Are you planning to conceive at this moment? If yes, then you must be doing everything possible to become pregnant such as – ditching your birth control pills, keeping a track of the ovulation and spending more time in bed with your partner.
You may talk to your gynae and know how soon you can get pregnant. Unfortunately, without performing pregnancy blood tests or ultrasound and pregnancy tests, there isn’t any way to know if you are pregnant before missing your period. Read on to know some signs and symptoms that might be an indication to know about your pregnancy.
Early symptoms of pregnancy before your missed period
Check out some early symptoms of pregnancy before missing your period and know pregnancy symptoms usually imitate PMS symptoms.
· Sensitive or sore breasts – One of the earliest changes you will find at the time of pregnancy is sore or aching breasts. Your breasts might feel tender while touching, heavier or fuller than normal. This is mainly due to rising level of progresterone in your body. The symptom may continue during the pregnancy period or gradually subside after the first few weeks.
- Darkening areolas – You will even notice the area around the nipples or your areolas to become dark. This will happen within one to two weeks after you conceive and are usually the first sign of your pregnancy.
- Fatigue – Fatigue is quite common in the first months of pregnancy that occurs due to some changes in your hormones. Also, your sugar and blood pressure levels remain low during this time.
- Nausea – Both nausea and morning sickness generally begin when you are in the fourth and sixth weeks of pregnancy. You might face some queasiness then and nausea at the time of pregnancy can be worse for some women than the others.
· Cervical mucus – You might notice some change or increase in the vaginal discharge during early pregnancy. At the first trimester, you will secrete white or pale yellow and sticky mucus due to vaginal blood flow and increased hormones. This may continue throughout the pregnancy period as your cervix becomes soft.
· Implantation bleeding – You may suffer from light spotting or bleeding and implantation bleeding in around 10 to 14 days after the conception. Implantation bleeding usually takes place about a week before your period starts. The bleeding will be a lot lighter than the usual period and stop after one to three days.
· Frequent urination – You will have urination quite often at the time of pregnancy. This is mainly because the body increases the amount of blood it pumps thus, resulting in the kidneys processing more fluid than usual. This means there is more fluid in your bladder.
If you need to go to the bathroom often to pee, then this may be an early sign of pregnancy. This usually begins as early as two weeks after the conception. But you might not have this symptom till the second or third trimester.
· Basal body temperature – The basal body temperature or (BBT) is the temperature when your body is completely at rest. This is usually taken when you wake up at first in the morning.
A rise in basal body temperature for 18 days after the ovulation might be an early symptom of pregnancy. The method will work the best when you track your BBT for some time and know what it had been during pre-pregnancy and throughout the cycle.
· Bloating – If your stomach feels bloated, then this is another symptom of early pregnancy. The digestive system may become slow due to hormonal changes and lead to bloating, gas or constipation.
How positive are the symptoms?
The symptoms for pregnancy differ for everyone and are quite easy to get confused with PMS. So, it is almost impossible to know if you are pregnancy or have the symptoms only.
Your best challenge is to take a pregnancy test at home or visit a gynae in case you think you are pregnant and already missing your period.
Home pregnancy tests are quite reliable but you can sometimes get a false-positive test. This usually takes place due to several reasons such as a chemical or ectopic pregnancy or taking certain medications.
You need to follow your pregnancy test done at home in case it is positive. For this, you should visit a gynae to perform a urine or blood test in Harley Street and confirm your pregnancy.
Pregnancy symptoms versus PMS symptoms
Pregnancy symptoms usually imitate PMS symptoms. For example, breast tenderness, fatigue and nausea may be some symptoms of both pregnancy and PMS.
But when you get pregnant, there might be some signs that is not there for PMS such as implantation bleeding.
This is either bleeding or light spotting that takes place almost 10 to 14 days after the conception and about a week before your period starts. This bleeding will be lighter and even stop after one to three days.
Other symptoms include – bloating, breast tenderness and cramps that might be symptoms of either pregnancy or PMS. It is quite difficult to know the causes of these symptoms till you undergo a home pregnancy test.
How soon can you perform a pregnancy test?
You need to wait for at least one to two weeks after you enjoy sex with your partner to take a home pregnancy test. The earliest you may perform the test to detect levels of human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG, the sooner a hormone will be produced at the time of pregnancy.
If you undergo a test early, then you might not be able to detect hCG. If possible, try to wait for some time and test the week after you have missed period.
In case the results of your home pregnancy test turn positive, visit a gynaecologist immediately. He will be able to confirm your pregnancy and take necessary steps for it.
Other possible causes of your delayed period
If your period gets delayed, then this is not always due to pregnancy. Other causes of a delayed period include the following:
- severe or high stress
- low body weight
- frequent and high intensity exercise
- polycystic ovary syndrome or (PCOS)
- thyroid condition
- early perimenopause
If you are extremely worried about your delayed period, then it is advised to see your gynaecologist immediately. They may ask you to perform certain tests and treatments for your condition.
There is no other way to be sure if you have already conceived before missing your period than taking a home pregnancy test. Some women might experience certain symptoms such as nausea and fatigue which might be PMS symptoms. If you are not sure about your pregnancy after taking a home test, it is advised to visit your gynae expert soon. They will help to confirm about your pregnancy by performing a blood or urine test and then discuss the next steps for your prenatal care.
Peter Beaumont is a senior reporter on the Guardian’s Global Development desk. He has reported extensively from conflict zones including Africa, the Balkans and the Middle East and is the author of The Secret Life of War: Journeys Through Modern Conflict. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org