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“Am I pregnant” is a favorite question of anyone who is trying to get pregnant and a good question for everyone. Since there are so many different signs and symptoms, many women do not know how to be sure.

That is why you should read this article if you are interested in signs and symptoms of pregnancy.
While a missed period is one of the biggest clues that a woman is pregnant, it is not the only sign. Some women suspect they are pregnant before their period is late. Symptoms that might indicate you are pregnant include tenderness of the breasts and nipples, fatigue that occurs 1-6 weeks after conception, frequent urination occurring 6-8 weeks after conception, nausea, queasiness, vomiting in the first half of pregnancy and food cravings that happens during entire pregnancy. While some women are sure they are pregnant from the moment of conception, others may take five positive pregnancy tests, as well as a host of symptoms, until they are positive. You must remember that all women are different so you may not experience all or even any of these common signs of pregnancy.[1]

Missed period

A missed period is probably one of the more reliable signs that pregnancy had happened. Although some women will experience implantation bleeding about the time of their period, it is usually lighter and much shorter than their usual period. For this reason, this is why each woman who suspects she might be pregnant will hear a question when was her first day of the last menstrual cycle. 

There are even women who will have periods throughout their pregnancy, which is a rare occurrence but it can happen. When a woman is planning for pregnancy, the day that she expects her period is probably well marked in her mind, and that it is the official day that she can take a home pregnancy test. These tests measure the levels of hCG (human chorion gonadotropin), a hormone secreted during pregnancy in woman’s urine.

The amount of urine each test can detect varies widely and amount of hormone every woman secrets may also vary, but not as widely.
Better tests on the market will measure 25-50 mIUs of hCG, which is usually the amount found in urine between the 4thand 5th weeks of pregnancy. The levels of hCG in your urine and blood will be different. First-morning urine will always contain the highest concentration of hCG but most tests do not require that you use first-morning urine.[2]

You can help increase your chances of having enough hCG in your urine by waiting at least four hours after you last urinated, and then taking the home pregnancy test. Waiting will allow hCG to build up in your urine if you are pregnant. These tests rarely give false results, but it would be better for your gynecologist to confirm that you are pregnant. 

A negative answer that is later revealed to be a pregnancy is usually the result of the test being performed too early, while positive ones that later prove to be false signs of pregnancy typically indicate an early miscarriage. You can always talk to your practitioner if you have questions about your pregnancy tests. You must also know that blood tests are the most accurate and can be performed 7-10 days post-ovulation.

Tender breasts or nipples

If you are pregnant you will notice that your breasts and nipples become tender. It happens around three weeks after conception or when your period is about one week late. They may also feel swollen similar to the way they feel when you expect your period.

Slight spotting or cramping

If you are pregnant, light pink spotting can occur at the time of implantation, which happens when the embryo attaches to the lining of the uterus. Most commonly woman will notice it around eight to ten days following ovulation, a bit earlier than the menstrual bleeding is due. 

Women can usually differentiate implantation bleeding from their period if it occurs a bit earlier than expected. Moreover, this will probably be scanty, spotty, pinkish and not as red and heavy like their usual period, and does not follow the typical pattern of a period that should be light, progressing to heavy and then again to light. 

Cramping can also be frequent in early pregnancy until the uterus assumes its mid-position and becomes better supported by the bony pelvis in the second trimester. During that time, it is prone to menstrual-like cramping. Contractions of the uterus occur regularly, increasing with exercise, orgasm, and even simple changes in the position of the woman.

Darkening areolas

This is a famous and very common sign in very early pregnancy, around the time of your expected period. At this time the woman may notice that her areolas (darker areas that ring the nipples) begin to darken and increase in diameter. It is believed that the darker color of the areola helps the newborn to find the nipple for breastfeeding after the baby is born. Skin hyperpigmentation is common during pregnancy and often is due to endocrinological changes. Besides darkening of areola, the usual patterns include linea nigra (the line on the stomach), and melasma (brown to gray-brown patches, they usually appear on the face). [3]

You may also notice that the veins in your breasts become more visible and that Montgomery's tubercles (the tiny bumps scattered around the areola) enlarge and may increase in number. The number is averaging between 4 and 28 per areola.

Extreme fatigue

If a woman is pregnant — a prevalent symptom in the first eight to ten weeks is exhaustion — her body is going through significant metabolic changes. The entire female body needs to adjust to the new process of carrying a developing baby. For most women fatigue starts to go away by the 12th week of their pregnancy.

Nausea and vomiting

When a woman is pregnant, she may find quite early on, as early as a week after conception, that she is experiencing morning sickness. She may also find that morning sickness is a misnomer. Nausea can occur at anytime, day or night.

Frequent urination

By the time the woman’s period is one to two weeks late, she may find that she is peeing more frequently than usual. This is because the baby growing in uterus is putting pressure on the bladder.


Women commonly notice a change in bowel movement in early pregnancy. The extra hormones produced during pregnancy cause the intestines to relax and become less efficient, so constipation could occur.

Raised basal body temperature

A woman may very well be pregnant if her basal body temperature remains elevated even past the time her period is due. She may notice that it does not decline to pre-ovulatory levels. Conceiving is a process: the egg is fertilized in the fallopian tube; after that, it takes about a week to travel to the uterus, where it will implant. It is at this time that the woman’s body is finally able to detect that she is pregnant. When hCG or human Chorionic gonadotropin is released, women often experience a third temperature rise. This is not as dramatic as the first, but can usually be seen anywhere from about a week to 12 days after the first temperature rise at ovulation.

A positive pregnancy test

A pregnancy test is something every woman should take if her period is late and she could expect to become pregnant. She could do it after her period is at least a day late. In this case, she may want to take a home pregnancy test.
A urine pregnancy test can be accurate as early as 10 to 14 days after fertilization happened. If a woman cannot wait until a missed period, a blood pregnancy test can be accurate as soon as 8 to 10 days after fertilization. However, you should keep in mind that pregnancy tests are not 100 percent foolproof, and neither are blood tests. If you have a negative result and still feel pregnant, be sure to retest a week later and check in with your health-care provider.

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