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General Practice 2023

14 early pregnancy symptoms (week by week)

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14 early pregnancy symptoms (week by week)
14 early pregnancy symptoms (week by week)

The main symptoms of pregnancy are: absence of menstruation, morning sickness, mood swings, excessive tiredness and increased urge to urinate, which tend to appear after a few weeks.

However, there are other signs and symptoms that can be noticed in the first days of pregnancy, especially if the woman is very attentive to her own body.

14 first symptoms of pregnancy

The first symptoms of pregnancy are:

1. Pink vaginal discharge

When the egg is fertilized, there may be a slight pink discharge, which is actually the normal discharge that a woman experiences monthly, but with traces of blood caused by the implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus.

This discharge can appear a few minutes after intercourse or up to 3 days later. Sometimes this discharge is only observed when the woman goes to clean herself after urinating.

See other causes of pink vaginal discharge.

2. Thicker discharge

Discharge can get thicker due to the major hormonal changes that happen from the moment of conception. This discharge does not need to be pink, and most of the time it even has a slightly whitish color.

When this discharge is accompanied by a bad smell or symptoms such as pain or itching, it is very important to consult a gynecologist, as it may also indicate a vaginal infection, especially candidiasis. Understand that changes in discharge can indicate he alth problems.

3. Abdominal cramps and/or bloating

Abdominal bloating is also one of the first symptoms of pregnancy, appearing most often between the first 7 days and 2 weeks. The increase in blood flow and adaptation to uterine growth are the main causes of this abdominal swelling, which can be confused with mild to medium menstrual cramps.

4. Easy tiredness and/or excessive sleep

Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy that can be present throughout pregnancy, starting to appear around the 2nd week. It is normal for this tiredness to increase during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, as the body adapts its entire metabolism to provide the energy needed for the baby's development.

5. Sensitive breasts and/or darkening of the areola

In the first two weeks of pregnancy, a woman may feel that her breasts are more sensitive due to the action of hormones that stimulate the mammary glands, preparing the woman for breastfeeding. There is also an increase in breast volume, which begins to have more developed mammary glands to support the baby's needs after birth.

In addition to breast enlargement and sensitivity, women may also notice changes in the areolas, which tend to become darker than normal due to increased blood flow in the region.

See the 6 most common breast changes during pregnancy.

6. Delayed or missed period

Missing menstruation is the most obvious symptom of pregnancy, since during pregnancy the woman stops having her menstrual period, to allow the fetus to develop correctly in the uterus.

This signal happens due to the increase in the production of the beta hormone hCG, which prevents the ovaries from continuing to release mature eggs. Missing menstruation can occur up to 4 weeks after conception and is more easily identified in women with regular periods.

Check out the top 9 causes for late period.

7. Lower back pain

Although back pain is almost always considered a frequent symptom of the last weeks of pregnancy, some women can develop this type of pain right from the beginning of pregnancy, being related to the changes that happen in the woman's body to receive the baby.

In some cases, back pain can be confused with abdominal cramps and, therefore, some women may think it's menstruation coming, however, with the lack of period they begin to realize that it is, in fact, of pain in the lower back, unrelated to menstruation.

8. Aversion to strong smells

It is very common for women to have an aversion to strong smells at the beginning of pregnancy, even if they are apparently pleasant, such as perfume. Most pregnant women can even vomit after smelling a strong smell, such as gasoline, cigarettes or cleaning products, for example.

Furthermore, as the sense of smell is altered, some women may also report that there is a change in the taste of food, which becomes more intense and cloying.

9. Mood Variations

In the first two weeks of pregnancy, a woman may notice some mood swings, with no apparent cause. It is very common for a pregnant woman to cry for situations that would not make her cry before she was pregnant and this symptom should remain throughout the pregnancy.

This happens because the strong hormonal changes, which are normal during pregnancy, can cause an imbalance in neurotransmitter levels, making your mood more unstable.

10. Morning sickness and/or vomiting

Nickness and vomiting are common, especially in the morning, and these are some of the most well-known pregnancy symptoms, which usually appear after the 6th week of pregnancy and can last throughout the pregnancy. See in which situations morning sickness can arise.

However, nausea does not always have to be accompanied by vomiting, and it is even more common for nausea to come and go without the woman vomiting, especially in the morning.

11. Craving for strange foods

Typical pregnancy cravings can start in the first month of pregnancy and continue throughout pregnancy, and it is common for some women to have the urge to eat strange foods, try different mixtures or even have the urge to eat foods they've never have tasted before.

In some cases these cravings may be related to nutritional deficiencies in some type of mineral or vitamin, especially if they are for something very different from what the woman usually eats. In these situations it is recommended to consult a doctor, to understand what may be the cause.

12. Dizziness and headache

Dizziness is a symptom that occurs because of a drop in blood pressure, low blood glucose and poor diet due to frequent nausea and vomiting. They appear as early as the first 5 weeks of pregnancy, but tend to decrease after the 20th week of pregnancy.

