Pregnancy Symptoms: When Do Pregnancy Symptoms Start

Are you getting some signs that could indicate your pregnancy? Many early symptoms might confirm that you are pregnant within a few weeks after conception. Although your midwife or ob-gyn will confirm your pregnancy during your first visit in the 8th week, you may actually show some early signs even by the time of 5-6 weeks.

How a woman’s body does change during pregnancy?

Pregnancy is a complicated phase in a woman’s life. The changes in your body will start from the first day of your pregnancy. Although experts claim that many of these changes remain unnoticeable, you can make out the difference if you are aware of what you are expecting.

Commonly, the menstrual cycle of a woman lasts for 28 to 35 days. For some woman it can be short, whereas some even have a longer cycle period too. After the copulation, the sperms travel through the vaginal canal to reach the egg in the uterus. Semi-mucous and mucous linings of the Fallopian tubes and uterus walls help the sperms to travel faster. On the day of your ovulation, a group of egg cells swell and grow to a fluid-filled sac. These cells are ready for conception and fertilization.

Ovulation and fertilization

Each time during the ovulation, your ovary will release a mature egg for fertilization. If the sperms are nearby, the egg will be fertilized quickly. During this period, your body will undergo a number of changes including a rapid rise in hormones. The first thing you may notice is a rise in your basal body temperature. Other supportive hormones are released in the brain prepare the uterus for the egg implant and fertilization too.

The released egg from the ovary travels to the Fallopian tube and sits there for 24 hours for fertilization. If the egg doesn’t meet a sperm, it disintegrates in the course of time. Eventually, your hormonal levels will return to the normal stage and you will have your menstrual periods soon. However, if the egg meets a sperm and gets fertilized, the egg changes its shape and hardens to prevent other sperms to get in.

Surprisingly, this is time your baby’s genes, sex and overall appearance are set. If the mating sperm carried a Y chromosome, you will have a baby boy. On the other hand, a X-chromosome carrying sperm results in a baby girl.

Implantation

The process of the fertilized egg cell moving to the uterus is known as implantation. After the fertilization, the cell instantly divides into multiple cells to become a zygote or an embryo. It keeps moving through your Fallopian tube and attaches itself to the uterus lining. This is the process of implantation. Your baby stays and grows there till the time of your delivery.

Changes You will Experience at Your First Week of Pregnancy

During the implantation, you may see slight spotting. This happens due to thickening of the uterus wall. Many women mistakenly take it as a sign of their periods. However, the spotting is often light and goes away within a day or two. Although your body will undergo many physiological changes, you will not experience much noticeable physical changes during the first week of pregnancy. However, you may experience some symptoms such as gas, bloating, digestive problems and fatigue. Morning sickness also starts in some woman during this phase. Swollen and tender breasts, mood swings, and hormonal changes are some of the common changes that happen during this time.

Although most of these symptoms come under the common symptoms in early pregnancy, you may not experience any of these until you reach the second week of your pregnancy. Also, these symptoms vary drastically from one woman to another. Even if you took a glass of wine with dinner or enjoyed a mercury rich fish for lunch, that’s absolutely acceptable during this phase of your pregnancy. Experts claim that these activities don’t have much effect on the growing embryo unless the fetus is of four to six weeks of age.

Baby Development during the First Week

The only major thing that happens during your first week of pregnancy is implantation. Although you are not scientifically pregnant at this point, this week will also be calculated in your entire tenure of pregnancy. However, the fertilized egg cell will significantly start to grow and develop into a fetus a week after the first week.

This is the time when the egg cell will divide and grow into a blastocyte. This cell will further grow into the embryo and the placenta where your child will grow until the delivery. The zygote has multiple cells and includes all the 46 chromosomes that every human body contains. The chromosomes from mom and dad determine the child’s skin color, hair, features, eye color and height. However, the sex of your baby always depends on the chromosome that the sperm carries during the fertilization.

Tips for You During Pregnancy Week 1

It is quite common to feel frequent mood swings, digestive problems and morning nausea during your first week of pregnancy. If you are planning to get pregnant and notice some of these symptoms during the first week, then it is the time to change your diet and physical habits to maintain a healthy pregnancy. If you are taking any medication, contact your ob-gyn to learn more about drug safety during pregnancy.

It is advised to start with a folic acid fortified vitamin during this period. The prenatal vitamins are the best type of multivitamins that support a healthy pregnancy and the healthy growth of your baby.

Pregnancy Test

If you are not sure about the symptoms, you can take a pregnancy test at home as well. A rapid rise in pregnancy hormones gives a positive result even as early as two weeks after conception. Take a home pregnancy test and find out to be sure that if you are expecting a baby.

What are the First Signs of Pregnancy?

Based on our expert surveys and reader opinions, I have included 12 most common first signs of pregnancy that could indicate that you are pregnant. We have also taken the poll results conducted by the American Pregnancy Association while making this list of top early signs of pregnancy.

