Think You're Pregnant? 6 Early Signs of Pregnancy

OB/GYNs and midwives of Gainesville's All About Women discuss telltale signs of pregnancy

Waiting to find out if you’re pregnant can be some of the most nerve-wracking days of your life. You usually have to wait until a day after the anticipated start day of your period before using an at-home pregnancy test, and even then it may be another week before the test actually detects conception.

If you’re trying to figure out if you’re pregnant, you can watch your body for signs and symptoms. Some of them occur so early that they might let you know you’re pregnant even before you take a test.

Here are some early signs of pregnancy and their causes, according to the Mayo Clinic and the National Institutes of Health:

  • Fatigue
    When you become pregnant, the level of the hormone progesterone in your body skyrockets. These higher levels of progesterone can cause what might feel like overwhelming fatigue. You may be ready for bed right after supper or feel the irresistible need for a nap in the middle of the day. Fatigue caused by pregnancy can begin as early as one week after conception.

  • Breast Changes
    Fluctuating hormone levels in newly pregnant women can also cause breasts to feel different than usual. Your breasts may feel any of the following: full, tender, heavy, sore, tingly. You may notice changes in the way your breasts feel as early as one to two weeks after conception.

  • Nausea, With or Without Vomiting
    Unfortunately for many women, morning sickness can kick in as early as two weeks after conception, though it may develop anywhere between two and eight weeks post-conception. And though it’s called morning sickness, the nausea associated with pregnancy can occur at any time of day. For many women, feelings of nausea can be triggered or further aggravated by smell.
  • Heightened Sense of Smell
    If you suddenly smell strong odors that no one else notices or can even smell when trying, then you might be pregnant. Many pregnant women report a newfound smelling superpower.

  • Unusual Headaches
    Again, those heightened hormone levels caused by pregnancy can both nourish new life within and make your body feel a little whacky, and thus headaches are another possible early symptom of pregnancy.

  • The Need to Pee
    When you become pregnant, your body produces human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), a hormone that helps develop the placenta and nourish the embryo. It also directs more of your body’s blood flow to the pelvic region and this increased blood flow can leave you needing to urinate more often than usual. If you find yourself needing to visit the lady’s room more frequently, get used to it. Frequent urination continues throughout pregnancy.

Not All Women Are the Same

While many women experience some of the following early signs of pregnancy, it is very important to note that some pregnant women will not experience any of the above symptoms.

If this ends up being the case for you, don’t be alarmed. If you are pregnant, you are just as likely to continue with a healthy pregnancy as other women.

Instead, consider yourself very lucky! Furthermore, some women may experience these symptoms and not be pregnant.

They could be symptoms of PMS or another condition.

If you are indeed pregnant though, the increasing levels of HCG in your body will eventually turn an at-home pregnancy test positive. The medical community considers these tests to provide a reliable result one week after of your expected menstrual cycle start date.

These tests rarely give a false-positive reading, but false-negative results are common if you’re too early in your pregnancy for the test to detect HCG levels in your urine.

Call Your OB/GYN

Regardless of your home pregnancy test results, there are several different scenarios in which you’ll need to call your OB/GYN office:

  • You have a positive test result. Congratulations! Call our compassionate staff at All About Women because it’s time to schedule your first prenatal visit.

  • You’re unconvinced of your test result. Again, at-home pregnancy tests provide very accurate results when you use them according to the directions. But if you just aren’t convinced by their result, you can call your OB/GYN to request an in-office pregnancy test.
  • You think you’re having trouble conceiving. If you didn’t get a positive result this month, don’t be disheartened. It can take up to a year for a healthy couple to conceive. But if you’ve been trying for over a year, you may want to meet with your OB/GYN to talk about initial infertility tests. There are some instances when you should talk about the possibility of infertility earlier than a year.

Learn about these instances by checking out our article series on Infertility.

At All About Women Obstetrics & Gynecology, our expert pregnancy doctors and midwives are here to celebrate your good news and to provide expert care through all stages of your pregnancy.

Click here to learn more about pregnancy care, or call our office in Gainesville or Lake City to schedule an appointment today.