When your waiting for an upcoming period to start, every little cramp and twinge is noticed. If you’ve been trying to conceive a baby, you look for any early signs of pregnancy in hopes of a positive pregnancy test.
But if you haven’t been trying, early signs of pregnancy are enough to scare any woman waiting for her period.
It is difficult to tell the difference between an impending period and early signs of pregnancy. While both period and pregnancy symptoms are rather similar, there are subtle differences between the two.
Sometimes, if you feel you’re not experiencing your usual PMS symptoms, you might not be imagining those early signs of pregnancy!
Just to make sure it’s not your imagination, let’s look at 15 early signs of pregnancy and how to ease the worst symptoms.
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15 Very Early Signs Of Pregnancy
1. Frequent Urination
Do you feel the constant need to go? You just peed 15 minutes ago, yet you feel the urge to go again… An increase in fluid intake causes frequent urination. But it’s also one of the early signs of pregnancy.
Throughout the duration of pregnancy, your body is producing and pumping large amounts of blood. With the increase in blood volume, the kidneys produce more fluid that empties into the bladder.
Which of course leads to an increase in bathroom trips for you. Some women not only experience increased urination, but also incontinence.
To overcome these annoying signs of early pregnancy, you may want to carry panty liners with you. Another option is to work on strengthening your pelvic floor by doing kegel exercises.
Kegel exercises are easy! All you do is squeeze your pelvic floor muscles like you’re holding in urine. Then release after 5 seconds. Repeat as much as you like.
2. Cervical Changes
Normally before you get your period, your cervix will lower and open to shed the uterine lining. But if your cervix is high and closed, then it’s one of the early signs of pregnancy.
The only way to take note of your cervical changes is to get familiar with your body.
Always make sure you check the position of your cervix with short nails. Scratches from long nails can cause infection.
While this is one of the typical early signs of pregnancy, cervical positions vary from woman to woman. Therefore, don’t use your cervical position as a true indication of pregnancy. Look for other signs!
3. Breast Changes
With so many hormonal changes occurring during the early weeks of pregnancy, breast soreness is a very real symptom. Although breast changes are also a sign of PMS, if your breasts hurt more than usual it’s probably not your imagination.
Before I got my first positive pregnancy test, my breasts were killing me! Breast soreness was one of the early signs of pregnancy for me. Not only were they sore, but I couldn’t even wear a bra.
They hurt that much!
Instead of just being sore, your breasts may also feel full, swollen, heavy and tender. Some women even report feeling tingling sensations or stabbing pain around the nipple area. Ouch!
The best way to help reduce breast soreness and swelling is by applying a cold compress. A cold compress works wonders for reducing the swelling of breast tissue and for warding off pain. Of course, if you’re having a significant amount of breast pain you may need to take acetaminophen.
Another option to help you deal with breast pain is by avoiding bras with push up’s and underwire. You need a supportive bra if you’re dealing with pain, tenderness and heaviness.
I went out and bought a comfortable, yet fashionable sports bra. A sports bra will keep breast movement to a minimum, while still giving you the support you need.
Related Articles: How To Relieve Your Sciatic Nerve Pain During Pregnancy
You’ve probably heard the term “morning sickness” to describe nausea associated with early signs of pregnancy. But guess what?
Morning sickness is not restricted to the morning. Nausea in early pregnancy strikes at any time throughout the day or night.
As you can tell, nausea is not pleasant. Nausea is a really annoying early symptom of pregnancy that you may notice before your missed period.
If you’re feeling queasy with or without vomiting, it could be a sign that you’ve conceived this month!
While sucking on hard candy is an option, there are ways to ease nausea before it occurs. If you’re actively trying to conceive and hoping you have all the early signs of pregnancy, then you should be taking a prenatal.
Another natural option to keep nausea at bay is with a Morning Wellness Tea of ginger and mint. Both ginger and mint relieve gas buildup and that constant nausea feeling.
You would think with all that nausea you’d still be able to go number two!
Constipation is defined as having less than three bowel movements in one week. But it comes with a multitude of symptoms within itself including:
- Hard/small stools
- Bowel movements resulting in rectal bleeding
- Cramping in the lower abdominal
- Feeling like you still “need to go” after already going
If you’re feeling a little ‘stuffed up’ lately, blame your hormones!
It’s possible the reason behind your constipation is an increase in hormone production in early pregnancy.
Constipation is miserable and you need to find relief without taking harsh laxatives. So here are some of your options to relieve constipation:
- Milk of Magnesia
- Drink plenty of water
- Add probiotics to aid to your gut health
- Increase your fiber intake through food or a fiber supplement like Metamucil
6. Exhaustion or Fatigue
It takes a lot of work to make a baby…
In the early weeks of conception, your hormone levels are steadily rising (which explains the early signs of pregnancy). If conception occurred, an embryo is sticking to the wall of your uterus and the cells of that tiny embryo are rapidly dividing and multiplying.
That’s a lot of work for your body!
It’s no wonder you’re exhausted! If you’ve been feeling overly tired, to the point where you almost cannot stay awake, then you’re not imagining things.
