First Trimester Pregnancy Symptoms

If you're trying to have a baby, then you'll want to know as soon as possible if your efforts were successful. If you're undergoing fertility treatments or assisted reproduction, then you'll likely be closely monitored and will have blood tests that will confirm a pregnancy much sooner than traditionally was possible. Most women and couples need to wait for a positive pregnancy test. Some might even need to wait for first trimester pregnancy symptoms.

Even if you know you're pregnant before you experience early pregnancy symptoms, you might be wondering what to expect as far symptoms are concerned, and what is normal and abnormal. Here's a look at several pregnancy symptoms and an explanation to help you know what to expect.

Missed Period

A missed period is often the first symptom of pregnancy. But just missing your period doesn't necessarily mean you're going to have a baby. A missed or late period can be caused by other things such as weight, lifestyle and medications.

Your hormone levels are connected fairly closely to your weight. It's important to have enough body fat to have regular periods and women who are underweight will often find they don't get their periods or get them infrequently and irregularly. Too much fat is also a bad thing. For reasons that aren't entirely explainable medically, excessive fat affects a woman's hormone levels and can cause a shift in menstruation cycles.

Illness can also affect hormone levels delaying menstruation. Women who are stressed often get late periods because stress decreases the GnRH hormone necessary for ovulation and menstruation. Even a significant change if your schedules such as switching work shifts from nights to days (or vice versa) can throw off your body clock and delay your period.


Normal hormonal changes can cause nausea and even vomiting in the first trimester. It's called morning sickness, but not all women experience it in the morning. Some feel ill all day or some feel worse at night. Always contact a doctor if you notice you're dehydrated (a sign would be little or very dark urine), feel dizzy or are throwing up so much that you've started to vomit blood.

Sudden nausea on its own without other pregnancy symptoms could indicate a medical problem. Diagnosis for prolonged non-pregnancy related nausea can sometimes be difficult to do since it could be caused by problems in the upper gastrointestinal tract (live, gallbladder, pancreas, small intestine, stomach or esophagus), other organs, or even the brain.

Extreme Fatigue

As the baby develops, hormone levels in your body will change drastically. This often causes extreme and unusual fatigue. There's not much you can do to prevent this. Simply try to get enough rest and eat healthy making sure you get enough protein and iron. Even if you're tired, try to exercise some. It doesn't need to be anything extremely strenuous. Exercise can combat fatigue

Unusual prolonged fatigue could be a sign of another health condition too, such as thyroid disease or a heart attack or chronic fatigue syndrome. See a doctor if you experience unexplainable extreme fatigue.

Increased Urination

During pregnancy your uterus becomes larger than normal. This can happen very early in pregnancy, even if you're not showing and don't have a baby belly yet. The growing uterus will put pressure on the bladder which leads to the need to urinate more often. Try to go as soon as you feel the urge to reduce the chance of a urinary tract infection.

Increased urination unrelated to pregnancy can be caused by diuretics, anxiety, overactive bladder syndrome, vaginitis or a tumor or mass in the pelvis.

Tender Breasts

Your breasts may become unusually sensitive due to increased hormone production during pregnancy. Excluding getting your period, there are usually no other causes for this other than pregnancy. Help with the sensitivity by wearing a very supportive bra.


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