Very often, being pregnant, a woman does not even suspect it. As a rule, in this situation, we are talking about an unplanned pregnancy. There are several early signs of pregnancy that many women do not pay attention to. In reality, these signs can be the first warning about the new life developing in the body. Just listen to yourself.
At What Time do Early Signs of Pregnancy Appear?
It’s impossible to talk about some more or less reliable signs of pregnancy earlier than five weeks of pregnancy. Here the count is made in obstetric gestational age. What is it?
The term of pregnancy is never counted from the moment of conception because it is impossible to determine this date (even if you know when there was sexual intercourse). In order not to be confused, the term of pregnancy is considered from the first day of the last menstruation. Pregnancy is always measured by weeks, not months.
Why is it Impossible to Determine Pregnancy before Five Weeks?
Let’s look briefly at the theory. In order for conception to happen, the egg should meet with a sperm in the fallopian tube. It should happen within one or two days after ovulation – the maturation of the ovum in the ovary. The fertilized egg from the fallopian tube moves to the uterus to attach to it.
Between fertilization and attachment of the embryo to the uterus, several days usually pass.
First, the fertilized egg gets to the uterus, then, it still waits for the attachment. This period takes from 5 to 9 days after conception. During the transition to the uterus, the egg has time to divide several times and form a fetus. If the egg cell division goes wrong, the defective embryo will not be able to attach to the uterus. That is, the pregnancy will end without starting. And there are about 80% of such cases. What’s more, most women do not notice it at all, because they cannot be tracked. Then the embryo should attach to the wall of the uterus. This will take up to two weeks.
What does this mean for us? This means that trying to detect a pregnancy immediately after sexual contact is meaningless. As a rule, you cannot understand that you are pregnant, at least not earlier than the fifth or sixth week of pregnancy.
That is, from the first day of the last menstruation, it should take about five weeks. During this time, conception occurs, the egg is attached to the uterus, the body begins to produce hCG (a special hormone necessary for the successful start of pregnancy), the fetal egg becomes noticeable with ultrasound. And this scheme works only if you have a standard menstrual cycle – from 21 to 32 days. For exceptional cases, the timing will be different.
Symptoms that Indicate Pregnancy
As we have already understood, there are no special signs of pregnancy immediately after sexual intercourse. Sometimes there are especially sensitive women who can determine that something has changed in the body at the level of intuition. But such sensations cannot be measured and confirmed, so it’s impossible to determine whether you are pregnant or not.
How to Suspect and Confirm Pregnancy?
Pain in the Lower Abdomen
Many women experience such feelings on the eve of menstruation. It would seem that nothing unusual is happening, and once the lower abdomen hurts, then menstruation is not far off. But in reality, it’s not always like this. Often the lower abdomen begins to ache not a day or two before the onset of menstruation, but 5-7 days when it’s too early for the period. And only when this pain is repeated from day to day and menstruation does not come on time, a woman can think about pregnancy.
In fact, changes are already taking place in the body all this time. The pulling pains in the lower abdomen are caused by the implantation of the fetal egg in the uterine cavity. Usually, this happens on the 3-4th day after sexual intercourse. Two more days are necessary for the process of introducing a fertilized egg into the endometrium. However, do not forget that the stomach may ache for a number of other reasons, not always caused by pregnancy. Thus, it is better to consult a doctor.
Drowsiness and Fatigue
Today, many women live in such a rhythm that no one is surprised by fatigue at the end of the day. But the fatigue can be different. If a week ago, tired of the physical or emotional stress, you found time to rest and quickly regained strength, then during pregnancy, such fatigue will only accumulate. And if waking up to the alarm clock in the morning becomes more difficult, and during the day you always want to lie down and rest – this is an early sign that the body is already undergoing changes, and this is due to the change in the hormonal background of the woman.
Also, the body temperature may rise slightly, but not more than 37.5 degrees. Tests for pregnancy at this time, as a rule, do not yet show positive results.
Many women have this sensitivity a few days before menstruation. Thus, it’s not worth it to judge a possible pregnancy only by this sign. But some women note that the sensitivity of the breast during pregnancy is much stronger than before menstruation. In addition, unfamiliar changes may occur to you – the size of the breast will increase, the veins on the mammary glands will become more noticeable, the nipples will darken or become painful. In short, if you suspect that you are pregnant, study your breast well and pay attention to whether something unusual is happening to it.
