While morning sickness and a late period are two of the most common signs that you’re pregnant, there might be some other signs that you’re missing. Very early signs of pregnancy can show through your boobs, vagina and even your bladder, meaning there’s a little more to watch out for if you think you might have a bun in the oven.
From darker nipples to a fuller bladder, here are twelve early pregnancy symptoms you should know about.
1. Tingling nipples
As pregnancy hormones increase (including waterhen, progesterone and prolactin) the blood supply to your breasts, you may notice a prickling or tingling sensation around your nipples or boobs. This can be one of the first signs that you’re pregnant.
2. Sore boobs
Sensitive breasts are a common sign of pregnancy, and are usually noticeable after the four week mark. Since the tissue in your breasts is incredibly hormone sensitive, they swell and feel a lot heavier as progesterone and hCG start flooding the body and increasing blood volume after fertilisation. This is also what leads to bigger boobs.
3. Your vagina has changed colour
As early as four weeks into pregnancy your vulva and vagina can change colour, so you may notice this before any other symptoms. As the amount of blood being supplied to the area increases, it can turn vaginal skin from pink to dark purplish or red.
4. Increased vaginal discharge
Noticing extra vaginal discharge is extremely common in early pregnancy. Pregnancy can also make you more prone to bouts of thrush, so if you notice unusual changes in discharge appearance or smell, make a trip to your GP.
5. Unusual stomach cramps
You may dismiss them as period pains, but stomach twinges or cramps, or even a tingling vagina, can be triggered by implantation – when the fertilised egg attaches to the uterine wall. If you notice cramps or tummy pains that aren’t followed by a period, take a pregnancy test.
6. Unexpected spotting
As above, the implantation process can also cause a little bleeding or spotting. If you had a bleed that was much lighter than usual, or at a different time than expected, you may be experiencing implantation bleeding.
Increased levels of progesterone slow down your digestive system and can make your stomach feel more bloated than normal. Although this is a common PMS symptom that lasts a few days, be on guard in case the bloating outstays its welcome and that period never arrives.
8. Extreme fatigue
If you’ve gone from being energetic to being unable to stop thinking about naps all day long, it could be an early sign of pregnancy. A growing baby needs lots of calories to help it grow, so if you’re not eating for two (or more), you’ll feel noticeably knackered.
9. Your period is late
This is a pretty surefire sign you might have a baby on the way, especially when teamed with the above signs. But a missed period can be caused by many factors, from stress to dietary changes, so make sure you do a pregnancy test to find out.
10. Your nipples look darker
Just like the vagina, your nipples changing colour can be one of the early indicators that you may be pregnant. Pregnancy hormones can affect the activity of melanocytes – the cells in the nipples responsible for their colour, resulting in a darkening of the areolas.
Although morning sickness tends to kick in a little later in pregnancy, some women experience more subtle motion sickness early on, such as getting nauseous when reading on transport or getting travel sick on planes when you haven’t before.
12. Needing to wee more often
Can’t get through the night without waking up for a pee break? This can be an early sign of pregnancy as the hormonal changes cause blood to flow more quickly through your kidneys and therefore filling your bladder more often.
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