If you missed your period and tested positive on the home pregnancy test kit, you may start experiencing new changes in your body. If you haven’t taken the pregnancy test, but missed your period and are experiencing unusual symptoms, the chances are that you are pregnant. But what are these unusual symptoms that indicate pregnancy after a missed period?
Read this MomJunction post to find out about early pregnancy symptoms you may experience during this time.
18 Early Pregnancy Symptoms After Missed Periods
The early symptoms of pregnancy may vary from one woman to another.
Early Symptoms And Their Timeline During Pregnancy (1)
|Symptoms||Timeline (when it starts)|
|Mild cramping, light spotting||Week 4|
|Fatigue, morning sickness, tender breasts, frequent urination||Week 6|
|Weight gain||Week 11|
|Pregnancy glow, acne||Week 12|
- Tender and swollen breasts: The hormonal fluctuations in the body make your breast feel tender and sore. Once the body gets adjusted to the hormonal changes, the discomfort will subside in a few weeks (2).
- Light spotting: A light spotting of blood, also known as implantation bleeding, occurs when the fertilized egg gets implanted to the uterine lining. It happens at about 10 to 14 days (1-2 weeks) after conception, but not all pregnant women experience it (3).
- Morning sickness: It can start at any time, during the day or night. It begins around the 6th week, usually due to the hormonal changes. This subsides as the pregnancy progresses.
- Frequent urination: An increase in the blood levels causes the kidney to filter more fluid, leading to increased urination.
- Fatigue: An increase in the progesterone levels can make you feel tired. Also, the body is working more to meet the demands of your baby, making you feel tired.
- Moodiness: The hormonal changes in the body can take a toll on your mental health. You may feel emotionally adrift, which is common during the pregnancy period.
- Heartburn: The progesterone hormone relaxes the esophageal sphincter, which allows the gastric juices to flow upward into the esophagus and cause heartburn (4).
- Bloating: An increase in the progesterone level slows down the digestion process causing gas and bloating.
- Constipation: A slowdown in the digestion process due to hormonal fluctuations causes the food to move slowly in the digestive tract, which leads to constipation.
- Cramping: Mild uterine cramping can be experienced during the initial days, but not all woman have this.
- Headaches and dizziness: An increase in the blood level and hormonal changes make you dizzy and causes headaches. Also, low blood sugar level, dehydration, nasal congestion, and nausea could accompany a headache (5).
- Food aversions or cravings: It is common to develop an aversion to certain foods and smells. Some women may have a craving for a particular food. All this is due to the hormonal changes happening in the body.
- Nasal congestion: An increase in the blood level leads to the swelling of nasal membranes. This allows more mucus to flow in and cause nasal congestion. The swelling of the membranes can also lead to nosebleeds.
- Lower backache: Some women may experience lower backache in early pregnancy. However, it becomes more prominent as the pregnancy proceeds.
- Acne: As the hormonal levels go up, the androgen level increases. This causes the sebaceous gland to secrete more oils that clog the pores, making room for bacterial growth which in turn gives rise to acne (6).
- Pregnancy glow: The influx of hormones increases the blood volume, and its circulation makes your skin brighter. It also causes the skin glands to secrete more oil, thus making it look shinier.
- Faster heartbeat: As the demand for oxygen and nutrients increases, the heart needs to work harder to pump in more blood for the fetus. The result is an increased heart rate (7).
- Metallic taste: Hormonal changes slow down the gustatory function, leading to taste changes during the initial phase of pregnancy. Once the hormonal levels are back to normal, you regain the tastes (8).
While these symptoms indicate pregnancy, they are not definitive. A pregnancy test is the only way to confirm a pregnancy.
When to Take a Pregnancy Test?
The ideal time for a pregnancy test is after you have missed the periods. The body produces the hCG hormone (pregnancy hormone) once the fertilized egg successfully implants on the uterine lining. But the level of hormone is not sufficient enough to get detected on a home pregnancy kit. However, a blood test can help detect the hCG level even in its least concentration (9).
If you are planning to take a pregnancy test, then wait till you miss your periods to get a reliable result.
[ Read: Can You Get Pregnant While Pregnant? ]
You might have a tough time during the initial period of pregnancy as the body is trying to adjust to the hormonal fluctuations. However, these symptoms will disappear once the hormones get back to normal levels. Be patient and try to relax; the symptoms will wane as the pregnancy progresses and after the delivery of the child.
Did you experience any of these symptoms early in pregnancy? Tell us about your experience in the comments section.
2. Month by Month; Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc (2019)
3. Bleeding During Pregnancy; American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2019)
4. Pregnancy and Heartburn; Stanford Children’s Health (2019)
5. Headaches in Early Pregnancy; Stanford Children’s Health (2019)
6. Pregnancy and Skin Changes; Stanford Children’s Health (2019)
7. How’s your heart rate and why it matters?; Harvard University (2010-2019)
8. Kuga M, Ikeda M, Suzuki K, Takeuchi S; Changes in gustatory sense during pregnancy; NCBI (2002)
9. Pregnancy tests; Healthdirect (2017)
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