How Early Are There Signs Of Pregnancy
There is a lot of debate on this one some say its impossible to feel symptoms until you at least have enough pregnancy hormones that can be detected in your blood or urinebut if you scour the Internet, you will find many people who will challenge that.
Personally, I have felt symptoms before I could get a positive at home test most notably, my reflux gets out of control and my breasts/nipples are incredibly tender.
It can be hard to find the difference between early symptoms and symptoms that your period is about to start because many of them are very similar so its best not to get too excited until you get a positive test. However, if you are feeling something different from what youve normally felt, then you could be pregnant.
Many women report feeling extra emotional or crampy during implantation, which can happen as soon as five days past ovulation. Theres not a lot of science to back up feeling symptoms this early but there are plenty of women who will say otherwise!
How Soon Do Early Pregnancy Symptoms Start
Some women may experience early signs and symptoms within the first weeks of pregnancy in the first trimester, while others may develop symptoms later on in the pregnancy.
- The first signs and symptoms of early pregnancy can also be similar to symptoms experienced prior to the menstrual period, so a woman may not recognize the symptoms as related to pregnancy.
About Our Expert Obstetrician Dr Larisa Corda
Dr Corda is an obstetrician and gynaecologist who specialises in IVF. After working in Sydney at IVF Australia , she returned to the UK and was awarded membership of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. She now works as a gynaecologist and IVF consultant and is also Fertility Expert for ITVs This Morning show.
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Pregnancy Sign: A Missed Period
Well, duh, of course a missed period is the most common of early pregnancy signs. For many women who havent been pregnant before, this is usually the first symptom they notice, explains Nordahl. But hindsight is often 20/20. A first-time mom usually thinks back and realizes that a few things were different but wasnt sure what they meant, she says.
Medicines For Indigestion And Heartburn
Medicines for indigestion and heartburn during pregnancy include:
- antacids to neutralise the acid in your stomach
- alginates to relieve indigestion caused by acid reflux by stopping the acid in your stomach coming back up your gullet
You may only need to take antacids and alginates when you start getting symptoms. However, your GP may recommend taking them before symptoms come on for example, before a meal or before bed.
If you’re taking iron supplements as well as antacids, do not take them at the same time. Antacids can stop iron from being absorbed by your body.
If antacids and alginates do not improve your symptoms, your GP may prescribe a medicine to reduce the amount of acid in your stomach. 2 that are widely used in pregnancy and not known to be harmful to an unborn baby are:
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Indigestion And Heartburn In Pregnancy
Indigestion, also called heartburn or acid reflux, is common in pregnancy. It can be caused by hormonal changes and the growing baby pressing against your stomach.
You can help ease indigestion and heartburn by making changes to your diet and lifestyle, and there are medicines that are safe to take in pregnancy.
Raised Basal Body Temperature
If you’ve been using a special basal body thermometer to track your first morning temperature, you might notice that it rises around 1 degree when you conceive and stays elevated throughout your pregnancy.
Though not a foolproof early pregnancy symptom , it could give you advance notice of the big news.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Heartburn Or Acid Reflux
Heartburn feels like a strong burning sensation in the chest and can be extremely uncomfortable. It is also known as acid reflux and indigestion .
Heartburn can show itself as a discomfort , bloating, wind, burping and nausea. Youll be able to compare notes with a lot of other mum friends as up to eight out of ten pregnant women get heartburn .
Needing The Loo More Often
If youre pregnant, the loo may become your new best friend over the next few months. One Taiwanese study found that urinary frequency aka needing to pee a lot affects 77% of pregnant women.
At the very beginning of pregnancy, its not the pressure of your growing baby on your bladder thats causing you to wee a lot . Instead, its pregnancy increasing the blood flow to your kidneys by 35% to 60% and because its the kidneys job to produce urine, that means more urine collecting in your bladder.
As mum-to-be lunar eclipse says on our forum, it can get a bit much, especially at night. Im 5 weeks and peeing at least 3 to 4 times every night. Ive not got a decent sleep for about a week now. It surely cant get worse Ill be sleeping on the toilet!
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Not Sure If Hungry Or Sick
Oh dear, our appetite really can be a bit of a rollercoaster in early pregnancy. It can be a confusing time when youre not sure if youre feeling sick because you need to eat or youre feeling sick because youve got morning sickness and eating will make it worse.
