You’ve got one question on your mind: Could I be pregnant?
A pregnancy test is the only way to know for sure. But if it’s too early to take a test, you may be on the lookout for early signs – or maybe you think you’re already experiencing some early pregnancy symptoms.
Is it too early to tell if you’re pregnant? What symptoms may be the earliest signs of pregnancy? Below, we answer those questions and more.
How early can you tell if you’re pregnant?
Again, you’ll need to take a pregnancy test at the right time to confirm your hopes or suspicions. But when it comes to the first symptoms of pregnancy, everyone is different. Some people start to notice changes within a week after conception. Others might not notice anything until they miss their period.
When should you take a pregnancy test?
It’s usually recommended that you take a pregnancy test after you’ve missed your period. This is because pregnancy tests measure the level of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) in your body, which is a hormone that starts to build up when you conceive. It can take around three to four weeks from the first day of your last period for there to be enough hCG in your body to show up on a test.
What are the first symptoms of pregnancy?
The most common sign of early pregnancy? A missed period.
Your menstrual cycle is your body’s way of preparing for a possible pregnancy each month. Part of that is the thickening of your uterine lining, which is where a fertilized egg would implant to begin a pregnancy.
If you’re not pregnant, your period is how your uterus sheds that extra lining. If you are pregnant, that lining stays put and you don’t get your normal flow. This is why a missed period is often the earliest sign of pregnancy.
Of course, a delayed or missed period doesn’t always mean you’re pregnant. If your body is under a lot of stress or you have a hormonal imbalance, you could be experiencing an irregular menstrual cycle.
What other symptoms can be early signs of pregnancy?
Every person – and every pregnancy – is different. So, if you are pregnant, you’ll likely experience a unique combination of common, not-so-common and sometimes overlapping symptoms. And, they may show up earlier or later than expected. Here are more than a dozen possible symptoms of early pregnancy.
1. Spotting or light bleeding
Many women are surprised to learn that spotting or light bleeding can be an early sign of pregnancy, but about one-third of women experience it. This is often called implantation bleeding because doctors believe it occurs as the fertilized egg attaches (or implants) itself into the uterine lining. This is different from bleeding that could occur from something like a miscarriage – which is usually heavier.
When does implantation bleeding occur?
Implantation bleeding typically occurs 10 to 14 days after conception, which is just before or right around the time your period is due. So, you may think you’ve gotten your period.
But implantation bleeding is a light flow, which may start and stop over a couple days. And while it can take on a range of colors, it’s more likely to be pink, brown or light red.
Your period, on the other hand, may start off light in flow and in color but after a couple days becomes heavier, changes to a crimson red color and lasts up to a week or so.
2. Lower abdominal pain or cramping
While cramps and lower-abdominal pain can signal a coming period, they can also be a sign of egg implantation.
What do implantation cramps feel like?
Implantation cramps can occur with or without spotting or bleeding, and may feel different from period cramps. For example, you might feel mild to moderate prickling, pulling or tingling that comes and goes over a few days.
But menstrual cramps can often feel like a throbbing or dull ache, and typically start a day or two before your period.
3. Higher basal body temperature
If you’ve been tracking your basal body temperature (BBT) to increase your chances of getting pregnant, you probably know that your BBT goes up slightly right after ovulation. If you’re pregnant, your temperature may remain elevated rather than dipping back down.
Of course, you could be running hot for other reasons, but if it lasts more than a few weeks, pregnancy may be the explanation.
4. Changes in cervical mucus
If you’ve already been checking your cervical mucus to figure out when you’re most fertile, here’s a reason to continue: In the first few weeks of pregnancy, the amount of cervical discharge may increase and become stickier and whiter.
5. Breast tenderness, swelling or tingling
When you’re pregnant, your body experiences big changes in hormones – specifically, increases in estrogen and progesterone – to support your growing baby. This change in hormones can contribute to many symptoms, including breast tenderness.
Oftentimes, increased breast tenderness, swelling or tingling start to become noticeable a few days before a missed period.
If you usually experience breast tenderness leading up to your period or shortly after it begins, pregnancy-related breast tenderness and swelling will likely be more intense than you’re used to and stick around. You may also experience nipple soreness.
Fatigue in early pregnancy is common, and some women might notice it before they know they’re pregnant. In fact, fatigue may set in as soon as one week after conception. This is thanks to those sudden changes in hormone levels, particularly increasing progesterone.
7. Frequent urination
If you’re making more trips to the bathroom than usual around the time your next period is due, it may be a sign of pregnancy.
Certainly, your drinking habits play a big role in how many times you pee in a day. However, pregnancy increases the amount of blood in your body, which gives your kidneys more fluid to filter and more waste to get rid of.
So if you’re pregnant, you may notice you’re peeing a lot more – a symptom that can start early on and (unfortunately) last throughout your pregnancy.
