For most women, a late period is the most telling sign of a pregnancy.
But if you want to be certain, sooner, here are 10 of the most common signs that you might be newly pregnant.
- Sudden Food Aversions
Are you suddenly disgusted by foods that never bothered you before?
Maybe you have a gag reflex at the smell of strong coffee, ripe salami or a pastrami sandwich. Maybe you feel slightly sick after the first bite of a food you used to enjoy.
- Abdominal Cramps or Bloating
The fertilised egg attaching itself to your uterus wall can cause cramping and bloating. Of course, there are a few other reasons for abdominal discomfort, including pre-menstrual pain.
But if this symptom is accompanied by some of the other following signs, it might be time for a pregnancy test.
Are you moodier than normal? Does the moodiness last days now instead of just a few hours? Is your husband or boyfriend or even a close coworker making comments about your unpredictable mood swings?
Is it harder to keep your temper in check?
If any of these sound familiar, they could be signs that your hormone levels are adapting to being pregnant. Changes in your hormones cause changes in how your neurotransmitters behave. This means, more frequent and dramatic mood swings.
- Frequent urination
Pregnancy can cause increased blood flow to your kidneys. This makes your kidneys more “productive,” resulting in more frequent trips to the bathroom.
Sometimes, this symptom doesn’t show up until you’re 6 to 8 weeks pregnant, but that’s not always the case.
If your bladder is filling up faster than it should be, something has most definitely changed in your body chemistry.
- Breast Sensitivity
Are your breasts more sensitive than normal?
Are they tender or swollen?
Does it hurt to put on a bra?
This is another sign of hormone increases in your body as a result of being newly pregnant. At first, they might feel like they normally would during your period…only your period doesn’t come.
Don’t worry. This discomfort will decrease as your pregnancy progresses. If you’re experiencing this along with the other 9 signs, it could be more than just a prelude to your next period.
- You’re Hotter than Normal
We’re not talking about how you look in your new bikini. We’re talking about your basal body temperature.
It’s not enough to just “feel” like you’re hotter, as that could be strictly psychological or environmental, especially if you’re anticipating being pregnant.
If you have a thermometer, it’s a good idea to get in the habit of taking your temperature every day. This way, you’ll recognise a definite, measurable, temperature increase if it happens.
Of course, your body temperature will naturally rise during ovulation. But if it lasts more 14 days, and if you’re experiencing some of these other signs, a home pregnancy test may be in order.
- A Missed Period
This is, of course, the most common early sign of pregnancy, but it’s also important not to mistake a late or irregular cycle with a completely missed cycle.
If you’re not consistently tracking your periods, it might be hard to tell when you’re merely late.
Look for the other symptoms on this list, and make sure you’ve actually missed a cycle before getting too excited.
- Fatigue and/or Trouble Sleeping
Disruptions in your energy levels are almost always a sign of changes to your hormone levels.
For example, testosterone gives your body more energy, while estrogen is more likely to cause a decrease in energy or physical stamina.
If you’re newly pregnant, things might start irritating you more than they normally would. Your mental, physical and emotional stamina may decrease and you might start feeling fatigued earlier in the day.
If this sudden drop in energy is accompanied by other signs of early pregnancy, it might be time to be tested.
- Nausea or Queasiness
This is commonly called “morning sickness,” but the nausea can happen any time of the day and sometimes even the whole day.
Most likely, you’ll also notice unusual food aversions, which are unrelated to the queasiness. The smell of brewing coffee or cooking meat might make you feel a little sick in the pit of your stomach.
You could start vomiting unexpectedly or get unexplained headaches. If these symptoms last longer than several days, or if your period is late, you could be pregnant.
- Bloating or Constipation
This is less common during the first few weeks. Sometimes, you don’t experience bloating until later in your pregnancy.
But if the bloating is more persistent and annoying than usual, there could be more to it than that extra helping of pasta you had last night.
Is it Time to Be Tested?
These are the ten most common early signs of pregnancy. If you’re experiencing more than half of these symptoms, a good start would be with a home pregnancy test.
Even if it’s negative, it’s a good idea to keep this list and start paying attention to changes in your mood, appetite, senses or energy level.
Most important, make sure that your doctor knows that you’re experiencing any of these early signs of pregnancy.