If you think you may be facing an unplanned pregnancy, your feelings may be far more complex. Are your symptoms really caused by pregnancy, though? You won't know for sure until you miss your period or start menstruating. It's easy enough to assume that you conceived if there is any chance of that. The fact is, most pregnancy symptoms also have other possible causes. Learn what they are before you get used to the idea of being pregnant when you may not be expecting at all.
An implantation bleeding is a light vaginal bleeding that some women experience around the time their fertilized egg implants into the lining of the uterus. This happens between seven and 10 days following conception, so after ovulation but usually before menstruation is expected. An implantation bleeding tends to be very light, and you won't notice spotting for more than a day. Are you convinced that you had an implantation bleeding? Think twice. If you're on the birth control pill, this can lead to irregular vaginal bleeding. You could also have an infection, or light spotting from sex. Some women even confuse their period for an implantation bleeding, though that would need to be a pretty weird period!
Tender breasts, or bigger breasts
Pregnancy hormones start working on all the essentials pretty early on. Newly pregnant women may notice breast changes that help prepare their body for breastfeeding 40 weeks down the line as soon as a week after conception. Your breasts could be sore and tender, and may grow in size. Women who have been reading up about pregnancy signs and who are actively trying to conceive are especially likely to be fooled by tender breasts "as a pregnancy symptom". You may even forget that you have experienced breast changes toward the end of your menstrual cycle all along. But you have. It's the progesterone associated with your luteal phase that causes breast changes in non-pregnant women. If you want to know for sure if you're pregnant, wait until you can take a test.
First trimester fatigue
The first trimester of pregnancy is associated with heavy fatigue. Newly expectant moms may feel like there's no way they will get through the day without a nap. They make wake up feeling tired. All of this is related to a new hormonal cocktail and the fact that your body is working very hard to sustain a fragile, developing new life form. Some women notice early pregnancy fatigue before their period was due. Don't assume you are definitely pregnant though. Your fatigue could be caused by the flu, stress, or even iron-deficiency anemia.
If you're nauseous and vomiting, you may assume that you are dealing with morning sickness. Three quarters of all pregnant women experience this famous pregnancy ailment at some point during their pregnancy. Some definitely come down with it before their period is due, so very soon after conception. Early morning sickness is, in fact, one of the more reliable signs that you are likely to be expecting. It's less likely than, say, tender breasts, to make you think in the wrong direction. You could, of course, have the flu, food poisoning, or something similar. Some reproductive conditions also lead women to feel nauseous.
No, if you are indeed pregnant, it is not the baby. Pregnancy hormones make you retain fluid and gradually make your blood volume increase by 50 percent. A lot of newly pregnant women have bloated tummies that look more like beer bellies than baby bellies. You could also just be "expecting" your period, which can make you bloated as well. You'll find out soon enough!
More frequent urination
The same pregnancy hormones that can make you bloated can also cause you to need to go to the bathroom much more often. More frequent urination is a very common but irritating early pregnancy symptom. You'll find that this symptom continues throughout pregnancy. Later on, the baby actually presses onto the bladder to make it worse. You may have a urinary tract infection instead, though, or you could simply have been drinking lots of water.
A missed period
A missed period is a wonderful reason to suspect you are pregnant. Go on and buy that test! (But keep in mind that your period may have been delayed for any number of reasons beside pregnancy, including stress, and even if you are usually regular!)