In the first few days or weeks after conception, before most tests can detect the hormonal changes brought on by pregnancy, your body may exhibit certain pregnancy-related symptoms. Not all women have symptoms, and the majority of women only experience a few, rather than all of them. If you could possibly be pregnant and are experiencing any of the early signs of pregnancy, take a pregnancy test.
Look for any light vaginal bleeding one to two weeks after sexual activity. One of the earliest signs of pregnancy is implantation bleeding, which occurs when the embryo is implanted into the wall of your uterus. Embryo implantation can present itself as spotting, cramping or both.
Look at your breasts, and notice how they feel. Many women experience swollen, tender, tingly, full, heavy or sore breasts early on. You may also notice that your areolas, or the pigmented areas around your nipples, are darker.
Assess your overall level of energy. Fatigue is one of the most prevalent first symptoms of pregnancy. Pregnancy generates high levels of the hormone progesterone from the start, which can cause fatigue and sleepiness.
Take note of increased sensitivities to smells. Odors that may not have bothered you in the past, such as the smell of car exhaust, cigarette smoke, fresh paint, baking or coffee beans, may trigger your gag reflex. If you experience this pregnancy symptom, even the smell of food you normally eat may nauseate you.
Pay attention to small aches and pains, physical changes and differences in mood. Lower back pain, headaches, lightheadedness, bloating, constipation and mood swings can all be signs of pregnancy, due to hormonal changes and an increase in fluids.
Wait for your next menstrual cycle. If it arrives late, seems to be lighter or shorter, or doesn’t come at all, take a home pregnancy test. For a pregnancy test to be accurate, your body must have a readable level of the pregnancy hormone hGC.
It’s possible to experience some of these symptoms and not be pregnant. The early signs of pregnancy can be a symptom of something else occurring in your body.
To find out for sure whether or not you’re pregnant, see your obstetrician.
Some tests are more sensitive than others, so use one with better sensitivity if you're within a week or two of possible conception, or retest a few days later.