8. Nausea or vomiting
Morning sickness might be the most well-known of all pregnancy symptoms, taking the form of food aversion or nausea, and even vomiting for some. This symptom can set in as early as two weeks after conception, which is around the fourth week of pregnancy and right around the time you’d miss your period if you were pregnant.
But some may not experience nausea or vomiting at all. And despite its name, morning sickness can actually happen at any time of the day or night.
9. Darkening areolas
When you’re pregnant, your areolas (the areas round your nipples) will likely grow and darken. Usually, these changes are gradual and continue throughout pregnancy. However, some women notice these changes really early on in combination with other symptoms.
10. Bloating or constipation
We all experience bloating or constipation from time to time, but both are quite common during pregnancy. Once again, those changing hormones are the culprit. They slow down digestion, which can cause a buildup of air in the gut and lead to constipation.
Early on, bloating or constipation may be mild and accompanied with other pregnancy symptoms. But – as a heads up – if you really are pregnant, these symptoms may stick around throughout your whole pregnancy.
11. Metallic taste in your mouth
Many women report a metallic taste in their mouth during pregnancy. Once again, hormones are to blame – specifically, estrogen.
Typically, this symptom (as well as changes in taste overall) is common in the first trimester but may occur at other times too – including before a missed period.
12. Sensitivity to smell
Many women report that sensitivity to smell was one of their first signs of pregnancy. In fact, as many as two-thirds of women become more sensitive or reactive to the smells around them during pregnancy.
And oftentimes, this heightened sense of smell can stick around through the first trimester or beyond, and contribute to other symptoms such as nausea, and food cravings or aversions.
13. Mood changes
From a stressful day at work to the natural wonders of your menstrual cycle, there are a lot of things that can affect your mood. But changes in mood are very common during pregnancy – and they may be especially noticeable early on as your body gets a sudden burst of estrogen and progesterone.
If you are pregnant, any mood changes you’re experiencing are likely coupled with other symptoms such as fatigue or nausea. You may feel more sensitive or weepy. Or perhaps your fuse is a little shorter and you’re more easily annoyed.
Headaches are a part of life. They come with colds and allergies. They come with stress or fatigue, or when you cut down on caffeine to help prepare your body for pregnancy. But they can also come with pregnancy.
Headaches can happen thanks to the increasing blood volume and hormonal changes that occur in early pregnancy. You can also get headaches if you’re dehydrated as a result of nausea.
As blood flow increases during pregnancy, blood pressure can also decrease and lead to dizzy spells. Usually, dizziness is more of a second trimester symptom, but some women may notice it very early on, too.
16. Nasal congestion
A lot of people are shocked to learn that nasal congestion can be a pregnancy symptom. You may wonder if you’re coming down with something or your allergies are acting up. But if you’re noticing a stuffy or runny nose along with other pregnancy signs, you might be taking a pregnancy test in the near future.
The mucous membranes in the nose are also affected by hormones and increased blood flow throughout your body. This can cause blood vessels to swell, resulting in congestion and even sneezing.
Could you have early pregnancy symptoms and not be pregnant?
Yes. As we’ve mentioned, many early pregnancy symptoms can overlap with symptoms of other conditions, especially premenstrual symptoms. So, the best way to know if the symptoms you’re experiencing are pregnancy related is to try to relax and patiently wait until it’s time to take a pregnancy test.
When should you see a doctor about a new pregnancy?
If you’ve taken a pregnancy test and it’s positive, go ahead and make your first prenatal visit right away. This is also a great time to start looking into educational resources like the myHealthyPregnancy app.
At the first prenatal visit, you’ll get a physical exam and other tests to make sure everything is looking healthy, and you’ll learn about the rest of your prenatal appointment schedule. You’ll also get to talk through any expectations and questions you have, such as which foods to eat and avoid while pregnant.
Questions or concerns about your symptoms? Our 24/7 nurse line is free for our members and patients.
Positive pregnancy test? Schedule a visit.
Preparing for pregnancy checklist | HealthPartners Blog
Yay! Your trying-for-a-baby days are about to begin. You’re ready to get to work, but is your body ready for pregnancy?
Our bodies are capable of incredible things, but that doesn’t mean getting pregnant is easy for everyone. That’s why preparing your body for pregnancy is so important. Your physical, mental and emotional health are essential for increasing your chances of conception and a healthy pregnancy.
From figuring out when you’re most fertile during your cycle to what to eat while trying to get pregnant, we’ve put together a preparing-for-pregnancy checklist to help you get started on preconception planning.
Preparing for pregnancy Part 1: Take your first baby steps
Stop using birth control
One of the first things to do before getting pregnant is simple: you’ll need to stop any birth control methods you’re using. Just make sure you’re ready.
Barrier birth control methods, like condoms or a diaphragm, can be used until the day you start trying to conceive. If you’re using contraceptives like birth control pills or an intrauterine device (IUD), you may want to switch to a barrier method now if you’re planning to start trying in the next couple months. Why?
