Planned or not – how do you know you are pregnant before your expected period?
While waiting for the period and taking a test when it doesn’t come is the most accurate way to tell if you are pregnant or not – there are a few very early pregnancy symptoms you can look out for.
Whether you are trying to conceive or not – knowing your own cycle and monitoring your ovulation is a great way to get to know your body better and detect changes a lot faster.
Around 1-2 weeks before your period is supposed to arrive your body can already show a few symptoms.
So if you are actively trying to conceive this is what you should be looking out for:
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1. Morning Sickness
This is probably the most obvious symptom of early pregnancy before you miss your period.
If you suddenly feel very nauseous and sick during the day (and night) you might be pregnant.
After conception your body starts to produce more progesterone and estrogen which can cause you feeling sick.
Morning sickness typically starts in the first few weeks up until the second trimester and sometimes can last during the whole pregnancy according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
You can also read more about morning sickness here: How to get rid of morning sickness
2. Tender Breast
Similar to PMS (premenstrual symptoms) you can experience tender and swollen breast that are sensitive to touch.
If this happens right around the time your period is expected many woman don’t consider a possible pregnancy as the cause.
One very big difference to normal premenstrual symptoms is a possible darkening of the areola (dark area around nipple).
Your Areolas can also become bigger.
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– First trimester problems
3. Sudden sensitivity to smells
Can you not stand the smell of your usually favorite food all of a sudden?
Pregnancy can heighten the sense of smell causing you to experience sudden reactions to certain smells that you normally like.
This can be food, perfume and any other smells that would not bother you if you weren’t pregnant.
This symptom goes in hand with morning sickness.
4. Constantly peeing
I can definitely vow for that one.
When I was pregnant I felt like all I did was peeing all day but why is that so early on in pregnancy?
Your baby is not big enough yet to press on your bladder but your kidneys are working harder than ever to filter out all the harmful things from your body making sure everything goes smooth.
With a increased flow of blood your kidneys have more work and therefore can make you pee all day.
5. Can’t stand certain food
If food you normally like makes you sick there is a good chance you have a bun in the oven.
The typical cliche of woman eating weird food combinations while pregnant is not that far from reality.
Some pregnant women actually start eating food that doesn’t really go together like the classic pickles with chocolate.
Or you might even find yourself starting to like food you would never eat under normal circumstances.
Pregnancy can also bring out strong cravings for a certain food.
My craving was probably potatoes with broccoli and cheese sauce.
Don’t even ask me why – I just wanted to eat it all the time.
6. Feeling so sleepy
Fatigue is a symptom of pregnancy.
It can also be a sign of a lack of nutrition so this one is a bit tricky.
Especially when you already have a kid feeling tired is kinda normal for moms and you might not catch this one as a sign of pregnancy.
However – feeling extremely tired or exhausted with no obvious cause might get you thinking.
The most simple activity like walking up stairs might make you feel like walking a whole marathon now.
After all you body is working extra hard right now taking all the energy that it needs to create a beautiful, healthy baby.
This was me the whole first trimester – after work the first thing I would do is lay down and take a nap because I was just beyond exhausted.
TIP: Lots of water, eat lots of valuable nutritious food and resting can help make it better.
Spotting can be a pretty normal phenomena in every woman’s cycle.
A small amount of brown or light pink blood that appears about a week before your period could be the implantation bleeding.
This happens when the fertilized egg starts to attach itself on the lining inside your uterus causing some irritation.
While this type of spotting is usually a lot lighter – some women mistake it as their actual period coming early and don’t even think about pregnancy.
This type of bleeding is also way shorter than a normal period and stops withing 1-3 days while a period can last up to 5 days.
The first few weeks of pregnancy can leave you feeling super dizzy or light headed.
This is caused by the dilated blood vessels in your body for the increased blood flow that comes with pregnancy.
It can cause a low blood pressure making you feel like you just got off a roller coaster.
Try not to get up too fast and overall take it slow if you experience feeling dizzy or light headed.
9. Lots of cramping
This is another really tricky one because cramping is usually a indicator for the start of your period.
These cramps are light and are in fact a very early pregnancy symptom.
You can also thank the increased flow of blood in your body for this symptom.
When you are pregnant your body starts to produce the hormone progesterone which slows down your digestive system.
If your digestive systems works slower the food is in there longer which can lead to being bloated and gassy.
Yes, also a PMS symptom so it’s hard to tell if you are in fact pregnant or about to have your period.
11. Higher body temperature
Around the time of ovulation our body naturally elevates the temperature to ensure the best conditions for the released egg.
The temperature drops during your period.
If you are pregnant it will stay higher even during the period.
Now if you use the basal temperature method as birth control you might already be suspicious.
You can count the days of elevated temperature once it starts and if you have over 18 days of higher body temperature it is a good indicator of a pregnancy.
For more information about how to track your basal temperature correctly read here.
12. Cervical Mucus
If you are trying to conceive you probably are familiar with the different stages of mucus your body is going trough during the whole cycle.
From sticky and white to completely clear and stretchy your body gives you a good idea when you are fertile.
Around the ovulation your mucus typically looks like eggwhites.
If it becomes more creamy and white after ovulation and stays like that your chances are good that the pregnancy test will be positive.
13. Hormonal Roller Coaster
Being completely emotional can very well be a indicator of pregnancy.
Especially if you are usually not that emotional.
Looking back at my pregnancy this was definitely one of my early signs and while we were actively trying to conceive I did not even think that it could be the cause of my emotions all over the place.
A few days before I took the test I was extremely hormonal tearing up over something really silly while we ate at a restaurant.
My poor husband got the dirty looks from our waitress like “why did you make her cry?”
So how reliable are these early symptoms of pregnancy?
Unfortunately all these symptoms are not very reliable.
Many of them can simply be caused by PMS (Premenstrual symptoms) before your expected period.
Symptoms like spotting and cramping can also have other causes and are not a good indicator for a pregnancy.
Even with all these symptoms it is best to wait and take a at home early pregnancy test or have your doctor do a test for you.
Those tests are very good nowadays and rarely have a false-positive.
Your doctor can order a blood test that measures the amount of pregnancy hormones (HCG) if there are any.
However your test turns out I truly hope the best for you and that it will show the result you are hoping for whether it is positive or negative!
Did you experience any crazy early pregnancy symptoms?