Pregnancy tests are way more accurate these days; there are some that can detect whether you are pregnant from as early as 10 days. However, you may not know you’re pregnant, may not even suspect that you could be, and so taking a pregnancy test may be the last thing on your mind. Obvious signs of pregnancy, like a growing stomach and cravings, don’t happen until you are well into your second trimester. But there are some early signs that you could be pregnant that we’re going to look at in this article.
Before we start though, we want to make it very clear that some of these symptoms could easily be indicative of something else. So, if you have any concerns at all you should always seek advice from your GP.
With that in mind, let’s crack on and look at 8 signs that you could be pregnant:
Early Signs Of Pregnancy
In the very early days of pregnancy, you’re not going to notice that much. There are signs, but they are incredibly subtle and you’d need to be very in tune with your body to know that any changes had occurred. That being said, the signs are there none the less and these are some of the things you should look out for that could indicate that you are pregnant.
1. Period No Show
OK, this is the biggie. If you are as regular as clockwork, you get your period pretty much exactly on the date you’re expecting it to arrive, but on this particular month, nothing, that is a sign. Obviously, you’re going to have had to have had sexual intercourse for you to get pregnant. That much is a given. But don’t rule out pregnancy just because you’ve used contraception. Contraception is good, but it’s not 100% good!
That being said, just because you haven’t got your period, doesn’t automatically mean you’re pregnant, which is why now would be a good time to take a pregnancy test. There can be lots of other reasons why periods can suddenly become irregular or just not show up. Things like stress, illness, medications, too much exercise, hormone changes, can all affect your period, so let’s not jump to conclusions too soon.
If your period comes later than expected, this doesn’t always mean that you’re definitely not pregnant. Some women may experience mild spotting in the early days, or some may have heavier bleeding. Which obviously makes it much more difficult to figure out whether you might be pregnant or not. And this is why you need to look out for other signs you could be pregnant.
2. Increased Discharge
Every woman gets vaginal discharge. And in the few days before you get your period, the vaginal discharge will likely increase and change in consistency. Indeed, throughout the whole of your cycle you will notice changes in your vaginal discharge, it can tell you a lot about your vaginal health. However, whilst vaginal discharge is completely normal, there are some discharges that aren’t normal. That you need to pay attention too. And that you need to get checked out.
One of the early signs that you could be pregnant is an increase in thick white discharge; a bit like the white of an egg. If however, you notice that your discharge is different to normal, for example it may be more yellow, it may be green tinged, it may have streaks of blood running through it, or it may have an unpleasant smell, this is when you need to make an appointment to see your GP, health nurse, or gynaecologist as you may have an infection.
3. Nausea And Vomiting
Although morning sickness, as it is so called, doesn’t usual happen until around about 4-6 weeks of pregnancy, you may notice some changes in your bowel habits which may also make you feel nauseous. One of the main causes for nausea and vomiting in early pregnant is rising levels of the beta-HCG hormone. As this pregnancy hormone increases you may notice gastrointestinal disturbances and this is typically noticed about 11 to 14 days after implantation.
It’s important to note that diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting can also be symptoms of other things, so if you are in any doubt, or if you also develop a fever, chills or muscle pain you should speak to your GP.
4. Sore Boobs
As well as making you feel a bit queasy, those rising hormone levels can do funny things to your boobs too. You may notice that your nipples get bigger and darker, and that the veins in your boobs become more noticeable, this will be especially apparent if you have pale skin.
If your boobs start to ache, a bit like they might do when you have your period, but your period hasn’t actually made an appearance, this could be an early sign that you’re pregnant. Tender, heavy breasts can indicate that your milk ducts are growing in preparation for milk production and breast feeding.
But yet again, there could be other things going on, so either do a pregnancy test or make an appointment to see your GP.
Headaches are common in early pregnancy, and they are often accompanied by spells of dizziness and feeling lightheaded. This happens as a result of hormonal changes and an increase in blood production during those first few weeks of pregnancy.
You may notice tension stretching across your forehead around the back of our head and your neck. Of course, headaches can also be brought on by stress, and if you’re worried that you might be pregnant this could also be the reason you’re getting headaches.
There are lots of changes that occur throughout every stage of pregnancy and these changes can bring about huge wave of tiredness. The body is having to work harder than normal, but in those early weeks when you haven’t yet figured out you’re pregnant you may just put your fatigue down to long days, work stress, or late nights. Which of course, could be the case, but if this fatigue continues for more than a day or two it would suggest that something else is at play, and that could be that you’re pregnant.
Tiredness usually only occurs during the first few weeks of conception and starts to subside as you reach the end of the first trimester. The rise in progesterone that occurs at this time can slow your metabolism which can make you feel lethargic and sluggish. Fatigue is also linked to anaemia, a common condition during pregnancy caused by an iron deficiency. You can get anaemia without being pregnant, so again seek advice from a GP if you have been feeling more tired than normal and if it’s starting to impact your daily life.
7. Needing To Pee… A Lot!
You may notice that suddenly you’re needing to pee a load more than you normally would, especially in the middle of the night. If you’ve drunk lots of water or had a drink too close to bedtime then that’s likely the reason. However, if this is happening a lot, for no real explainable reason then there’s a chance you could be pregnant.
Pregnancy causes an increase in levels of body fluids which leads to greater kidney efficiency and therefore an increase in the need to pee. As your uterus grows, this will also start pressing against your bladder which will also make you feel as though you need to go to the toilet more often. This could be a sign of early pregnancy, but it could also be the sign of an infection, such as cystitis. If frequent urination is accompanied by pain or swelling, get yourself checked out.
8. Food Cravings
Food cravings are a common side effect of pregnancy, but often comes along a little later down the line. However, that being said, some women may notice slight changes in their tastes during those first few early weeks. You may suddenly develop a huge distaste for foods that you have previously loved. Or you may notice that you are tasting foods a lot stronger than before, as though your taste sensation has been boosted somehow.
We also tend to crave foods that contain nutrients that our bodies are lacking. So, for instance, if we are pregnant and our calcium or iron levels are lower as a consequence of this, we may start craving dairy and meat.
You may also notice that foods suddenly develop a metallic taste to them, which can be really off putting. This taste may linger in your mouth, even when you’re not eating. A pregnancy test will show you whether you are pregnant or whether you may instead have a dental issue going on.
As well as the 8 symptoms above, there are also some other slightly less common signs that you could be pregnant:
- Leg cramps
- Varicose veins
- Mood changes
- Tingling/Numbness in your extremities
If you suspect that you might be pregnant, either because you are experiencing some or all of the symptoms listed in this article, or just because you have a gut feeling, you can buy an at home pregnancy test that you can do in the comfort of your own bathroom.
As we have discovered, the early signs of pregnancy are often there, but they can easily be brushed off as something else. If you have any concerns about the symptoms you are experiencing, see your GP.