Did you know? By the time you miss your period, you would have already covered a few weeks of your pregnancy. You get pregnant once the egg fertilises and implants in the uterus. And this event happens way before you miss your period. But can you know that you are pregnant even before the missed period? Yes, you can, because your body must have already been preparing for the next nine months.
A missed period is the most prominent sign of pregnancy. But the body begins to indicate you about your pregnancy even before your menstrual date. Here are some such symptoms:
1. Implantation bleeding and cramping:
If you had unprotected sex around the ovulation time, i.e., your fertile window, there is a possibility of you getting pregnant. You will experience menstrual cramps, light spotting or bleeding before a week or two of your missed period. Not everyone experiences the same symptoms, but if they occur, they could be the very early signs of pregnancy.
Implantation takes place when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus. It happens around six to ten days after ovulation. If your cycle is regular (i.e., 28-day cycle), you will experience implantation bleeding and cramping in the third week (i.e., around days 20 to 24), a week or so before the missed period.
Implantation bleeding is light as you may observe just a few drops of blood in your underwear or while wiping your vagina. It may last for some hours or several days. Heavy bleeding could be a sign of miscarriage or a period.
2. Elevated basal body temperature:
One of the earliest signs of pregnancy, basal body temperature (BBT) is more accurate than the others. But you can figure out the change only if you track BBT for several months.
A couple of weeks before ovulation, your basal body temperature may be around 97.2 to 97.7°F. It is the average BBT in the pre-ovulation state. One to two days after ovulation, your BBT will increase from 0.4 to 1°. It decreases after you complete your period. But in pregnancy, the BBT remains elevated.
3. Sore, tender and heaviness in breasts:
Breast changes are also early signs of pregnancy. The moment you conceive, hormones send signals to the breasts to get ready in 40 weeks.
Initially, the blood vessels present in the breasts dilate and start growing. Your breasts will thus become more substantial and the areolas, the dark-colored circles on the nipples, also become more prominent and darker. You can notice the breast changes in a week or two after conceiving.
You may feel them tingly, swollen, and sore to touch. You will also feel uncomfortable and cumbersome. These signs may be similar to those of PMS, but they are worse during pregnancy. If your period is late and you observe the breast changes along with other symptoms, you should take a pregnancy test
Fatigue without reason may also be an early symptom of pregnancy. A spike in the levels of progesterone hormone can make you tired and sleepy all the time. Additionally, as the body begins to produce more blood to support your fetus’ growth, you will feel exhausted, especially if you don’t get enough minerals, vitamins, iron, and fluids in your diet.
Nausea or morning sickness is a classic sign of pregnancy that you can notice in the early stages. It will afflict you in the initial weeks of the missed period even before your pregnancy is confirmed. You will feel dizzy, weak, and may want to throw up at times.
Though you may feel nauseous at any time of the day, the early mornings would be the worse. About 75% of women experience morning sickness, but the severity may vary from one woman to another, and with each pregnancy. The condition may be worse in your first pregnancy but may subside later.
6. Bloating and feeling of tightness:
Your tummy may protrude, your pants may be tight, and you might need to unbutton to breathe comfortably. You may look like pregnant even if your fetus is tiny, or just a ball of cells (blastocyst). A bloated feeling in the stomach is the most uncomfortable and a common symptom of pregnancy before missed periods.
Bloating could be followed by farts and burps because of the progesterone hormone, which retards your digestion. To get relief from bloating, eat small portions through the day for easy digestion. Avoid fried and fatty foods, and choose healthy foods.
If you experience these signs of pregnancy before missed periods, you may assume that you are pregnant. But sometimes, these symptoms could just be premenstrual symptoms or an indication of other health issues. Hence, wait until one or two weeks after you miss your period, and then go for a home pregnancy test.