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Can you experience pregnancy symptoms before your missed period?
Normally, a woman’s ovulation is around 2 weeks before her period. This is also an important time if you are trying to conceive as this is the easiest time to get pregnant. When your egg becomes fertilized and implanted in the uterus, this is the start of your pregnancy.
Pregnancy symptoms start generally within one to two weeks after conception. Some women like to want to these symptoms in order to have an idea if a baby is on the way.
Even before you have missed your period, there are already early pregnancy symptoms that you can watch out for:
Changes in your breasts
Your breasts are usually the first ones that can get the signal that you have conceived. These changes in your breasts can be felt from the earliest part of your pregnancy around one to week weeks after conception and all throughout the rest of the 9 months.
It is also important to remember that some of these breast changes might be felt by women before their period starts. (The difference would be these sensations would be felt as the pregnancy continues unlike when you have your period when it would disappear).
These changes are felt because of the increase in progesterone hormones, a hormone that breast tissues are very sensitive to. You might feel a sore, tingly, heaviness, and discomfort in your breasts. Some symptoms include:
This is a symptom that you won’t be experiencing before your menstrual cycle and is also an early symptom that you might be pregnant. The circles around your nipples or your areolas will darken in color.
They will also increase in size/diameter. You can also notice little bumps around the areola area which are also the glands that will lubricate your nipples when you would be nursing.
Increase in breast size
This increase in breast size is due to the production of the progesterone hormones. These hormones are also responsible for the creation of milk-producing cells. This is why your breasts will feel fuller and heavier.
Pain around the breast area (in the sides and armpits)
You might also feel a slight ache near your armpits. This area of breast tissue is called the Tail of Spence.
Tender and swollen breasts
Your breasts might feel sore and tender to the touch as they are getting bigger and also as they are adjusting to the hormones you are producing. As your body is adjusting and getting used to being pregnant, this symptom will just subside after a few weeks.
Nausea or Morning Sickness
This is one of the most common pregnancy symptoms that most women will notice or look out for. Although not all women will experience this early sign of pregnancy before a missed period.
Some might feel this later on in the pregnancy as well. The feeling of nausea is usually felt the strongest during the morning even though you can still feel “morning sickness” at any time of the day.
This kind of nausea is caused by the increase in hCG hormones during the early stages of pregnancy. Sometimes you could experience nausea by itself or nausea with vomiting. How early can you get morning sickness would be different for each mom but it can come as early as a few days after conception.
This is a symptom that can be very uncomfortable. Due to the rush of pregnancy hormones, it can cause your digestive system to slow down thus there would be a delay in the breaking down of the food you eat.
This leads to more gas being trapped in your intestines, resulting in lots of burping and passing gas. In order to minimize the bloating, you can try to eat smaller meals frequently throughout the day instead of eating big meals a few times a day.
This is to minimize the work your digestive system has to do all at once. Snacking during the day will also help keep you full meaning you will less likely eat a lot or binge during one meal.
Constipation is a digestive system problem that you might experience as a pregnancy symptom before your missed period. The progesterone hormone that slows down your digestive system causes the constipation that you are experiencing. This difficulty of removing bowels can happen in the early weeks of pregnancy.
Implantation Bleeding and Implantation Cramping
Around one week or two before a missed period, you may experience implantation bleeding and/or implantation cramping. When the zygote will attach itself to the walls of the uterus, it could cause slight bleeding or spotting.
These will most likely be a few drops of blood colored brown. The bleeding should never be heavy though. If you notice heavier or more intense bleeding, contact your doctor right away.
Sometimes women might confuse implantation bleeding with their periods but it should be noted that the bleeding will not become as intense as your period bleeding. Implantation cramping can be felt around the time of your ovulation. This can be felt in the lower back area and on the side of your lower abdomen where your eggs were released.
Loss of appetite
A sign of pregnancy before your missed period could be a decrease in your appetite. This is due to the hormonal changes that may affect your taste buds. Because of certain food aversions and sensitivities to food smells, this may also affect your appetite and you might not even want to eat your favorite foods.
A decrease in appetite may also happen especially during this time when you will be feeling morning sickness, nausea, and even vomiting.
Heightened sense of smell
Because of the increase of estrogen in your body, you could have an improved sense of smell. Many women have experienced this early on as a pregnancy symptom before a missed period. The downside is that the heightened sense of smell can lead moms to feel nauseous wherein every single smell can be irritating.
