Symptoms of pregnancy for some women can be apparent as early as right after implantation; for others, pregnancy symptoms are only what they have seen and read in books. These symptoms are related to an increasing human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) concentration which is the marker used in pregnancy tests. Signs of pregnancy include:

1. Implantation bleeding:

After fertilization, the embryo travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus where it burrows into the uterine wall in a process called implantation. This event is usually accompanied by some bleeding or light spotting, referred to as implantation bleeding that occurs between 8 to 10 days after ovulation.

2. Lower abdominal cramps:

Cramps in your lower abdomen are often confused with the pain that accompanies the start of a woman’s period. While implantation itself is painless, the uterus stretching to accommodate the embryo can cause cramping even this early in pregnancy; sometime between one week to 10 days after ovulation.

3. Nipple or breast tenderness:

This is another symptom that throws many a woman for a loop with resembling premenstrual symptoms. Changing hormone levels cause breast tissue and nipples to begin preparing for lactation 3 to 4 week after conception. For most women, this symptom persists throughout the pregnancy but for those A-cupped ladies – you’re in for a big treat. Get ready to look more voluptuous than Bipasha Basu as you watch your mammaries grow!

4. Nausea:

You may be surprised how early some women experience nausea in their pregnancy. Hormone levels in your blood are at an all-time high; if it’s your first pregnancy, expect quite a ride! Just stay as close to a bathroom as possible while your body acclimates to these spikes.

5. Frequent Urination:

Staying close to a bathroom may work for this symptom as well. With your body being preoccupied with its new role, your impulse to urinate often will normalize as your body resumes reading its signals more efficiently. This will improve only to give way to a resurge in your urination frequency during the last few weeks of pregnancy.

6. Constipation:

Even as early as a few weeks after implantation, many women experience constipation. For some, this is due to the high iron content of prenatal vitamins which can tend to be constipating. For others, it is in response to the body’s need to extract every last bit of nutrition from food for your baby – yuck!

7. Backaches and fatigue:

A persistent lower backache beginning at 3 weeks after ovulation is experienced by many women. Get prepared for this to worsen as the pregnancy furthers. Many women are exhausted by the end of the time; but hold tight; this symptom however gets a whole lot better as the weeks go by.

8. Headaches:

This is another symptom of rising hormone levels. If you have begun to forgo your morning cuppa, even caffeine withdrawal from this can bring on headaches.

9.Food Cravings:

If you find yourself yearning for your mother’s mango achaar, enjoy it while your baby will let you. Your growing uterus will soon lead to heartburn which will have you running a mile from anything that is remotely spicy!

10. Missed period:

For women that rely on their body clocks to set their watches, a missed period is a reliable symptom of pregnancy. The menstrual period which occurs between 14 and 17 days after ovulation ceases in response to your body’s increased needs for nutrition.

Positive pregnancy signsWhether you have all or some or even none of the above symptoms, it is always advisable to confirm your pregnancy with a pregnancy test. You can do this with a blood test or a simple over the counter home pregnancy test. Importantly, very rarely does a woman experience every symptom on the list. Besides the womanly curves and food cravings, consider yourself lucky if you skip a symptom or two. Just know that feeling your baby’s movements later in the pregnancy will make every retch a distant memory.