18 first symptoms of pregnancy

The first symptoms of pregnancy can be so subtle that only a few women are able to notice them, and in most cases go unnoticed. However, knowing the symptoms that can appear is a great way for the woman to be more attentive to her own body and be able to identify a possible pregnancy faster. 

These symptoms must be taken into account especially after menstrual delay, because, in some cases, they can also arise due to other situations, such as PMS.

18 first symptoms of pregnancy

Online pregnancy test

If you think you may be pregnant, take this test online to find out what your chances are:

  1. 1. Have you had intercourse without using a condom or other contraceptive method in the last month? No/yes
  2. 2. Have you noticed any pink vaginal discharge lately? No/yes
  3. 3. Do you feel sick or do you want to vomit in the morning No/yes
  4. 4. Are you more sensitive to smells (cigarette smell, perfume, food …)?No/yes
  5. 5. Does your belly look more swollen, making it harder to keep your pants tight?No/yes
  6. 6. Do you feel that your breasts are more sensitive or swollen?No/yes
  7. 7. Do you think your skin looks more oily and prone to pimples?No/yes
  8. 8. Do you feel more tired than usual, even to perform tasks that you did before?No/yes
  9. 9. Has your period been delayed for more than 5 days?No/yes
  10. 10. Did you take the pill the next day up to 3 days after the unprotected intercourse?No/yes
  11. 11. Did you have a pharmacy pregnancy test in the last month, with a positive result?No/yes

Regardless of the result of this test, the best way to confirm that you are pregnant is to take a pregnancy test from  a pharmacy, which can be done from the 1st day of menstrual delay or 14 days after intercourse.

Symptoms of the first 7 days

The typical symptoms of the first days of pregnancy are the most difficult to perceive, and are usually identified by women who can notice very subtle differences in their own bodies:

1. Pink vaginal discharge

When the egg is fertilized, there may be a slight pink discharge, which is actually the normal discharge that the woman has monthly, but with traces of blood that may have been caused by the implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus.

This discharge may appear a few minutes after intercourse or up to 3 days later. Sometimes, this discharge is only seen when the woman cleans herself after urinating.

See other causes for pink vaginal discharge .

2. Thicker discharge

Due to the large hormonal changes that occur from the moment of conception, it is normal for some women to have a thicker vaginal discharge than normal. This discharge does not need to be pink and, in most cases, it even has a slightly whitish color.

When this discharge is accompanied by a bad smell or symptoms such as pain or itching, it is very important to consult a gynecologist, as it may also indicate a vaginal infection, especially candidiasis. Understand that changes in discharge may indicate health problems .

3. Colic and abdominal swelling

Abdominal bloating is also one of the first symptoms of pregnancy, appearing more frequently in the first 7 days to 2 weeks. Increased blood flow and adaptation to uterine growth are the major causes of this abdominal swelling, which can be mistaken for mild to medium-intensity menstrual cramps. In addition, the woman may still have a small blood loss, similar to menstruation, but in lesser quantity.

Symptoms of the first 2 weeks

The symptoms that start to appear around the 2nd week are some of the most typical of pregnancy:

4. Sensitive and swollen breasts

In the first two weeks of pregnancy, the woman can see that the breasts are more sensitive and this is due to the action of hormones that stimulate the mammary glands preparing the woman for breastfeeding.

There is also an increase in the volume of the breast, which begins to have more developed mammary glands to support the baby’s needs after birth.

See the 6 most common breast changes during pregnancy .

5. Darkening of the areola of the breast

In addition to the increase and sensitivity of the breasts, the woman may also notice changes in the areolas, which tend to become darker than normal due to the increased blood flow in the region. Some women may even feel very uncomfortable with the simple rubbing of the blouse or bra in the areola or nipple region.

6. Easy tiredness and excessive sleep

Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy that can be present throughout pregnancy, starting to appear around the 2nd week. It is normal for this fatigue to increase during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, while the body adapts its entire metabolism to provide the necessary energy for the baby’s development.

The woman begins to feel that the tasks she was doing previously are becoming very exhausting and that she needs to sleep more than 10 hours a night to replenish the energy she has spent during the day.

Check out other causes for the appearance of easy tiredness and excessive sleep .

7. Feeling of shortness of breath

Along with the feeling of tiredness it is common for women to experience shortness of breath, which can be noticed when it is necessary to climb stairs or do activities that require more energy, such as cleaning the house or running to catch the bus.

This shortness of breath is not only related to easier tiredness, but also to increased blood flow in the uterus, which causes oxygen concentrations throughout the body to decrease slightly.

Understand that other situations can cause shortness of breath .

8. Pain in the back

Although back pain is almost always considered a frequent symptom of the last few weeks of pregnancy, some women can develop this type of pain right from the beginning of pregnancy, being related to the changes that happen in the woman’s body to receive the baby.

In some cases, back pain can be mistaken for abdominal colic and, therefore, some women may find that menstruation is coming, however, with the lack of the period they begin to realize that it is, in fact, pain at the bottom of the back, not related to menstruation.

9. Aversion to strong smells

It is very common that at the beginning of pregnancy a woman has an aversion to strong smells, even though they are apparently pleasant, like perfume. Most pregnant women can even vomit after having a strong smell, such as gasoline, cigarettes or cleaning products, for example.

In addition, as the sense of smell is altered, some women may also report that there is a change in the taste of the food, which becomes more intense and sickening.

10. Mood swings

In the first two weeks of pregnancy, the woman may notice some mood swings, without apparent cause. It is very common for pregnant women to cry for situations that would not make them cry before they are pregnant and this symptom should remain throughout the pregnancy. 

