18 อาการคนท้องเริ่มแรก ข้อสังเกต วิธียืนยันการตั้งครรภ์ - 18 Early Symptoms of Pregnancy: How to notice and confirm

18 Early Symptoms of Pregnancy: How to notice and confirm

Symptoms of pregnancy are signs that indicate a woman may be pregnant. Pregnant women may notice pregnancy symptoms within the first 1-2 weeks after missing their period, including tender breasts

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Symptoms of Pregnancy

Symptoms of pregnancy are signs that indicate a woman may be pregnant. Pregnant women may notice pregnancy symptoms within the first 1-2 weeks after missing their period, including tender breasts, light spotting, fatigue, and morning sickness. Typically, increased levels of pregnancy hormones cause these symptoms, which may be accompanied by other symptoms such as increased vaginal discharge, intermittent cramping, frequent urination, bloating, and mood swings. Symptoms of pregnancy differ from person to person; some may experience severe morning sickness, while others may experience no physical changes, resulting in a cryptic pregnancy. Individuals experiencing pregnancy-related symptoms should promptly seek a doctor for a pregnancy test and prenatal care to ensure a safe pregnancy and aid in preparing for a new role in life as a new mother.

What are the symptoms of pregnancy?

Symptoms of pregnancy vary depending on individual factors, including the stage of pregnancy, the first-time showing symptoms of pregnancy, and the intense morning sickness. Depending on each individual, some may experience severe morning sickness, while others experience no physical changes at all. Pregnancy symptoms are caused by hormonal changes in the fetus that occur rapidly after conception, resulting in various physical changes. Those experiencing pregnancy symptoms may notice the following symptoms of pregnancy.

1. Missed period

Missed period is one of the very first symptoms of pregnancy for those who become pregnant. This happens when fertilization between egg and sperm is complete and the body starts producing the hCG hormone (human chorionic gonadotropin), a hormone that is produced in the placenta 8–10 days after conception to allow the fetus to grow. As a result, the body ceases to ovulate, resulting in a brief absence of menstruation. However, missed periods can also be caused by stress, hormonal imbalances, extreme dieting, PMS syndrome, or excessive exercise. Individuals suspecting pregnancy during this early stage should undergo a pregnancy test to detect the presence of the hCG hormone and confirm the pregnancy.

2. Morning sickness, nausea, and vomiting

Morning sickness is one of the first signs and symptoms of pregnancy, usually occurring between 2 and 8 weeks after conception, and is a very common symptom for the majority of pregnant women. Morning sickness manifests as nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite, as well as headaches and dizziness, and typically occurs in the morning, whereas some people may experience symptoms throughout the day. Morning sickness may resolve by the 12th week of pregnancy, only to reappear in the 32nd week before childbirth. Severe morning sickness (Hyperemesis gravidarum) can cause nausea and severe vomiting, which can lead to dehydration, extreme fatigue, and fainting. Those who experience severe morning sickness should immediately seek medical attention for a thorough evaluation. However, only a small percentage of pregnant women experience no symptoms at all, depending on the physical condition of each person.

3. Tender breasts, swollen breasts, or breast changes

Tender breasts, swollen breasts, and breast changes are among the very first signs and symptoms of pregnancy, appearing 2 to 3 days after conception. The symptoms will be similar to those experienced before menstruation, marked by a sense of fullness, and tingling in the breasts. The breasts will enlarge, causing the bra to feel tighter. Furthermore, the areola—the pigmented skin encircling the nipple—darkens, the breast skin firms up, and the blood vessels become more visible. Typically, tender breasts, swollen breasts, or breast changes occur after pregnancy. Within three months, symptoms of breast changes will gradually diminish as the body adapts to the heightened hormonal activities associated with pregnancy.

4. Frequent urination

Frequent urination is one of the early pregnancy symptoms that can be noticed after a period is missed. When pregnant, the body generates additional blood and fluid to sustain the developing fetus, making the kidneys work harder to filter more volumes of blood to excrete waste products into the urine, leading to more frequent urination. The urine may exhibit a darker hue, appearing orange or brown. Additionally, as the fetus grows, the uterus expands in size, putting pressure on the bladder and necessitating more frequent urination, particularly during nighttime hours.

5. Fatigue

Fatigue is a pregnancy symptom that can occur in the first week after conception. When pregnant, the body produces a high level of progesterone to sustain the growth of the fetus. The increased hormone, on the other hand, may slow down the metabolic process. As a result, the body expends more energy on the entire digestive process, making pregnant women feel more fatigued and tired, and they may experience frequent cramps. However, fatigue and tiredness during pregnancy can be caused by anemia secondary to iron deficiency and spotting during pregnancy.

