Is there really such a thing as early pregnancy symptoms before missed period?
You’ve nixed the contraceptives, monitored your cycle and got busy doing the baby-making dance.
The dreaded two-week wait has officially begun.
In the meantime, you’re scouring the internet, reading baby and TTC (trying to conceive) forums and symptom comparing.
Maybe your breasts feel different or you can smell what your boss ate for breakfast a mile away. Could these really be early pregnancy symptoms?
The short answer? You, betcha.
But, it’s important to note that women become very in-tune with their bodies when trying to conceive.
Every little twinge you experience is going to have you wondering if this month is the month.
The only sure-fire way to know if you are pregnant is to take a pregnancy test. With that said, your body may just be sending you signals that there is a little bun in the oven.
15 Early Pregnancy Symptoms Before Missed Period
1.) Breasts are Changing
Often one of the very first symptoms many expectant moms say tipped them off is a noticeable change in the breast area. This is likely because this can occur just 1-2 weeks after conception. Here are a couple of different things that are going on.
Sore or Tender Breasts
The increase of hormones estrogen and progesterone are mostly to blame for sore and tender breasts in early pregnancy. As your body begins to adjust, this tenderness will usually subside by the second trimester.
However, don’t be surprised if it returns in your third trimester. Some women will even go on to have this symptom throughout the entirety of pregnancy.
Nipple Pain & Appearance
Tingling nipples and nipple pain are also a common complaint during early pregnancy. This, too, is due to the hormonal changes your body is going through.
You may also notice that your nipples appear to be protruding more than usual. This is completely normal as your body prepares your milk-makers.
The areola (the area surrounding your nipple) will begin to darken. You may also notice little raised bumps along the perimeter of your areolas.
These are called Montgomery’s tubercles and they are good for you! As noted by HealthLine, “their primary function is lubricating and keeping germs away from the breasts”.
These goosebump looking pimples produce secretions. If you decide to breastfeed, these secretions may help keep your milk from being contaminated.
2.) You’re a Moody Beast
Is your spouse, boyfriend or significant driving you nuts? Or maybe you broke down crying because the waiter brought you the wrong order.
Either way, if you’ve noticed that you have become extra moody, it may just be those pregnancy hormones speaking and one of the early pregnancy symptoms before missed period.
3.) Bloating & Wind
The surge in progesterone is at work here. As progesterone relaxes the intestine muscles, it slows down our digestive system. This allows gas to become backed up. Which will ultimately lead to bloating, burping and wind (isn’t that such a fun word for gas or “flatulence”? ?).
Maybe you’ve noticed that you are extra gassy or your pants aren’t quite fitting the same. This could just be one of your early pregnancy symptoms before missed period.
Constipation is also thought to be the result of our intestine muscles relaxing. This is a pretty common early pregnancy symptom (and a presumably uncomfortable one).
If you are having troubles going to the bathroom, there are a couple of things you can do to try to help you out. These include drinking plenty of fluids, walking or moving around to help stimulate the bowels and eating a high-fiber diet.
It is especially important to drink enough fluids if you are taking iron supplements. And if constipation is persistent or becomes unbearably uncomfortable, you may want to speak with your physician. They may recommend reducing or potentially removing a fiber supplement from your diet.
5.) Fatigue & Tiredness
No surprise here that the increase in hormones contributes to the fatigue felt during early pregnancy. Progesterone, along with the increased blood-production, has a habit of making us feel sleepy.
If you’ve been feeling extra tired for no explained reason, it could very well be an early pregnancy symptom.
6. Cravings or Food Aversions
During the first few months of pregnancy, your hCG levels double every few days. This rapid increase in hCG may be affecting your love, hate relationship towards certain foods.
Specific food cravings and aversions may last the entirety of your pregnancy. You may even hate one food early in pregnancy, only to love it later on.
In many women, nausea tends to hit around the 6-week mark. However, some women may begin experiencing this as early as 4 weeks. Nausea is likely also linked to the rapidly increasing levels of hCG hormones (what prompted your positive pregnancy test).
The good news is that nausea tends to cease for most between 11 and 14 weeks. This is also when hCG hormones are beginning to decrease and level off.
Cramping during pregnancy is usually associated with all things bad. However, in early pregnancy cramping is a pretty common occurrence.
Mild pregnancy cramps in really early pregnancy are usually due to implantation and just the overall changes your body is going through to prepare for baby.
These cramps have a tendency to creep up either before or right around the time Aunt Flo is due. And many times, women dismiss these cramps for their period.
However, the cramping sensation you generally feel is “dull” and are a much milder version than that you would feel during your period. It can usually be associated to a pulling or tugging type of sensation.
If you are experiencing unbearable or difficult cramps or have any concerns at all, contact your physician right away.