In order to get pregnant, you need to begin regular ovulation again. Ovulation occurs when an egg is released from your ovary – which is something birth control pills, rings, patches, implants and hormonal IUDs are meant to prevent. These types of hormonal birth control methods can also make your cervical mucus thicker, which helps prevent sperm from reaching an egg if it is released.
Getting pregnant immediately after stopping birth control is possible, but it could take several months.
Track your menstrual cycle
The first day of your period marks the beginning of a new menstrual cycle – the monthly process that makes pregnancy possible. And tracking your cycle helps you do two things: understand the patterns of body changes you experience throughout your cycle and narrow down your fertile window.
Your fertile window is when your chances of conceiving are highest. Your fertile window also includes your ovulation window, which is a roughly 24- to 72-hour time period when conception can occur.
When are most women usually fertile? The average cycle length is 28 days, but it can range from 21-35 days. Depending on your cycle, your fertile window can be six to 10 days in length and occurs mid-cycle.
So, the next time your period rolls around, start tracking. Record when your period starts and when it ends, what you notice about your flow, and any symptoms you have. These symptoms might include cramps, back aches or breast tenderness during your period and throughout the rest of your cycle.
If this seems a little daunting, don’t worry. You can use a fertility tracker app to help. There are dozens of mobile apps out there designed to make it easy to track your period and symptoms, visualize patterns and (eventually) time your baby-making sessions. Some apps include:
premom (which pairs with their ovulation testing kits)
Eventually, you may start tracking fertility data like basal temperature or ovulation test data too. Your basal temperature – your resting body temperature – can rise slightly when you’re ovulating. And at-home ovulation tests can help detect a surge in luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine, which signals ovulation is near.
Both can help you figure out your most fertile days and time sex for the best chances of conception – and a fertility tracker can be extremely helpful in keeping track of all the data each month.
Schedule a preconception checkup
The best way to prepare your body for pregnancy is to make sure your body is healthy – and that’s where a preconception visit with an OB-GYN, certified nurse-midwife (CNW) or family medicine doctor comes in.
A preconception checkup is similar to an annual physical but includes additional care geared toward family planning and pregnancy. It may take a couple of weeks for you to get in for an appointment. That’s why we recommend that you make a preconception appointment early on.
Here are some of the things you can expect during your visit:
A review of your medical and reproductive history, including:
Whether you’re up to date on recommended immunizations like tetanus, hepatitis and whooping cough
Current medications you’re taking (including vitamins and supplements)
Health conditions you’re managing, like diabetes, anxiety, high blood pressure or other medical concerns
A discussion about your lifestyle and working environments
Pre-pregnancy diet and prenatal vitamin recommendations
A physical exam, which may include a Pap test and pelvic exam
Lab tests (depending on a variety of factors like your age or current health conditions)
A time to ask any preconception planning questions or concerns that are on your mind – now is the perfect time to ask your doctor, nurse practitioner or midwife
What’s the difference between a midwife and OB-GYN? Or how about a family doctor for pregnancy? All can provide you with incredible care now and if you get pregnant. Choosing the right person for you comes down to your health, pregnancy goals and preferences.
We’re ready if you’re ready. Schedule a preconception appointment today.
Make a preconception appointment
Ask your partner to schedule his own preconception exam, too
Your partner’s health is just as important as yours when you’re trying to have a baby. Health issues like obesity, depression or stress, and lifestyle factors such as smoking and drinking alcohol are just a sampling of the factors that can impact male fertility. So, get your own appointment on the books and ask him to do the same.
Planning for pregnancy Part 2: How to prepare your body for pregnancy
Start taking a prenatal multivitamin
Many women wonder when to start taking prenatal vitamins. Once you know you’re pregnant? Before? The first few weeks of pregnancy are important for fetal health and development. Certain vitamins – especially folic acid – help with development and help reduce birth defects.
When you do conceive, the earliest you may find out you’re pregnant is around Week 4. So if you’re planning for pregnancy starting prenatal vitamins before you’re pregnant (and continuing them throughout your pregnancy) is important.
There are plenty of prenatal multivitamin brands to choose from – just make sure you read the labels. Look for prenatal vitamins that have a minimum of 400 milligrams of folic acid and aim to take them for a full month before becoming pregnant.
Begin a pre-pregnancy diet
Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet is always important for your health and well-being. But when you’re trying to conceive, give your body the nutrients it needs to support a healthy pregnancy.
What does a pre-pregnancy diet look like? Eating a variety of foods is important. Your body needs adequate protein, carbohydrates and fats for energy, as well as folic acid, calcium and iron. These are the same nutrients you'll want to include in your diet once you are pregnant.
Proteins – Protein helps support important body functions like tissue repair, hormone function and muscle building. It also helps you regulate your blood sugar. Lean proteins like fish that are low in mercury, skinless turkey or chicken, low-fat dairy, and legumes (peas, beans and lentils) help support body function while also limiting your intake of saturated fats.
