Development of one or more offspring which is known as fetus or embryo in the uterus of a woman is termed as pregnancy. To mark the initiation of pregnancy, most commonly the first day of the woman’s last menstrual period is taken into account and the resulting fetal age is known as gestational age. After 10 weeks of gestational age, the embryo then known as a fetus. At the beginning of the fetal stage the risk of miscarriage declines.
Early signs of pregnancy
There are some subtle early signs of pregnancy that a woman may experience. As every woman is different in the same way the symptoms also vary, not every woman experiences the same symptoms.
Following are the early signs of pregnancy that are caused by other things besides being pregnant:
Swollen and tender breasts
During pregnancy your breasts swells to certain extent. After 7 weeks of being pregnant, some women may find that they have grown up to a full cup size and are becoming tender, achy and tingly. This is caused because of the increased amounts of the hormones, progesterone and estrogen. The nipples also stick out a little more than usual.
During early pregnancy spotting or light bleeding is common and often harmless; it only lasts for a day or two. But it can become severe and sometimes it is considered as a sign of a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. You also usually develop pelvic and stomach cramps and pain.
A missed period is an obvious sign of pregnancy, by a home pregnancy test you can know whether you are pregnant or not and if the result is positive then it is better to visit your doctor for further confirmation.
Many women feel extremely tired in the beginning, fatigue is one of the early signs and there are chances to feel less tired after 12 weeks when the placenta fully develops.
Nausea is caused by an increase in the levels of hormones; about 80% women experience morning sickness during the first 3 months. But nausea is not necessarily confined just to the morning; some women may feel it throughout the day.
Urinary frequency or constipation
Pregnancy causes frequent urination as your uterus presses directly on the bladder. The intestinal changes and extra pressure may also cause constipation. Further, when the baby grows, the uterus puts more pressure on the bladder and other organs.
Many women notice that their areolas, the circles around their nipples darken and widen during pregnancy. This occurs due to hormonal changes as well as it is an indication that you are ready for breastfeeding.
Smell sensitivity is the most common sign. During pregnancy many women have a heightened sense of smell. Scientists have speculated that it might be to protect pregnant women from eating tainted or spoiled foods. It also protects the baby from harmful toxins.
Elevated basal temperature
This is a positive sign of pregnancy; an increase in temperature up to one degree indicates ovulation. It can last for more than two weeks.
Unusual hunger or cravings
Some women crave for food during pregnancy. Pregnant women require 300 calories daily as their bodies work too hard to grow the baby inside, they eat more than normal.
Many women who get hormonal migraine headaches notice that it disturbs them more during pregnancy, especially in the beginning. But some may have the positive experience and get relief from migraines when pregnant.
During pregnancy a woman experiences variety of emotions because of hormonal changes, mood swings is quite common and many women experience it throughout pregnancy.
Feeling faint or dizzy
Many women feel faint or dizzy when pregnant, this is caused when shifting of hormones combined with the heart beating faster to pump more blood can cause blood pressure to slowly reduce early in pregnancy.
The hormone progesterone during pregnancy helps to slow down digestion giving the food nutrients more time to enter the bloodstream and reach your baby. You may feel bloated in the first few weeks but it is hard to distinguish it from pre – period bloat.