While alarming, spotting can be quite normal during early pregnancy. One of the most frequent spoken about spotting in early pregnancy is that that is associated with implantation. Implantation occurs when the embryo attaches to your uterine wall.
This can sometimes disrupt the blood vessels within your uterus and cause spotting. Spotting, due to implantation, is generally much lighter in nature. And will usually clear up in a few hours to a few days.
If the bleed gets heavier, this may likely not be associated with implantation.
Contact your physician immediately if you are experiencing a heavy bleed, bleeding associated with bad cramps or have any concerns, in general.
10.) Elevated Basal Body Temperature
During ovulation, your body’s basal body temperature (BBT) rises slightly. Mayo Clinic states that “a rise in basal body temperature that lasts for 18 or more days may be an early indicator of pregnancy”.
This method will only be useful for those that are monitoring their BBT throughout their cycles.
10.) Changes in Cervical Mucus
Most women do not experience significant changes in their cervical mucus, or otherwise known as leukorrhea, before their missed period. However, some women have reported that they experienced a slight increase in the days leading up to their missed period.
Leukorrhea is generally thin, milky-white and may only have a slight odor. It should not have a strong odor or cause itching. This could indicate that a visit to your physician is needed.
While this may be an early symptom before missed period, it is more reasonable to expect these changes around week 8. It’s also important to note that women who are not pregnant may also experience leukorrhea.
11.) Heightened Sense of Smell
A heightened sense of smell is one of the popular early pregnancy symptoms before missed period. And you can blame your surge in hormones once again for this one. If you begin to experience a heightened sense of smell, this could be indicative that you are pregnant.
While you may have just gained a superpower, don’t be surprised if it also contributes to your morning sickness in the coming weeks.
12.) Frequent Stops to the Bathroom
Kidspot actually has a pretty scientific reason as to what causes increased urination. They mention, “This is mainly because the blood flow to the woman’s kidneys increases by up to 35 to 60%. The extra blood flow makes her kidneys produce up to 25% more urine soon after conception. This increased urine production peaks by about 9 to 16 weeks of the pregnancy, then settles down.”
13.) Lower Backaches
Hormones are at work again with this one. Health Line mentions, “during your pregnancy, your body releases hormones that help ligaments and joints in your pelvis to soften and loosen”.
However, this is not just centralized to the pelvis region. As it moves throughout the entire body, it can also have a direct impact on your back.
If you are experiencing back pain that is also accompanied by vaginal bleeding, a fever or burning sensation when urinating, contact your doctor right away.
14.) Strange Dreams
If you have been experiencing more vivid dreams, nightmares, frequent dreaming or more intense dreams, it could be an early pregnancy symptom before missed period.
American Pregnancy mentions “one cause is due to an increase in hormone production. You’ll find during pregnancy that your hormones may impact your emotions and your anxiety”.
The emotional, mental and physical states are all connected. This means that the increase in hormones could be affecting how your brain responds to emotions and data. Thus resulting in vivid story telling dreams.
15.) You Just Know
Some women claim that they just simply knew. Their body feels different, they feel different and they know something is up. Their spide-y senses are going off.
How Do I Know I am Not PMSing?
Women whom are trying to conceive may spend every minute after DTD (doing the deed), trying to decipher the code. You may have also noticed that most of the symptoms on this list could be mistaken for PMS symptoms.
Therefore, there is no sure-fire way to know if what you are experiencing aren’t just PMS symptoms. Until you take a pregnancy test, that is.
My recommendation would be to stay off the internet, especially in the very beginning. And yes, that is coming from me – who makes a living writing for the internet world. Otherwise, it may just drive you bonkers.
If you simply can’t wait, there are hyper sensitive pregnancy tests out there that will allow you to test 6 days before your missed period.
Am I Pregnant?
This term is searched over 90,000 times a month on Google so it’s a pretty safe bet that it’s a common question women have.
As grueling as those two weeks can be, you have to wait them out. The only way to know for sure if you are pregnant or not is to take a pregnancy test. Then to get 100% confirmation, you must follow up with your physician or possibly get your blood drawn.
I think I’m Pregnant, Now What?
First and foremost, if you think you are pregnant, take a pregnancy test. If it comes back negative, you may have just tested too early. Give it a few days and test again. If it comes back positive, it’s time to ring the doctor.
Some physicians may tell you “Congratulations”, but that they want to see you between 6 and 8 weeks.
This can seem like an eternity, especially if you found out early. But there are some things you can do in the meantime. Avoid drinking, smoking, limit caffeine and only take medications that are pregnancy safe. Begin eating healthy, balanced meals and look into a prenatal vitamin.
If you ever have any questions, always reach out to your physician. Some OB offices even have an online messaging system where they can answer all the questions you have.
So these are some of the more scientific symptoms of pregnancy in first month. I’d love to hear, what tipped you off that you were pregnant?