5 Early Signs of Pregnancy

Most couples trying to get pregnant would usually target the woman's fertile window and have sexual intercourse often during this time.

When this fertile period passes, the wait starts as you, hoping to record some success, begin to expect and look out for possible early signs of pregnancy.

When to Expect These Symptoms

The appearance of pregnancy symptoms differs from woman to woman. For some women, it could start as early as day six after ovulation, while for others, these symptoms could delay until day eleven or twelve. For a few other women, the pregnancy symptoms that present are so regular, they are easy to miss altogether.

A woman starts to experience those early signs of pregnancy after implantation takes place.

What is Implantation?

Implantation occurs at the later stage when the egg has been fertilized and needs a "home" to start developing.

In the beginning, the mature egg is released from the ovaries into the fallopian tube where it waits for a sperm to fertilize it. If successful, the fertilized egg, now a zygote, starts its journey to the uterus to get implanted.

It gets to the uterus on the fifth day and then waits around to finally implant itself on the sixth day. However, in a few cases, the zygote could wait around a little while longer, sometimes up till day 11 or 12 before finally implanting.

Once the implantation is done, you will start to notice those early signs of pregnancy.

The Five Top Early Signs of Pregnancy to Look Out For

1. Temperature Dip

Some women will notice a dip in their temperature immediately after implantation occurs. However, it's so easy to miss this pregnancy sign unless you've been actively monitoring your temperature.

One effective way to do so is to use the Kindara app that helps you chart your fertility.

This app shows you the dip and the subsequent rise, which could indicate implantation has just occurred.

However, while this is one sign to look out for, you shouldn't fret if it fails to present as only 25% of newly pregnant women experience it.

2. Implantation Bleeding

Another sign you want to look out for is implantation bleeding. Again, this early sign of pregnancy is not common, affecting just 1 in 3 women.

When it does occur, however, it's usually quite easy to mistake it for your regular period of bleeding.

Here are some differences between both bleeding though:

- You should look out for when this bleeding occurs. If it does on days 6 to 12 of your period, it is likely implantation bleeding.

- This bleeding is usually smaller and lighter than your regular period.

- It lasts for a few hours to around two days.

- It's usually not as bright in colour as the period bleeding and could appear as brown, light pink, or light red.

Why Implantation Bleeding Occurs

Implantation bleeding occurs as the zygote attaches to the walls of the uterus. For this to happen, the zygote develops some finger-like substances on day five when it gets to the uterus, which it uses to attach itself.

If there are blood vessels closer to the surface of the uterine walls, these get injured during the implantation, resulting in bleeding.

3. Cramps

This is the most confusing pregnancy symptom of all. This symptom gets mistaken the most and chalked down to normal period cramps.

However, implantation cramp is milder and doesn't last long.

Implantation occurs when the blood from the implantation gets into the womb. This irritates the uterus, resulting in the cramps.

4. Heaviness of the Breasts

Done women also report experiencing some heaviness in their breasts too after.

This symptom could present as early as two weeks after conception and occurs as a result of pregnancy hormones, estrogen, and progesterone, becoming active in your system.

These hormones make the glands in your breasts grow, causing them to retain more fluid which results in the breast tenderness or soreness you feel.

5. Weakness and Fatigue

Soon after implantation, your body goes to work 24/7, creating an enabling environment for the growing baby. The extra progesterone it produces for the development of the placenta causes a rise in your body temperature, which in turn causes fatigue and weakness.

This pregnancy symptom can however be effectively managed by eating healthy, starting a good multivitamin early on, and drinking enough water.

6. Darker-looking Nipples

You'd nipples could also turn a slightly darker hue than their regular colour. This change is caused by pregnancy hormones, which affect the functioning of melanocytes, resulting in a darker colour.

This change is usually very visible in light-skinned women as darker women may not notice this symptom until around 9 -10 weeks.

7. Morning Sickness

Nausea is the most common pregnancy symptom as it affects over 85% of pregnant women.

This symptom, like a few others, is also not quite easy to predict as it could start as early as two weeks after conception or as late as six weeks.

It is believed that nausea in pregnancy is caused by the human chorionic hormone (HCG) produced by the placenta. It also varies in intensity as some women experience some light nausea and vomiting, 3% of women experience a more severe type caused hyperemesis gravidarum.

Nausea is also the pregnancy symptom women report having the most difficulty managing. However, some good remedies for it put forward include

- Eating five or six smaller foods as against the regular three large meals.

- Avoid fatty or spicy foods.

- Opting for crackers, pretzels, or toasts to help settle the queasiness you feel.

- Taking ginger tea also helps calm your stomach.

- Taking lots of fluids

- Taking your prenatal at night just before you go to bed if it makes you queasy.

- Identifying your other triggers and avoiding these.

- Inhaling a fresh scent, like a slice of lemon or mint.

- Getting lots of rest.

For more severe nausea (hyperemesis), you might require a brief stay in the hospital where your doctor tried to monitor and correct any dehydration by giving IV fluids and some medications.

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