Fats – Saturated fats raise blood lipids. Over time, this can increase your risk for heart disease. So, reduce your intake of saturated fats like butter, cheese, and fatty meats such as beef and some pork products. Instead, add more unsaturated fats like olive oil, avocados, peanuts and tree nuts to your diet.
Carbohydrates – Carbohydrates give your body energy but complex carbohydrates are the best choice. Processed foods like cookies, chips and soda – and anything with refined sugar added – are simple carbohydrates that don’t provide much if any nutritional value. But complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits and vegetables are low in sugar or have natural sugars, and are excellent sources of essential vitamins and fiber:
In addition to eating a balanced diet of proteins, fats and carbs in pre-pregnancy, you should also:
Increase your water intake – Aim for 8-10 cups of water per day.
Reduce your caffeine intake – You should cap yourself at 200 mg of caffeine per day, which is roughly the equivalent of one large cup of coffee.
Assess your weight – Being overweight (and underweight) can have an impact on your fertility, making it more difficult to conceive or sustain a healthy pregnancy. Being overweight while pregnant can also increase the risk of high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, oversized babies and more.
Make a quit plan
Over the years, numerous studies have shown that smoking while pregnant, as well as drinking and using other drugs, can be harmful to mothers and their babies. But you might not know that smoking, drinking and drug use while you’re trying to conceive may be detrimental too.
Smoking has been linked to a range of fertility issues, including increased risk of ectopic pregnancy, damage to eggs as they develop in your ovaries, changes to your uterine lining that may make correct embryo implantation less likely, and more.
When it comes to drinking while trying to conceive, one of the biggest concerns is the impact alcohol can have in the early weeks of pregnancy. Crucial organ development happens in the first few weeks – before you might know that you’re pregnant – and excessive drinking can lead to complications. Try to avoid or limit alcohol while trying to conceive, then avoid during pregnancy.
If you need help quitting, talk with your doctor, midwife or nurse practitioner during your preconception exam. They can connect you with helpful resources, and if you’re a HealthPartners insurance plan member, you have free access to a health coach. Just call 800-311-1052 to get started.
Start exercising before getting pregnant
Physical activity – along with a healthy diet – is important for maintaining a healthy weight and strengthening and conditioning your body. Pregnancy is a lot of work for your body. Staying active and exercising can improve your overall health, help prepare your body for pregnancy and set your baby up for a healthy start.
How often should you exercise when you’re trying to get pregnant?
Generally, 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week (or 150 minutes each week) is a good goal. If you’re not used to exercising regularly, start with 10- to 15-minute blocks and work your way up. If you’re already pretty active, try to increase your activity level to between 150 and 300 minutes each week.
What type of exercise should you do if you’re trying to get pregnant?
Walking is an easy, relatively low-impact way to get moving. Restorative exercises like stretching, yoga and foam rolling are great for relaxation and healing from more strenuous activities. Squats can also be a good strengthening exercise – especially since you may be getting low to pick up toys or your baby in the near future. What’s more, these are also safe exercises to do during pregnancy. So it’s worth getting familiar with at least a few of them.
Limit toxin exposure at home and at work
From cleaning products to cosmetics, you encounter toxins every day – many of which can be harmful to reproductive health. While you may not be able to eliminate exposure to certain toxins, there are steps you can take to minimize or avoid exposure. Some tips include:
Avoid secondhand smoke whenever possible
Ditch chemical-based household cleaners and make your own using vinegar and water
Don’t spray for bugs and rodents inside your home: Keep your home clean, use bait traps and (if necessary) hire only a licensed pest control expert
Always rinse vegetables and fruits with warm water or scrub with a clean brush if needed. Produce labeled “pre-washed” or “ready to eat” does not need to be rinsed.
Use BPA-free products (BPA is a chemical used in food containers and packing, and many hygiene products)
Talk to your company about potential toxins you may be exposed to in the workplace
Look for ways to reduce stress and increase rest
Stress can impact your health in a lot of different ways. Stress can cause physical symptoms like increased heart rate, high blood pressure, headaches, fatigue, muscle soreness and upset stomach. Stress can affect your mood, making you feel anxious, overwhelmed, restless or irritable. Stress can also lead to behavior changes like overeating or undereating, social withdrawal or angry outbursts.
The bottom line? Stress can negatively impact your overall health and well-being – which can impact your fertility and your eventual pregnancy. So, look for ways to reduce stress and destress, as well as get more rest.
We know, we know. Easier said than done, right? But here are a few suggestions for how to reduce stress when trying to conceive:
Busy schedule – If your schedule is hectic, look for ways to cut back on your commitments or delegate responsibilities. For example, if you host a monthly book club, ask another member to take over for a while. If you have a lot of errands to run, ask your partner to pitch in. If you need to hit the grocery store, consider using a delivery service.
Work – If you’re stressed about work, talk to your supervisor about getting a little extra support or changing up your schedule.