อาการคนท้องเริ่มแรก มีอาการอย่างไร? Early Symptoms of Pregnancy Banner

What are the early signs and symptoms of pregnancy?

Early signs and symptoms of pregnancy can be detected within 2–3 weeks of the last ovulation and sexual intercourse without birth control until fertilization between the egg and sperm occurs and the embryo develops. This is the stage at which fertilization between the egg and sperm is complete. During this stage, the body produces high levels of the hormone hCG, causing many changes in the body that can be detected in the urine. Taking a pregnancy test during this period usually yields accurate results. Early signs and symptoms of pregnancy include the following symptoms:

6. Spotting, light vaginal bleeding

Spotting, or light vaginal bleeding, is a sign and symptom of early pregnancy that can be noticed during the first trimester. After fertilization, the embryo implants into the uterine wall, resulting in spotting or vaginal bleeding during pregnancy without abdominal pain or cramping. However, not all pregnant women experience this spotting or light vaginal bleeding. Those who have persistent bleeding and abdominal cramps may be pregnant unknowingly (ectopic pregnancy), bleeding out blood clots from the baby's placenta (subchorionic hematoma), or have a miscarriage. It is crucial to seek medical attention to evaluate the symptoms.

7. Headache, dizziness

Headache and dizziness are among the early signs and symptoms of pregnancy, caused by hormonal changes in the body as well as increased blood circulation. Headaches and dizziness during pregnancy may appear more or less unequally, depending on each physical condition. Contributing factors may include hormonal changes, stress, insufficient sleep, or caffeine withdrawal. Those experiencing persistent headaches during pregnancy should consult a healthcare professional for a thorough examination.

8. Bloating

Bloating is a common sign and symptom experienced by pregnant individuals, stemming from elevated progesterone hormone, and affecting the function of the body's digestive system. This alteration results in increased gas in the stomach, leading to bloating and sensations of fullness. Symptoms may include abdominal fullness, discomfort, and bloating, reminiscent of premenstrual symptoms. Additionally, frequent passing of gas may occur.

9. Cramping

Cramping is one of the first signs and symptoms of pregnancy, occurring approximately 1-2 weeks after conception. There will be pain, sharp pain, or cramping in the lower abdomen near the uterus, similar to menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea). This is caused by the body’s accelerated production of hormones to nourish the developing embryo, as well as the expansion of the uterus in tandem with the baby's growth. Typically, pain or cramping in the lower abdomen will last for 2–3 days before disappearing. However, severe lower abdominal pain or cramping pain on only one side may be caused by an ectopic pregnancy or other complications. It is important to seek medical attention to evaluate the symptoms.

10. Food aversion, food cravings 

Food aversion, or food cravings, are signs and symptoms of pregnancy in which a pregnant woman may notice changes in her appetite, such as feeling hungry all the time, as well as unexplained cravings or unwillingness to eat certain foods, such as sour food or sour fruit, or an unexplained desire to eat strange foods or things that are not food, such as soil or paper. Individuals may find themselves liking or disliking foods previously unappealing or favored. In addition, some pregnant women may experience cravings for foods that provide instant energy, such as milk or dairy products, to increase energy and calcium levels in their bodies.

11. Acute sense of smell

Acute sense of smell is one of the first signs and symptoms of pregnancy due to hormonal changes. A pregnant woman will be quickly sensitive to smells or changing senses of smell, just like changing the taste of food. They may be extremely sensitive to certain odors, even if they did not previously exhibit symptoms such as feeling sick or being unable to tolerate familiar scents. In addition, some pregnant women may experience dizziness, nausea, and vomiting when they smell certain odors, such as food, perfume, or the smell of certain household products.

12. Backache

Backache is one of the first signs and symptoms of pregnancy, caused by the expansion of the central muscle, relaxation of the tendons, synovium, and pelvis, as well as the adjustment of body posture to support the pregnancy's increased weight of the growing fetus. Increased body weight in pregnant women can also cause a loss of balance, resulting in changes in standing, walking, sitting, and lying-down postures, resulting in backache. However, backache after pregnancy can be reduced by wearing loafers, avoiding lifting heavy objects, selecting a mattress that supports the body well—not too hard or too soft—and adjusting sleeping posture to the side position. Those experiencing severe backache should not self-medicate and should instead seek a doctor-prescribed pain reliever. To relieve backaches, the physician may recommend physical therapy or acupuncture.

สัญญาณ และอาการคนท้องอื่นๆ มีอะไรบ้าง? - Early Symptoms of Pregnancy Banner 2

What are the other signs and symptoms of pregnancy?

