Early pregnancy symptoms before missed period can be very subtle, and they usually strike days before the woman’s menstrual period is due. In most cases, a missed period is the first tell-tale sign that you are actually pregnant; however, it’s not the first symptom you may notice. From extreme exhaustion and implantation bleeding to cramping, there are several very early pregnancy symptoms that may appear in the weeks or days leading to your menstrual period.
Although most women rarely notice these early signs of pregnancy, if are in tune with your body and sensitive to hormonal changes you may notice slight changes in your body. Let’s explore some of the very early pregnancy signs even before missed period.
1. Implantation bleeding or spotting
A few days before a missed period, you may experience light spotting. About 8 to 12 days after conception, about 25% of pregnant women notice mild spotting (bleeding), known as implantation bleeding.
Since this spotting usually occurs around the time most women expect their menses, it can be mistaken for a very mild or short period. Implantation bleeding occurs as a result of the fertilized egg attaching to the uterus.
It’s a brown or light pink color and usually lasts up to three days. This might occur simultaneously with cramping and both are the result implantation of the fertilized egg.
2. Abdominal cramping
Abdominal cramps may also occur early in pregnancy and this is also a result of the embryo implanting into the lining of the uterus. Implantation usually occurs 7 to 9 days after ovulation which is about 5 days before a missed period occurs.
Since the cramping occurs around the time that your menstrual cramping would begin, you might mistake early pregnancy cramps with the cramping that occurs right before your period arrives.
In fact, some women avoid taking a pregnancy test even after missing their period because of this cramping. They believe that their menstrual period is approaching, only to learn soon after that pregnancy is the underlying cause.
Fatigue is also an early pregnancy symptom that might develop rather suddenly. For instance, one day you might be going about your normal day without any hitches but the next morning you can’t even find the strength to get out of bed.
This can be attributed to the rise in progesterone and most women describe early pregnancy fatigue as completely exhausting. Since early pregnancy fatigue usually occurs just before a missed period, most women think that they are coming down with an illness only to learn that they are actually pregnant.
4. Heavy, sore and tender breasts
Uncomfortable sensations in the breasts are also an early sign of pregnancy. The breasts become noticeably heavier and fuller. You might also notice that the areolas become bigger and darker in color.
Breasts become tender and heavier due to the elevated progesterone levels which signal the body to retain more water. They may become swollen, tingly and sore to touch one or two weeks after conceiving. You’ll also feel cumbersome and uncomfortable.
You can tackle breast tenderness by investing in a supportive bra especially when you’re working out. Although these signs may seem similar to those of PMS, you’ll notice that they are significantly worse during pregnancy.
One of the earliest sign of pregnancy is heightened senses of smell and taste. You suddenly start feeling extreme aversions to smells, foods and tastes you were fine with before.
For instance, you may not feel like eating your favorite food, and its taste or smell can might also you feel nauseous. Although you might come to your normal appetite as the pregnancy progresses, food aversions may last through the entire period you’re pregnant.
Although scientists are not certain why the aversion occurs, they believe that it’s caused by elevated progesterone levels.
6. High body temperature
After conception, you might notice an increase in your basal temperature. Although most women don’t notice this sudden change of body temperature, if you are trying to get pregnant then keeping track of your basal temperature might help you notice that you’ve conceived several days before you miss your period.
If you’re trying to conceive, it’s recommended that you track your basal temperature by writing down date and time along with temperature. Keep in mind that changes in basal temperature are always an indication that something is going on in the body.
As hormones start flooding your body when you have conceived, there might be some changes in your metabolism. In most cases, metabolism slows down resulting in bloating.
It is also common for women to suffer from constipation just a few days after conception. An increase in the level of progesterone might cause food to pass rather slowly through your intestines which leads to constipation. Therefore, if you feel constipated and don’t have any other underlying cause, you might as well be pregnant.
8. Frequent urination
Increased urination is one of the first symptoms of pregnancy even before missed period. It might start even before you take a pregnancy test. You might be going to the bathroom more often than normal during the day, or you might be getting up several times during the night to urinate.
The hormonal changes and the extra blood the body produces right after conception contribute to increased urination. Therefore, the kidneys must filter more blood than normal and this fills up the bladder more often. As a result, you’ll feel the need to urinate more often than before.
Although most of the signs described above are commonly associated with PMS, they are also the very symptoms which appear at the earliest stage of pregnancy.
Even if you must have a pregnancy test to know if you are actually pregnant, all these symptoms will prepare you for the results. However, taking a pregnancy test is the only way you can you can know for sure whether or not you’re pregnant. These signs may give you a clue, but a pregnancy test will give you some answers and help alleviate your uncertainties. In case you get a negative pregnancy result and you feel that you are pregnant, wait another week or a few days and test again.