This is because the strong hormonal changes, normal in pregnancy, can cause an imbalance in the levels of neurotransmitters, leaving the mood more unstable.

11. Delay or missed menstruation

Missing menstruation is usually the most obvious symptom of pregnancy, as during pregnancy the woman stops having her menstrual period, to allow the fetus to develop properly in the womb.

This signal happens due to the increased production of the beta hormone hCG, which prevents the ovaries from continuing to release mature eggs. Missing menstruation can occur up to 4 weeks after conception and is more easily identified in women with a regular period.

Check out the 9 main causes for delayed menstruation .

First month symptoms

After the first month of pregnancy, after menstruation is delayed, many women begin to experience other characteristic symptoms, such as:

12. Morning sickness and vomiting

Sickness and vomiting are common, especially in the morning, and these are some of the most well-known pregnancy symptoms, which usually appear after the 6th week of pregnancy and can last throughout the pregnancy. See in which situations morning sickness may arise .

However, nausea does not always have to be accompanied by vomiting, and it is even more common for nausea to appear and disappear without the woman vomiting, especially in the morning.

13. Excessive salivation

Associated with nausea and vomiting, excess salivation can also occur, which ends up making nausea even more uncomfortable for women. Thus, although excessive salivation can be maintained throughout the pregnancy, it is common to decrease when nausea improves.

14. Desire for strange foods

Typical pregnancy cravings can start as early as the first month of pregnancy and continue throughout pregnancy, and it is common for some women to want to eat strange foods, try different mixtures or even want to eat foods they have never tasted before.

In some cases, these desires may be related to nutritional deficiencies in some type of mineral or vitamin, especially if they are for something very different from what a woman usually eats. In these situations it is recommended to consult a doctor, to understand what may be the cause.

15. Dizziness and headache

Dizziness is a symptom that occurs because of low blood pressure, reduced blood glucose, and poor diet due to frequent nausea and vomiting. They appear in the first 5 weeks of pregnancy but tend to decrease after the 20th week of pregnancy.

The headache is also common during pregnancy due to hormonal changes, but it is usually weak, although persistent, and often the woman may not even associate this discomfort with pregnancy.

16. Increased urge to urinate

As the pregnancy progresses, the pregnant woman’s body needs to produce several hormones, such as progesterone, to ensure that the baby develops in a healthy way. When this happens, the bladder muscles become more relaxed and, therefore, it is more difficult to completely empty the urine that is inside the bladder and, therefore, the woman may feel a more frequent urge to go to the bathroom to urinate.

Understand what can cause you to urinate all the time .

17. Decreased desire to defecate

Due to hormonal changes, many women may also experience constipation from the earliest stages of pregnancy, having greater difficulty in defecating. 

18. Pimples and oily skin

Hormonal changes can lead to the appearance or worsening of blackheads and pimples, scientifically called acne, and therefore, after the first month of pregnancy, the woman may notice an increase in skin oiliness, which can be controlled with the use of skin cleansers and personal hygiene products.

What to do if you suspect a pregnancy

If a pregnancy is suspected, it is advisable for the woman to do a pharmacy pregnancy test, which can be done from the first day of menstrual delay. If the result is negative, you can wait another 3 to 5 days, and if your period is still late, you can do a new pregnancy test.

If the result is negative again, you can evaluate the possibility of having a blood test for pregnancy, as this is more reliable and shows the amount of the Beta HCG hormone, which is only produced during pregnancy. This exam also helps to inform how many weeks of pregnancy you are:

  • 7 days after fertilization: up to 25 mIU / mL
  • 4 weeks after the Last Menstruation Date: 1,000 mIU / mL
  • 5 weeks after the Last Menstruation Date: 3,000 mIU / mL
  • 6 weeks after the Last Menstruation Date: 6,000 mIU / mL
  • 7 weeks after the Last Menstruation Date: 20,000 mIU / mL
  • 8 to 10 weeks after the Last Menstruation Date: 100,000 mIU / mL

However, if even after 10 days of late menstruation the pharmacy pregnancy test is negative, the woman should not be pregnant, but should make an appointment with a gynecologist to check the cause of the menstrual delay. See some possible causes for delayed menstruation .

In case of psychological pregnancy all these symptoms may be present and the only way to prove that there is no fetus developing is through exams. If you think this may be the case for you, see how to identify and treat psychological pregnancy .

What to do if the pharmacy test is positive

After confirming pregnancy through the pharmacy urine test, it is advisable to consult the gynecologist to do a blood test for pregnancy, as this test indicates the amount of Beta HCG hormones and is more reliable.

When to do the ultrasound

From 5 weeks of pregnancy the doctor can do a transvaginal ultrasound to observe the gestational sac and check if the pregnancy is developing inside the uterus, because in some cases, ectopic pregnancy can occur, which is when despite the woman being pregnant the baby is developing in the tubes, which is very serious and puts the woman’s life at risk.

If the doctor has not had an ultrasound scan before, between 8 and 13 weeks of gestation, you should order this test to confirm also the gestational age and when the baby must be 40 weeks old, which should be the expected date of delivery.

In this exam the baby is still very small and little can be seen, but it is usually very exciting for the parents. It is still too early to know the sex of the baby, but if the doctor suspects that it is a boy, it probably is, but it is still necessary to confirm the next ultrasound, in the second trimester of gestation, around 20 weeks.

Read more: 5 good reasons to exercise during pregnancy


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