How Early Signs Of Pregnancy Show Up: Top 10 Early Symptoms

In the early weeks of pregnancy, the placenta acts as an endocrine tissue and produces enough HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin) and several other hormones such as HPL 1(Human Placental Lactogen), estrogens, and progestogens. These hormones are released in the female body only during pregnancy.

Increased production of these hormones is essential for fetal growth, metabolic changes in the mother, and maintenance of pregnancy. This is how early signs of pregnancy begin.

1. When Should You Take A Pregnancy Test?

No matter how attempting and exciting it may sound to have your biological child, the changes that your body will go through during the pregnancy week can be hard to handle.

Most pregnancy tests check for enough HCG which the placenta makes when you’re pregnant. This hormone starts building up in your body soon after implantation.

Although implantation may occur early in some women resulting in light bleeding, also called implantation bleeding, HCG hormone takes time to build up to a level to be detected through the urine. Hence, it is best if you wait for at least 12 to 14 days before taking a pregnancy test.

2. Can A Pregnant Woman Give Negative Results?

How early signs of pregnancy shows up
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Yes, a pregnant woman can also give a negative result. This is called false-negative.

2.1. What Are The Chances?

  • A woman might give negative results from home pregnancy tests if taken too early. To be able to detect the presence of HCG in your urine, you need to wait for at least 12 to 14 days. Avoid taking a pregnancy test right after a missed period for accurate results.
  • The first urine of the day is best for accurate results. Use diluted urine.
  • Follow the instructions given on the pregnancy test package. Use a dropper to avoid spilling. Using the test incorrectly can also give false or inaccurate results.

If you’re in a rush to know about your pregnancy status, you can go for blood tests. It is to be noted that sometimes a non-pregnant woman can also give a positive result. The positive result may be due to inaccuracies while testing or even inaccuracies in the test kit.

3. Why Do We Not Get Pregnant Each Time We Have Sex?

Pregnant woman with partner
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During copulation or coitus, semen is released by the penis into the vagina, commonly termed insemination. The motile sperms swim rapidly, pass through the cervix, enter into the uterus and finally reach the ampullary region of the fallopian tube. The ovum released by the ovary is also transported to the ampullary region where fertilization takes place.

Fertilization can only occur if the ovum and sperms are transported simultaneously to the ampullary region. This is the reason why not all copulations lead to fertilization and pregnancy. Hence, we do not get pregnant each time we have sex.

4. How Do Early Signs of Pregnancy Start?

How early signs of pregnancy
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Early pregnancy symptoms do not start right after having sex. Any symptoms such as light bleeding or spotting, seen immediately after having sex are completely irrelevant to pregnancy and more related to having sex.

Commonly spotting is noticeable after having sex for the first time or after a long rough one. But, if sex irritates your vaginal skin leading to bleeding you must go check for sexually transmitted diseases, STDs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. Irritation can also be due to allergy or yeast infection or simply if your vagina is not lubricated enough.

4.1. Early Pregnancy Signs

Not all women are the same but pregnancy symptoms start to kick in the 5th or 6th week of pregnancy. Talking about how early signs of pregnancy begin, we can say that most women start with the common pregnancy symptoms about two weeks after their missed period and 5 to 6 weeks after their last menstrual period.

Very rarely will you hear women with symptoms on the first week of a missed period. A woman’s body will go through several changes during their entire pregnancy period.

5. Early Pregnancy Symptoms

5.1. Breast Tenderness

Breast tenderness counts among some of the most common early pregnancy symptoms. This happens due to the hormonal imbalance of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone.

The breasts become tender and there is a gain in the size as well. Breast tenderness, swollen breasts, and darkening of the skin along with an increase in the diameter of the nipple area are very common. All of these are part and parcel of the body’s milk preparation.

5.2. Feeling Bloated

Bloating is noticeable soon after the baby is conceived. This is not because your baby has already grown up in the first few weeks but because of the hormone progesterone.

The increasing level of progesterone slows down digestion in the body. This way, more time is given for nutrients to enter the bloodstream essential for the baby to consume and grow healthily.

5.3. Frequent Urination

An urge to pee frequently will rise as an early sign of pregnancy. It is due to the HCG hormone that increases allowing more blood to flow through the kidney helping to get rid of wastes efficiently.

Also, your growing uterus puts pressure on your urinary bladder constantly resulting in less storage for urine.

5.4. Heightened Sense Of Smell

You might suddenly observe an increase in your senses including a heightened sense of smell as your pregnancy progresses mainly during the second trimester. Your nostrils will be more active including a few other senses as well.

