Thursday, 21 September 2017
Editor Choice pregnancy

A Comprehensive Overview of the Early Signs of a Pregnancy

The body goes through several changes throughout a pregnancy and some changes can start as early as at conception. These changes in the body in the early stages of a pregnancy manifest themselves as signs and symptoms. Women have learned to associate them with pregnancy. You may be trying to conceive and perhaps you feel as though you are pregnant. Alternatively, you could be responding to a friend who asked you, “Is gas an early sign of pregnancy?”

Well, you should find some information on what are some of the common signs of early pregnancy so that you can give your friend a satisfactory answer. You can also use this information to determine if you are pregnant or if someone else is. However, it is important to note that early signs of pregnancy can often mimic the symptoms that women experience during menstruation. Consequently, the best way to know whether you are pregnant is by taking a pregnancy test. Here are some of the signs that should be of interest to you.

Early Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy

Missed Period

A missed period is usually the number one sign that prompts most women to think that they may be pregnant. Although a missed period is a strong sign of a possible pregnancy, that is not always the case. Sometimes, a missed period can be brought about by different factors. These factors include stress, fatigues, hormonal changes, and drastic weight changes such as gaining or losing too much weight. Some women may also experience bleeding even when they are pregnant, and if this is the case, you should consult your doctor.

Cramping and Spotting

One of the earliest signs of pregnancy is light spotting which is caused by the fertilized egg attaching itself to the uterus wall after conception. The spotting is sometimes referred to as implantation bleeding and can be accompanied by some cramps usually 6 to 12 days after fertilization. The cramps sometimes resemble the cramps experienced during the menstrual cycle. Consequently, they can be mistaken as the start of a period. Another early sign right after conception is a white milky discharge that comes out of the vagina. This discharge may occur because of the thickening of the vaginal wall. It can be experienced throughout the course of the pregnancy. You should immediately see a doctor in cases where the discharge begins to have a foul smell.

Morning Sickness (Nausea)

One of the best-known signs of early pregnancy is morning sickness. Most researchers believe that pregnancy hormones cause this kind of sickness. Nausea can be experienced at different times of the day but it is most often experienced in the morning. Other symptoms that are related to pregnancy hormones are food aversions and food cravings. Some women will experience the symptoms throughout the duration of the pregnancy, but in other cases, the symptoms will lessen around the thirteenth & fourteenth week of the pregnancy.

Changes in the Breasts

Due to the rapid changes in the levels of hormones, you may experience some changes in your breasts around one or two weeks after conception. Your breasts may begin to feel sore, tingly, tender to touch or even swollen and heavy. Another telltale sign will be the darkening and increase in diameter of the area around the nipples called the areola. You may also notice an increase in the size and number of ‘Montgomery’s tubercles’ which are small bumps on the areola. The bumps change in preparation to produce oils that will be used to lubricate the nipples and areola when the baby starts to suckle. The good news is that the discomfort in the breasts should subside after a couple of weeks as your body gets used to the new levels of hormones.

Frequent Urination

The levels of hormones during pregnancy are responsible for the frequent urination episodes. Pregnant women will begin to experience frequent urination during the sixth to the eighth week of pregnancy. Although pregnancy can be the cause, other factors such as diabetes, urinary tract infection, and the overuse of diuretics can also be responsible for frequent urination.

Fatigue

Fatigue is normal during a pregnancy. Sometimes, it occurs as early as a week after conceiving. Different factors cause fatigue such as an increase in the levels of the hormone progesterone, lower blood pressure, low levels of blood sugar, and a boost in the production of blood. Pregnancy-related fatigued can be managed by eating protein and iron rich foods as well as getting plenty of rest.

Is Gas an Early Sign of Pregnancy

Bloating in pregnant women is caused by a surge in pregnancy hormones. It can be experienced soon after conception. It can hard sometimes to distinguish between pregnancy-related bloating and the bloating that you experience just before menstruation. Pregnancy-related bloating is caused by the hormone progesterone, which slows down digestion to give more time for the food to be absorbed into the bloodstream. This same mechanism can cause constipation because the decrease in the rate at which digestion takes place means that the food will pass slowly through the intestines. These symptoms can be eased by exercising, drinking plenty of water, and eating foods that are high in fiber.

Mood Swings

The changes in hormones are also responsible for mood swings in pregnant women, especially during the first trimester.

A Raised Temperature

Women who are trying to conceive will often monitor their first-morning temperature using a special basal body thermometer. This is because a one-degree rise in the body temperature will sometimes be a sign of conception. This temperature will stay elevated throughout the pregnancy. Although this may not be a definitive sign, it can be an early sign of pregnancy.

Fainting Episodes and Dizziness

Fainting episodes and dizziness during pregnancy are caused by the dilating of blood vessels as well as lower blood pressure and low blood sugar.

The early signs of pregnancy may appear immediately after conception or about a week or two after you have conceived. The best way for you to be certain is to take a pregnancy test at the OB/GYN. Keep in mind that pregnancy is different for all women. That means you may experience mild or intense symptoms but minimizing the intensity of the different symptoms is possible with proper management.

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