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Symptoms in early pregnancy

The two-week wait between ovulation and your period can feel like an eternity if you want to have children. But sometimes your body already knows more than you do during this time!

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nce you've decided to have a baby, it can't happen fast enough. The countdown to the first pregnancy test starts from ovulation. During this time, any symptoms could be an indication of a possible pregnancy. Are my breasts always this sensitive? Is that morning sickness this morning or just hunger? Am I getting a cold or is it perhaps pregnancy-related tiredness? The two-week wait can be an emotional rollercoaster, especially if you've been trying for a while.

The first physical signs of early pregnancy can easily be mistaken for the usual premenstrual symptoms, tender breasts, mild cramps, tiredness and bloating. But how can you tell if it's typical PMS or the first exciting clues that you're pregnant? The most reliable sign of pregnancy is the absence of your period. Of course, a pregnancy test will then confirm this. In the meantime, however, your body may already be trying to tell you some very exciting news. There are actually some symptoms that can occur even before you miss your period.

Swollen, painful breasts.

Within a few days of conception, your breasts may already feel more sensitive. Oestrogen and progesterone levels rise rapidly after conception and this hormonal surge causes more fluid to accumulate in the breasts, making them feel sore and swollen. The veins may also become more prominent and the breasts may be heavier and fuller.

Implantation haemorrhage.

Around 6 to 12 days after conception, the fertilised egg adheres to the lining of the uterus. As this happens around the time when a period is expected, women sometimes mistake this light spotting for the start of a period. However, spotting is usually lighter than a normal period and brown or pink in colour.

Tiredness.

Feeling sleepy or even exhausted is a common early sign of pregnancy. The rising progesterone levels after conception make you feel tired and emotional.

Nausea.

It's not just in the morning that nausea can be a symptom from the beginning to the end of your pregnancy. Some women suffer from 'morning sickness' very early in their pregnancy. Nausea before a pregnancy test can be caused by rising levels of the hCG hormone. hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is produced by cells that surround a growing embryo and which eventually form the placenta after implantation. The presence of hCG in urine confirms pregnancy in conventional pregnancy home tests.

Bloated belly.

A bloated belly can also be a sign of pregnancy, as the hormonal changes also affect the digestive system. However, this is also a common symptom of PMS that stops when your period starts.

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Increased body temperature.

The oestrogen level before ovulation causes a woman's basal body temperature to drop slightly. After ovulation, the rising progesterone level in turn causes the basal body temperature to rise to a higher range. If an egg is then fertilised, the progesterone level continues to rise and so does the woman's basal body temperature. This means that if a woman's basal body temperature remains at a higher level after ovulation, this may be an indication of pregnancy. If there is no pregnancy, the temperature drops again with the onset of the period.

Vaginal discharge.

Some women may notice a white, milky vaginal secretion. The walls of the vagina begin to thicken almost immediately after conception. The cervix builds up a plug of mucus to block the opening of the cervix and protect the uterus from infection.

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And then there are the symptoms that defy explanation. Is it your body's intuition? A gut feeling? Is your body sending messages to avoid certain foods that may not be good for a baby, such as alcohol, caffeine, shellfish or greasy fast food?

Strange flavours, smells and cravings.

  • A strange taste in the mouth that many women describe as metallic.

  • You suddenly don't even want to imagine having your morning coffee and the thought of a prawn sandwich is enough to turn your stomach.

  • Quitting smoking suddenly is not as difficult as you thought. In fact, smoking suddenly causes nausea.

  • You can no longer smell your own favourite perfume and a Friday night curry is out of the question.

All these observations could be a good indicator that you really are pregnant. However, the only way to be absolutely sure is to take a pregnancy test. However, try to listen carefully to your body. Maybe it knows something that you don't know yet.

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