Do you remember how in those 90s television dramas, sudden bouts of vomiting and pickle cravings were used as indicators of pregnancy? This may seem bizarre now, but there’s real logic behind it. Your body can give you a heads-up in the form of some early pregnancy symptoms—even before you take a pregnancy test. This is because the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone that gives you a positive result on the pregnancy strip is also responsible for a host of changes in the body. These changes can present themselves as symptoms of pregnancy as early as two weeks post conception. Let’s understand these changes and signs in detail.
Early Pregnancy Symptoms Before Missed Period
Early pregnancy signs can be quite similar to the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that you experience right before your period. So it can be hard to tell the difference. However, if you’ve been trying to conceive, you can look for these seven clear signs of early pregnancy even before a missed period:
Spotting & Cramping
Bleeding or spotting a week or so before your due period date can be a sign of pregnancy. This is known as implantation bleeding. It usually happens 10-14 days after conception as a result of the fertilised egg attaching itself to the uterus. The bleeding in this case is a lot lighter than your usual period and stops after one-three days. You may even experience period-like cramps along with implantation bleeding.
High Body Temperature
Your basal body temperature (BBT) is your body temperature when you’re fully at rest. It’s usually taken when you first wake up in the morning. A rise in BBT for 18 days post ovulation is one of the most common early pregnancy symptoms before a missed period. You can identify this change by tracking your BBT every day if you’re trying to conceive.
Breast soreness or increased sensitivity is yet another early pregnancy symptom before a missed period to watch out for. Your breasts may feel tender or sensitive to touch due to a rapid rise in the level of progesterone (a hormone that stimulates the uterus to prepare for pregnancy). They may appear fuller or seem heavier too. This symptom may last throughout your pregnancy or subside after the first few weeks.
Darkening of the areolas, the area around your nipples, is also a common early pregnancy symptom before a missed period. You can experience it one-two weeks post conception with or without breast soreness.
Even though exhaustion can be linked with several factors like stress and poor sleep, feeling extremely lethargic despite getting enough sleep could be a symptom of early pregnancy. It usually disappears after the first trimester, but fatigue can last throughout the pregnancy term in many cases.
You may start experiencing nausea and morning sickness around the fourth week of pregnancy. However, it is possible to feel slightly queasy even before the four-week mark. Now, unlike what they show in the movies, nausea isn’t a sure shot indicator of pregnancy. In fact, some women don’t experience it at all during their pregnancy.
Change or increase in vaginal discharge is a very common early pregnancy symptom before a missed period. You may notice a sticky white or pale yellow mucus during the first trimester due to hormonal changes and increased blood flow to the vagina. This may continue throughout your pregnancy as your cervix softens. However, you must consult with your doctor if you experience a green/bloody/brown discharge.
If you notice these early pregnancy symptoms before a missed period, you must take a pregnancy test at home using a DIY pregnancy test kit. If it comes out to be negative despite these symptoms, wait for your period date and if you still miss your period, consult with your gynae. If it comes out to be positive, you need to schedule an appointment with your gynae. Your doctor will guide you through the process and prescribe the necessary tests to support your pregnancy. All the best!
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