What Causes Acid Reflux During Pregnancy
Acid reflux occurs when some acid leaks up into the gullet . The lining of the oesophagus can cope with a certain amount of acid. However, if more than the usual amount of acid refluxes, it may cause some inflammation on the lining of the oesophagus, which can cause symptoms.
The sphincter at the bottom of the oesophagus normally prevents acid reflux. It is thought that when you are pregnant:
- The increased level of certain hormones that occurs has a relaxing effect on the sphincter muscle. That is, the tightness of the sphincter is reduced during pregnancy.
- The size of the baby in the tummy causes an increased pressure on the stomach.
One or both of the above increase the chance that acid will reflux into the oesophagus. The dyspepsia usually goes away after the birth of your baby when your hormones change back to their non-pregnant state and the baby is no longer causing increased pressure on your stomach.
You are more likely to develop dyspepsia in pregnancy if you have previously had gastro-oesophageal reflux before you were pregnant.
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Medications For Heartburn During Pregnancy
Usually, antacids that are considered safe during pregnancy are suggested by doctors. Dont skip on your calcium tablets as they help relieve the symptoms of heartburn.
If your body is not responding well to antacids, its better to inform the doctor about it so they can suggest some other medicines.
Missed Period During Early Pregnancy
Once implantation is complete, your body will begin making human chorionic gonadotropin . This hormone helps the body maintain the pregnancy. It also tells the ovaries to stop releasing mature eggs each month.
You will likely miss your next period 4 weeks after conception. If you typically have an irregular period, youll want to take a pregnancy test to confirm.
Most home tests can detect hCG as soon as 8 days after a missed period. A pregnancy test will be able to detect hCG levels in your urine and show if you are pregnant.
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Weight Gain During Early Pregnancy
Weight gain becomes more common toward the end of your first trimester. You may find yourself gaining about 1 to 4 pounds in the first few months.
Calorie recommendations for early pregnancy wont change much from your usual diet, but they will increase as pregnancy progresses.
In the later stages, pregnancy weight often shows up in the:
Hormones can cause the valve between your stomach and esophagus to relax. This allows stomach acid to leak, causing heartburn.
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How To Stop Heartburn And Indigestion
Try the following as your first port of call.
- Avoid large meals and eat smaller ones more often about every three hours.
- No midnight feasts. Dont eat late at night or three hours before bedtime.
- Avoid triggers like fatty and spicy foods, chocolate, caffeine and fizzy drinks or fruit juice. Keep a food diary to identify triggers
- Raise the head of your bed by 10 cm to 15 cm, or sleep propped up on lots of pillows.
- Avoid medication that may cause or worsen symptoms, if appropriate. Discuss it with your doctor before stopping any prescribed medications
- Stop smoking.
What Makes It Worse
Most spicy, greasy, fatty foods known for causing heartburn are also likely to cause problems for pregnant women. Food doesnt digest as well or move as quickly during pregnancy. So, eating large meals or overeating in general can also increase the risk for heartburn. Eating right before bedtime can cause problems, too. Smoking makes heartburn worse and is another reason to quit, especially while pregnant.
When To See A Doctor
You should call your healthcare provider if you:
- Experience heartburn that doesnt go away
- Have heartburn that wakes you up at night
- Have trouble swallowing
- Have black poop
- Are losing weight
If you have chest pain but never had heartburn before, you should see your doctor or seek emergency medical attention right away. It could be a sign of a heart attack.
Nausea And Morning Sickness
Nausea is the feeling of sickness that makes you want to vomit. It is sometimes called feeling queasy in the stomach.
The discomfort occurs in the upper stomach but may not always lead to vomiting. Morning sickness may start to occur as early as the first 3 weeks before a missed period.
- It can get heightened during implantation.
- During implantation, the body produces the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin .
- HCG has been linked with morning sickness and vomiting.
Nausea that is caused by pregnancy can occur any time of the day. It is very common in the morning but it can occur at noon and even in the evenings. Constantly feeling like you want to vomit should start to subside by the second trimester.
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How Early In Pregnancy Does Heartburn Start
Heartburn is mostly caused by the hormone progesterone, which rises after ovulation.
If a pregnancy occurs, progesterone levels keep rising. This means heartburn can start very early.
Progesterone slows down the digestive system, which can cause various symptoms in the body, including heartburn.
Heartburn can start as soon as the baby is conceived.
It could last only a short time, or it could last for the whole pregnancy.
Progesterone levels are higher throughout pregnancy.