Finances – If you’re stressed about finances, make a budget tracker with your partner. Also review your insurance coverage for prenatal care, postpartum care and pediatric care, and learn about your company’s maternity leave policy. This can help you prepare for what’s to come.
Intimacy – If you’re stressed about the time you and your partner will spend trying to conceive, know that you’re not alone. When trying to conceive, many couples feel like sex can turn into a chore. So, try to carve out additional time for you and your partner to connect – inside and outside the bedroom.
If you think you need a little help to reduce stress, talk with your primary care doctor. They can work with you to manage your stress and connect you with a mental health specialist if needed.
Schedule your next trip to the dentist
Your oral health is an important part of your overall health. Plus, hormonal changes – not to mention more frequent snacking and morning sickness – during pregnancy can affect your teeth and gums. So, good daily brushing habits and keeping up on your regular trips to the dentist are important.
Pregnancy planning Part 3: Get busy
Use pregnancy-friendly lubricants
Lubricants help make sex more enjoyable and comfortable – especially when you’re trying to get pregnant. But the vast majority of lubricants aren’t designed for trying-to-conceive couples. These lubricants can be harmful to sperm, interfering with sperm motility, integrity and survival.
Fertility-friendly lubricants mimic the consistency of your cervical mucus and provide a protective environment for sperm as they make their way through your reproductive system. Ask your doctor, midwife or nurse practitioner for a safe recommendation.
Sex is an important part of the baby making equation. So, if you’re ready to start trying for a baby, make regular lovemaking a priority.
Be spontaneous yet committed to regular sex. Don’t worry about timing at first, just focus on having unprotected sex frequently throughout your cycle, and use your fertility tracking journal or app to record the days you have sex.
Start preparing your mind and body for pregnancy today
This is such an exciting time in life for you and your partner – and a little planning can go a long way.
Get started by putting aside your birth control, tracking your cycle to get more familiar with your body and making a preconception appointment. Then focus on things like adding a daily prenatal vitamin, diet and exercise, kicking bad habits and so on. Finally, let the practice begin. Get a fertility-friendly lubricant and start your baby-making sessions. You’ll be scheduling your first prenatal appointment before you know it.
We also have a robust pregnancy resource guide that connects you with all kinds of tips and information to help you on your pregnancy journey.
We’re ready if you’re ready. Schedule a preconception checkup today.
Make a preconception appointment
First signs of pregnancy before delay, early symptoms
Significant hormonal changes occur during pregnancy. This causes a number of symptoms. Some women experience pregnancy symptoms right away, while others may only have a few. About the first signs of pregnancy at an early stage and when exactly the initial signs of pregnancy appear are described in the article.
At what time do the first signs of pregnancy appear
The answer to the question when the first signs of pregnancy appear is quite ambiguous, because some women do not feel any signs at all during the first few weeks. At what week do the first signs of pregnancy appear in others? When do the first signs of pregnancy appear after conception? Symptoms of very early pregnancy (such as breast tenderness) may appear before a missed period, as early as six to seven days after conception, while other early signs of pregnancy (such as spotting) may appear about a week after ovulation. We will tell you more about the first signs of pregnancy before menstruation and when the signs of pregnancy appear.
What are the earliest signs of pregnancy?
The first signs of pregnancy in the early stages:
delayed menstruation - 29%;
nausea - 25%;
mood swings - from 14 to 23%;
breast changes - 17%;
pain in the lower abdomen - 15%;
depression - 15%;
fatigue, drowsiness - 13%
decrease in immunity - 6%;
the first signs of pregnancy - discharge or implantation bleeding - only 3%.
Physiological first signs of pregnancy
What are the very first symptoms of pregnancy?
The most common physiological signs of pregnancy include:
Tender and enlarged breasts. Signs of pregnancy in the first days after conception include breast changes (1-2 weeks after conception). The area around the nipples, called the areola, may also darken.
Drowsiness and fatigue. Fatigue is also among the signs of pregnancy in the first days after conception. During early pregnancy, levels of the hormone progesterone rise dramatically, which can cause drowsiness.
Nausea with vomiting. When do these signs of pregnancy appear? Morning sickness, which can appear at any time of the day or night, often appears between the second and eighth weeks after conception.
Dizziness and fainting . This may be due to dilation of blood vessels, lowering blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Spasms. Some women experience symptoms of pregnancy in the early days, such as mild uterine cramps.
Headaches and back pains. Many pregnant women complain of frequent headaches, while others experience back pain.
Insomnia - another first sign of pregnancy before the test. Causes can include stress, physical discomfort, and hormonal changes.
Change in taste preferences. Like most other symptoms of pregnancy, these eating habits can be attributed to hormonal changes.
Temperature. Early signs of pregnancy include fever (37-37.5).
Delayed menstruation. How long does it take for the first signs of pregnancy to appear? If you are of childbearing age and a week or more has passed without your expected period, you may be pregnant. However, this symptom can be misleading if you have an irregular menstrual cycle.
