The symptoms of pregnancy can vary greatly from woman to woman. The same applies to the intensity of typical pregnancy ailments, which can also vary greatly.
The initial symptoms of pregnancy in particular can be very similar to typical premenstrual symptoms. There is therefore a risk that the symptoms will be mistakenly interpreted as signs of pregnancy.
In general, however, it can be assumed that women who know their bodies very well are likely to find out more quickly whether or not they are pregnant.
In most cases, however, pregnancy goes completely unnoticed by women until the menstrual period has stopped and for a few days after that. The absence of a menstrual period at the latest leads most women to take a pregnancy test or to see a gynecologist.
When do symptoms appear?
The time at which the first pregnancy symptoms appear can vary greatly from woman to woman.
Women who have a very fine feeling for their body can, under certain circumstances, already feel the time when the fertilized egg cell implanted in the uterus. This can manifest itself as a sharp pain in the abdomen and can be the first of the typical symptoms of pregnancy.
At the same time, the pregnant woman may secrete small amounts of blood from the vagina. This bleeding, which is often mistakenly mistaken for a very weak menstruation, is what is known as "implantation bleeding". This differs from menstrual bleeding mainly in the amount and color of the secreted blood. In contrast to the blood of implantation bleeding, menstrual blood appears darker and more viscous.
In many cases, however, women do not notice pregnancy until they miss their period.
Symptoms that indicate pregnancy, such as breast tenderness, fatigue and mood swings, occur more often only after a few weeks of pregnancy or are interpreted by the women concerned as normal cycle-dependent symptoms and are not immediately associated with pregnancy.
Typical symptoms of pregnancy
There are typical symptoms that can appear in the first few weeks of pregnancy. These include:
- No menstrual period
- Increase in body temperature
- Breast sensitivity
- Pulling in the lower abdomen
- Changes in the sense of taste / smell
- Frequent need to urinate
Not all women experience these typical signs of pregnancy. If you suspect that you are pregnant, a pregnancy test can be carried out once you have missed your period. Commercially available pregnancy tests measure the pregnancy hormone beta-HCG in the urine.
In general, it is important to note that the symptoms mentioned are so-called uncertain or only likely pregnancy symptoms. Proof of pregnancy can only be provided through an examination by the gynecologist, through the determination of a child's heartbeat or a picture of the fetus.
Read more too Signs of pregnancy
No menstrual period
The most important and well-known early symptom of pregnancy is the absence of a menstrual period. Especially in women, who normally have a very constant and regular menstrual cycle, they quickly suspect a pregnancy if they miss a menstrual period.
In the case of women with a less constant cycle, it can only be a matter of a shift in period. Many women therefore wait a few days before taking a pregnancy test or seeing a gynecologist.
It should be noted that the so-called "implantation bleeding" can be confused with the normal menstrual period. If there is a suspicion of pregnancy despite the onset of bleeding, a pregnancy test should therefore be carried out urgently and / or a specialist in gynecology should be consulted.
The consistency of the secreted blood can provide an initial indication of whether it is menstrual or implantation bleeding. While menstrual blood is usually dark and viscous, the blood secreted during implantation appears much lighter and thinner.
You might also be interested in the following article: How to differentiate premenstrual syndrome from pregnancy
Another early symptom of pregnancy is pronounced fatigue. Some of the women affected even speak of a state of exhaustion in this context. A pregnancy-induced increase in the release of progesterone leads to an increase in the organism's energy consumption. For this reason, many women feel as though they have been exercising for hours even after an ordinary day at work. Although pronounced fatigue is one of the most common early symptoms of pregnancy, it is considered an uncertain sign of pregnancy.
Increase in body temperature
A subtle rise in body temperature is another early symptom of an existing pregnancy. However, the increase in temperature is only about 0.2-0.5 degrees. However, a rise in body temperature is not a reliable sign of pregnancy, as other causes may also be responsible for a small rise in temperature.
An increased breast sensitivity, or a strong pulling in the breasts, is also one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy. In most cases, between the fifth and eighth week of pregnancy, the breasts start to feel pain.
