20 symptoms of pregnancy in the first weeks (and how to detect them)

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Pregnancy is the period of time that elapses between conception and delivery. This lasts approximately 288 days in humans. During pregnancy, a baby grows and develops inside the uterus.

Pregnancy affects each pregnant body differently and can manifest itself with different signs and symptoms.. Some people experience symptoms during the first week of pregnancy, such as a headache or light bleeding. Others, however, do not notice any changes during the first weeks of pregnancy. In today’s article we list all the early symptoms of pregnancy.

  • We recommend you read: “20 false myths about pregnancy (denied by science)”

Which are the first pregnancy symptoms?

Approximately 14 days after the start of the menstrual cycle, conception can occur: when a sperm fertilizes an egg. 6 to 7 days after conception, implantation begins. The fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus. Implantation can already cause the first symptoms of pregnancy, such as bleeding and mild cramping that result from the movement of the egg that can damage the blood vessels in the uterine wall.

According to the degree of certainty of the first signs of pregnancy, specialists divide them into: symptoms of presumption of pregnancy, probable symptoms of pregnancy and symptoms of certainty of pregnancy. Below we explain the 20 most common signs that occur during the first weeks of pregnancy.

1. Implantation bleeding

During early pregnancy, cramping and bleeding can often be experienced. This happens between weeks 1 and 4 of gestation. During this period, the fertilized egg develops into a blastocyst; a group of fluid-filled cells that develop into the body parts and organs of the fetus.

After conception, the fetus implants in the lining of the uterus, or endometrium, at about week 4. This causes what is called implantation bleeding, which looks like a light period, this can look like a regular menstrual period if it occurs at all. Usually this bleeding coincides with normal menstruation. Pain is one of the most common side effects of bleeding. It can range from mild menstrual pain to severe pain, although most of the time it is not painful. In addition, it can be accompanied by cramps.

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2. The rule is missing

In all cases -with exceptions- pregnancy implies the loss of menstruation. The body produces human chorionic gonadotropin, or HCG, once the implantation of the egg in the uterus is complete. This hormone helps maintain the pregnancy and signals the ovaries to stop releasing mature eggs each month.

Menstruation is likely not to occur 4 weeks after conception, this means that a pregnancy is possible if the rule is delayed by about a week. Pregnancy tests test urine to see if a person is pregnant: they identify elevated levels of HCG 8 days after a missed period.

3. Nausea and vomiting

Digestive discomfort appears as one of the first symptoms of pregnancy. The implantation of the egg in the uterus causes drastic changes in hormonal levels, these changes after a few days produce nausea and vomiting. Nausea occurs especially in the morning when waking up or after eating breakfast. Although, they can appear at any time of the day. Eating frequently and gradually allows us to stay satiated, but not saturated. This considerably reduces digestive symptoms.

4. Increased body temperature

In some pregnant people, the basal body temperature is higher than normal. Pregnancy also causes core body temperature to rise more easily due to exercise or heat. It’s important to make sure you drink plenty of water during this time and take precautions when exercising.

5. Fatigue

Early pregnancy fatigue is caused by increased hormone levels. During pregnancy, tiredness can appear at any time; This symptom is especially common in early pregnancy. This is because the sudden rise in progesterone levels can cause drowsiness and tiredness.

6. Increased volume and breast pain

Early changes in the breast include tingling, pain, and enlargement. Around week 4 or week 6, the body experiences significant changes in hormones. As a result, the breasts can swell and become tender. These symptoms usually go away after a few weeks once the body adjusts to the hormones. Starting at week 11, the nipple and the surrounding area can change significantly due to hormonal effects. The areola, the darker spot around the nipple, increases in size and may change color.

7. Increased heart rate

Pregnant people may experience an increased heart rate in the first few weeks. During weeks 8 to 10, the heart may begin to beat faster and stronger than normal. These palpitations and arrhythmias usually occur due to hormonal changes. Hormones can affect different parts of the body.

8. Acne

Pregnant people who previously struggled with acne may experience new breakouts during pregnancy.

