Is your period late? Have you recently had unprotected sex? Maybe you’re just feeling off or different lately?
When you become pregnant, your body can react in a variety of ways. These early signs are different for every woman and pregnancy, so it’s often easy to mistake them for other physical changes.
Plus, if you used a condom or are on birth control, pregnancy might not even be on your mind. Unfortunately, birth control methods aren’t foolproof, so you can still get pregnant during safe sex.
If you think you might be pregnant, it’s important to get the care you need quickly. Use the symptoms below to see if you are exhibiting any early signs of pregnancy.
What are the signs of pregnancy?
Pregnancy often creates physical, hormonal, and emotional changes. You may experience all of the symptoms below or none of them.
At the same time, seeing any or all of these signs does not automatically mean you are pregnant. If you think there’s a good chance that you are, we recommend making an appointment to get a medical-grade pregnancy test as your next step.
1. Changes in your menstrual cycle
Typically, pregnancy will stop your period. If your period is a week or more late, this could be an early sign of pregnancy.
Some women have an irregular menstrual cycle, which can make this sign harder to read. As a good rule of thumb, take a pregnancy test if you don’t get your period when you expect to.
At the same time, pregnancy may not completely stop vaginal bleeding. You may bleed and cramp during the embryo’s implantation or experience spotting during your pregnancy.
To cover all possibilities, we recommend checking for other symptoms or taking a medical-grade pregnancy test if you experience any changes to your period.
3. Frequent urination
There are many reasons you may have to pee more, including urinary tract infections (UTI), diabetes, or even drinking a lot of fluids such as tea or coffee. That said, it can also be a sign of pregnancy.
Your body increases its blood supply during pregnancy which also creates more waste for your kidneys to remove. This waste is then removed through your urine. For many women, frequent urination starts around 6-8 weeks after conception.
4. Unexplained fatigue
One of the hormones that increases during pregnancy is progesterone. During the first trimester, your higher progesterone levels can leave you feeling tired or sleepy, even with a full night’s sleep or a venti coffee. If you’re feeling more drained than usual or tired without any explanation, pregnancy may be the cause.
5. Dizziness or light-headedness
Some women experience lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar, and dilating blood vessels during pregnancy. These changes may cause dizziness and light-headedness as your body adjusts.
6. Nausea, especially in the morning
Morning sickness is probably the most stereotypical pregnancy symptom. You may experience nausea throughout the day, though it’s most common in the morning. No one knows the exact cause of morning sickness, but your changing hormones likely contribute to the symptom.
Though every pregnant woman on TV deals with nausea, many women don’t experience morning sickness. Instead, you may notice cravings for certain foods. Previously loved foods may now turn your stomach. You might even get nauseous from smells that never bothered you before.
Consistent nausea doesn’t automatically mean that you’re pregnant, but it is often one of the first signs.
7. Mood swings
Pregnancy mood swings can be similar to the emotional shifts you experience during your period. As your hormones change, you may find yourself feeling more moody than usual, typically during the first trimester.
If you’re facing an unexpected pregnancy, these mood swings can amplify your fears, worries, and stress. You may feel trapped, overwhelmed, full of despair, and unable to imagine a happy future.
Just remember that these thoughts and feelings may be worsened by your hormones. Try talking to a trusted loved one, going outside, and using good mental health practices to keep a clear mind.
I think I am pregnant. What do I do next?
If you are showing any or all of these pregnancy signs, make an appointment to take a medical-grade pregnancy test and get an ultrasound to confirm your pregnancy. At Thrive, we’ll be able to tell you how far along you are and offer information about all of your options and resources.