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How to Realize Whether or Not You Are Pregnant

author image Meg Campbell
Based just outside Chicago, Meg Campbell has worked in the fitness industry since 1997. She’s been writing health-related articles since 2010, focusing primarily on diet and nutrition. Campbell divides her time between her hometown and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
How to Realize Whether or Not You Are Pregnant
Home pregnancy tests may not read hormonal changes just after conception.

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.

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Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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.

Step 6

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.

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