Pregnancy

Early Signs of Pregnancy Before a Missed Period

Some pregnancy symptoms can start to show up even before a missed period.  A hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin is produced by placenta as soon as a pregnancy begins, and this hormone is the cause of some basic pregnancy symptoms.  Every woman, and every pregnancy, is different, so some women may not feel any different, even after they have a positive pregnancy test in hand, whereas others may know seemingly immediately after implantation that something is different.  Being aware of the early signs of pregnancy before a missed period can help a woman recognize is she might be pregnant. Here are some of the early pregnancy symptoms and an idea of how soon a woman could expect the symptoms to show.

Implantation Day:

A woman’s basal body temperature, taken by mouth first thing in the morning before a woman even gets out of bed drops.  Called the “implantation dip”, this drop is small and lasts only one day.  If a woman has not been charting her basal body temperature all along, then this sign is meaningless, as she will not know what normal is for her.

8-10 Days after Ovulation:

Mild spotting that is brown or pink color, lower abdominal cramps, hot flashes and cramps.  The slight spotting, called implantation bleeding, and the mild cramping are cause by the fertilized embryo implanting itself into the uterus.  Many women mistake the cramping and bleeding for a light period, as the timing is often right for a period.  Other women never show either cramping or bleeding. Some woman may also start to have tender, swollen and achy breasts.

10 Days after Fertilization:

A blood test at this point would show elevated levels of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, or hCG, indicating a positive pregnancy test. By this point a woman may be showing tender, swollen and achy breasts, some darkening of her areolas, and may have begun to experience bouts of nausea.

10-14 Days after Ovulation:

A urine based home pregnancy test would typically be positive by this point of a woman is pregnant, though in some cases urine tests do not turn positive until days later.  Some tests are much more sensitive than others.

15 Days after Ovulation:

A woman charting her basal body temperature will see that it has stayed elevated, with the exception of the implantation dip.  A woman who is not pregnant would have seen a continued drop in her basal body temperature.

15-16 Days after Ovulation:

The woman misses her period.

2-4 Weeks after Ovulation:

Most pregnant women will, by this point, experience nausea and some breast tenderness.  Some mild fatigue may be setting in.

3-10 Weeks after ovulation:

A pregnant woman likely feels very tired, and some will be feeling extreme nausea and be experiencing vomiting.

1-2 Months after Conception:

Food craving may be setting in, and a woman probably is noticing that she needs to make more frequent trips to the bathroom. If it hasn’t already, areolar tissue will darkens now, and if a woman has an ultrasound after 8 weeks of pregnancy, the fetal heartbeat might be seen on the ultrasound screen.

During the initial phase of pregnancy some women will feel some of these early pregnancy symptoms but have a negative home pregnancy test.  As mentioned before, home pregnancy tests vary in their sensitivity, and while the amount of hCG might be enough for a woman to feel pregnant, it might not be enough for the test to be positive.  If you think you might be pregnant but are not getting positive results on a home test, make an appointment with a doctor.  A blood test will give you an answer much sooner!

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