If you have recently had unprotected sex or think your form of birth control may have not worked properly, then you may be concerned that you could be pregnant. If this is the case, it is natural to have a lot of questions and the first probably has something to do with early signs of pregnancy.
There is only one way to know for sure and that is to take a pregnancy test. After a positive pregnancy test, you should have an ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy. If you want to know what signs to look for before you take a pregnancy test, here are some symptoms that many women experience.
One of the most prevalent early signs of pregnancy is a missed period. If your cycle is usually regular and you miss a period, it is easy to assume that you are pregnant, but there are other factors that can cause your period to be late or even skip a month. Things like stress, illness, or travel can all impact your menstrual cycle. If you miss a period and suspect you may be pregnant, it is important to treat yourself as if you are even before you confirm your pregnancy.
Nausea and vomiting, more commonly referred to as morning sickness, is a widely experienced symptom early in pregnancy. While it is commonly referred to, not all women experience nausea or vomiting during every pregnancy. Even if you experienced it in a prior pregnancy, every pregnancy is different, and you may not experience it even if you are pregnant.
Because of all the hormone changes that occur when you are pregnant, many women experience headaches. Often, women also experience aching, especially in their back. If you have more headaches or aches than usual it could be a sign that you are pregnant.
After conception, some women experience implantation bleeding or spotting. This can occur between six and 12 days after the egg is fertilized. This is often accompanied by cramps that resemble menstrual cramps. This causes a lot of women to mistake this for the start of their period. These are perfectly natural symptoms, so they should not be the cause of alarm, but it is important to know that these can be symptoms early in pregnancy.
Many women experience excessive tiredness early on in their pregnancy. This usually lasts the entire first trimester and can start as early as one week after conception. If you are experiencing other symptoms along with excessive tiredness, you might want to take a pregnancy test to confirm whether you are pregnant.
A week or two after conception, it is common for women to experience changes in their breasts. If your breasts are more tender, sore, or even fuller than usual, then this could be a sign of pregnancy. Other changes include the darkening of the areola. This should subside after your body adjusts to your new hormone levels, which usually takes a few weeks.
Around week six of your pregnancy, you may begin to urinate more frequently. This is often due to the increase in hormones that occurs during pregnancy. This may also be a symptom of a urinary tract infection, or UTI, so if you experience stinging or pain in your lower back you may want to see a doctor for UTI testing.
Hormone levels affect your body a lot, and the rising hormone levels that women experience during pregnancy can cause changes to your mood. This is very common to experience and should not be a source of shame. Mood swings are perfectly natural and should subside as your body adjusts to the new hormone levels during pregnancy.
Every woman and every pregnancy is different, so your symptoms may differ from everyone else. Usually, women begin to experience symptoms of their pregnancy between five to eight weeks after conception. This is when you should expect to see these signs, but it is possible to see them earlier.
If you have experienced any of these symptoms after having unprotected sex or birth control failure, then you may consider taking a pregnancy test. It is recommended that you wait at least one week after your missed period before you take a test to allow your body to build up your human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels so you get a more accurate result. Our center offers free pregnancy testing and follow-up after a positive test to women. We will provide an ultrasound free of charge if you have a test in our center.
If you think you may be pregnant, we are here to support you through the entire process. Make your appointment today for a free lab-quality pregnancy test, ultrasound, and information about your options.