When you’re trying to become pregnant and dying to see that plus sign or those two pink lines on the home pregnancy test, it can be hard to wait. You may even find yourself becoming hypersensitive to every little change in your body. Maybe it seems like your breasts feel heavier today, or you’re more tired than usual. Plus, you’re dying for something salty. Could that be a sign?
Let’s look at the earliest signs of pregnancy, plus the best time to take a pregnancy test for the most accurate answer.
When Do the Earliest Signs of Pregnancy Appear?
You may start noticing the earliest symptoms of pregnancy in the first few weeks after conceiving. While a missed period is the most telling sign, there are other symptoms of pregnancy as well, including:
- breast changes: You may notice that your breasts feel more sensitive or tender than usual. They can also feel fuller and heavier.
- fatigue: Soaring progesterone levels during early pregnancy can make you feel unusually sleepy.
- aversions or cravings for certain foods: For some women, certain food aromas can trigger nausea while others find they have a strong desire for a particular food.
- more bathroom breaks: You may notice you need to urinate more frequently.
- nausea: Morning sickness isn’t just limited to the morning, and it can begin very early in your pregnancy, as soon as three weeks after conceiving. You may feel nauseated enough to vomit.
There are other symptoms of early pregnancy that may surprise you.
Some women may notice mild cramping, similar to light menstrual cramps. Often, this can be the result of the many changes taking place in the uterus as the implanted egg starts to develop.
With the rush of pregnancy hormones in the early weeks, some women find themselves feeling very emotional.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, roughly 25 to 30 percent of all pregnant women will have some kind of spotting or bleeding early in their pregnancies. There can be many different reasons for this, including cervical irritation, infection, implantation bleeding, ectopic pregnancy, and threatened miscarriage. About half of these women will go on to have normal pregnancies and healthy babies.
With hormonal changes can come disruptions to your digestive function, and that can lead to constipation.
It’s common to feel lightheaded or dizzy, especially after standing up from a reclined position. This feeling comes from dilated blood vessels, a side effect of pregnancy, which affects your blood pressure.
High Body Temp
One of the earliest clues about pregnancy can be your basal body temperature. This is your temperature when you wake up in the morning. The Mayo Clinic notes that basal body temperature can increase moderately after ovulation and stay there until you begin your period. If you’ve been tracking ovulation and charting your basal body temperature, an elevated number for over two weeks could be a sign of pregnancy.
Because these symptoms aren’t completely unique to pregnancy, you may be exhibiting signs even if you aren’t pregnant. In some cases, they may be related to an impending period or an illness. Or, you may be pregnant and showing no symptoms at all.
How Early Can I Take a Pregnancy Test?
If you’re dying to take a pregnancy test after you think you may have conceived, you’re not alone. But according to the American Pregnancy Association, most experts say you should wait until the first day of your missed period, which is usually somewhere around two weeks after conception.
If you take a test too early, you may get inaccurate test results. A negative test result can mean a few things, including:
- you aren’t pregnant
- you’re pregnant but there isn’t enough of the hormone hCG to detect yet
- the test wasn’t conducted properly
For the earliest results, you may want to consider a blood test in your doctor’s office. While both urine and blood tests look for the presence of hCG, blood tests can detect pregnancies about seven to 12 days after conception. On the downside, a blood test is more expensive and must be conducted at your doctor’s office.
What If My Test Is Negative but I Have Pregnancy Symptoms?
If your pregnancy test is negative, but you haven’t started your period and you have other symptoms, wait a few days to take another test.
Is There Such Thing as a False Positive?
If you get a positive result from a home pregnancy test, it’s detecting the hormone hCG in your body. In rare cases it may be due to medications containing hCG, an ovarian problem, or menopause.