Aversion towards food

You might be a big fan of sushi or sashimi, but pregnancy can make you repelled from your favorite food too. According to our survey and poll results, newly pregnant woman often develops food aversions due to increasingly high amounts of estrogen in your system. Certain aromas and smells could trigger gag reflex and nausea too. Don’t be surprised if you don’t enjoy the same food that you used to love. It could indicate that you are pregnant.

Mood swings

Pregnancy is all about hormonal, physical, and anatomical changes. Hence, it is common to experience mood swings even during your early weeks of pregnancy. A number of hormones in your system affect the neurotransmitters that lead to depression, morning blues and mood swings. Now you may consider managing your heightening emotions, anger and anxiety in your everyday life. This is a common symptom, and it will eventually go off as you proceed in your pregnancy.

Digestive Problems

Many pregnant women claim to experience minor or major digestive problems during the early stages of their pregnancy. Abdominal bloating, digestion problems, acidity, diarrhea, and constipation are some of the signs that could be the result of the major hormonal changes in your body. To avoid these problems, stick to a healthy diet. Include lots of water and probiotics to improve your digestive health and facilitate better bowel movement. Contact your ob-gyn if your condition worsens.

Fatigue

If you have started feeling tired without doing much work, then it’s time to check for other pregnancy symptoms. A few minutes of walk may make you feel exhausted and breathless. Although there are no scientific evidences to prove the reasons of pregnancy fatigue, experts claim that sudden hormonal changes are the major reason behind it. It seems that the increasing level of progesterone in your body is the reason of sleeplessness (try this Ginkgo Biloba), nausea and fatigue. Stay hydrated, and go for your morning walks to improve your energy level and deal with pregnancy fatigue.

Frequent Urination

It may feel quite normal to take frequent toilet breaks, but it could mean you are pregnant. Shortly after the conception, your body will experience a major hormonal change and rapid blood flow to your lower part of the body. These physiological and hormonal changes cause your bladder to fill quickly. These symptoms are very common in a woman of six weeks of pregnancy.

Breast Tenderness

Again, the rising levels of hormones in your body make your breasts sore and tender. This is one of the most common pregnancy symptoms that a woman experiences as early as three weeks after conception. Your breasts will feel more sensitive, increase in size and feel tender. Wear a supportive bra to avoid this discomfort. As your body will adjust to the hormonal changes, you will eventually feel better as you progress in your pregnancy to another trimester.

Nausea

Nausea is a common pregnancy symptom. However, many women don’t even experience pregnancy related nausea ever. Just after a week of conception, you may feel the symptoms of morning sickness. For some woman, these symptoms are very severe. If you are unable to handle your morning sickness, call your ob-gyn for advice and assistance.

Light bleeding or spotting

During the implantation period, you may experience light spotting or vaginal bleeding. Apart from that, there are several reasons that trigger vaginal bleeding during your first trimester. Studies on these symptoms reveal that one in every four women experience light spotting during their first trimester. Some of these symptoms may indicate ectopic pregnancy too. If you have pain and heavy bleeding, then contact your ob-gyn for advice and assistance.

Backache

Growth of the uterus during the first few weeks of pregnancy can cause backache. Hormonal changes also trigger this pain. Backache is often accompanied by both leg and pelvic pain. Sciatica nerve pain is another common symptom that you may experience during this period. Consult with your ob-gyn for pain management and relief.

Dizziness and headache

Hormonal changes and chemical imbalance in your body during early pregnancy may lead to headache, dizziness and lightheadedness. Because of low blood pressure and dilated blood vessels, you may feel like fainting after a strenuous workout or brisk walking. Progesterone hormone and its levels are the major cause of these symptoms. Some women also experience mild to severe migraines during early stages in their pregnancy.

Avoid pregnancy related dizziness by staying hydrated. Drink at least eight glasses of water every day. Also, get your blood work done soon to see if your body has hemoglobin deficiency. Taking Tylenol may help you getting relief from headache.

Missed period

By the time you reach the regular date of your menstrual cycle, your period may not arrive on time. Till this time, you may be in your third to fourth week of pregnancy, and you have already started showing some of the above mentioned pregnancy symptoms. This is when you should consider doing a pregnancy test at home.

Rise in the basal body temperature

Does your body temperature seem higher than usual? Pregnancy might be the cause. If your basal body temperature stays elevated for two weeks in a row, this is an indication that you are pregnant.

A positive result

Now that you are experiencing a number of symptoms, you may want to do a home pregnancy test. A positive result in this test proves that you are pregnant. However, this is not the time to reveal your pregnancy to others. Wait till you visit your ob-gyn and get your confirmatory blood test to get a positive pregnancy result.

After getting a positive result at home, call your ob-gyn to make an appointment for further checkups. Once you have gotten a positive result from the pregnancy confirmatory tests conducted at your ob-gyn’s office, plan your next 40 weeks till you deliver your baby. Don’t forget to adapt a healthy lifestyle to enjoy a fit pregnancy .

Hopefully, this article has helped you learning more about early signs of pregnancy and how to deal with them. Congratulations mommy!

Patricia K.

She is our health expert (medical student), with a little bit of over-meticulousness and precision. She has an unquenchable desire to help others.