One of the symptoms of pregnancy in the first month is different kinds and levels of food aversions and sensitivities. According to studies, 85% of women will experience some sort of food aversion during their first trimester. This is again caused by the progesterone hormones taking its toll on the body.
There may be specific foods that you are craving that you have never liked before, or you may feel nauseous when it comes to your old favorites.
Some women also experience a metallic taste in their mouth that goes with some aversions to certain smells. Studies show that this could be due to the fluctuating hormone levels in your body.
Another symptom to watch out for is caffeine intolerance. If you are used to taking in a certain amount of caffeine everyday, you might notice that you would start to feel nauseated or that it is making you feel jittery, sweaty, and anxious when normally you would be okay.
Tiredness and Fatigue
This sense of tiredness that you will feel early on during pregnancy is unexplainable. The easiest tasks can make you feel really exhausted. This might be a signal from your body for you to take it slow and rest up for the pregnancy ahead.
Fatigue during pregnancy usually results from the progesterone hormones in your system and also the fact that your body is producing more blood and generally working harder for you to support the growing fetus. During this time you will be feeling more sluggish and sleepier than normal.
In order to combat this pregnancy symptom, make sure you are eating a healthy, nutritious and balanced diet. By getting all these vitamins and minerals in your system, you can provide the right nutrition for your body to keep up and help you accomplish your daily tasks and goals.
Taking your prenatal vitamins religiously can go a long in way in keeping your body strong and healthy during your whole pregnancy. Keeping yourself hydrated is also important to help keep your body from burning out.
Even if normally you drink caffeine to give you energy, try to stay away from it during this time since it can actually be harmful for you and the baby.
Shortness of breath is also another pregnancy symptom to watch out for. Since the oxygen in your body is also now going towards your baby, you might feel out of breath fast. Even the slightest amount of activity can leave you breathless.
In order to help regulate your breath, you can try to have a mild exercise routine and taking deep breaths. Even simple things like wearing loose clothing or making sure you have proper posture can help in making you breathe easier.
Increase in Basal Body Temperature (BBT)
During your ovulation period, you could notice that your body temperature would rise up. It could be anywhere from 0.4 to 1 degrees. This is also a sign that some people use to determine that it is the right time to be trying to conceive a baby.
It is helpful if you are already tracking your basal body temperature beforehand in order to really determine if a significant change is happening. Normally, once you have your period, your body temperature will drop again but if you are pregnant, your basal body temperature will remain high.
Try monitoring your body temperature 18 days after your ovulation period and if your BBT still remains elevated, chances are, you probably are pregnant.
Dizziness and Headaches
During pregnancy, blood vessels will expand because of the increase in the volume of blood. Because of this, your blood pressure could go down and you could feel lightheaded or dizzy. You could also feel dizzy since a party of your blood supply is now going towards your growing fetus.
Headaches that appear during this time are also caused by low sugar levels and an increase in estrogen and progesterone levels. The pressure on the blood vessels in your head will also be strained causing these headaches.
It is vital that you consult your doctor if you feel abdominal pain or vaginal bleeding together with dizziness since this could pose a more serious threat like an ectopic pregnancy.
Not all women might experience this pregnancy symptom but it could be a sign that you are pregnant if you do notice an excessive amount of drool recently. Studies have shown that this excessive drooling is due to heartburn or excess of acid in the woman’s body.
Morning sickness can also cause this buildup of saliva since you might feel too nauseous to swallow anything, meaning there would be an accumulation of liquid in the mouth. If your body is experiencing heartburn, it might also release all this acid through the form of the saliva in your mouth.
A reason for heartburn during early pregnancy is that your body is preparing the muscles for pregnancy. As your muscles loosen, so does the sphincter muscle which is responsible for keeping the acid in your stomach from rising up to your throat. Because this muscle isn’t functioning as it should, you could be experiencing acid reflux.
Urge to drink more water
Because of the increase of blood in your system, this can also lead to an increase in thirst. You might feel like drinking a lot of water to satisfy your thirst. It is important that you always keep hydrated and don’t ignore this feeling.
Urge to urinate frequently
Another super early pregnancy symptom that could start around two weeks after conception is the increase in the urge to pee. This will be around the time that you would have gotten your period. Your kidneys are working harder than ever due to the increase of blood in the body. You could also feel this urge to urinate frequently during nighttime.
As you are also drinking more water and keeping hydrated, you would also be going to the bathroom a lot. Another reason why you would be feeling the need to pee is the fact that as your uterus grows, it would apply pressure on your bladder, making you pee often.
