When it comes to detecting pregnancy, a test is always best—but there are many indicators, like tender breasts or frequent urination, that are signs of early pregnancy, especially when experienced at the same time. While they’re by no means definite (and can often overlap with symptoms of PMS), being in tune with your body and knowing what to expect is helpful.
- Tender breasts: “Early in pregnancy, hormonal changes might make your breasts sensitive and sore. The discomfort will likely decrease after a few weeks as your body adjusts to hormonal changes,” the Mayo Clinic explains. Breasts might also become swollen.
- Implantation cramping: Implantation is when an egg attaches to your uterine wall. There is no definite reason behind implantation cramping, but Dr. Shari Lawson, division director of general obstetrics and gynecology at Johns Hopkins Medicine, says it could be due to the small amount of bleeding that occurs. “Blood is an irritant, and that can cause cramping,” she told Forbes. This sign of early pregnancy can be confusing because it happens to women when they are not menstruating. Implantation cramping can be mild to severe. Another cause could be due to the uterus, a muscle, contracting during pregnancy.
- Spotting: Spotting in early pregnancy happens to 15 to 25 percent of women, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. It can happen one to two weeks after fertilization. Spotting is much lighter than a regular period, Dr. Jonathan Schaffir, an ob-gyn at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, told Women’s Health.
- Fatigue: Although the cause of being tired is hard to pinpoint even when you’re not having a baby, in early pregnancy there are high levels of progesterone and an increase of blood production in the body, women’s health expert Dr. Wider told Women’s Health. This can cause fatigue.
- Frequent urination: This is a sign of early pregnancy caused by a surge in hormones that stimulates your kidneys to expand and produce more urine. Frequent urination usually fades away by the second trimester (but can come back in the third), “Your uterus, which is normally the size of a fist, grows and stretches to accommodate your baby. The enlarged uterus puts pressure on your bladder and contributes to the urge to pee,” Richard H. Schwarz, M.D., told Parents.com.
- Missed period: This is the most obvious sign of an early pregnancy, if you get your period regularly. “If you're in your childbearing years and a week or more has passed without the start of an expected menstrual cycle, you might be pregnant,” according to the Mayo Clinic. However, if you have irregular periods, then this might not apply to you. In order to be sure, take a dependable pregnancy test or go to your doctor. Ovry offers pregnancy test strips that can detect pregnancy up to six days before the date of your missed period.
Keep in mind these symptoms are only indicators and cannot confirm pregnancy on their own. If you have any questions or concerns, it is always best to consult your physician or a medical professional.