While the ultimate proof of pregnancy is a pregnancy test, your body gives you signs weeks after conception–signs you cannot ignore, especially when you experience a combination of symptoms. If you have not missed your menses, but have a feeling a baby may be on the way, listen to your body; chances are it will not steer you wrong.
Also known as spotting, implantation bleeding is one of the first signs of pregnancy, according to the Mayo Clinic. This occurs just before you miss your period and is a result of the fertilized egg attaching itself to the lining of the uterus.
The bleeding generally lasts for a shorter period of time than a normal period, and is lighter than your regular menses. Rather than a dark red, implantation bleeding is a light pink and has a tendency to come and go, hence the name “spotting.” In some cases, it may be accompanied by slight cramping.
Swollen or Tender Breasts
The American Pregnancy Association and Mayo Clinic agree that swollen or tender breasts may be one of the first signs of pregnancy, occurring between one and two weeks after conception. Not only may your breasts be sore and tender to touch, they may also feel heavy and fuller.
When conception first takes place, the hormones estrogen and progesterone increase rapidly to support the pregnancy and prepare your body for what is to come; this hormonal increase is responsible for your breast tenderness.
Nausea is one of the classic symptoms of pregnancy, according to the Mayo Clinic. It may occur during the day or night, and can begin as early as two weeks after conception. Some women may suffer only from nausea, while others suffer from both nausea and vomiting. This is due to rapidly rising levels of estrogen, which result in a slower emptying of the stomach and nausea and/or vomiting. In addition, pregnant women have a more sensitive sense of smell to various odors such as cigarettes, certain foods and perfumes–these odors can cause nausea as well.
A Missed Period
The most common pregnancy symptom as the American Pregnancy Association notes, should be your missed period. Just as with everything else, however, exceptions do apply.
Some women are not regular and do not receive their periods at the same time each month. In this case, a pregnancy test should be taken if you experience one or more of the other symptoms of pregnancy.
For women who do receive their periods the same time each month, a pregnancy test can be taken shortly after you realize your period did not arrive during its scheduled time.
About this Author
Based in Jamestown, Pa., Hannah Rice Myers has more than 10 years of experience as a freelance writer, specializing in the health industry. Many of her articles have appeared in newspapers, as well as “Curing Epilepsy: Hope Through Research.” Rice received her master’s degree in nursing from Upstate Medical University in 2001.