Bloody discharge - the first signs of pregnancy . This bleeding, known as implantation bleeding, occurs when a fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus, approximately 10 to 14 days after conception.
Bloating, heartburn. Hormonal changes can cause problems with the stomach and esophagus - these are common signs of pregnancy at 2 weeks.
Constipation . Hormonal changes cause the digestive system to slow down, which can lead to constipation (signs of pregnancy after a delay).
Frequent urination. You may urinate more than usual, which is a common sign of pregnancy at 5 weeks. During pregnancy, the amount of blood in the body increases, causing the kidneys to process excess fluid that enters the bladder.
Runny nose. The appearance of this symptom is associated with excessive production of the hormone estrogen.
Exacerbation of chronic diseases. This is a sign of pregnancy after ovulation.
Increased salivation. Also associated with hormonal changes.
Sense of smell enhancement . Signs of pregnancy in the first two weeks may cause sensitivity to certain smells and the sense of taste may change.
Emotional first signs of pregnancy
The first signs of pregnancy before the delay (the earliest signs of pregnancy) include psycho-emotional symptoms.
These are all emotional signs of early pregnancy that many women report. They describe feelings of heightened emotion or even bouts of crying, which are associated with rapid changes in hormone levels in the body. Also, signs of pregnancy at week 4 can make you feel PMS-style cranky. In addition, about 15% of women suffer from depression or anxiety during pregnancy. And after childbirth, these conditions suffer even more. In this case, it is better to seek help from a doctor.
Do everything you can to improve your mood: get plenty of rest, eat well, get enough sleep, do things you love, and pamper yourself.
However, be aware that mood swings can be caused by a number of conditions other than pregnancy.
Influence of early pregnancy on daily routine
Early signs of pregnancy, mainly those that bring discomfort, can cause a change in daily routine. Here are some tips on what you can do with some of them:
In case of toxicosis, avoid too hot or too cold food - this provokes an attack of vomiting. Eat often - at least 5-6 times a day, but in small portions.
For nausea or vomiting, try ginger, chamomile, or vitamin B6.
Drink plenty of water, in small sips between meals, to replenish lost fluids. Teas, juices, fruit drinks are also suitable.
For back pain, wear shoes or shoe insoles designed for pregnant women and avoid high heels. Sleep on a firm mattress.
For chest discomfort, wear a special bra that supports enlarged breasts.
For constipation, eat more fiber-rich foods such as wheat bran and fresh vegetables and fruits.
If you suffer from headaches and mood swings, try stress reduction techniques such as yoga or meditation.
Be outdoors more often, at least half an hour a day. This helps to reduce the symptoms of toxicosis, calm the nervous system.
Maintain your daily physical activity for as long as it is convenient for you to perform certain activities.
Eat a balanced diet with enough proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
Important! All these tips are advisory in nature, be sure to consult your doctor if you encounter discomfort.
What to do if you notice early signs of pregnancy
To make sure the signs of pregnancy are accurate, you can use the following methods to diagnose early pregnancy:
Donate blood for hCG. This method can be used a few days after conception. This type of pregnancy test is done using a small sample of blood that is analyzed in a hospital. It determines whether there is a pregnancy hormone in your body and in what quantity. Its accuracy is 99%.
Use a test strip. It can be used at home from the first days of delay. To determine pregnancy, dip the reagent area of the test strip into the urine. Accuracy: 99%. You can buy Evitest or HomeTest test strips in our pharmacy.
Use jet or electronic test. They can be used at home a few days before your expected period. You need to remove its protective cap, substitute the test under the stream of urine for 10 seconds, and after 3-5 minutes get the result. Accuracy: 97%. In our pharmacy you can buy Evitest or Alpe inkjet tests.
Get your first ultrasound. You can use this method at 3-4 weeks from the start of a missed period. At this time, ultrasound will show the very fact of uterine pregnancy, and the place of attachment of the fetal egg is also determined. Accuracy: 100%.
Help Doc.ua: you can make an appointment with a gynecologist on the website.
Psycho-emotional disorders during pregnancy. The need for their correction | Tyutyunnik V.L., Mikhailova O.I., Chukhareva N.A.
Currently, more and more attention is paid to the influence of a woman's psycho-emotional state on reproductive function, pregnancy and perinatal outcomes [2,4,14]. In recent years, in developed countries, there has been an increase in the frequency of various mental disorders in women of reproductive age, the proportion of patients taking psychotropic drugs has increased, including among women who are planning a pregnancy and pregnant women [3,6,9].
