Pregnancy is a weird and wonderful thing and affects all women differently. Some have very few symptoms, even at the beginning while others might find themselves experiencing a number of changes from very early on. Understanding what the early signs of pregnancy may be not only helps you prepare yourself, it also gives you an indication that you have fallen pregnant and should test to be sure / confirm this.
Missing or Late Periods
One of the most obvious indicators of early pregnancy is often the absence of an expected monthly menstrual cycle. A period needn’t be missing entirely however as some women in very early pregnancy might find that they have an extremely light period or some mild spotting instead.
Keeping a record of your monthly cycle does make it easier to predict when the next one is due and when it is late or has been missed. If you have very irregular periods pinpointing a missing/late period is of course harder.
Many women suffer from mild nausea in the early weeks of pregnancy, commonly referred to as morning sickness (although this may occur at any time of the day or night). Others might experience more severe morning sickness resulting in vomiting. While usually these symptoms tend to fade anywhere between the sixth and twelfth weeks of pregnancy everyone is different.
*If you are vomiting regularly or persistently see your GP as you may become dehydrated.
Tiredness is Not Uncommon
Thanks to the changes in your hormones feeling tired, particularly within the first trimester can be quite common. Hormone changes may also make you more emotional, which is not helped by you already feeling somewhat fatigued (hormones have a lot to answer for).
Many women report breast tenderness in the early stages of pregnancy and a curious yet not painful “tingly” feeling. Nipples may feel a little sore, may change colour (become darker) and veins in your breasts might become easier to see).
Needing to pass urine more often is yet another delightful symptom of early pregnancy, especially during the night.
Other Symptoms of Early Pregnancy
In addition to the above women may experience a range of other symptoms including:
- Losing the urge to eat and drink certain foods/drinks (even finding them distasteful)
- A metallic taste in the mouth
- Not wanting to smoke tobacco cigarettes
- Having an enhanced sense of smell
- Increased vaginal discharge (not accompanied with any other symptoms such as soreness).
If you experience one or multiple of the above symptoms, particularly if you are trying to conceive or expect you might be pregnant then the first step is to use a home kit, easily available from chemists and the supermarket. If the result is negative wait a week to test again and if necessary see the GP.
Once you know that you are pregnant make an appointment with the GP to confirm and to arrange to have yourself seen by the midwife at an appropriate point.