tingling sensations
- Veins becoming more visible
- Areola (area around your breast) darkening