20 First Pregnancy Symptoms

The first symptoms of pregnancy are warning signs that encourage women to take a pregnancy test, be it a pharmacy test or a blood test for beta-hCG. Some women resort to home pregnancy testing when they suspect they are pregnant, but these, in addition to being unreliable, can still do harm, as explained in the article: Home pregnancy test.

Pregnancy test
Pregnancy test
 

The sooner a woman knows she is pregnant, the sooner she can start her prenatal care. It can then take beneficial measures to the fetus, such as controlling blood glucose, improving diet, using supplements - such as folic acid and iron - monitoring blood pressure, promptly treating infections, and avoiding alcohol or medication potentially harmful to the baby in the first trimester of pregnancy.

It is important to note that the signs and symptoms of pregnancy are not the same for all women. In addition, the same mother may have symptoms in the second pregnancy completely different from those of the first. And even when these signs repeat themselves, they can vary in intensity, frequency, time of onset, and duration.

When do the first signs and symptoms of pregnancy arise?

The fertilization of the ovum by the spermatozoon is an asymptomatic event. Therefore, it is impossible to know in the first few days after intercourse if the woman became pregnant or not. What you may feel are some symptoms of ovulation such as abdominal cramps, more sensitive breasts, increased libido and changes in vaginal mucus.

The first signs and symptoms of pregnancy arise only when the embryo is implanted in the uterus, a fact that occurs 1 or 2 weeks after the ovum has been fertilized, which is equivalent to 3 or 4 weeks of pregnancy.

From the implantation of the embryo into the uterus until about the 13th week of gestation, the increase in the production of hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, prolactin, testosterone and HCG, will cause the woman to experience a great deal of symptoms that will be described in detail at follow.

Keep in mind that many of the early symptoms of gestation may be similar to the premenstrual discomforts to which you are accustomed. Since women who are not trying to get pregnant are not very aware of the signs of their body, the first symptoms of pregnancy can go unnoticed, being confused with a possible menstruation on the way.

What are the symptoms of pregnancy in the first quarter?

In summary, the first signs and symptoms of pregnancy that you may develop are:
  • 1. Vaginal bleeding
  • 2. Menstrual delay
  • 3. Colic or abdominal pain
  • 4. Breast pain
  • 5. Breast augmentation
  • 6. Changes in the appearance of breasts
  • 7. Nausea and vomiting
  • 8. Intestinal constipation
  • 9. Abdominal swelling
  • 10. Tiredness and excessive sleep
  • 11. Frequent urge to urinate
  • 12. Food desires
  • 13. Alteration of the palate
  • 14. Aversion to strong odors
  • 15. Increase of gases
  • 16. Dizziness
  • 17. Humor variations
  • 18. Headache
  • 19. Vaginal discharge
  • 20. Acne

#1: Small vaginal bleeding


  • Age at which it appears: 3rd or 4th week of pregnancy.
  • Frequency of this sign of pregnancy: infrequent.

The first sign of pregnancy is usually mild vaginal bleeding. Not all women have this signal, and some of the signs do not recognize it as a symptom of pregnancy.

When the egg is fertilized, it transforms into a zygote (first stage of the embryo) and begins to travel through the uterine horn toward the uterus. After 6 to 12 days of travel, the embryo reaches the uterus and implants itself on your wall. This implantation can cause a small uterine bleeding, which manifests as a discreet vaginal bleeding.

Since implantation bleeding lasts for up to 3 days, it can cause mild abdominal cramping and usually occurs around the time menstruation is expected, some women interpret it as a weak period and do not suspect that this is their first sign of pregnancy.

Importantly, implantation of the embryo in the uterus is only one of several causes of vaginal bleeding in pregnancy. More than 20% of pregnant women have some bleeding in the first trimester of pregnancy.

So if you are trying to get pregnant and have a different period than usual, stay tuned as this may be a sign of early pregnancy.

#2: Menstrual delay


  • Age at which it arises: around the 4th week of gestation.
  • Frequency of this pregnancy signal: occurs in 100% of cases.

Since bleeding from implantation is not so common, in practice, the first symptom of pregnancy for most women ends up being the delay of menstruation. This is the sign that usually leads women to take the pregnancy test.

However, not all women find it easy to recognize delayed menstruation. Some women have very irregular menstrual cycles and have periods of anovulation (they do not ovulate during a given month), which means that the usual interval between menses is often longer than 1 or even 2 months.

In addition, as explained above, episodes of vaginal bleeding in early pregnancy can mimic a period, making the woman delay to notice that she is no longer menstruating.

It is important to note that menstruation can be delayed for reasons other than pregnancy, including stress, infections, birth control, changes in weight, tiredness, etc.

The expectation of menstruation itself, when the woman does not want to get pregnant, but if she has neglected having unprotected sexual intercourse, can cause a menstrual delay.