Throughout the entire 40 weeks of pregnancy, the body undergoes continuous transformations, affecting both the physical and emotional aspects. Pregnancy signs and symptoms can vary among individuals based on their overall health. Some may not be aware of their pregnancy due to irregular menstrual cycles, making a missed period challenging to detect. Additionally, the signs and symptoms of pregnancy can differ from one person to another. Some additional signals and symptoms that can be observable during pregnancy include:

13. Vaginal discharge

Vaginal discharge is a pregnancy sign and symptom caused by an increase in estrogen in the body of a pregnant woman, causing excessive vaginal secretions, moisture, and the accumulation of bacteria or vaginal yeast infection in the birth canal, resulting in abnormal amounts of vaginal discharge instead of menstruation. Pregnancy vaginal discharge appears as transparent, odorless, cloudy white mucus that does not itch. Those who experience irregular vaginal discharge with odor and itching should consult a doctor to rule out any symptoms.

14. Constipation

Constipation is a common sign and symptom of pregnancy, caused by the same cause as bloating: high levels of progesterone in the body, resulting in the body slowing down the motility of the digestive system. Furthermore, the expansion of the uterus in response to the baby's growth affects intestinal peristalsis, causing delayed movement of food or fluids through the digestive tract, resulting in constipation or bloating. Constipation during pregnancy can be alleviated by drinking more water, eating high-fiber foods, and engaging in light exercise such as walking, swimming, or yoga. Those experiencing constipation during pregnancy should not self-medicate but rather seek a doctor-prescribed laxative medicine.

15. Mood swings

Mood swings are pregnancy signs and symptoms attributed to hormonal fluctuations in the body. These hormonal changes contribute to unpredictable shifts in mood, resulting in mood swings, emotional rollercoasters, heightened irritability, sensitivity, and frequent anger. Conversely, some pregnant women may experience feelings of joy, delight, and satisfaction driven by the release of chemicals in the brain that include positive emotions. However, some pregnant women may experience feelings of sadness, anxiety, or depression due to hormonal imbalances or unpreparedness for pregnancy. Those suffering from depression should seek medical attention for a detailed evaluation or undergo a depression test screening.

16. Shortness of breath 

Shortness of breath is a pregnancy sign and symptom caused by the hormone progesterone, which expands the lungs to allow increased oxygen intake for the developing fetus. Shortness of breath in pregnant women also hastens the elimination of carbon dioxide from the bodies of both mother and fetus, causing shortness of breath. In addition, as pregnancy progresses, the growing baby may exert pressure on the diaphragm, making it challenging for pregnant individuals to breathe comfortably. This results in an increased respiratory rate or the need for deeper breaths.

17. Heartburn

Heartburn is one of the pregnancy signs and symptoms caused by progesterone secretion during pregnancy, resulting in a slowdown of the digestive system. When pregnant, the lower esophageal sphincter, the muscle connecting the esophagus to the stomach, relaxes more frequently than usual. This causes acidic gastric juice to reflux back upward into the esophagus, resulting in heartburn during pregnancy. Furthermore, as the pregnancy progresses, the growing uterus exerts increasing pressure on the stomach, propelling stomach acids upwards, leading to symptoms such as heartburn, acid regurgitation, a sour taste in the throat, throat irritation, nausea, and vomiting, which can lead to esophagitis.

18. Acne

Acne is a common condition during pregnancy, primarily attributed to the sudden increase in the hormone progesterone after conception. This hormonal surge stimulates the sebaceous glands beneath the skin, leading to increased oil production. Consequently, the excess oil can clog hair follicles, resulting in acne on the face, back acne, or acne on the oil glands in various parts of the body.

ตรวจการตั้งครรภ์ ช่วยยืนยันอาการคนท้อง - Only Pregnancy Tests Can Help Confirm Pregnancy

Only Pregnancy Tests Can Help Confirm Pregnancy

Missed periods may not always be a sign or symptom of pregnancy, as the absence of menstruation (amenorrhea) can be caused by stress or hormonal imbalances, whereas nausea, dizziness, or vomiting can be caused by a stomach or intestinal virus, which requires a thorough diagnosis by a doctor. The most accurate way to confirm pregnancy is to get a pregnancy test at the hospital with a medical professional or an experienced gynecologist. The pregnancy test can provide results within 1-2 hours and can 100% confirm the pregnancy results. Once confirmed, the expecting mother can begin prenatal care to receive guidance, best practices, and prenatal instructions for health management for both the mother and unborn baby to ensure a smooth and safe pregnancy journey.

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Published: 19 Jan 2024

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