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Early Signs of Pregnancy

Written by Mita Majumdar, M.Sc. | Medically Reviewed by dr. simi paknikar, MD on Aug 09, 2014
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You suspect you are pregnant but are not sure, and you are just dying to know if you are pregnant. There are, in fact, certain subtle early pregnancy signs that can alert you to the fact that you may be pregnant and that too, as early as 6 to 8 weeks after your last menstrual period, or even earlier. Here are some of those pregnancy symptoms early on.

Early Signs of Pregnancy

Vaginal Spotting

Mild vaginal bleeding or spotting is probably the earliest pregnancy symptom in some women. Bleeding tends to occur at least for one day during the first eight weeks of pregnancy and around the time when you would expect your periods. Early bleeding is generally light and not likely to be mistaken for regular periods.

It is generally believed that bleeding occurs when the embryo implants on the uterine wall which is about 6 to 12 days after conception.


Didnít notice any vaginal bleeding? Donít worry, you may still be pregnant.

Missing your Periods

Missing your periods is the most obvious and the most reliable early pregnancy sign. However, missing a period does not confirm pregnancy. Rather, hormonal problems, fatigue, or stress may be the cause. Some women may miss their period when they stop taking birth control pills.

Get a pregnancy test done if you miss or delay your periods though your gynecologist will be able to confirm your pregnancy only after 12 weeks of conception, according to Dr Sangeeta Agrawal, a gynecologist from Mumbai.

Missing Periods Early Pregnancy


As early as the first week of conception, you may feel exhausted and fatigued. The tiredness may continue through the first trimester and well into the second. High levels of the hormone progesterone are secreted during pregnancy. This hormone is responsible for the fatigue.

Along with fatigue you may also notice that you need to urinate more. This is because of the hormone chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) released during pregnancy. Actually, the hCG levels are the confirmatory tests for pregnancy. Similarly, some women may get constipation, while others may feel more of bloating.

Constipation for Early Pregnancy

Tenderness in the Breasts

Having swollen and sore breasts is a typical early sign of pregnancy. Around the second or third week, you may notice the areolas darken around the nipples and bluish veins appear just under the skin as the blood supply to breasts increases. Again, this is because of the changing levels of your hormones.

There is nothing much you can do to ease the discomfort except for changing over to wearing comfortable and well fitting bras or wearing sports bras.


Nausea and Vomiting

Symptoms of nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy are also common. Although 99 percent of women experience these symptoms within eight weeks of their last periods, some women are more likely than others to experience these symptoms during their early days of pregnancy, say 2 weeks on. Your age and ethnicity, and whether you are carrying a single fetus or twins or quadruplets, are all associated with the onset of symptoms. In older pregnant women, symptoms persist well into the second trimester.

Although nausea and vomiting are normal part of pregnancy, if you feel too uncomfortable, see your gynecologist. Your treatment will range from dietary and lifestyle changes to vitamins, antiemetics, and hospitalization for intravenous therapy. Human trials also show that ginger treatment (250mg four times a day) significantly reduces the severity and episodes of nausea and vomiting.

Nausea and Vomiting Early Pregnancy


Heartburn is not one of your usual digestive problems but you seem to be getting it quite often now. Heartburn is also an early symptom of pregnancy occurring sometime in the 6th week. The hormone progesterone causes the burning sensation in the middle of your chest or upper digestive tract.

Start eating healthy. Avoid greasy and junk food; avoid carbonated drinks. Take care not to overeat, especially carbohydrates, since heartburn is more likely to flare up then. Don't eat too close to bedtime. Sleeping or resting on your back can intensify heartburn. Try propping yourself up on pillows.


Heightened Sense of Smells and Aversion to Certain Foods

Some women become sensitive to smells, even if they are familiar. For example, you love your partnerís cologne, but suddenly you find it nauseating. Or, all of a sudden you start loving the smell of the soap you so hated. The best way to deal with it is to avoid the triggers you are uncomfortable with.

In the same way, you may develop aversion to foods or the aroma of those foods you had liked earlier. Again, try to avoid these foods.

Healthy Food for Early Pregnancy

Mood swings, chronic back ache, and mild headaches are some of the other early pregnancy symptoms reported by women.

Well, you can be pregnant even if you donít have these symptoms, and on the flip side, having any of these symptoms doesnít mean that you are pregnant. The best way to confirm if you are pregnant is to take a pregnancy test and visit your gynecologist if you feel you are pregnant.

Pregnancy Test for Gynecologist
  1. Management of common symptoms of pregnancy - (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0009595/)

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