What are the earliest signs of pregnancy? When can you find out if you are pregnant even before the missed period?
Early Pregnancy Signs: Sore Breasts
This is a very common pregnancy symptom, says Goist. “Breast tissue is extremely hormone-sensitive,” she explains. “When progesterone and hCG start flooding the body after the egg is fertilized, they increase your blood volume, which makes your breasts swell and feel heavier than usual.”
Early Pregnancy Signs: Cramps
You may feel crampy like you have or are about to get your period, but this pregnancy sign is actually triggered by implantation — when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall. Your uterus may be stretching a little now (hence the cramps) to prep for its massive expansion over the next nine months.
Early Pregnancy Signs: Spotting
“Many women mistake some light bleeding for a period, but as many as 25 percent will have some spotting during implantation,” says Goist. If you notice that your “period” seems way shorter or different from usual, it may be a sign of pregnancy.
Early Pregnancy Signs: Fatigue
There’s tired, and then there’s this: If all you can think about at work is taking a nap or if you’re too exhausted to keep up with everyday activities like hitting the gym, then it may be your body one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. “Even at this early stage of pregnancy — within two weeks of conception — your baby is starting to use up your calories, which can wipe out your energy stores pretty quickly,” says Goist.
Early Pregnancy Signs: Nipple Darkening
Are the boobs are looking a little different these days? Pregnancy hormones also affect the activity of melanocytes, or cells in the nipples responsible for their color. “Darker-complexioned women may not notice this until later in pregnancy — say, around 10 weeks or so,” says Goist.
Early Pregnancy Signs: Bloating
Can’t zip up those skinny jeans? Ramped-up levels of progesterone slow down your digestive track and may make your tummy feel puffier than usual. (This also happens during PMS, notes Goist, but bloating stops when your period arrives, causing progesterone levels to plummet.) If the bloating doesn’t go away — and your period never comes — start watching for that stick to turn pink.
Early Pregnancy Signs: Peeing More Often
Getting up for more bathroom breaks may be the result of your kidneys starting to kick into overdrive during early pregnancy; they have to flush out fluid more efficiently during pregnancy. (Watch out for this one at the end of pregnancy too — but then it’s more due to your gigundo uterus pressing on your bladder.)
Early Pregnancy Signs: Cravings
At this point, you’re more likely jonesing for a jumbo bagel than pickles or Rocky Road. “Your overtired body may demand extra carbs now because they’re easily metabolized, which helps keep energy levels up,” says Goist.
Early Pregnancy Signs: Headaches
Increasing blood volume may trigger frequent but mild tension headaches in the first few weeks of pregnancy, but this sign of pregnancy should let up as your body adjusts to elevated hormone levels.