#3: Cramps or abdominal pain


  • Age at which it arises: from the 5th week of gestation.
  • Frequency of this pregnancy symptom: frequent.

In addition to a slight bleeding, the initial pregnancy can also cause some discomfort in the lower abdomen or a feeling of swelling in the belly, looking very much like the premenstrual symptoms.

These troubles and cramps, when associated with vaginal bleeding, may well mislead the pregnant women, making them think they have menstruated.

Abdominal pain is a symptom that can occur in the first, second or third trimester of pregnancy. In the first weeks of gestation it is more of a burden or discomfort than colic.

#4: Pain in breasts


  • Age at which it arises: from the 5th week of gestation.
  • Frequency of this pregnancy signal: very frequent.

Another typical sign of pregnancy, increased breast tenderness may appear early, only two to three weeks after fertilization. Often, simply touching your breasts or wearing a bra can be quite uncomfortable.

In women who do not have implantation bleeding and have not identified a delay in menstruation, breast pain may be the first symptom of pregnancy to be noticed.

#5: Increased size of bells


  • Age at which it arises: from the 5th week of gestation.
  • Frequency of this pregnancy symptom: very frequent.

In addition to sensitivity, the breasts of pregnant women also tend to get bigger, causing a swelling sensation.

This breast enlargement occurs due to hormonal changes that stimulate the development of the mammary glands, preparing them for the breastfeeding period that will come in the coming months.

The increase in breast volume usually occurs 1 or 2 weeks after the mother noticed that they are more sensitive.

#6: Changes in the appearance of the bells


  • Age at which it arises: from the 5th or 6th week of gestation.
  • Frequency of this pregnancy signal: very frequent.

In addition to increased volume and pain, the hormones produced in pregnancy also make the breasts of pregnant women change their appearance. It is common to have darkening of the nipples and appearance of veins around the breasts. These changes last until the end of breastfeeding.

Another distinct change in the appearance of the breasts is the emergence of Montgomery tubers, small nodules located in the areolas. These nodules are glands that produce secretions that keep the areola and nipple lubricated. As the breast grows during gestation, the tubers become more and more visible.

#7: Nausea and vomiting


  • Age at which it arises: from the 5th or 6th week of gestation.
  • Frequency of this pregnancy signal: very frequent.

Nausea and vomiting usually develop from the 6th week of gestation. However, there are women who present these symptoms as early as the 4th or 5th week.

Nausea and vomiting are typical symptoms of the first trimester of pregnancy and tend to disappear in the second trimester. In most cases, nausea improves after week 12 and 90% of pregnant women no longer experience any degree of nausea at week 18.

In some cases, the sickness is so intense that the woman can not even feed herself. Serious nuisances, which require medical support, are part of a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum.

#8: Intestinal constipation


  • Age at which it arises: from the 6th week of gestation.
  • Frequency of this pregnancy signal: frequent.

Increased production of the hormone progesterone in pregnancy causes some organs and tissues of the body to become more "loose" or "relaxed." This occurs in a way that facilitates the great volume expansion of the next uterus.

Among these organs are the intestines, which, because they suffer a reduction in their ability to contract, have more difficulty maintaining normal intestinal transit, which results in constipation.

#9: Swollen belly


  • Age at which it arises: from the 5th or 6th week of gestation.
  • Frequency of this pregnancy signal: frequent.

You'd swear until last week that you fit into those super-tight jeans, and now, all of a sudden, your pants no longer wrap around your belly.

This can occur because even when the fetus is still too small to expand the uterus, some women have a certain swelling in the abdominal region, which occurs as a preparation of the body to support uterine growth.

This swelling is another symptom that can be mistaken for premenstrual symptoms.

#10: Weakness and excessive sleep


  • Age at which it arises: from the 5th or 6th week of gestation.
  • Frequency of this pregnancy symptom: very frequent.

A feeling of fatigue disproportionate to your daily activities is a very common pregnancy symptom. If you already have a tiring routine during the day, it can become exhausting.

Increased sleep is also very common. Your body gives you signals that you need to rest more often. You may start wanting to go to bed earlier and have more difficulty than usual to wake up in the morning. During the day, a good nap seems to be all that you most want.

Tiredness and sleep during pregnancy occur due to hormonal changes, especially progesterone, which acts directly on the central nervous system and respiratory and cardiovascular systems.

Tiredness is a symptom of early pregnancy that usually goes away in the second trimester. However, it returns at the end of pregnancy when the baby already finds himself large and heavy.

#11: Frequent urge to urinate


  • Age at which it arises: from the 5th or 6th week of gestation.
  • Frequency of this pregnancy symptom: very frequent.

