If you are TTC (trying to conceive), it is understandable that you get anxious the closer you get to your next menses date. So, what are some early symptoms that you are pregnant, way before you miss your menses?
Your breasts may be extra tender as early as one or two weeks after conception as you are making so much estrogen and progesterone in early pregnancy that the glands in the breasts start growing.
Cramps and Backache
Though also a common symptom for menses, it is actually caused by hormonal changes and the growth of the uterus. About 30% of women experienced cramps and contractions, which is triggered by implantation—when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall. Your uterus may be starting to stretch little by little now (hence the cramps) to prep for its massive expansion over the next nine months.
Nausea with or without Vomiting
I would personally think that this is one of the more promising tell-tale sign. Nausea seems to be partially due to rapidly rising levels of estrogen, which causes the stomach to empty more slowly. Pregnant women also have a heightened sense of smell, so various smells such as perfume or cigarette smoke – may cause waves of nausea in early pregnancy. Even before I was tested positive, I would get nauseous mainly in the evenings and feel very bloated. Nothing will seem to soothe it, maybe just a little at best. To tackle this, ginger tea works the best for me.
Raised basal temperature
This is also another accurate symptom for me. Your basal body temperature is your oral temperature when you first wake up in the morning. This temperature increases slightly soon after ovulation and remains at that level until your next period. If you’ve been charting your basal body temperature to determine when you ovulate, a continued elevation for more than two weeks may mean that you’re pregnant.
This may take a small amount of discipline to monitor it on a daily basis. Ideally, you should also have uninterrupted sleep throughout the night to have an accurate reading. As such, this may be challenging if you are trying for a second one (if your first kid does not sleep through the night!)
Early in pregnancy, increased blood circulation caused by hormonal changes may trigger frequent, mild headaches. For myself, I seldom have headache throughout my life, so you can imagine my hopes being heightened when I found myself pulling my hair for 2 weeks even before missing my period.
Constipation seems to be another common early symptom of pregnancy. An increase in progesterone causes food to pass more slowly through the intestines, which can lead to constipation. However, I did not experienced this personally.
And of course, last but not least and perhaps the most obvious early symptom of pregnancy is when you’ve missed your period. This is usually the trigger for women to search for more details about other pregnancy symptoms. Some women may only experience a much lighter period compared to their usual.
These are some of the early signs of symptoms for pregnancy. If some of these signs do not usually happen for you, like how I do not have many headaches in my life, keep your finger crossed, you may be pregnant! However, also learn to your expectation as it may be a false hit. I have my fair share of disappointment for the first 2 months when I am trying to conceive. Don’t give up and keep trying!
For kan-cheong ladies who really want to have a baby, I would like to share a personal tip on testing for pregnancy. I know fully well the anxiety to test for pregnancy before you missed your period. And pregnancy kits are so expensive, ouch!
What I did was to get some really cheap pregnancy kits to test for early pregnancy (yes, I couldn’t wait to see if I will miss my period. You can find the link at the end of the article). When it showed that it’s positive, I (holding my breath) did another test with an established brand, i.e Clearblue.
What are your early signs of pregnancy? Please share your experience with us.
P/S: This is where I got the cheap testing kits from qoo10 but because it is so much cheaper, I find myself spamming it.