The onset and degree of pregnancy symptoms will vary within women. Many women experience them within days of conception, others take a few weeks before pregnancy symptoms kick in and a lucky few feel no discomfort at all. The early pregnancy symptoms listed on this page generally can be felt once implantation occurs (8-10 days from ovulation) and will lessen after the first trimester.
It is frustrating to realize that many pregnancy symptoms are very similar to those that occur right before menstruating. However, combined with high temperatures and a longer luteal phase -- they are key indications that you have achieved pregnancy success!
Nausea and vomiting: They may start as early as a week into the pregnancy. Many women experience illness in the morning (morning sickness); some experience this in the afternoon or evening; and others feel feel nausea throughout the entire day. There is no explanation as to why pregnant women feel this, or even a solution as to how to prevent it. However, eating small frequent meals, and snacking on saltine crackers, seems to give some kind of relief. Eating a protein/carbohydrate at bedtime (try an apple and a glass of milk) tends to lessen the nausea that occurs in the morning.
Swollen breasts: Your breasts may be very tender, swollen and start to enlarge. Many times the veins within the breast will become more visible. Your nipples may start to darken in color, become more erect and be extremely sensitive. These symptoms are due to increasing amount of HCG hormone that begins at implantation.
Swollen uterus: Pregnancy causes the uterus to swell and it will start to enlarge for the growing fetus immediately. The uterus puts pressure on your bladder, making you feel the need for more frequent urination. Many women start to feel this symptom within a week or two after pregnancy has occurred.
Feeling sluggish: When pregnant, your body is going through some major hormonal changes. HCG levels alone go from 0-250,000 mIU/ml in just 12 weeks. Your temperature is also higher, due to the amount progesterone circulating through your body -- this will also make you feel a little sluggish.
Light bleeding (spotting): This may occur approximately 8-10 days from ovulation. It usually happens around the same time you would have gotten your menstrual period. Some women assume they have started their period when in fact they are pregnant. The spotting is caused from implantation, which is when the fertilized egg burrows into the endometrial lining.
Dizziness and/or fainting: When standing in one place, you may feel dizzy or even faint. The growing uterus compresses major arteries in your legs, which causes your blood pressure to drop and make you extremely light-headed. Skipping meals or going too long without eating may cause you to feel dizzy or faint. When not eating frequently enough, it causes low blood sugar. Blood sugar is the primary source of food for your baby, so it will be depleted much more quickly.
Constipation: Pregnancy hormones will slow down bowel functions to give maximum absorption time of vitamins and nutrients. Unfortunately, this symptom usually only gets worse as the pregnancy progresses.
Irritability: Raging hormones are the cause of this... along with having to put up with all the other symptoms. This symptom should decrease soon into the second trimester but until then, a healthy diet, moderate exercise and plenty of sleep should help the crabbiness somewhat.
Heartburn: The uterus is very swollen and starts to push upward as it grows. The increasing levels of HCG will also slow down digestion making your stomach not empty as fast; this increases the stomach acid.
Uncomfortable - But Well Worth It!
After your precious baby arrives, you will soon forget the bouts of nausea and the discomfort you are now experiencing.