Pregnancy or PMS?

You and your partner are trying to conceive. You’ve had unprotected sex during your fertility window and now you’re eagerly anticipating those early pregnancy symptoms. Pregnancy symptoms differ from woman to woman and pregnancy to pregnancy and the only way to know for sure if you’re pregnant or not is to take a pregnancy test.

A missed period is usually one of the first signs of pregnancy. Most at-home pregnancy tests recommend waiting until the first day of your missed period before taking a home pregnancy test. Our nurses and pregnancy educators find that when women test within a day or two of their missed periods they may get an inaccurate negative result. We recommend testing after being seven days late.

This is because it’s considered normal to start your period anytime from seven days before to seven days after it’s due and still be within the “normal” time frame. Pregnancy tests work best when the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) has built up in your system. This usually happens around 11 – 12 days after ovulation. Most women get their period around 14 days after ovulation.

Are you experiencing these early signs of pregnancy?

As we said, the most significant pregnancy symptom is a missed period, but you could experience other early pregnancy symptoms within a week of conception:

  • Spotting or light bleeding: If pregnant, this symptom is usually associated with implantation bleeding and is considered one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. The embryo usually implants to the uterine between 6 to 12 days after conception. Some women will experience spotting as well as cramping. Other women don’t even notice implantation bleeding or cramping, so don’t worry if you are trying to get pregnant and don’t experience these symptoms; you could still be pregnant. When this implantation occurs, light bleeding or spotting is perfectly normal. This symptom is sometimes accompanied by light cramping.
  • Nausea or morning sickness: Nausea or morning sickness is the second most commonly reported first sign of pregnancy. Most expecting women experience nausea which typically shows up 2 to 8 weeks after conception. Nausea can be experienced with or without vomiting. Morning sickness can be experienced at any time of the day. It usually occurs during the first trimester and subsides after that for most women, but some will experience nausea throughout their pregnancy.
  • Swollen or tender breasts: The third most frequently cited pregnancy symptom is breast swelling or tenderness. Changes to the breasts can start as early as 1 to 2 weeks after conception.
  • Fatigue or Tiredness: As early as the first week after conception many women cite feeling tired as a sign of pregnancy.

Frequent Pregnancy Symptoms Also Include:

  • Backaches: Lower backaches are common. It can occur with the onset of pregnancy, but it’s usually experienced later as the pregnancy progresses, around pregnancy week 27 to week 34.
  • Headaches:  Experts believe the sudden rise of hormones and/or blood flow in your body leads can cause headaches. There is an approximate 50% increase in the volume of blood flowing during your pregnancy.
  • Frequent urination:  Don’t be surprised if between 6 to 8 weeks you feel like you have to pee more often. You’ll feel the need throughout your pregnancy as the growing baby and expanding uterus place more and more pressure on your bladder.
  • Food cravings or food aversions:  The food expecting women crave or seek to avoid varies and is quite sporadic. It is alright to allow yourself the freedom to pursue those cravings and avoid the things you don’t want as long as you are getting the nutrition you need for a healthy pregnancy. These cravings or aversions can occur early in pregnancy or anytime throughout your pregnancy.
  • Darkening of the Areolas: It’s normal if the areolas, area around your nipples will darken.
  • Mood Swings: Expecting mothers frequently experience mood swings. This is primarily caused by the hormonal changes that affect the neurotransmitters of the brain. Some may experience elevated highs and lows, and others alternate between states of happiness and depression or anxiety. Mood swings are normal; but, if you’re struggling with depression or extended periods of sadness, please contact your healthcare provider. Some women prefer to go directly to a counselor or mental health professional.

But What if You’re Not Pregnant What Else Could It Be?

A missed or delayed period, the most commonly reported first sign of pregnancy, could also be caused by:

  • Pending menstruation
  • Excessive weight gain or loss
  • Fatigue or exhaustion
  • New workout regimen
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Tension or stress
  • Change in birth control usage
  • Various illnesses
  • Breastfeeding

Nausea or morning sickness, the second most frequently cited symptom of pregnancy, might be explained by:

  • Food poisoning
  • Tension or stress
  • Anxiety
  • Change in hormonal birth control
  • Other stomach ailments

Tender or changing breasts, the third most noted pregnancy symptom, might be triggered by:

  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Change in hormonal birth control
  • Impending menstruation

Fatigue or tiredness can be brought on by:

  • Tension or stress
  • Exhaustion from working too hard
  • Depression or other mental health struggles
  • Common cold or flu
  • New workout regimen
  • Allergies or other ailments
  • Lack of sleep
  • Improper nutrition
  • Pending menstruation

We Need Help Getting Pregnant?

Our Ultimate Fertility Resource Guide provides the information you need on fertility, tips on how to get pregnant faster, and how to boost fertility through sometimes simple tweaks to your lifestyle and approach. The guide is easy to read and meant for anybody wanting to increase their ability to conceive. It’s a free download and includes coupon codes for essential products. Even free Nightfood Nighttime Ice Cream.