Recognize the early signs and symptoms of pregnancy
Are you pregnant or not yet? When a woman wants a baby, she often looks for the first signs of pregnancy with each new menstrual cycle. These signs, which can occur a few days after conception, are sometimes difficult to recognize and interpret. Delayed periods, nausea, sensitive breasts, mood swings, increased temperature, weight gain... Pregnancy symptoms remain numerous and are expressed differently in future mothers. But how to detect the beginning of a pregnancy? What are the main associated signs? What methods should you use to check that you are really pregnant? Let's take stock of these questions.
When do the first signs of pregnancy appear?
The first signs of pregnancy appear in a variable way depending on the woman. Few women report experiencing symptoms during the first week after conception. In general, mothers-to-be begin to notice changes in the second or third week. Sometimes there are no signs at all!
After fusing with a sperm in one of the mother's fallopian tubes, the fertilized egg begins its journey to the uterus. This stage, which lasts about a week, ends with the implantation of the embryo in the uterine wall. During this next phase, called implantation, some women experience pain similar to menstruation and bleed slightly. However, this first sign of pregnancy after ovulation does not always occur.
The first symptoms are often triggered by the production of the hormone beta-hCG (or gonadotropic chorionic hormone), which is secreted after implantation. In the early stages of pregnancy, some women may experience tension in their breasts.
The psychological aspect is also a factor to consider. Indeed, the desire for a child can be so strong that the body can show false signs of pregnancy. It is therefore advisable to remain patient and to wait for more significant signs, such as a delay in menstruation.
What are the main symptoms of pregnancy?
Pregnancy symptoms can be very different from one woman and from one pregnancy to another. Although there are many symptoms, some are often encountered by future mothers and are quite evocative. Here are 9 signs of pregnancy that can't be mistaken!
1. Delay or absence of menstruation
A late period or an absence of menstruation (amenorrhea) is the main indicator of a possible pregnancy. Menstruation is the periodic evacuation of the uterine mucous membrane in the absence of fertilization. If you notice a delay of several days, it is possible that an embryo has settled in your uterus.
However, this is not 100% reliable. Women who are under stress, have irregular cycles or whose lifestyle has recently changed can be misled. In addition, some women may experience light bleeding and sometimes even "anniversary bleeding
2. Tender breasts and nipples
Breast and nipple tenderness remains a relatively common symptom in pregnant women. The mother-to-be may feel tension in her breasts very early on. This physical change is the result of the increase in progesterone and estrogen levels, two hormones that act on the mammary glands.
Your breasts will increase in size, become firmer, and may be sore when you lie on your side, for example. Your nipples and areolas will also grow in anticipation of breastfeeding. Looking for a comfortable and progressive maternity bra? Check out our nursing bra!
3. Vaginal discharge and secretions
Leukorrhea or white discharge is a normal vaginal secretion that is present in all women. These odorless discharges are most often characterized by a fairly light color. Their role is to lubricate the vagina and clean it by eliminating dead cells.
At the beginning of pregnancy, the blood flow in the female genital tract is much greater and cell renewal is accelerated. If you notice a heavier discharge than usual, you may be expecting a baby! This discharge should remain clear and odorless. If it does not,consult your doctor or gynecologist immediately, as it could be a sign of bacterial vaginosis or fungus.
To feel good about your body during your pregnancy and after your delivery, we recommend our range of pregnancy and postpartum panties for pregnant women and young mothers!
4. Chronic fatigue
From the beginning of pregnancy and throughout the first trimester, pregnant women generally feel anirrepressible urge to sleep or take a nap. This almost permanent state of tiredness is the result of the various hormonal changes occurring in her body and is one of the many symptoms of pregnancy in the early weeks.
Progesterone, which is secreted in abundance during the first months, has relaxing and sedative properties. Estrogen stimulates the growth of new cells, increases blood volume and increases the heart rate. If you start sleeping longer at night or feel short of breath when walking up the stairs, you may be expecting a baby.
5. Nausea and stomach pain
Nausea and vomiting affect about 85% of pregnant women during the first trimester. This pregnancy symptom is therefore a good indicator of the start of fertilization. Nausea can appear as soon as your period is late and reaches a peak around the 9th week. It generally disappears during the second trimester for the luckiest future mothers. Unfortunately, the others may suffer from it until the delivery.
Again, it's a matter of hormones:
- Beta-hCG maintains acidity in the stomach and slows down digestive functions. It also stimulates the secretion of estrogen, which is known to promote nausea and vomiting.
- Progesterone produced in abundance leads to a decrease in muscle tone as well as a relaxation of the cardia, the sphincter closing the stomach.
Nausea can be accompanied by digestive problems (heartburn, gastro-esophageal reflux, intestinal cramps...). To relieve them, think of limiting your consumption of acidic foods for example.