9. Bloating and constipation

Early pregnancy causes symptoms similar to those of menstruation, including bloating: Pregnant people often experience abdominal bloating that can be exacerbated by constipation in early pregnancy. These side effects are caused by hormonal changes that slow down the digestive system, making it difficult to have a bowel movement. Some people may even feel like their intestines are blocked. Abdominal bloating may be exacerbated by constipation.

10. Incontinence

People urinate more frequently in early pregnancy. This occurs because the heart increases the amount of blood pumped per minute during pregnancy. This increased blood flow causes the kidneys to process more waste than usual, leading to more fluid retention in the bladder.

The body also produces hormones during pregnancy that influence bladder health. Pregnant people, in addition to urinating more frequently, sometimes unintentionally, can have accidental urine leaks.

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11. High blood pressure and dizziness

Most people experience dizziness and a drop in blood pressure during the early stages of pregnancy. During pregnancy the blood vessels dilate rapidly; this can cause dizziness as your blood pressure drops.

Pregnancy-related hypertension is difficult to determine. Most cases of hypertension in the first 20 weeks indicate underlying problems. These can develop during the first months of pregnancy, but they could also be present before the pregnancy occurred and not have anything to do with it.

12. Sensitivity to smells and tastes

In the first weeks of pregnancy, the sense of smell is altered and negative feelings towards certain foods may develop. Olfactory sensitivity is a common symptom, but little scientific research has been done on the origin of the changes in smell that occur in the first trimester. However, these are significant as they can cause other symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. They are also responsible for the aversion to different foods that some pregnant people have.

According to recent research, the sense of smell can increase or decrease during pregnancy. Many pregnant people report that smells they were previously indifferent to became repulsive or nauseating during pregnancy. In a matter of time, this change in smell is most common in the first and third trimesters, but it can also occur later in pregnancy. And it takes 6 to 12 weeks after delivery for the sense of smell to return to normal.

13. Weight gain

In the first weeks of the first trimester, you can experience a weight gain between half and two kilograms. Pregnancy weight usually shows up in the later stages of the process. In the early stages, it is not necessary to modify the usual diet. However, as the pregnancy continues, it will be necessary to increase calorie intake.

14. Heartburn

Pregnant people often experience heartburn as early as the first trimester. Stomach acid can leak from the stomach into the esophagus due to relaxation of the valve between the two organs. This is caused by hormones in the body.

Eating several small meals throughout the day instead of large meals helps prevent pregnancy-related heartburn. Also, after eating, it is recommended to sit up straight for at least an hour to help digest the food. The taking of antacids or any other medication during pregnancy should be consulted with the doctor.

15. Skin changes

Pregnancy causes the body’s oil glands to work overtime due to increased hormone levels and the increased volume of blood passing through the blood vessels. This supposedly results in a “pregnancy glow” that many people notice in pregnant people.

16. Nasal congestion

During pregnancy, nasal congestion can occur due to the increased thickness of the mucous membrane. This can be particularly irritating for pregnant people and prevent rest; however, serums can help alleviate this problem by performing small nasal rinses. Always keeping your nose well hydrated can help prevent nasal congestion that leads to mucus secretion and congestion.

17. Bleeding gums

Bleeding gums are a less common symptom of early pregnancy. However, on some occasions, increased blood vessel formation due to high hormone levels can cause bleeding gums during brushing.

18. Metallic Taste

One of the most frequent and unexpected symptoms that occur during pregnancy is the appearance of a metallic taste in the mouth that does not disappear even when food is seasoned. Due to this symptom, many pregnant people stop enjoying the foods they used to like.

19. Cravings

Hormonal changes can bring cravings. Pregnancy hormones cause drastic changes in tastes and desires. This is why many people experience strange cravings during pregnancy. Although, it is important to maintain a healthy diet to prevent health problems during pregnancy.

20. Mood swings

During pregnancy, estrogen and progesterone levels rise. This elevation can make people more emotional or reactive than usual. Also, mood swings are common during pregnancy, with people experiencing dramatic emotional swings within minutes. This is due to the hormones they are exposed to, as well as the uncertainty of what lies ahead. In addition, they must face changes that they were previously unaware of. The first trimester is a time of particular vulnerability.

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