Most people know what to expect when they’re expecting, but what about people who don’t know they’re expecting at all? While most people find out quickly whether or not they’re pregnant, it’s not entirely uncommon for people to find out they’re pregnant far later than you’d think, or even until the baby is born.
There is a 7-10 day span during which the embryo begins to form from a fertilized egg, and this is when most people develop symptoms of pregnancy. These symptoms aren’t all just what you see on TV. While vomiting and cravings are a part of pregnancy, these can also be easily written off by someone who doesn’t think they’re pregnant or doesn’t know the signs in the first place.
There are tons of symptoms that don’t get a lot of attention but, if paid attention to, can tip you off to a pregnancy in the early stages, giving you plenty of time to prepare yourself for your next move. According to many studies, most people ignore early lesser-known symptoms and don’t have any idea about the embryo growing inside of their own bodies until much later in the developmental stages. Know what’s happening to your body.
Read on to find out the 15 not-so-common symptoms you might be experiencing that are actually early signs of a pregnancy. You might be surprised, and you will definitely be informed.
Many people who experience changes in their sleeping patterns write them off as something caused by stress, maybe just an odd day, or even don’t think about at all. Sleeping, however, is a regular cycle that your body experiences and is something that can be offset by a pregnancy. As it turns out, sleep is a common symptom of pregnancy, and something worth thinking about if you’ve been sexually active and can’t seem to lock down your sleep pattern anymore.
It might be tempting to write sleeping pattern changes off as something because of other stresses. To avoid missing this symptom, try keeping track of your sleeping patterns using either an app on your phone or manually writing down when you’re finding it easier to fall asleep and wake up. Being aware of the changes in your sleeping pattern can help you avoid surprises in your health, including unexpected pregnancies.
14 Decreased Hair Loss
Hair loss is something that we all face on a regular basis, albeit not always on a large level. Usually, we’re familiar with about how much hair we lose on a regular basis based on how much is left over in our brush or what comes out in the shower. It’s easy to notice when hair falls out more rapidly, and it’s easy to panic then, but another symptom of pregnancy is actually hair falling out less often. Because the body’s estrogen goes up, hair gets stronger and is less likely to fall out.
It might sound difficult to be able to tell when your hair is falling out less than normal, but give it a try. If you think you notice your hair being stronger and more resistant to brushing or washing, maybe go get a pregnancy test if you’ve been sexually active. It might sound a little odd, but this is actually a symptom that most people overlook because it can be so tricky to spot.
13 Food Swings
People with vaginas might be familiar with hormonal ‘food swings,’ when all you can think about is food and some food is too gross to even think about. These cravings often occur during a menstrual cycle, and so it’s no surprise that these are caused by hormones. You experience urges for unusual foods and aversion to other foods—this isn’t unusual, right? Well, if you’re not having a menstrual cycle but you are having unusual cravings or aversions both you might be pregnant.
When pregnant, the body releases a lot of hormones that you haven’t adjusted to. These hormones have a ton of side effects, more than just those discussed in this article, and one of these is that some foods really sound good. Often, these are foods that contain a vitamin that you really want. Pay attention to what your body is craving—it might be trying to tell you something.
12 Mood Swings
Like cravings and aversions, mood swings are often written off as a symptom of menstrual cycles or just another thing that people with vaginas are more prone to by nature. Usually, emotions can be hard to pin down as a symptom because the last thing we want to do when we’re angry is to invalidate it with a logical reason, but it turns out that mood swings are a symptom of pregnancy--a direct result of the hormones flooding the system.
If you’re experiencing severe mood swings, look into it. If you can’t understand why, perhaps it’s not just you ‘overreacting.’ There’s a chance that there’s something more that you’re simply not considering and if that something ends up being a pregnancy, you’ll be happy you caught it early.
This one’s odd, but stay with us. All of these tips have to do with identifying what your body normally does and noticing when it goes through changes. When you sleep, your body does one thing relatively consistency. When you get pregnant, just about everything about your system changes. Why wouldn’t your dreams change, too, if it’s all in your brain? Hormones mess with everything, not just our cravings and mood swings, and our sleep and dreams are no exception to this rule.
The key to identifying nightmares as a symptom of pregnancy is recollection. If you can recall them well during the day (and you normally can’t), and this is happening regularly, you might be experiencing a strange but valid symptom of a tiny life in your belly! You might want to get a pregnancy test. It’s worth noting that just vivid dreams are also a sign of pregnancy, not only nightmares.
10 High BBT (Basal Body Temperature)
Basal Body Temperature (BBT), which is the temperature of your body or the temperature of your body after you have had three hours of uninterrupted sleep, is a good marker of pregnancy. Most people don’t check theirs normally, so for this to work, it’s good to start taking your BBT regularly to have a good idea of what abnormal looks like before seeing abnormalities. If you regularly check it, this is a good idea to look for abnormalities because it could be a symptom of pregnancy.
If you take your BBT and it begins to run high, then you might be pregnant. A normal BBT will be on the low end and you will have standard periods. The best time to take BBT is in the mornings, as this is after you’ve rested for a lot of hours.
9 Bloating and Swelling
Bloating and swelling aren’t the same thing as the growth caused by the fetus developing. By bloating and swelling, we mean the body expanding to hold more water. This is something that your body will do to hold as many nutrients as possible. It will make your pants tight and rings stick onto your fingers; this annoying symptom is, however, one of the most telltale signs of pregnancies.
During the early stages of pregnancy, bloating is mostly water retention. It will occur in the later stages of pregnancy too as your body shifts to accommodate new weight, but in the beginning, water retention will also cause a lot of bloating. Pay attention to whether your body is bloating more than usual. It might be a sign of pregnancy that will persist until the later stages and then after the birth!
