Early Signs of Pregnancy & First Trimester Pregnancy Symptoms
July 6, 2023
Whether you’re expecting your first child or well into the family planning journey, determining pregnancy early on can be confusing. From ambiguous symptoms like fatigue and nausea to the harder to explain morning sickness and missed periods, first trimester pregnancy symptoms are varied. Listening to your body and knowing what to look for can help minimize anxiety and streamline your own planning.
What Are the First Signs of Pregnancy?
While every person is different, early signs of pregnancy are relatively standard across the board. For many women, the initial symptom is a missed or late period. After conception, the body produces hormones that stop ovulation and the shedding of the uterus lining. However, a skipped period does not necessarily mean pregnancy. In many cases, you can miss a period from acute stress, high-levels of exercise, diet, and other health or hormonal issues.
First Trimester Pregnancy Signs
The hallmark of the first trimester is a silent, but significant transformation, both physically and hormonally. A missed period is the first symptom of pregnancy, but signs throughout the first trimester can be less conspicuous. During the first three months, hormonal shifts cause distinct changes in the body. Physical sensations such as sore breasts, nausea in the morning and unexplained fatigue are some of the most common symptoms during this period. However, pregnancy symptoms vary greatly based on the person. Confirming your pregnancy with your doctor rather than comparing symptoms with others will minimize both guesswork and anxiety.
First Month of Pregnancy
Early signs of pregnancy in the first month vary based on the woman, but it’s vital to be prepared for all possible symptoms. Here are a few of the most common changes within the initial four weeks.
Sore & swollen breasts: When you get pregnant, there’s tons of hormones flooding your body as your fetus develops. For many women, this comes with tender breasts. In fact, a recent study revealed that over 75% of women experience breast pain within the first trimester.
Morning sickness: For those who’ve been pregnant, this symptom will come as no surprise. While it’s known as morning sickness, mild nausea can happen anytime of the day during pregnancy. According to Mayo Clinic, nausea and vomiting in the first month after conception might indicate you are experiencing the climb in hormones needed for a healthy pregnancy.
Frequent urination: When you become pregnant, your body starts producing more blood to support the baby. As a result, your kidneys take on the extra work of producing the extra liquid, which ends up in your bladder. While many early symptoms ease up, urinating more frequently happens throughout the pregnancy process.
Fatigue: Thanks to the higher levels of the hormone progesterone, many women experience fatigue in the first month of pregnancy. However, as the baby develops and your body adjusts to the influx of hormones your energy levels should shoot back up after the first four weeks.
Second Month of Pregnancy
Symptoms between the first and second month of pregnancy do not vary drastically, but tend to become more pronounced. In this part of pregnancy, the embryo starts to show cardiac activity and develop buds which will become the hands and legs. While it isn’t an independent heartbeat yet, your body carries more blood to help support the fetus’s development.
Third Month of Pregnancy
By week 9, the more uncomfortable symptoms such as morning sickness, fatigue, and painful breasts are generally less acute. During the second trimester, symptoms shift as the fetus develops. Here’s a few of the changes to be prepared for.
A heightened sense of smell: Better senses is one of the first telltale signs you’re expecting. According to a recent study, nearly 61% of pregnant women rated their olfactory sensitivity higher during pregnancy.
Food aversions: Going hand-in-hand with a better sense of smell, pregnancy can create new food aversions. Thanks to better senses and an increase in the human gonadotropin hormone (HGC), previous favorites may be unthinkable. If you are experiencing food aversion and heightened senses, it could be time to test for pregnancy.
How and When to Test for Pregnancy
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms and think you could be pregnant, it’s time to test! Pregnancy tests look for levels of HGC in your blood or urine, detectable 6-10 days after conception. Produced by the placenta, HGC is a hormone that increases when you’re pregnant to support new cell growth. Whether you use an at-home urine test or a blood test via a medical professional, both seek out and test your levels of HGC to determine if you’re pregnant. If you think you could be pregnant, the most important thing to do is test and prepare a comprehensive care plan.
Feeling the first symptoms of pregnancy can be an exciting time for hopeful parents during the fertility journey. If you are hoping to become pregnant and are looking for a caring team to work with, the Red Rock Fertility Center team is here to help you reach your goals to grow your family. Book an appointment today to get started on your journey and become closer to feeling your early signs of pregnancy.
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