Is your period late? Do you think you may be pregnant? Pregnancy symptoms differ from woman to woman and pregnancy to pregnancy. Understanding the signs and symptoms of pregnancy is important because each symptom may be related to something other than pregnancy. If you think you may be pregnant, treat yourself as if you are until you know otherwise.
Some women experience pregnancy signs or symptoms of pregnancy within a week of conception. For other women, pregnancy symptoms may develop over a few weeks or may not be present at all. Below is a listing of some of the most common pregnancy signs symptoms. If you have been sexually active and are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it is recommended to take a pregnancy test.
Early Symptoms of Pregnancy:
- Spotting and Cramping – A few days after conception, the fertilized egg travels and attaches itself to the wall of your uterus, causing implantation bleeding, one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. This may occur around six to 12 days after fertilization.
- Swollen/Tender Breasts – Women’s hormone levels change rapidly after conception, triggering tender, sore, or swollen breasts.
- Nausea or Morning Sickness – Is one of the most common and popular pregnancy symptoms, but not all women experience it. Nausea can occur at any time of day and not just in the morning. The cause of morning sickness or nausea is likely to be hormonal changes.
- Missed/Delayed Period – Is the most obvious symptom of pregnancy, and the one that prompts most women to visit our free clinic for a pregnancy test. However, a missed period could be caused by other things besides pregnancy. It may be a symptom of hormonal problems caused by fatigue or stress. It may also be a side effect of taking oral contraceptives.
Hormonal changes are likely to be the cause of other early pregnancy symptoms including:
- Difference in menstruation
- Frequent urination
- Food cravings and aversions
- Back pain
- Mood swings
However, these signs and symptoms are not exclusive to pregnancy. These signs and symptoms could indicate that you are about to get sick. They could also indicate that your period is coming soon. In some women, pregnancy can occur without any of the later signs and symptoms of pregnancy. In addition, there might be other pregnancy symptoms that could happen to you that are not commonly experienced.
If you have missed a period or suspect that you may be pregnant, you might want to get a pregnancy test. The licensed health professionals at each of our three Bay Area Support Circle Clinics can administer a pregnancy test for you. Whether your test comes back negative or positive for pregnancy, our health professionals can discuss possible reasons for your symptoms, or pregnancy options, and guide you through next steps. Support Circle’s confidential services are offered free of charge.