Missing your period is a great sign that you might be pregnant. Some women figure it out much sooner than that though. While the only way to be absolutely sure is to get a blood test done, there are some interesting and unusual early pregnancy symptoms that might give you a clue before a test confirms it. We are talking as early as week 1!
Is it normal to have few symptoms in early pregnancy?
It is important to remember that not every woman has a symptom or symptoms that signal pregnancy. Not just in early pregnancy but throughout pregnancy, some women experience few to no symptoms. Lucky things.
Early pregnancy symptoms – weird and interesting
- High basal body temperature
Your basal body temperature is your body temperature when you are at rest. You may notice an increase in your basal body temperature when you are ovulating but a raised basal body temperature could also be an early sign of pregnancy.
In the early weeks of pregnancy, the sudden change in hormonal activity could cause some light-headednes and dizziness. While it is not common very early on, it can happen if you are not eating well due to morning sickness, for example.
Nausea can be experienced early and to varying degrees. Some women experience nausea and vomiting, while others will experience nausea only.
As the body works hard to move into mommy mode, a woman can feel fatigued in the early weeks. Many women may find that this is one of the first signs of their pregnancy. It happens for any number of reasons from low blood pressure to low blood sugar to high progesterone levels.
- Lack of concentration
Some might say that this is the start of you will be calling “mommy brain” after you have given birth. You can find yourself becoming forgetful and can feel like you are living in a kind of haze. This could be the result of difficulty sleeping which we’ll talk about below.
- Implantation cramps
Not to be confused with period cramps, implantation cramps can occur when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterus lining. It is a common early sign of pregnancy. If you feel a cramping before your period is due, it could be a sign of pregnancy.
- Vivid dreams
If you are not used to having dreams or remembering your dreams, starting to have strange, vivid dreams that you can recall details of more easily could be an early sign of pregnancy. These include nightmares, of course, which you won’t be as happy to recall so vividly!
- Changes in bowel movement
This can occur for a number of different reasons from hormonal changes to a change in the way that a woman eats due to discomfort or anxiety from her pregnancy. Some women report suffering from constipation and that could be attributed to the increase in progesterone levels which can slow down your bowel movements.
- Cold or flu-like symptoms
General cold symptoms like a stuffy nose and sneezing could be an early sign of pregnancy. Being pregnant can reduce your immunity which means that you are more sensitive than usual to picking up coughs and colds.
- Change in vaginal discharge
Once again, you can blame raised hormone levels for this. Some women will find that they have more vaginal discharge than normal and that it changes in texture and colour as well. This happens to protect the body from infections. Even before missing your period, you are likely to notice this change.
- Lactating boobs
This is not quite so common very early in pregnancy but it can happen. It is your body’s way of getting ready for breastfeeding.
- Change in sex drive
Interestingly, many women report an increase in their sex drive in very early pregnancy. This may be attributed to the sheer excitement of knowing you are (finally!) pregnant. It may also be scientifically explained by the increase in progesterone and estrogen levels. Of course, some women could experience a decrease in libido as well.
You may also like: Things that happen to your sex drive postpartum
- Night leg cramps
This could be caused by poor circulation or by fatigue. It could also be the fault of mineral deficiency or dehydration.
- Darkening of areola
As early as one week pregnant, women could start to see a darkening in the colour of their areolas. The areola area could also grow in size.
Feeling all day fatigue unfortunately does not necessarily mean that pregnant women will sleep like babies at night. Yes, like most of these other early signs, insomnia could be linked to hormonal changes. It could also be linked to digestive problems, hunger or anxiety.
- Strong smelling pee
The pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) can give your urine a strong smell. Particularly in the early weeks. Your own heightened sense of smell will also make your urine smell extra strong to you. Strong smelling urine could also be caused by number 18 below.
- Frequent peeing
This is yet another common sign of pregnancy early on. At this point, of course it is not because of pressure on your bladder but rather because your hormones are trying to get rid of excess waste faster than usual.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are not unusual in early pregnancy. Hormonal changes due to pregnancy mean that the composition of your urine changes and those changes can cause an infection. UTIs present in a variety of ways from stinging pain during peeing to smelly urine to pain to lower back pain to frequent urination.
- Skin irritations
These are uncommon in early pregnancy. However, if you are prone to skin irritations anyway, you might find that you are seeing them appear more frequently and easily in early pregnancy.
- Strange taste in the mouth
This is referred to as ‘dysgeusia’. It is where your pregnancy hormones cause your sense of taste to change. It differs for different pregnant women who experience it but generally, you may find that you have a constant metallic taste in your mouth no matter what you eat or drink. One of those strange early pregnancy symptoms!
Your hormonal changes may cause your oesophagus muscles to relax and that leads to digestion happening more slowly than your body is used to. This is when you feel the effects of heartburn.
- Constantly hungry
Usually in combination with other symptoms, early days of pregnancy may find you wanting to consume everything you can lay your hands on. Especially if you are lucky enough to not be suffering from morning sickness.
- Highly emotional
It is not difficult to mistake this for a symptom of an oncoming period. However, feeling emotional frequently and over things that would not normally make you blink could be a sign of pregnancy in the early weeks. This could be due to fatigue and the general feeling of discomfort that comes with early pregnancy for some women.
What was the earliest sign of pregnancy for you? Would you call it unusual?