While you could drink a ton of coffee to stay awake, too much caffeine is not recommended for pregnant women. You should (try) to limit caffeine to 200 mg’s a day.
Exhaustion during early pregnancy is very real and a little miserable. The best advice I can give to overcome exhaustion and fatigue is to take it easy. Don’t push yourself beyond your limits. Rest when you can. There’s nothing wrong with taking a nap!
7. Feeling Cranky/Moody
This is also a sign of PMS. I should know, I deal with PMS moodiness quite frequently.
Are you finding yourself feeling irritable at the little things?
Are you “snapping” at other people?
Do you feel overwhelmed and stressed lately?
The only thing to do for moodiness is to try to eliminate as much stress as possible. When you feel yourself becoming progressively moody, take some deep breaths.
Dizziness or fainting in early pregnancy is caused by dilated blood vessels and sudden drops in blood sugar.
Have you become dizzy upon standing up too fast?
Be careful with this! It is possible that standing up too fast can cause fainting. Because of this, take things slow! Use an arm rest or anything else to steady yourself when standing up.
To avoid sudden blood sugar drops, eat small and frequent meals throughout the day. This will help steady blood sugar levels.
Headaches are one of the early signs of pregnancy caused by increased blood circulation.
The pain from headaches can range from mild to severe.
To keep pain at a minimum you can combine Tylenol, cold compresses and rest when you need to.
Cramping is pretty common before a period. Because cramping is a symptom of your period starting, it’s a really unreliable detention of early pregnancy.
But cramping in the abdominal, pelvic area and lower back can be associated with implantation bleeding.
In about 30% of women, spotting known as implantation bleeding is one of the early signs of pregnancy. However, this sign is often missed because it is mistaken for a period.
Implantation bleeding is different from a regular period. This type of spotting is the result of an embryo attaching to the uterine wall. But it occurs so close to the time of your expected period that many women believe they’re getting their period early.
Here’s how to tell the difference between implantation bleeding and a period:
- Spotting happens between 6 to 12 days after conception.
- Bleeding only occurs for a day or two.
- Significantly less blood than a period (not enough to fill a tampon or pad).
- Blood is dark brown (old blood) or pink in color (fresh blood).
- May experience mild cramping while spotting.
12. Food Aversions/Cravings
Most people think early pregnancy consists of eating large amounts of pickles and ice cream. While it’s a cute joke, it’s far from the truth.
Instead of cravings, many women experience food aversions in early pregnancy. Even before a missed period.
This can be because of a heightened sense of smell, nausea/vomiting, headaches and etc.
Ask yourself this: Are you finding your favorite foods suddenly gross or unappealing?
For me, it was mushrooms. I couldn’t eat or even smell them cooking without becoming nauseated. Of course, instead of food aversions you could be having food cravings.
Food cravings like ice cream and potato chips might pop into your mind at three in the afternoon. During early pregnancy, my poor husband made a 2 am drive to the store because I had a horrible craving for Hot Fudge Pop Tarts! I actually hate pop tarts and rarely eat them. But the craving was that bad!
13. Cervical Mucus Changes
Similar to cervical position changes, cervical mucus before a period or early pregnancy varies from women to women.
Typically, cervical mucus will change from clear and stretchy (ovulation/fertile) to a thick, milky type mucus. If your period is approaching and your cervical mucus is thick and increased in volume, it could be a sign of pregnancy.
Cervical mucus increases and becomes thicker during early pregnancy in order to thicken the vaginal walls.
14. High Basal Temperature
Your basal temperature is your resting temperature upon waking in the morning.
For those who have been trying to conceive, basal temperature reveals peak ovulation with a rise in temperature.
With a basal temperature thermometer you will notice rises in basal temperature around ovulation. If you’ve been charting your temperature for increased fertility, your basal temperature should go down during your period.
However, if your basal temperature remains high after ovulation and continues to be high for two weeks or more… You may be pregnant!
15. Missed Period
Out of all the signs of pregnancy, missing a period would be the most obvious!
If you have regular cycles every month, you should get your period approximately two weeks after ovulation. Even if you get a regular cycle, many women don’t realize they’ve missed their period until weeks later.
Life happens and we all just want to forget about our periods…
If your period is late or MIA for more than a couple of days, it’s time to take a pregnancy test!
Pregnancy is a wonderful time in a woman’s life. But the two-week wait in between ovulation and your expected period feels endless.
An embryo develops fast in the womb. As a result, your body is constantly adapting to keep up with the changes and nourish a baby.
While all these symptoms are certainly signs of early pregnancy, every woman is different. On top of that, every pregnancy is different when it comes to pregnancy signs.
Many of these early signs of pregnancy resemble PMS symptoms or the symptoms of an upcoming period.
If you’re waiting for that big fat positive pregnancy test and you have any of the signs of early pregnancy… Then this month could be THE month!
If your period arrives, don’t be discouraged. There were plenty of months (years actually) where I had mistaken PMS symptoms and early pregnancy symptoms.
If this is not the month for you, the important thing is not to give up!
Are you experiencing any of these early signs of pregnancy? If so, there are ways to alleviate the most annoying symptoms like breast changes, constipation and nausea.
So don’t suffer any longer! Take care of your symptoms and yourself!