Almost all pregnant women are subject to sharp emotional swings, since the expectation of a child is associated with changes - both physical and emotional. Hormonal changes during pregnancy lead to the fact that the mood of a pregnant woman changes dramatically almost every hour. A future mother can get rid of such emotional swings and feel calm during pregnancy by observing the rules of emotional health. Emotional balance and physical fitness are equally important for a pregnant woman, they equally help her prepare for motherhood. Due to the lack of maternal experience, a pregnant woman may experience sudden emotional outbursts. The first pregnancy is a new experience that is quite difficult to comprehend. Ignoring the fact that the emotions of a woman who is expecting a child is much more complex and sharper than usual, can lead to a number of problems, including in relations with her spouse. Acceptance of this fact is the basis of emotional health during pregnancy [1,5,11]. Also, if a woman is pregnant for the first time, she experiences many fears, which include fear of childbirth and untimely termination of pregnancy, concern about the health of the unborn child and her own health, fear of labor pains and inevitable pain, fear of partner / spouse disappointment due to changes occurring with body. Modern women have to worry about careers, financial problems, and many additional costs associated with the appearance and upbringing of a new family member. All these fears can lead to many negative emotions, such as anxiety, depression, irritation, anxiety, stress, anger, feelings of loneliness, confusion. Most often, changes in the psycho-emotional background during pregnancy lead to the development of depressive and anxiety disorders. Until the end, the pathogenesis of these changes is unclear, several theories are discussed, it is believed that changes in the hormonal background during pregnancy, including a significant increase in estrogens, and especially progesterone, in the blood serum can exacerbate existing emotional disorders [5,7,15]. As a rule, minor manifestations in the form of irritability, tearfulness, resentment accompany manifestations of early toxicosis in the first trimester of pregnancy - nausea, vomiting, etc. [6,10]. After the disappearance of these symptoms, the neuropsychic state of pregnant women usually improves. At the same time, an important role in the development of anxiety states is played by certain physical discomfort and psychological factors, which include forced changes in lifestyle, communication in the family and with work colleagues, concern for the health of the unborn child, financial difficulties - all this contributes to the appearance or exacerbation of psycho-emotional disorders during pregnancy. For some women, the onset of pregnancy is unexpected and not always desirable, however, due to the circumstances, a decision is made to prolong this pregnancy, which can lead to a further increase in stress and anxiety [5,8,12]. It should be noted that additional psychotraumatic factors may appear during pregnancy, such as the occurrence of pregnancy complications requiring hospitalization, or the detection of congenital malformations in the fetus, which can cause negative images and feelings [1,10,12]. The state of psycho-emotional stress with the presence of anxiety of various levels is observed in 40% of women with a normal pregnancy [2,7,11]. Borderline neuropsychiatric disorders can be presented in the form of hypochondriacal and hysterical syndromes. However, there are other forms of gestational borderline neuropsychiatric disorders, their features are the invariable inclusion in the clinical picture of certain psychopathological phenomena directly related to pregnancy: various fears for the successful course of pregnancy, obsessive fears for the fate of the fetus, expectation of childbirth, conditioned reflex fears associated with unfavorable past pregnancies and childbirth [5,6,8]. A study of pregnant women who do not have signs of borderline neuropsychiatric disorders showed that character accentuation was established only in a quarter of women. The first trimester of pregnancy is usually characterized to some extent by the sharpening of existing character traits. Soft, vulnerable, insecure women become even more impressionable, sometimes excessively tearful, and anxious (those women who have had miscarriages in the past or this pregnancy are not going well, in this case, the fear of another abortion can become simply obsessive) ). Powerful women with a sharp character can become even more aggressive, irritable and demanding. In the third trimester of pregnancy, emotional swings may begin again in connection with the expectation of childbirth, and with them fear - especially women who have to experience this event for the first time are susceptible to it [5,6,11]. Anxiety disorders may first appear during pregnancy, there may be a change in the course of already existing disorders. In one retrospective study in women with panic attacks, 20% of cases showed a decrease in symptoms during pregnancy, 54% remained unchanged, and 26% worsened the course of the disease . The detection of depression in pregnant women is difficult. Many symptoms, such as emotional lability, increased fatigue, changes in appetite and cognitive decline, are often found in physiologically normal pregnancy. Under stress, the hormones of the adrenal glands of the mother release catecholamines (stress hormones) into the blood, and during the experience of positive emotions (joy, calm, etc. ), the hypothalamic structures produce endorphins, which, penetrating through the placental barrier, directly affect the fetus. Consequently, mother and child are a single neurohumoral organism, and each of them equally suffers from the adverse influence of the outside world, which is recorded in long-term memory, affecting the entire subsequent life of the child. Positive maternal emotions cause an increase in the growth of the fetus and an increase in the level of its sensory perception. According to the literature [2,5,11,15], a significant effect of anxiety disorders on the course of pregnancy and perinatal outcomes has been noted: the frequency of placental insufficiency, fetal growth retardation, premature birth, the birth of children with low body weight, which subsequently affects negatively on long-term