There is a chance you don't know you're pregnant yet. Being able to identify early pregnancy symptoms and signs can help you determine if you are pregnant or should take a pregnancy test and contact your doctor.
An increase in the pregnancy hormone hCG is to blame for the first signs of pregnancy. Early pregnancy symptoms can mimic flu symptoms with feelings of fatigue, nausea, and dizziness being common. Other symptoms include:
- increased urination
- tender and/or enlarged breasts
- missed period
Shifting hormones cause an increase in blood flow to your pelvic region to help support your growing embryo, but this also means your kidneys are working harder and creating more urine so you might have noticed more trips to the bathroom than you usually take. Leaning forward when you pee and waiting for a few minutes after you think you have finished can help you empty your bladder more fully between bathroom trips.
You might see some spotting in your underwear or blood on toilet paper after urinating. Bleeding in early pregnancy is common and is usually related to the implantation of the egg in the uterus. While it can happen in about a quarter of healthy pregnancies, it can also be the first sign of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. If you see any signs of blood, you'll want to call your doctor or caregiver right away to rule out any problems.
You might also be feeling bloated or have stomach flu-like symptoms including nausea and heartburn. These feelings are once again the result of pregnancy hormones that cause muscles at the top of the stomach to relax which could result in juices backing up the esophagus. They also slow your digestive system so you can absorb more nutrients for pregnancy which can cause bloating and potential vomiting.
New and changing hormones can also reek havoc on your skin causing teenage-style breakouts or minor acne similar to what you might experience right before your period.
Some women also experience some feelings of sadness or the "blues" both before and after they learn they are pregnant. Even if you were planning and hoping to get pregnant, your hormones and anxiety can often get the better of you. If you feel down or sad for longer than a few days, you should check in with your doctor to report your symptoms.
- WebMD - Early Signs of Pregnancy
- American Pregnancy Association - Early Pregnancy Symmptoms
- Medicine Net - Early Pregnancy Symptoms