Headache is also common during pregnancy due to hormonal changes, but it is usually mild, although persistent and, often, the woman may not even associate this discomfort with pregnancy.

13. Increased urge to urinate

As pregnancy progresses, the pregnant woman's body needs to produce various hormones, such as progesterone, to ensure that the baby develops in a he althy way. When this happens, the bladder muscles are more relaxed and therefore it is more difficult to completely empty the urine that is inside the bladder and therefore the woman may feel a more frequent urge to go to the bathroom to urinate.

Understand what can cause you to urinate all the time.

14. Pimples and oily skin

Hormonal changes can lead to the appearance or worsening of blackheads and pimples, scientifically called acne, and therefore, after the first month of pregnancy, a woman may notice an increase in skin oiliness, which can be controlled with the use of appropriate skin cleansers and personal care products.

Online pregnancy test

If you think you might be pregnant, take this online quiz to find out what your chances are:

Find out if you are pregnant

Illustrative image of the questionnaire
Illustrative image of the questionnaire
  • Yes
  • No
  • Yes
  • No
  • Yes
  • No
  • Yes
  • No
  • Yes
  • No
  • Yes
  • No
  • Yes
  • No
  • Yes
  • No
  • Yes
  • No
  • Yes
  • No

Regardless of the result of this test, the best way to confirm that you are pregnant is to take a pharmacy pregnancy test, which can be taken from the 1st day of missed period or 14 days after sexual intercourse.

Pregnancy symptoms week by week

According to the week of pregnancy, the most common symptoms are:

First 7 days - 1st week

The symptoms of the 1st week of pregnancy are the most difficult to notice, being usually identified only by women who can notice very subtle differences in their own body:

  • Pink vaginal discharge;
  • Thicker discharge;
  • Cramping and abdominal bloating.

First 2 weeks

Symptoms that begin to appear around the 2nd week are some of the most typical of pregnancy:

  • Easy fatigue and excessive sleep;
  • Sensitive breasts and darkening of the areola;
  • Delayed or missed period;
  • Lower back pain;
  • Aversion to strong smells;
  • Mood Variations.

1st month of pregnancy

After the first month of pregnancy, after menstruation is delayed, many women begin to have other characteristic symptoms, such as:

  • Morning sickness and vomiting;
  • Desire for strange foods;
  • Dizziness and headache;
  • Increased urge to urinate;
  • Pimples and oily skin.

What to do if you suspect pregnancy

In case a pregnancy is suspected, it is advised that the woman take a pharmacy pregnancy test, which can be done from the first day of the menstrual delay. If the result is negative, you can wait another 3 to 5 days, and if your period is still late, you can take a new pregnancy test.

If the result is negative again, you can evaluate the possibility of doing a blood test for pregnancy, as this is more reliable and shows the amount of the Beta HCG hormone, which is only produced during pregnancy. This exam also helps to inform how many weeks of pregnancy you are:

  • 7 days after fertilization: up to 25 mIU/mL
  • 4 weeks after Last Menstruation Date: 1,000 mIU/mL
  • 5 weeks after Last Menstruation Date: 3,000 mIU/mL
  • 6 weeks after Last Menstruation Date: 6,000 mIU/mL
  • 7 weeks after Last Menstruation Date: 20,000 mIU/mL
  • 8 to 10 weeks after Last Menstruation Date: 100,000 mIU/mL

However, if even after 10 days of late menstruation the pharmacy pregnancy test is negative, the woman should not be pregnant, but should make an appointment with a gynecologist to verify the cause of the missed period. Here are some possible causes for late period.

Watch this video to find out which symptoms of early pregnancy may go unnoticed for some women:

In case of psychological pregnancy all these symptoms can be present and the only way to prove that there is no developing fetus is through exams. If you think this may be the case for you, see how to identify and treat psychological pregnancy.

What to do if the drug test is positive

After confirming the pregnancy through the pharmacy urine test, it is advisable to consult the gynecologist for a blood test for pregnancy, as this test indicates the amount of Beta HCG hormones and is more reliable.

When to do the ultrasound

From the 5th week of pregnancy, the doctor may perform a transvaginal ultrasound to observe the gestational sac and check if the pregnancy is developing inside the uterus, because in some cases, ectopic pregnancy can occur, which is when despite the woman being pregnant, the baby is developing in the tubes, which is very serious and puts the woman's life at risk.

If the doctor has not done the ultrasound before, between 8 and 13 weeks of gestation, he should ask for this exam to also confirm the gestational age and when the baby should complete 40 weeks, which must be the expected date of delivery.

In this exam the baby is still very small and little can be seen, but it is usually very exciting for the parents. It's still too early to know the sex of the baby, but if the doctor suspects that it's a boy, it's likely to be, but it still needs to be confirmed in the next ultrasound, in the second trimester of pregnancy, around 20 weeks.

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