When a person with a vagina becomes pregnant, the embryo will attach itself to the wall of the womb. Usually, when a menstrual cycle occurs, there’s nothing to attach and all of this lining that’s been built up will shed, resulting in blood. However, when an embryo attaches, there will be some light bleeding as well. This is harmless bleeding referred to as spotting and is a common early indicator of pregnancy.
Also, worth noting is that some fertilized eggs will try to enter the lining of the uterus, and when this happens, sometimes bleeding occurs. This is usually harmless but is also usually dismissed as a period and not what it really is—an early indicator of a pregnancy. Bleeding doesn’t always mean you’re on your period. And just because you start bleeding, doesn’t mean you aren’t pregnant, but it also doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in danger. Check with your doctor if you experience abnormal bleeding and believe you are in danger.
7 Morning Sickness
Morning sickness is something that most people are familiar with. It’s the most common side effect used in the media, and is one of the most recognizable, and therefore, people think that this is one of the most obvious signs of pregnancies. However, when people with vaginas throw up, they might not immediately jump to that conclusion. You might just think its food sickness or a stomach bug and write it off, hoping to solve what’s actually a pregnancy with a diet of Jell-o and saltines until it blows over.
Morning sickness can vary from instant vomiting upon eating or upon waking up. It will make your blood sugar plummet as a result of not getting nutrients, and as a result, you’ll feel weak and fragile. To combat this, try ginger tea to knock nausea down. If you’re experiencing vomiting, it could be pregnancy. Acupuncture is also a combatant to nausea that pregnant people can try.
6 Fatigue and Drowsiness
While your sleeping patterns might be thrown off, one side effect is that you’ll be tired. Because your sleeping is wrong, you will also experience some tiredness during the day, and this can make you more lethargic overall and more likely to be low-energy. If you’re feeling abnormally drowsy and like you just don’t want to do anything, and you think there’s a chance you could be pregnant, this is a symptom worth looking into that many people write off as just ‘feeling tired.’
Try not to blow it off if you feel more under the weather than usual. It might be a common cold or a coincidence, sure, but if you’re feeling tired constantly, it might be because your body is working overtime and you’re getting less sleep than ever, let alone for a pregnant person. Take lots of naps to give your body the support it needs.
5 Changes in Breasts
A pregnant person’s breasts will change a lot during pregnancy and will experience a lot of discomfort after the birth as well to accommodate and account for breast milk. Changes in the breasts actually start much earlier than you may think, beginning as a tender and swollen feeling a few days into the pregnancy. Over time these feelings may shift and you’ll experience a change in the appearance of your breasts.
Breasts during pregnancy tend to get bigger. They may become painful to touch and the area around the nipples might swell up. They may appear veiny, with darker nipples and swollen bumps around the areolas because of swelling in the chest area. This is an early indication of pregnancy that’s difficult to write off, so try to be familiar with your breasts and know what it looks like when they aren’t normal.
4 Frequent Urination
Becoming pregnant means that your body will start to produce more blood, driving your blood levels up. Your body will start to shift things around to accommodate for the new thing inside of you, and to make adjustments so that the uterus gets more blood as well as other organs. Since you will have more blood, your kidneys will be working overtime to process all that blood and filter it, and this will irritate your bladder, resulting in frequent urination.
This is a problem most commonly faced at night. If you frequently get up during the night to go pee, it could be a symptom of pregnancy that you’re overlooking. Many pregnant people write it off as over consumption of liquids or some other consequence, so learn to recognize that frequent urination means your body is accommodating much more than just more liquids.
Hormone levels go up when you’re pregnant—that’s no secret. This affects every single part of your body, be it your bladder or your brain or your uterus. Your intestines are no exception. In fact, your intestines are quite prone to change, since all that area around the uterus expands and pushes everything out around it. Therefore, you might experience constipation.
Now, there are a million reasons to be constipated, and the first one that comes to mind isn’t really ‘pregnancy.’ You might think that you ate something bad or that you’re sick. Most pregnant people do. However, this can be a sign of pregnancy that is almost always overlooked or written off as a symptom of something else. Be familiar with your body’s natural rhythms and note that constipation might not be because of food poisoning.
2 Headache and Abdominal Pain
Headaches can be symptomatic of almost everything from allergies to the common cold to periods to pregnancies. They can be caused by changes in hormones, by the changes in your body, or by the changes in your brain. During the early days of pregnancy, headaches will be mild to severe, and people with vaginas rarely consider this to be a signal of a pregnancy, but rather a commonplace bothersome thing to solve with some Advil and a water.
Abdominal pain is also an early sign of pregnancy that gets written off as casual pain. While you can feel free to take painkillers as a symptomatic relief, this will not change the pregnancy, so if you’re experiencing one or more of the symptoms in this article along with abdominal pain or a headache, it might be worth looking into to consider that you’re pregnant.
Amenorrhea, or the absence of a period, is the most common symptom of pregnancy and is by far the most acknowledged in the media. People will often say things like ‘I might be pregnant’ if they miss a day of their period, even if they aren’t sexually active; it’s the most common staple. However, there are a trillion factors that can go into amenorrhea, and not all of them involve pregnancy.
If you are experiencing amenorrhea, it could be for a variety of reasons, including weight loss, hormonal imbalance, or even just dramatic changes in your life that result in an imbalance in your period. People with vaginas who are irregular might also write off amenorrhea because they don’t know how to recognize an irregularity in a cycle that isn’t regular to begin with.