Pregnancy Symptoms (cont.)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Am I pregnant?
- Pregnancy facts
- What are the most common pregnancy symptoms?
- Missed period
- Breast swelling, tenderness, and pain
- Abdominal cramps and bloating
- Food cravings
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Elevated basal body temperature
- Nausea and vomiting
- Frequent urination
- Changes in nipple color
- Melasma (darkening of the skin)
- Mood swings and stress
- Pictures of Early Pregnancy Symptoms - Slideshow
- Pictures of Fetal Development - Slideshow
- Take the Early Pregnancy Symptoms Quiz
- Early Pregnancy Symptoms FAQs
- Find a local Obstetrician-Gynecologist in your town
What are the most common pregnancy symptoms?
The following are the most common pregnancy symptoms in the first trimester.
A missed menstrual period is most often the first sign of pregnancy and is a common first trimester symptom. Sometimes a woman who is pregnant may still experience some bleeding or spotting around the time of the expected period, typically 6 to 12 days after conception. When it occurs, this so-called "implantation bleeding" is generally not as heavy or long as a regular menstrual period. This small amount of bleeding that happens at the time of the expected menstrual period occurs because the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall. This is referred to as implantation bleeding.
Any bleeding during pregnancy is typically lighter than that observed during the regular menstrual period. However, if a woman does not have regular menstrual cycles, she may notice some of the other symptoms of early pregnancy before it is apparent that the menstrual period has been missed. A missed menstrual period also does not confirm that a woman is pregnant even if she has regular cycles, since both emotional and physical conditions may cause absent or delayed periods.
Breast swelling, tenderness, and pain
Feelings of breast swelling, tenderness, or pain are also commonly associated with early pregnancy. These symptoms are sometimes similar to the sensations in the breasts in the days before an expected menstrual period. Women may also describe a feeling of heaviness or fullness in the breasts. These symptoms can begin in some women as early as one to two weeks after conception.
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