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The very first symptoms of pregnancy can become apparent in the first couple of weeks after conception, before your period is even due. Such symptoms can make a woman wonder whether she may have conceived, whether because she is trying to get pregnant and constantly on the look-out for early pregnancy symptoms, or because she is experiencing symptoms so out of the ordinary that she begins wondering whether she could possibly be expecting a baby. 

Which symptoms can point to pregnancy early on, and what else could those same symptoms mean?

Extreme Fatigue

Many newly pregnant women experience extreme fatigue — not of the kind that makes them want to go to bed an hour or so earlier, but of the kind that they can barely make it through the day without a nap! As the body gradually increases its blood flow to accommodate a new pregnancy and the most important structures that will make up a baby are growing inside you, it is no wonder that you are feeling exhausted! Your body, if pregnant, is also undergoing a wide range of hormonal changes, which further contribute to your feeling of tiredness. 

Fatigue is an extremely common pregnancy symptom, but at the same time it is also rather vague — you could also be getting ill, or you could be facing stress or a busy schedule. 

Morning Sickness And A Heightened Sense Of Smell

Morning sickness, more aptly called "pregnancy nausea", can indeed rear its head in women who have conceived but not yet missed a period. Morning sickness, make no mistake, can strike during any time of the day or night. It may involve vomiting, or it may not. Associated symptoms are a strong aversion to certain smells and tastes, and a heightened sense of smell overall. While it is currently unclear exactly what causes these symptoms, hormones will certainly play some role, and your body may be trying to shield your baby from substances that may be harmful to it.

Food poisoning, another viral or bacterial illness, and even sexually transmitted diseases may also be to blame for nausea. 

Tender And Bigger Breasts

Tender and slightly bigger breasts are another very common early pregnancy symptom, one that can show up before you miss your period. Once again, hormones are the culprit. Most women also experience tender and bigger breasts right before their period is due, making this a very uncertain way to guess whether or not you may be pregnant. 

Increased Urination

In the later stages of pregnancy, it is the physical pressure your growing fetus places on your bladder that causes increased urination. During very early pregnancy, hormones are to blame. If you find yourself running to the restroom much more frequently than before, you may be expecting. You could also have a urinary tract infection, which is often but not always accompanied by a burning sensation, and during which you are usually unable to produce much urine, no matter how pressing your sense of urgency. 

Feeling Emotional

Crying, irritation, and extreme happiness — pregnancy can do weird things to your state of mind, very soon after conception! Hormones are, once again, the culprit. You may also be feeling emotional for a whole host of other reasons besides pregnancy, however, so again this is hardly a definitive symptom. 

Bleeding

Some women experience a slight spotting, known as an implantation bleeding, around 10 days following conception. This bleeding lasts for a very short amount of time and does not increase gradually, unlike a period. This is one of the more telling symptoms of early pregnancy, but not every woman will experience it. 

Cramping

Plenty of women start cramping a little just before their menstrual period shows up, but the same can also happen in pregnant women. 

What Now?

Women do play guessing games before their periods are due on a frequent basis. Ultimately, however, the only conclusive evidence that you are pregnant or not pregnant is a pregnancy test. These are still most reliable if taken any time after you miss your period. A missed period combined with a positive pregnancy test is the ultimate pregnancy symptom, and anything you experience before that is just a small taste of what you may experience later on.

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