What are the early pregnancy symptoms and can they tell you if you are pregnant without a test? Some women say they “know right away” when they are pregnant. How do they do this? In some cases, maybe they are aware of certain hormonal changes that are among the early symptoms of pregnancy.
But more often, it is probably just that they look back with hindsight after they have tested positive and think that they remember certain signs. They forget about many other times when they might have had those same signs and not been pregnant.
So can you rely on early pregnancy symptoms?
Hormonal changes begin as soon as the egg is fertilized and embeds itself into the lining of the womb. The body begins to produce more HCG (the pregnancy hormone) right away, although levels will be slow in the beginning. It is HCG that causes early pregnancy symptoms and if you have some of these, you may be pregnant:
- sensitive breasts
- enlargement of the small bumps on your nipples
- mood swings
- nausea, stomach pains or constipation
- a metallic taste in your mouth
- changes in what you like to eat (e.g. suddenly not wanting foods and drinks that you always used to like, such as coffee, chocolate or meat)
However, most of these symptoms can be caused by other things than pregnancy. Many of them can be pre-menstrual symptoms. So the best way to know if you are pregnant is to take a test. These days, some drug store tests can give you a result soon after conception, so you do not need to wait until your period is due.
This will be much more reliable than figuring out whether you have early pregnancy symptoms. However, you will need to wait until around 7 days after ovulation. Then you will need to buy one of the more sensitive pregnancy test kits. Read the instructions before you buy, because many brands are not that sensitive and will say that you must wait until after your period is due.
If you take a pregnancy test early and it is negative, but then your period does not arrive on schedule, you might want to take another a few days after your period was due. A positive result on a pregnancy test is much more accurate than a negative result, because your body may not yet be producing enough to show on the test even though you are pregnant.
Sometimes, however, a positive result very early can be misleading because there could be an early miscarriage. This is probably very common when there is a defect in the early stages. It is not known how often this happens because most women who have a very early miscarriage never know that they were pregnant.
This can be a very emotional time and some women prefer not to test very early to avoid disappointment if the pregnancy fails. So keep in mind that things can go wrong, whether you take a test or rely on early pregnancy symptoms to tell you that you are pregnant.