Pregnancy: Signs of Early Pregnancy

What are the signs that I might be pregnant?

Pregnancy causes many changes in your body, and you might notice some of them very soon after you become pregnant. Signs of pregnancy are:

  • You may have some bloody spotting several days after conception, when the first few cells of your growing baby attach to the wall of your uterus. You may also have some cramping at this time.
  • Your first symptom may be that you have to go to the bathroom more often. Pregnancy hormones cause frequent urination. You may notice this even before you miss a period.
  • Changes in your hormones can also cause you to feel much more tired than usual.
  • Another sign is feeling sick to your stomach. This is called morning sickness, but the nausea or vomiting can happen at any time during the day. About half of pregnant women have morning sickness.
  • Your breasts may start feeling tender. They will also usually get bigger. The breast soreness will get better as your body gets used to the pregnancy hormones.
  • You may notice that your clothes fit more tightly.
  • A missed period is the clearest sign of pregnancy, but it is not a sure sign. Other things, such as birth control pills, illness, stress, or losing too much weight, can affect when you have a period. If you have missed 1 or more periods, or have had 1 or more abnormal periods, you should find out if you are pregnant.

Some women may not see any changes until they miss a period, and the missed period may be their only symptom.

How can I know if I am pregnant?

If you think you might be pregnant, you can buy a home pregnancy kit to test for pregnancy. The test looks for a pregnancy hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). Some home pregnancy tests can be done as early as 4 days before you miss a period, others as soon as the day your next period should start. It is important to carefully read and follow the directions for your test so that you are more likely to have an accurate result. If the test is positive there is a good chance that you are pregnant. It is possible to have a positive home test even though you are not pregnant. Your healthcare provider can confirm the test results.

Make an appointment with your healthcare provider as soon as possible to check the test result. Your provider can do a blood test that is more sensitive than a urine test. It is important to find out early if you are pregnant and to start prenatal care. Prenatal care improves your chances for a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.

If the home test is negative and you had your last period less than 6 weeks ago, repeat the test in 1 or 2 weeks. If the test is still negative, you are probably not pregnant. Something else may be causing you to miss your periods. If your period is 6 to 8 weeks late, you should see your healthcare provider even if the home test is negative.

What other symptoms should I watch for?

You may have some of these symptoms if you are pregnant, but they may also be symptoms of another medical condition:

  • Headaches
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Bloating
  • Strange food cravings

Seeing your healthcare provider is the best way to find the cause of these symptoms.

Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2014-04-15
Last reviewed: 2014-04-04
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

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