Lower back pain
Because your womb is starting to expand as your fetus is growing, this could cause lower back pain from the beginning of the pregnancy, up until the end. If the pain is too much to handle, consult your doctor first on what you should do or what medicine to take.
This symptom is a familiar one since you might also be feeling this before your period begins. You might be feeling happy in one moment, and then feeling sad after another. This is due to the hormones in the body that causes these mood swings and different emotions to manifest. The varying hormone levels can also affect the neurotransmitters in the brain.
You can minimize the effects of these mood swings by trying to relax and do activities that calm your senses. You can get some rest, take a relaxing bath, listening to calming music, or even talk to your partner and communicate the issues and emotions that you are dealing with.
Cervical mucus/ vaginal discharge
If you notice a thick and creamy discharge even after your ovulation period, this could be an early symptom of pregnancy.
When can you notice pregnancy symptoms before your missed period?
What symptoms you can notice before a missed period can vary and some women might experience all or only a few of them. Some might feel nauseous, fatigue, breast changes, or bloating around a week before your period is supposed to arrive.
These can be around a few days after you have conceived. Some symptoms might appear later on after a few weeks or you might not even experience some of them.
PMS vs. Pregnancy symptoms
Sometimes, PMS can mimic the signs of pregnancy so it might get confusing to tell them apart. The symptoms that are more likely (but not 100%) related to pregnancy are the darkening of areolas, a consistently high basal body temperature, and a creamy vaginal discharge after your ovulation period.
Otherwise, a lot of these pregnancy symptoms might be related to PMS as well. Sometimes due to other hormonal or bodily issues like weight gain or stress, you may even miss a period, but you are not pregnant.
The only way you’ll know for sure is to wait for a certain time period and taking a pregnancy test after to confirm if you are really pregnant or not.
Precautions to take while waiting to see if you have missed your period
If you have been checking for pregnancy symptoms with the aim of conceiving, you would know that it is better to do the necessary steps and care to ensure that you will be able to have a successful conception.
During the time that you think you have conceived until the time when you are supposed to have your period, you can take the following precautions just to make sure that you are doing what’s best for you and your potential baby:
Limit caffeine intake
If you are an avid coffee drinker, try to switch to tea since it has lesser caffeine. It would be even better if you can try to eliminate caffeine altogether. This is because caffeine can be harmful to the fetus when in excess and it can also cause you to feel some pregnancy symptoms like excessive sweating, anxiousness, feeling lightheaded, and increased heart rate.
Alcohol, even in small amounts, can be dangerous for your baby so it’s best to avoid it completely until you are sure that you aren’t pregnant.
It is important not to smoke during pregnancy but also if you are trying to conceive. This is because it could pose a risk of miscarriage and issues with your placenta. Even if you are an occasional smoker, it is better to avoid it as much as possible.
Be careful with painkillers
During this time, especially if you will be experiencing different pains or discomfort, it is important to not self medicate and take painkillers like aspirin or ibuprofen on your own. Always consult your doctor before taking anything to make sure that you are not posing a risk for you and your baby.
Taking a pregnancy test
Sometimes, we can’t wait to take a pregnancy test to see if we are pregnant or not, especially if you are experiencing some early pregnancy symptoms. As much as it is tempting to do so, try to refrain from taking a pregnancy test before your expected period so that you won’t waste time and money.
This is because by this time early on, there might not be enough hCG in your urine that can be detected by a pregnancy test. This could lead to a false negative result (the test reading negative when in reality you really ARE pregnant), which can just be unnecessary stress on your part.
You might also be taking the pregnancy test too early and later on your period will come. The best time to take a pregnancy test would be at least a week after you missed your period in order to get the most accurate results.
Trying to conceive and reading symptoms relating to getting pregnant can be a tricky thing. There are pregnancy symptoms before your missed period that can be signs to take note of that maybe you could be pregnant.
Some of these symptoms are similar to PMS so even if you notice these signs, it’s not a total guarantee that you are pregnant. What’s important to remember is to not overdo it and stress out about every single change that you see or not see.
Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about what you are feeling and if any symptom is bothering you in order to make sure that everything is okay with you health wise.
The best way to tell if you are pregnant or not is still through a pregnancy test either through a home pregnancy test, or a blood test that your doctor will do. When it comes to pregnancy tests, the right timing is key so that you won’t get any inaccurate results.
What pregnancy symptoms have you felt before a missed period?