forecast for them. Thus, emotional swings are dangerous not only for the woman herself, but also for her unborn child. When a pregnant woman experiences stress, her body produces more of the hormone cortisol, the main “stress hormone”. Cortisol increases blood pressure and blood sugar levels, negatively affects the strength of the immune system - which, of course, adversely affects the health of the child. Stress during pregnancy is dangerous for a variety of reasons. Chronic stress experienced for several weeks can slow down the development of the cells of the body of the embryo, the growth of the fetus. This increases the risk of miscarriage or spontaneous abortion or premature birth. Elevated levels of stress hormones can damage the brain of an unborn baby and lead to parenting problems later on. Psychological stress in the perinatal period brings with it a whole range of problems that require serious attention to the psychological sphere of a pregnant woman in order to avoid obstetric and other complications. However, diagnostic criteria for the transition of the stress syndrome from the link of adaptation to the link of pathogenesis of various diseases have not yet been found [2,4,15]. Emotional control is necessary to maintain normal emotional balance during pregnancy. A pregnant woman who successfully manages her emotions is aware of the changing emotional balance and is ready to accept what is happening to her. There are several basic rules that will help to cope with emotional imbalance: • You must come to terms with the fact that physical and emotional changes are an inevitable part of the pregnancy period. You need to understand that this is a temporary stage that will last only a few months and end a maximum of 1-2 months after the birth of the child. • Each trimester of pregnancy brings new changes, both in the body and in the emotional state. The main source of information about pregnancy is special literature and the experience of women who have recently given birth, who can share their feelings and experiences. • A pregnant woman is responsible for the emergence of a new life. Taking care of yourself means taking care of your child. Proper nutrition, rest and self-indulgence are essential. • A pregnant woman should be open to dialogue and not be afraid to discuss her problems with a gynecologist, partner or friends - anyone who can provide emotional support. You should not keep fears and worries in yourself - this will only aggravate internal tension. • Changes associated with pregnancy can lead to low energy and, as a result, rapid fatigue. You need to slow down, re-prioritize your work, and give yourself a break. • Emotional tension and negative emotions can be overcome by being distracted by pleasant activities or hobbies. When emotions overwhelm you, try to analyze what is bothering you, and then find an adequate solution. • Engaging in certain physical activities designed specifically for expectant mothers will help improve both physical and emotional health. • The main components of emotional health during pregnancy are rest and comfort. However, unfortunately, during pregnancy, a woman cannot always cope with nervous tension, irritability, anxiety, excitement and other symptoms of stress on her own. Therefore, in some situations, she needs medical help. The relative risk of using drugs during pregnancy makes it difficult to choose therapy, therefore, for the correction of psycho-emotional disorders that occur during pregnancy, herbal drugs that have practically no side effects can be considered as highly safe therapy. The basis of anti-anxiety complex herbal remedies is valerian. It has been used in traditional medicine for many years for its hypnotic and sedative effects and remains a highly sought after remedy to this day. The mild hypnotic effect of valerian makes it possible to use it for the relief of shallow insomnia caused by anxiety. In addition, the vegetotropic effect of valerian is well known, its ability to have a uniform effect on both mental and somatic (vegetative) symptoms of anxiety. Valerian preparations also have anxiolytic and neuroprotective effects. The spectrum of side effects of valerian is very narrow and practically limited only to allergic reactions. Although valerian extract is metabolized by the cytochrome P450 system, it has virtually no effect on the metabolism of other drugs, and thus unwanted drug interactions are excluded. Among the phytopreparations used by clinicians for the treatment of psycho-emotional disorders, Persen, a modern combined sedative preparation of plant origin, is widely used to relieve stress symptoms (anxiety, irritability and emotional stress) without causing drowsiness. Along with valerian, the composition of the drug includes dry extracts of medicinal plants with pronounced anxiolytic activity - peppermint and lemon balm (Table 1). The additional antispasmodic effect of peppermint makes it possible to successfully use the drug in patients with a pronounced somatic component of the anxiety syndrome. In addition, lemon balm has a nootropic (increased concentration and speed of problem solving), antioxidant effect. Persen is administered orally to adults and adolescents over 12 years old, 2-3 coated tablets, 2-3 times / day, Persen forte - inside to adults and adolescents over 12 years old, 1-2 capsules 2-3 times / day. The advantages of Persen over other sedatives are: • the preparation contains only natural ingredients; • the effectiveness and safety of herbal ingredients Persena are well studied; • does not contain alcohol and bromine; • can be combined with any psychotropic drugs, including antidepressants; • effective as a fast-acting symptomatic remedy when it is necessary to stop the symptoms of anxiety, agitation, and during a course of treatment for stress conditions, anxiety and phobic disorders. Due to the natural components of plant origin that are part of Persen, this drug can be used during pregnancy. In each case, the doctor must evaluate the benefits and risks of taking Persen and other drugs, depending on the severity of the symptoms of the disease. Thus, to prevent possible development, as well as to treat psycho-emotional disorders in pregnant women, it is advisable to use sedatives, the effect of which softens the damaging effects of psychogenic factors.
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