What are the early signs of pregnancy?

If your partner’s smelly socks are getting right up your nose all of a sudden, you have gone off your favorite coffee, or you are falling asleep in the middle of your favorite television show, then you might just be pregnant even if you have not yet missed a period.

There are plenty of early signs that you may be pregnant and if you are in tune with your body, you will probably notice some of them before you get a positive pregnancy test.

No one is sure what causes your sense of smell to change during pregnancy, but it is thought to be something to do with the increase in levels of estrogen, so if the smell of something you used to love now turns you off, it might be due to your growing baby.

Some of the early signs of pregnancy can be mistaken for signs of menstruation. Cramping might be the egg implanting itself in your uterus rather than your period coming, and breast tenderness can happen early on in pregnancy just as it can before your period is due.  If you know your body, though, you will probably be able to tell if this is what usually happens when you are due or whether it is something different.

You may find you develop other aches and pains as well. Backache is common and some women suffer from headaches in the early stages, thought to be caused by the sudden increase in estrogen and progesterone and the increased blood volume.

Pregnancy brings with it a raft of slightly horrible ailments all of which can occur early on. Nausea is a common one, particularly in the mornings hence the name morning sickness.  Other symptoms you might be wary of mentioning to your partner over the breakfast table are constipation, diarrhea, having to go to the toilet a lot and bloating. Most of these are caused by the hormonal changes in your body. Increasing estrogen and progesterone help thicken the lining of your uterus but also cause bloating, while increase in blood volumes mean your kidneys have to work harder sending you running to the loo more often.

One symptom you might like to make the most of, however, is fatigue. Many women find themselves incredibly tired at the beginning of their pregnancy because their bodies are working so hard to develop the baby. If you are feeling fatigued then make sure your partner knows and ask them to help around the house so that you can find time to rest. You might also like to record your favorite television shows just in case you doze off during an important episode.

If you think you are pregnant, the only way to be sure is to take a pregnancy test. Some pregnancy tests allow you to test early, even before you have missed a period so if you are experiencing any of these symptoms it might be worth checking. However, it is normally safer to wait until after you have missed a period as well, as the result is likely to be clearer by then.

Do not be afraid to take more than one test if you want to be doubly sure. Some people take two or three because they just do not believe the first one.

After you have tested, make sure you see a doctor or other medical professional to get your pregnancy confirmed and an idea of your due date.