As fertility expert Dr. Andrew Orr explains, these progesterone levels are typical during pregnancy:
- First trimester: 11.2 90 ng/mL
- Second trimester: 25.6 89.4 ng/mL
- Third trimester: 48.4 42.5 ng/mL.
Progesterone tends to peak in the first or second trimester and levels are lower in the third trimester.
However, you might still experience heartburn later in pregnancy.
During the third trimester, its more likely to be due to your baby taking up more room and leaving less room for your digestive system.
The hormone relaxin also contributes to heartburn later in pregnancy.
Relaxin relaxes muscles, including the sphincters in your digestive system that usually keep food and stomach acid from travelling up your esophagus.
What Does Pregnancy Heartburn Feel Like
Pregnancy heartburn tends to feel the same as heartburn not related to pregnancy.
The signs of heartburn are:
- Burning feeling in the chest
- Burning in the throat
- Acidic taste in mouth or acidic throw up in mouth.
Many people experience heartburn occasionally.
Heartburn is less likely to be a problem for those who eat a healthy diet..
This includes heartburn during pregnancy.
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What Medications Can I Take For Heartburn During Pregnancy
Its important to be extremely careful about the medications you take when pregnant.
For heartburn relief, over-the-counter antacids are all considered safe medications to use during pregnancy.
As always, consult with your provider about any medications youre taking even if theyre considered safe.
If you experience any unusual symptoms while taking an over-the-counter medication, call your doctor immediately.
Early Signs Of Pregnancy Before A Missed Period
While pregnancy tests and your practitioner can offer definitive answers, these early pregnancy symptoms may be clues that you’re expecting.
Keep in mind, just because youve experienced some of these symptoms doesnt mean youre pregnant. You could also have none of them at all and still go on to have a perfectly healthy pregnancy.
Although every woman is different, these early symptoms can first appear before you even miss your period.
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I Think I Might Be Pregnant
Nothing is more likely to make you feel like youre in limbo than suspecting that youre pregnant but not knowing for sure. Sure, it can cause you undue stress, worry, and anxiety, but it can also make you feel hopeful and excited.
Early warning signs and symptoms can give you a heads up that you may be pregnant. Just keep in mind that they are not to be taken as sure signs of pregnancy, but rather indicators instead. Youll want to take a pregnancy test to know for sure.
Not all women experience pregnancy the same, nor do they experience the same early pregnancy symptoms. While many do experience early pregnancy symptoms, they may be different for you than they are for your colleague or best friend.
Whats more, if youve been pregnant before, the early symptoms you experience this time around may not be the same as your last pregnancy. Keep in mind, that many of these symptoms mimic menstruation symptoms before you get your period and after so you might be pregnant and not even realize it.
Below are some of the common early pregnancy signs and symptoms. However, its important to know that these symptoms could be due to other things going on with your body other than pregnancy. Therefore, youre not necessarily pregnant if you notice any of the symptoms below. Again, as it bears repeating, the only way to know for sure if youre pregnant is to take a pregnancy test.
What Makes It Better
For most women, things that help reduce acid production or prevent reux are helpful in avoiding the discomfort of heartburn. Here are tips that may help:
Avoid classic spicy foods, as well as those with lots of fat or grease. Many people recommend avoiding citrus and chocolate, as well.
Eat multiple, small meals spread throughout the day, much like grazing, instead of three big meals.
Try elevating the head of your bed by several inches, and wait a while after eating before going to bed or lying down.
Some women find that its better to drink fluids between meals, rather than with a meal. This can increase the amount of contents in the stomach.
If your symptoms do not improve after the above recommended diet and lifestyle changes are in place, talk with your healthcare provider about over-the-counter medicines. Antacids are available as chewable tablets and liquids. They work by coating the lining of the esophagus and stomach and neutralizing stomach acid. Heartburn medicines called H2-blockers work by reducing the amount of acid made by your stomach. Although most of these are considered safe in pregnancy, as with all medicines, these should be avoided in the first trimester.
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Early Pregnancy Symptoms Vs Pms: Whats The Difference
Most early pregnancy symptoms before your period are strikingly similar to the side effects of PMS. However, youll only notice changes in your areolas if youre pregnant. A consistently elevated BBT and creamy vaginal discharge post-ovulation are also both relatively reliable signs of conception, but theyre certainly not foolproof.
Otherwise, the only way to know if other early pregnancy symptoms are due to a baby or PMS is to hold out until you can take a pregnancy test.