Although some women instinctively sense that they may be pregnant soon after conception, most may not find out until after a few weeks. This is especially true for women getting pregnant for the first time. It is important for women to know and recognize early pregnancy symptoms.

The best way to find out is a pregnancy test. Home pregnancy tests are becoming increasingly popular as they are a very safe and economical method of confirming pregnancy. False positives are very rare and the results can be relied on. Another alternative is the urine test conducted at hospitals or private clinics.

What Early Pregnancy Symptoms Might I Experience?

Most women suspect they may be pregnant if they miss their period. A missed period does not necessarily mean that you are pregnant. Every now and then, skipped or late periods can be attributed to a number of reasons like illness or drugs. Women would do well to look for other early pregnancy symptoms to confirm their suspicions.

Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is a classic sign of pregnancy. It is the body’s way of adjusting to the hormonal changes associated with pregnancy. Heightened sense of smell and taste will leave you feeling nauseous. Almost everything will seem to reek and smell bad. Keep in mind that Morning sickness can occur at any time of the day.

Breast Changes

Most women find that their breasts feel tender or raw very early into their pregnancy. Additionally your breasts may also become noticeably larger.

Fatigue

The initial stages of pregnancy are often associated with fatigue. This is because the body is now trying to adjust to the increased load resulting in you feeling extremely tired and drained out. It is advisable to rest whenever you feel tired. Your body needs all the rest it needs.

Frequent Urination

An irritable bladder is another early pregnancy symptom. Although this can be due to UTIs, frequent need to urinate is common for women in early pregnancy. This is caused by hormones which cause to bother the urinary system. This condition is temporary and soon you will regain normal bladder function.

Cramping

Cramping is yet another indicator that you may be pregnant. Many women experience discomfort and some contractions with in the uterus. This is very similar to the cramping associated with your menstrual periods.

Spotting

Spotting is due to Implantation bleeding which occurs a few days after conception. This is a very clear indicator of pregnancy.

Constipation and Wind

Constipation is very common during pregnancy, and is caused by pregnancy hormones. This is not always a reliable indicator that you are pregnant, as constipation can occur due to various other reasons as well.

Nasal Stuffiness and Colds

In the initial stages of your pregnancy you may be more inclined to catch a cold or flu resulting in blocked nasal passages.

Pimples and Acne

Skin disturbances such as pimples and acne are likely to occur in the early stages of pregnancy. These normally break out in the early stages due to pregnancy hormones. If you are someone who does not normally have skin conditions such as these, it may be a sign that you are pregnant.

Cravings and Changes in Taste

During the first few weeks of pregnancy you might have a metallic taste in your mouth which makes you want to gag. This is extremely common and will usually pass away along with the nausea by the end of the third month into pregnancy.
Some women experience cravings for certain foods in the early stages of pregnancy. If these are foods you do not normally like, then it may be a sign that you may be pregnant.

Pregnancy cravings cannot be easily explained, and some times your food preferences will completely change during pregnancy. For example if you do not normally like seafood, you might long for it, or you may develop an aversion for your favourite foods while you are pregnant.

Change in Colour of Your Vagina

You may notice a darkening around the vaginal region. The purple or blue tone around the vagina and cervix can also be a sign of pregnancy.

Testing for Pregnancy

The standard pregnancy tests (including home kits) usually measure the levels of the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin. Production of this hormone starts around the implantation period during early pregnancy and the HCG levels keep increasing soon after. In order to obtain an accurate pregnancy test result it is advisable to wait until you have missed your first period. Pregnancy tests conducted after the first missed periods are generally accurate.