After about six weeks of pregnancy, the pregnant woman begins to feel the urge to urinate more frequently. These trips to the bathroom can occur, even during the night, disrupting the pregnant woman's sleep.

In the first few weeks, the urine buildup occurs by reducing the ability of the bladder to empty completely, due to the relaxation caused by the hormones of pregnancy. At the end of pregnancy, the very large fetus compresses the bladder, reducing its storage capacity and causing small volumes to trigger urination.

Increased urinary frequency is a symptom of early pregnancy, occurring in almost 100% of pregnant women and, unfortunately, lasts until the end of gestation.

It is important to note that if the increased urinary frequency is accompanied by darker urine and / or burning to urinate, a urinary tract infection may be the cause.

#12: Food desires


  • Age at which it arises: from the 6th week of gestation.
  • Frequency of this pregnancy symptom: frequent.

The craving for certain foods in the first weeks of gestation is one of the most clich├ęd symptoms of pregnancy. These strange desires may even make vegetarian women feel like eating hamburgers.

In the same way that they acquire these desires, pregnant women may also dislike certain foods and / or smells. That Japanese restaurant you love may, during pregnancy, make you nauseated just by going through the door.

#13: Changes of palate and smell


  • Age at which it arises: from the 6th week of gestation.
  • Frequency of this pregnancy symptom: frequent.

Besides having food cravings and aversions, changing the taste buds is another very common pregnancy symptom.

Sweets can become too sweet, the coffee you love comes to have a weird taste and during the day you can feel a taste of metal in the mouth for no apparent reason.

#14: Aversion to strong odors


  • Age at which it arises: from the 6th week of gestation.
  • Frequency of this pregnancy symptom: frequent.

Just as some foods cause nausea in the first weeks of pregnancy, intense, even pleasant smells like perfumes or foods can make you feel nauseous. Bad or very strong odors, such as cigarette smoke, gasoline, alcohol, cleaning products, etc., have the same effect.

A common symptom of pregnancy is a greater sensitivity of smell. The pregnant woman refers to the sensation of having developed a super-smell. Odors that went unnoticed or did not bother, now become unbearable.

#15: Frequently eliminated gases


  • Age at which it arises: from the 6th week of gestation.
  • Frequency of this pregnancy signal: frequent.

Some women experience increased intestinal gas in the first few weeks of pregnancy. This can be an embarrassing symptom in cases where the pregnant woman needs to stay trapped inside an office or room with other people. There is an increased need to burp and release flatus (pum).

#16: Dizziness


  • Age at which it arises: from the 6th week of gestation.
  • Frequency of this pregnancy symptom: frequent.

Dizziness is one of those classic pregnancy symptoms that appear in every movie when the character becomes pregnant.

Pregnancy hormones cause various changes in the woman's body, which can actually lead to dizziness, including blood pressure lowering, blood sugar levels, anemia, increased respiratory rate (which can lead to hyperventilation during a physical effort), insufficient feeding due to sickness, etc.

#17: Variations of humor


  • Age at which it arises: from the 5th or 6th week of gestation.
  • Frequency of this pregnancy symptom: frequent.

Another pregnancy symptom that everyone has seen in movies. The pregnant woman may cry until she sees a television commercial. Small things can gain disproportionate relevance.

Sudden mood swings are also common. The pregnant woman can go from allergy to sadness or sympathy to outbursts of bad humor with people close at hand. There are cases of pregnant women who even quit the job they asked for.

#18: Headache


  • Age at which it arises: from the 8th week of gestation.
  • Frequency of this symptom of pregnancy: infrequent.

Hormonal changes, relaxation of blood vessels and changes in cerebral blood flow explain why some pregnant women develop headaches during pregnancy. Stress and fatigue also contribute. Headache is a symptom that usually occurs in the first weeks of pregnancy.

#19: Vaginal corridance


  • Age at which it arises: from the 8th week of gestation.
  • Frequency of this pregnancy signal: frequent.

The onset of vaginal discharge or intensification of her usual discharge are normal symptoms in pregnancy. In general, this discharge is equal to the physiological discharge that some women have, being thick, milky or transparent and without odor.

#20: Acne


  • Age at which it arises: from the 10th week of gestation.
  • Frequency of this sign of pregnancy: infrequent.

Hormonal changes can cause some pregnant women to develop acne or have worsening of the acne they already had before.

In the female sex, acne is closely related to unbalances of the sex hormones that cause increase of the oiliness of the skin. Acne in pregnancy can be mild or severe and come on at any time during pregnancy.

Conclusion

The signs and symptoms described above may indicate the existence of ongoing gestation, but in no way serve to confirm or discard it. While some women have only one or two symptoms, others may manifest almost all. None of these signs or symptoms is exclusive to pregnancy. Several other diseases or conditions can cause similar symptoms.

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