6. Frequent urination
A woman starting a pregnancy often feels the need to urinate more frequently. This is a pregnancy symptom that results from the pressure the uterus puts on the bladder, but also from the increased blood flow in the pelvic area. This causes the kidneys to filter more fluid, which increases the number of daily urinations.
To minimize discomfort, go to the bathroom as soon as possible and continue to stay well hydrated during the day. You may also want to cut down on drinks at night to avoid waking up at night.
7. Mood and Emotional Changes
In the first few weeks, a mother-to-be may notice changes in her mood and become more emotional than usual. Pregnancy hormones provoke contradictory feelings in her: joy, fear, fullness, anxiety... The whole range of emotions is represented, sometimes in the space of a few minutes!
These symptoms of pregnancy remain frequent during the first three months. By listening to your body and your moods, you may feel that you are pregnant.
8. Disturbed sleep
Early in pregnancy, some pregnant women experience sleep disturbances. This signal is mainly a result of the previous three pregnancy symptoms:
- Nausea may wake you up earlier in the morning or disrupt your sleep at night.
- The urge to urinate is likely to get you out of bed during the night.
- Anxiety and fear may affect your sleep.
9. Changes in eating habits
Finally, mothers-to-be frequently notice changes in their eating habits during the first few weeks of pregnancy. They tend to increase the amount of food they eat and often have cravings during the day.
Also,their sense of taste and smell changes, which can lead to surprising cravings or aversions. So you may not like your favorite food at all, and you may love something you used to hate.
Do pregnancy symptoms come on the first day?
Experiencing a pregnancy symptom from day one is unlikely. In fact, a delay in menstruation or unusual nausea are the main signals that lead women to wonder about a possible embryo implantation.
We have seen that the first signs can appear between the2nd and3rd week after ovulation and that not all women experience them in the same way. Our advice: be patient while listening to your body!
Is having a painful period a sign of being pregnant?
It is not possible tobe pregnant and have a period. However, at the beginning of the first trimester, the mother-to-be may experience bleeding that is reminiscent of menstruation. This metrorrhagia (blood loss between periods) occurs during the first trimester. They are caused by the implantation of the embryo in the uterus and are characterized by a pink or brown color. They are painless and last between 1 and 2 days. To better live this period, do not hesitate to wear our organic cotton menstrual panties.
A pregnant woman can also have an "anniversary period" coinciding with the date of her period. This may be due to a benign abruption of the placenta, which will eventually subside. If this bleeding is accompanied by severe pain, seek professional help quickly. It may indicate an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage.
How do I know if I am pregnant?
You are experiencing several of the symptoms mentioned above and you want to know if you are pregnant? To do so, you can perform a test (urine or blood), possibly completed by an ultrasound.
A urinepregnancy test purchased in a pharmacy or supermarket will allow you to know if you are expecting a baby. Relatively reliable, it detects the presence of the hormone beta-hCG in the urine. This substance is indeed secreted about a week after conception and its concentration increases strongly during the first trimester.
To obtain an accurate result, it is advisable to perform this test with the first morning urine, 1 to 2 weeks after the expected date of menstruation. If it is positive, you are certainly expecting a child. All you have to do is confirm this result by taking a blood test in a laboratory.
Pregnancy blood test
Asthe hCG hormone is more concentrated in the blood, a laboratory test prescribed by your midwife or gynecologist will allow a quicker detection than a urine test. You can take this blood sample 8 to 10 days after fertilization, i.e. one week before the beginning of your menstruation. This is the most reliable test.
Your gynecologist may suggest an ultrasound during a follow-up visit to find out if you are pregnant. Note, however, that anultrasound is safe for the baby and can only detect a pregnancy after 7 days of delayed menstruation, or 3 weeks after fertilization. The embryo will then measure approximately 1.5 mm and can be observed during the ultrasound. Its correct implantation in the uterus and its viability will also be checked.
When do the symptoms of pregnancy disappear?
The first symptoms of pregnancy usually subside at the beginning of the second trimester. Nausea and fatigue should diminish or even stop around the 12th week. Your body will start to get used to this new state and your hormone levels will stabilize. It's normal for you to feel better as your pregnancy progresses. If your symptoms don't subside, keep in mind that they will disappear quickly after you give birth.
Pregnancy Symptoms FAQ
What are the signs of a one-week pregnancy?
Nausea and breast tenderness are the most common signs of a one-week pregnancy.
Where do I touch to find out if I'm pregnant?
The cervix of a pregnant woman undergoes various changes that can be detected by a simple vaginal touch. At the beginning of gestation, it will be softer and larger. However, this examination must be performed by a health professional and cannot be repeated at home.
How to know if you are pregnant without a pregnancy test?
You can find on the internet multiple grandma's recipes to make your own home pregnancy test. However, only a urine or blood test will allow you to confirm that you are pregnant.
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