The reason for the appearance of this sign is the incipient remodeling of the breast tissue. Inside the breasts, the gland cells increase significantly in mass and prepare to produce sufficient amounts of breast milk. As a result, the breasts can grow by one or two cup sizes during the first three months of pregnancy.
However, since pain or strong pulling in the chest is also one of the typical premenstrual symptoms, it is a rather uncertain sign of pregnancy. As a rule, breast sensitivity increases significantly even a few days before the onset of menstrual bleeding.
However, if the symptoms persist for several days and steadily increase in intensity, they can indicate pregnancy. In addition, a dark discoloration of the nipples and areola is another symptom that can indicate pregnancy.
Read more on the topic: Breast pain during pregnancy or breast growth during pregnancy
The notorious morning sickness is probably one of the best-known signs of pregnancy. While many, rather unspecific complaints occur within the first weeks of pregnancy, many women are spared morning sickness up to the seventh week.
Other women, on the other hand, do not experience nausea and vomiting throughout pregnancy. Although in most cases only nausea occurring during the morning hours is spoken of, pronounced nausea during pregnancy can persist throughout the day. Nausea is one of the most variable symptoms of pregnancy.
In some cases, vomiting can be so frequent during the first three months of pregnancy that hospitalization is necessary. In this context one speaks of the so-called "Hyperemesis gravidarum“.
Read more on the topic: Nausea in pregnancy
Pulling in the lower abdomen
Hormone-induced loosening of the so-called maternal ligaments can already occur in the first weeks of pregnancy. As a result, expectant mothers usually feel a pulling in their right and / or left abdomen.
Read more on this topic: Pulling the mother ligaments
Diarrhea is one of the unspecific symptoms of pregnancy. However, the causes of the diarrhea usually have nothing to do with the actual pregnancy. Basically, it can be assumed that the physical changes in the course of pregnancy lead to an inhibition of the immune system. For this reason, various infection-related symptoms can occur. Since important stations of the immune system are located in the gastrointestinal tract, diarrhea is one of the most common symptoms.
Affected women should urgently consult a doctor if their diarrhea persists. Through the permanent excretion of liquid stool, important vitamins and electrolytes can be flushed out of the body. This in turn can provoke the development of other physical symptoms. Diarrhea becomes particularly problematic when the mother-to-be simultaneously suffers from severe nausea and vomiting.
Symptoms in the 5th week of pregnancy
When the 5th week is reached, the 2nd month of pregnancy also begins. Many of the expectant mothers are now suspecting that they are pregnant.
The main reason for this is the fact that there is typically no menstrual bleeding in the 5th week of pregnancy. In addition, a pregnancy test can be performed from the 5th week.
Although there are now test strips that are very sensitive to an increase in the pregnancy hormone beta-HCG, the pregnancy test can still be negative at the beginning of the 5th week.
If there is a suspicion of pregnancy despite a negative test result, a gynecologist can be consulted or another test can be carried out after two to three days.
In addition, further symptoms of pregnancy can appear as early as the 5th week. However, these symptoms are usually still very unspecific and women do not associate them with an existing pregnancy.
During the 5th week some of the expectant mothers already suffer from pronounced fatigue and subtle nausea.
In addition, impairment of the blood circulation can occur at this early stage. Some women become suspicious in the 5th week of pregnancy because they have circulatory problems. Slight pulling pain in the area of the left and / or right groin can also be a sign of pregnancy.
Pregnancy despite birth control pills
The pill is considered to be one of the most reliable medical contraceptives. The so-called Pearl Index reflects the effectiveness of the contraceptive and is between 0.1 and 0.9 for the pill. This means that for every 1000 women who take the pill correctly, between one and nine women will still become pregnant.
If taken correctly, if symptoms such as breast tenderness or fatigue occur, it can be assumed that these are typical premenstrual symptoms.
If the symptoms are particularly severe or appear for the first time, it should be urgently clarified whether the effectiveness of the pill may have been affected.
Above all, infections in the gastrointestinal tract with diarrhea and / or vomiting can negatively affect the effectiveness of the pill. In addition, pregnancy can occur after just one time stop taking the pill.
In case of doubt, if typical symptoms of pregnancy occur, a pregnancy test should be carried out or an investigation should be carried out with a gynecologist.
Read more on the topic: Pill doesn't work