5.5. Mood Swings

Fluctuations in the hormonal level result in mood swings during early pregnancy. It includes premenstrual syndrome2-type dizziness, and moodiness and may continue along with the other pregnancy signs.

Have trouble with these early pregnancy symptoms? Pamper yourself. Take more rest, work less and sleep more but also maintain a healthy lifestyle.

5.6. Nausea

Many women start nausea by the 9th week. It is the typical queasy morning sickness, one of the worst early pregnancy symptoms. It is natural to vomit more resembling seasickness.

Due to the slow rate of digestion caused by estrogen and HCG3, your stomach does not feel empty most of the time and you tend to vomit more.

5.7. Food Cravings

Food aversions like food cravings are very common and count among some of the other early pregnancy symptoms. Once the baby is born all those food aversions will be a thing of the past.

Food cravings usually appear as symptoms of pregnancy because at that period of time, you need more nutrients for yourself as well as for your baby. Hence, you need to consume more to satisfy both yourself and your child.

5.8. Mild Uterine Cramping

Similar to menstrual cramps4, mild uterine cramping is nothing but minor pains due to constipation, gas, implantation, and expansion of the womb. Mild pain is not a factor to be worried about.

5.9. Changes In Cervical Mucus

Early pregnancy symptoms also include an increase in vaginal discharge called leukorrhea. It is a thin white creamy discharge that is absolutely normal and healthy.

If it stays that way after ovulation, you might wanna take a pregnancy test, be it a home pregnancy test or another. Many women have begun to take pregnancy tests at home nowadays.

Several pregnancy kits such as PregaNews, and PregZed are easily available at any pharmacy and are also extremely efficient. The test kit also contains a table of instructions on how to take a pregnancy test.

5.10. Excess Saliva

A positive pregnancy test might also bring in early pregnancy symptoms such as ptyalism gravidarum. Your body will start introducing preventive measures from germs increasing saliva that will protect your mouth, teeth, and throat from the corrosive effects of stomach acid. Normal changes are a major reason behind all these.

6. Premenstrual Symptoms

Premenstrual Symptoms
Photo by Anthony Tran from Unsplash

Many of the time certain medical conditions overlap with being pregnant including an irregular menstrual cycle. These symptoms of pregnancy are inaccurate and can easily be mistaken for premenstrual symptoms.

Missing a period without being pregnant is very common. To avoid such conditions, exercise regularly but not excessively and do not stay stressed always. Breastfeeding in women can also result in a missed period sometimes.

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7. Final Note

Most pregnant women worry more about their children’s health than their own. For a healthy and successful pregnancy, prenatal care is crucial because the mother’s health and life are at stake.

Getting pregnant might indeed be similar to going back and forth on an emotional rollercoaster but one has to be vigilant enough. One must take good care of themselves as well as their beloved child to be born. It is natural that most mothers stress out at this point but stressing is very unhealthy for them. It will only increase all those hormonal changes they are going through and become tougher for them.

Stay safe, stay healthy!

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8. FAQs

Q1. How Long Does It Take To Start Seeing Pregnancy Signs?

Some women may notice the first signs of pregnancy one to two weeks after conception, while others will begin to feel symptoms four to five weeks after conception. Some women may not experience symptoms until they are very late or even further along in their pregnancy.

Q2. What Are the Positive Signs of Implantation?

Some women notice signs and symptoms of implantation. Symptoms may include light bleeding, cramping, nausea, swelling, chest pain, headache, mood changes, and changes in basal body temperature.

Q3. What Are the Signs of Hidden Pregnancy?

A latent pregnancy, also known as a secret or hidden pregnancy, is when the pregnancy is not detected until halfway through (or birth or delivery). Hidden pregnancy symptoms may include normal pregnancy symptoms such as cramping, nausea, cramping, breast tenderness, and fatigue.

  1. Xu, Lijia, et al. “Real-time and accurate detection of citrus in complex scenes based on HPL-YOLOv4.” Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 205 (2023): 107590. ↩︎
  2. Itriyeva, Khalida. “Premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder in adolescents.” Current problems in pediatric and adolescent health care 52.5 (2022): 101187. ↩︎
  3. Hu, Kai-Lun, et al. “GnRH agonist and hCG (dual trigger) versus hCG trigger for follicular maturation: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials.” Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 19 (2021): 1-10. ↩︎
  4. Bann, Sewon, et al. “A one-year observational cohort study of menstrual cramps and ovulation in healthy, normally ovulating women.” Scientific Reports 12.1 (2022): 4738. ↩︎

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