Often, women wait for this symptom in the third trimester of pregnancy, and this is due to the fact that the fetus is already large enough and presses on the upper part of the bladder, which causes frequent urges to go to the toilet. In the early term, the cause of frequent urination may be a change in the hormonal background, in particular the hCG hormone (human chorionic gonadotropin – the same one that “shows” the two strips on the test).
This hormone is also responsible for the increase in urination. The uterus of a pregnant woman, even in the first weeks of pregnancy, even though slightly, increases and presses on the back wall of the bladder, causing mechanical irritation. As a result – there is a desire to visit the ladies’ room more often, especially at night.
Change in Skin Condition
Sometimes women on the eve of menstruation have acne on their faces. If you are not one of them, and rashes on the skin suddenly appeared, this can be one of the early signs of pregnancy. Similar rashes are attributed to the early toxicosis of pregnant women. They appear because of the changing hormonal background of a woman. As a rule, by the time she already knows she is pregnant, the rash goes away itself. But keep in mind that this sign does not manifest itself in everyone and can depend on the general state of the woman’s health and nutrition.
Some women notice slight morning nausea already at the beginning of pregnancy.
Change in Taste Preferences
Suddenly you wanted a salted watermelon or something else that you never ate? There is an occasion to reflect!
Changes in the Sense of Smell
You suddenly began to notice the smells, which previously did not pay attention to? Favorite perfume suddenly smells awful? This can be one of the early signs of pregnancy.
Forgetfulness and Absent-Mindedness
Forgot why you came into the room, reread the same page, and cannot keep the elementary things in memory? Perhaps this is the trick of your future baby!
Discharge from the Vagina
Minor bleeding earlier than the expected menstruation may indicate that the embryo is attached to the wall of the uterus. In this case, you need to be very careful – in order not to risk, it is better to see a doctor right away.
In the early stages of pregnancy, immunity may decrease and not protect you from harmful bacteria. As a result, many women in the early stages of pregnancy, especially in winter, complain of a runny nose and sore throat. But in this case, you should consider your possible pregnancy and not take drugs that can harm the fetus.
Drawing Pain in the Lower Back and Lower Abdomen
With the onset of pregnancy, the influx of blood to the uterus begins to increase, which can quickly affect your health.
If nausea, headache, or changes in appetite are purely individual, then almost all pregnant women pay attention to changes in their appearance immediately after conception. In this case, the following is possible:
- Swelling of the hands, feet or face.
- The appearance of acne. This change in appearance is associated with the restructuring of the hormonal background of the future mother. Acne eruptions can occur even in those who have never encountered it before.
- Redness of the face, which is associated with increased blood circulation in the body.
- Breast augmentation. The early signs of pregnancy include an increase (swelling) of the breast and a change in the shade of the nipples to a darker one. Sometimes even before the onset of the menstrual period, a woman can pay attention to the fact that her bra has become too small for her. In this case, even a slight touch to the chest can cause discomfort and even soreness.
Of course, this does not mean that all these symptoms will inevitably fall on you at once. Everything depends on your personal features.
Also, keep in mind that the earliest signs of pregnancy can be confused with malaise, the effects of stress, or other malfunctions in the body. To accurately verify the onset of pregnancy, it is better to resort to medical methods recommended by doctors.
Accurate Methods of Early Pregnancy Determination
If you notice the early signs of pregnancy, it’s time to move on to a more accurate diagnosis. The most accurate early way to diagnose pregnancy is to analyze the level of hCG. It can be done before the delay of menstruation. Also, you can take a pregnancy test, which is sold in a pharmacy. Modern tests are able to determine pregnancy and its approximate time before the delay of menstruation as well. If you already have a small delay, you can make an ultrasound examination.
However, there is no guarantee that the fetal egg will be visible on examination. Perhaps in a week or two, the ultrasound will have to be repeated.
Born in Belarus, 1985, a pedagogue and family psychologist, mother. Taking part in procedures of social adaptation of the foster children in new families. Since 2015 is a chief editor of the motherhow.com project, selecting the best and up-to-date material for those, who are planning, expecting, and already having babies.