When dealing with pregnancy it’s always good to have a firm grasp on the reality of the situation. Jumping to conclusions often complicates matters and hence, it’s important to first know the signs and symptoms of pregnancy very well. Signs of pregnancy and symptoms of pregnancy- although used synonymously - have two different meanings. Sign is an objective piece of evidence; something that you can visibly notice whereas, a symptom is a lot more subjective in nature; something only you can feel. If you experience a missed period, that’s an early sign of pregnancy. However, if you think you are struggling with fatigue, that’s a symptom of pregnancy.
Don’t worry- it’s easy to get confused between the two. What’s important is not classifying them into two, what’s important is knowing both: the early signs as well as symptoms of pregnancy. Also remember there’s also a chance that it all means nothing or even that it’s something else altogether.
There’s no other way to describe it - pregnancy is crazy. Know your crazy, don’t ignore it.
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Can You Really Experience Early Signs Of Pregnancy?
Yes, some people do experience early signs of pregnancy well before the missed period. There’s no need to panic. It’s advisable to take the pregnancy test after the missed period.
Early Signs/Symptoms Of Pregnancy Before Missed Period
The difference between pregnancy signs and pregnancy symptoms has been explained early on the article. Keeping that in mind, let’s first look at the early signs of pregnancy:
Your breast generally starts to feel different two weeks into conception. Breast soreness or breast heaviness is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy before a missed period. The cause for this are the hormonal changes that take place within a woman at the time of pregnancy.
Morning sickness typically starts 2-8 weeks after conception and is therefore one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. In fact, it’s also one of the common signs of pregnancy.
‘Spotting’ also known as implantation bleeding:
High basal body temperature:
The average basal body temperature pre-ovulation is around 97.0F to 98.0F. During pregnancy, you can see an increase in the BBT by around 0.5 to 1.0F. The elevated basal body temperature is one of the most accurate early signs of pregnancy.
Everything above can be objectively observed. Hence, they are the early signs of pregnancy. The rest is a lot more subjective and as you by now know- these are called the early symptoms of pregnancy:
Unpredictable mood swings:
Crying one minute, laughing the next and inexplicable anger to end it all: that’s an early symptom of pregnancy. You generally begin to experience these mood swings just weeks after conception. It’s an often overlooked as a premenstrual symptom.
Inexplicable lethargic sensation:
When the progesterone levels rise, fatigue sets in. More than that, your body is nursing a living individual within it. Some women don’t feel it all, while some women begin to feel the fatigue just a week into conception. It’s a fairly easy symptom to keep an eye out for.
Frequent spells of dizziness:
Dizziness alone is not an early symptom of pregnancy. Dizziness accompanied by any of the other signs or symptoms of pregnancy means something. This dizziness last till about the second trimester after which it rarely happens.
Increase in frequency/urge to pee:
Most women will agree that this is one of the most irritating early symptoms of pregnancy. Especially because, this sudden urge to pee is most often experienced in the night time. Most women complain of this symptom throughout their pregnancy.
Fall in appetite:
If you are a foodie, this should be your first tell tale pregnancy symptom. The day you stop craving for the foods that you previously loved is the day you should take a pregnancy test. Again, the reason for this inexplicable change in behaviour is the rise in progesterone levels (hormonal changes).
Stomach stiffness in layman terms translates to ‘constipation’. Again, the major reason for this being hormonal changes.
How Soon Can You Start Experiencing These Symptoms?
To give you a definite timeline, women generally start experiencing pregnancy symptoms in 10-15 days. You can start expecting the first signs and symptoms of pregnancy to creep up during the second half of your menstrual cycle.
Should You Rely On These Symptoms?
Yes, pregnancy symptoms should not be overlooked. With that being said, don't overthink a situation. Overthinking pregnancy is one of the worst things you can do. Instead of worrying about such questions, if you feel the early symptoms and want some peace of mind, buy one of those home pregnancy tests or pregnancy test devices and put your mind at ease.
Best Time To Take A Pregnancy Test
If you are the anxious kind, take a home pregnancy test as soon as you see the first few signs creep up. Ideally, you can wait for about 1-2 weeks after your missed period before it’s panic or hallelujah time!
Missed Period Or Delayed Period
Okay, so you know what a menstrual cycle is - first day to last day of the menstrual period. On average, this cycle lasts for about 28 days i.e 4 weeks. But these cycles aren’t really very predictable at all times. It’s quite common for a woman to be unable to guess when she’s going to get her periods. It’s just quite erratic, really! To be really sure, you can wait for about 35 days from the day you get your first period. If it takes any longer, that’s a missed period.
Other Causes Of Missed Period
Believe it; a missed period does not always mean pregnancy. Other causes of missed period are:
> Drastic change in weight (overweight or underweight)
> Sudden increase in exercise
> Erratic sleep schedule
> Other medication
> Thyroid issues
> Other diseases like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Can It Be Premenstrual Symptoms? How To Know
To be honest- yes, it can be premenstrual symptoms. Premenstrual symptoms and pregnancy symptoms are very similar. So if you often get confused between the two, it’s okay, you are one among many. Some symptoms are only related to pregnancy, it's wise to look out for these three symptoms:
> Darkening areolas
> Vaginal discharge
> Elevated basal temperature
How To Do A Home Pregnancy Test?
The first home pregnancy test is always the most nervous one. If you are feeling super conscious about the whole situation and want to avoid the awkward encounter with the medical salesman, here’s a very simple home pregnancy test that works just like other pregnancy test devices.
The main ingredient for this test is toothpaste.
Mix your urine with toothpaste, if:
(a) the toothpaste turns frothy and slightly blue in colour, that’s positive
(b) the toothpaste remains as is, the test result is then negative
To know more, check out this video.
Q1) What does early pregnancy discharge look like?
Healthy vaginal fluid is white in colour with a thin-clear texture. It’s often accompanied by a mild odor.
Q2) How many days after conception do you feel symptoms?
The first signs and symptoms of conception are felt during the second half of the menstrual cycle i.e 1-2 weeks later.
Q3) What are the very early signs of pregnancy?
Breast soreness, fatigue, morning sickness, frequent mood swings, dizziness, spotting and high basal temperature.
Q4) How can I tell if I'm pregnant after 1 week?
You can take a pregnancy test- home pregnancy test or with the help of the pregnancy test devices, however, there’s a chance that you will have to take it again as 1 week is a little too early to tell.
Q5) Is white discharge a sign of period coming or pregnancy?
Yes, it’s called leukorrhea.
Q6) Why do I feel pregnant before my period?
While your gynecologist is the most qualified person to answer this question- the reason is that it generally takes that long to feel the symptoms of pregnancy.
Q7) What are the signs of pregnancy after 3 days?
No definite signs. It takes about 1-2 weeks to see the first signs and symptoms of pregnancy.
Q8) Is milky white discharge a sign of pregnancy or period?
Yes, it's normal and it happens due to hormonal changes that are taking place in the body.