Whether you have been trying to conceive or are trying to avoid pregnancy all together, the topic of reproduction is in the back of most any woman's mind. If you're anything like me, you might not have known there are plenty of super subtle, early signs of pregnancy that can tip you off sooner than a drugstore test can. Though every person is different — and their pregnancy symptoms might vary from your personal experience — in general, there are some tried and true indicators that you could be with child.
Of course, time will be the ultimate factor in proving whether or not you are pregnant. But again, if your experience is similar to mine, the idea of waiting days, weeks, or even months to find out can feel like an eternity. Instead of pulling your hair out worrying and wondering if you're growing a tiny life inside of you, try and put your mind at ease by seeing if you can check off any of these possible indicators. So sit back, relax, do some breathing exercises, and check out these subtle and early signs of pregnancy to see if you should schedule a doctor's visit soon.
1. You're Late
This is an obvious one, but plenty of my friends who later found out they were pregnant told me they'd blown this sign off. It's especially difficult to notice if you're used to having an irregular cycle. Dr. Alexandra Sowa, a clinical instructor, told Parents that a missed period is an early sign of pregnancy. It's not a definite indication, but you might want to pick up a test just to be sure.
2. You're Exhausted
Is your morning coffee not doing its job? Perhaps the caffeine isn't to blame. Nurse Amy Bunton tells Romper that feeling fatigued is one of the first signs you're pregnant. "Your body is getting ready to go through some big changes with pregnancy, so it's very common to feel drained in the beginning," Bunton explains. So if you have zero energy and don't know why, perhaps your body is working overtime prepping for pregnancy.
3. You're Queasy
Once you're fully in the thick of being with child, it's a given that morning sickness is a top system. However, you might not expect it to show up early on. However, according to the American Pregnancy Association, for a quarter of women, nausea was their first sign of pregnancy. If the queasiness doesn't pass after a few days, it might not be a stomach bug.
4. Your Period Is Light
Though a missed period is the most common way to tell if you're pregnant, it's still possible to bleed and be with child. In an interview with Fit Pregnancy, OB-GYN Dr. Jasbir Singh said that implantation bleeding can be a sign you're pregnant. Basically the embryo implanting itself in your uterus can result in some light bleeding or spotting, but you should always check with your doctor any time blood is involved just to be safe.
5. You're Tender
As many women probably know, aching breasts can occur as either a PMS symptom or during your period. Yet, a change in tenderness could be something else. Bunton says, "changes in breast sensitivity or size can be biology's way of telling you that your body is going into pregnancy mode." Since breasts are functionally used for nourishing babies, it makes sense that your mammaries would be a sign of pregnancy.
6. You're Overly Emotional
Even if you're already a person who feels things deeply and openly, a shift in your emotional state could be a tip off. According to the medical advisory board from Baby Center, "it's common to have mood swings during pregnancy, partly because of hormonal changes that affect neurotransmitters." As always, though, don't hesitate to contact someone if these thoughts become overwhelming or harmful.
7. Your Olfactory Organs Are Amped
If you've earned the nickname of detective or hound dog because you can identify anything with just a sniff, you're (sadly) not turning into a superhero. The experts at What To Expect When You're Expecting noted, "a heightened sense of smell is one of the first changes some newly pregnant women report." This also goes hand-in-hand with nausea since you might be able to smell things that gross you out.
8. Your Bladder Seems Smaller
Some people seem to just be born with stronger thresholds when it comes to using the restroom. My family and I would always joke about who had a bladder the size of a thimble on road trips, but a change in your urinary habits could be something more. Bunton says, feeling pressure on your bladder or urinating more frequently is an early sign of pregnancy. Of course having a full bladder isn't a guarantee you're pregnant, but it's worth noting.
9. Your Head Is Pounding
Almost everyone gets headaches, but when is it something more? Dr. Richard Gersh, an assistant professor of OB-GYN at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, told Fit Pregnancy that, "fluctuating hormones tend to make headaches worse during pregnancy." So even if you're prone to migraines, if they seem to be happening more often or are getting worse, check with your doctor to rule out the possibility of pregnancy.
10. Your Pants Are Tighter
Despite the fact that your uterus is still quite small at the very beginning of pregnancy, you can still see changes in your waistline. According to the medical advisory board from Baby Center, "hormonal changes in early pregnancy may leave you feeling bloated." Again, you might blow this off as a PMS syndrome or blame the buffet, but if could indicate you're pregnant.
11. You're Clumsy
As the experts at What To Expect When You're Expecting noted, "pregnancy hormones that loosen your joints and ligaments make your grasp on objects less firm and sure." So, although your body needs to be flexible enough to carry and deliver a baby, an early side effect of that is becoming a real butterfingers.