While a delayed or missed menstrual period is a common sign of pregnancy, there are other signs you might be pregnant that occur before you notice a missed period. According to a poll conducted by the American Pregnancy Association, a missed period was the first sign of pregnancy for only 29% of the women surveyed.
Here are 10 things to look for other than a missed period:
- Light bleeding or spotting. Implantation bleeding, which occurs when the fertilized egg is implanted, is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. Implantation bleeding generally happens about 6-12 days after conception, but some women experience spotting through the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
- Cramps. Cramps can occur during pregnancy as your uterus expands. Of course, many women experience cramps on a regular basis. If you are experiencing cramps at a time when you usually would not, however, it might be because you are pregnant.
- Swollen/tender breasts. The third most frequently cited symptom of pregnancy is attributed to the swelling or increased tenderness of the breasts. Changes to the breasts can start as early as 1 to 2 weeks after conception.
- Fatigue. When you are pregnant, you experience many hormonal changes, including the increased production of progesterone, which can cause you to feel fatigued and sleepy.
- Headaches. The sudden surge of hormones and an increase in blood volume early in pregnancy can trigger headaches.
- Backaches. Lower back pain may occur early in pregnancy but it can continue all the way through week 34.
- Nausea/vomiting. Everyone has heard of morning sickness (which, despite its name, can occur anytime during the day). Morning sickness can start anywhere between 2-8 weeks after conception.
- Food cravings/aversions. You may find that you have unusual food cravings or are repulsed by foods you used to enjoy.
- Sharp mood swings. The surge of hormones that happens when you are pregnant can cause you to become more emotional. Mood swings can start just a few weeks after conception.
- Frequent urination. One of the hormones produced during the first few weeks of pregnancy increases blood flow to the pelvic region, causing a more frequent need to urinate.
While some women might not experience any of these signs for several weeks, others might experience signs within days after conception. All of these symptoms can, of course, be caused by issues other than pregnancy. If you have experienced one or more of these symptoms, however, and think you could be pregnant, it might be time to take a pregnancy test.
Avail offers free, self-administered laboratory-quality pregnancy tests, which can detect pregnancy hormones 10 days after conception and provide results within three to five minutes. If you think you could be pregnant or want to discuss your pregnancy options with one of our client advocates, make an appointment at Avail today.
Avail NYC exists to be a safe haven for women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy or seeking support after an abortion. We are not a medical provider.