If you are trying to have a baby, you are most likely on high alert for positive signs of pregnancy. Any small body changes will send your heart pounding. For most women, a missed period is the first noticeable symptom of pregnancy. But the anticipation of waiting till your next period date, to take a pregnancy test can be sheer agony.
But before a missed period, your body gives you many early signs of pregnancy. We have spoken with our team of experts at Hera to bring you twenty of these early signs that indicate you have a beautiful little bun in the oven.
One of the first signs of pregnancy is a light period (called spotting) and some stomach cramps that only last for a day or two. It is easy to mistake this abdominal pain in early pregnancy and spotting as the start of your period. This is also because it occurs at around the same time as your period would have been due. But this bleeding and cramps are very slight.
Basal body temperature is the oral body temperature when at rest. This temperature rises marginally after ovulation and dips just before your periods.
If you have been monitoring your basal body temperature to track your ovulation cycle and notice a higher body temperature for over 15 days, it may mean that you are pregnant. 
The recent surge of pregnancy hormones will also make you feel warmer than usual.
Creating a new human in your body is exhausting work. You can start feeling unusually tired as soon as one week after conceiving.
Here, we are not talking about the usual craving for a quick afternoon siesta. We are talking about an overwhelming need to sleep – at work, at the dinner table or anyplace you get a few minutes of peace. Many women experience this fatigue as soon as they wake up. This is one of the implantation symptoms caused by hormonal changes. 
Early pregnancy bloating is similar to your pre-period bloating when your clothes get tighter around the tummy. This bloating happens due to the hormone progesterone. It slows down the digestion and so that your food gets more time to enter the bloodstream.
Do you desire a blue cheese sandwich dunked in strawberry sauce or some other equally weird food? Unusual food cravings are one of the most popular symptoms of pregnancy before periods. 
It is not unusual to find yourself raiding the fridge throughout the day during the early weeks of pregnancy. This increase in appetite and constant hunger pangs are due to the body’s increased need for calories.
Pregnancy elevates your sense of smell to a point where the smell of your favorite foods makes you nauseous. If you too feel like you have developed a superhuman sense of smell, it is time to consider taking a pregnancy test.
This is an implantation symptom that can happen as early as four weeks into your pregnancy.
If you find that your breasts seem to have suddenly grown a cup size overnight or are super sensitive and tender to touch, this could be another of the pregnancy symptoms in week 2.
Breast changes usually start as early as one week after conception. For many women this tends to be one of the first implantation symptoms.
Another pregnancy symptom in week 2 are larger and darker nipples. Interestingly, some researchers believe that dark areolas have an evolutionary purpose. They help the newborn baby find the nipple and latch easily.
The pregnancy line or the Linea Nigra is a dark vertical line that develops from your belly to your pubic bone in early pregnancy. This line is faint during the early weeks of pregnancy. As your pregnancy progresses and the melanin production increases, it becomes more pronounced. 
While there is no science to this theory, many believe that the Linea Nigra is an indicator of the baby’s gender – a smaller line for a girl and a longer line that extends to the rib for a boy.
Do you find yourself crying for the silliest of reasons? Emotional highs and lows during the day are early symptoms of your hormones being offset by pregnancy.
The increased level of the hormone progesterone during the early weeks of pregnancy relaxes muscle tissues, including your digestive muscles. This slowed down digestion during pregnancy is a pregnancy symptom in week 2 that can often result is harder and infrequent stools. 
The hormone Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) secreted by the placenta during the first few weeks of pregnancy increases blood flow to the pelvic region. As a result, you may feel a need to urinate more often. 
Although morning heartburn and acidity are usually associated with the last trimester of pregnancy, it can also strike as early as three weeks as a symptom of pregnancy before periods. It is caused by Progesterone that relaxes the muscles in the body, slowing down the entire digestive system. 
The news of a new baby is enough to set your heart racing. But before your pregnancy test gives you the two-line confirmation, you will notice your heart beating faster than normal. The increased flow of blood in early pregnancy can make your heart to beat faster.
A change in vaginal discharge is another pregnancy symptom in week 2.  During the initial weeks of pregnancy there is an increase in vaginal discharge. Your body tries to flush out dead cells and bacteria from the uterus and vagina to help prevent infections.
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Dizziness is a common pregnancy symptom in week 2. The hormonal changes in your body and your increasing blood volume cause this early sign of pregnancy.
It is hard to believe, but during the early weeks of pregnancy, many women may experience vivid and bizarre dreams. While there is no science-based explanation of this, many medical experts attribute it to the surge of hormones in your body.
Another early symptom of pregnancy before periods is flushed cheeks that look darker than the rest of your face. This is because of the increase in blood volume that dilates your blood vessels. It gives you the flushed look, without using any makeup.
During the early weeks of pregnancy, the mere thought of food can make you feel nauseous. The dramatic rise in hCG is an implantation symptom that causes nausea and morning sickness for many women. 
The term morning sickness is a misleading word. While having an empty stomach can aggravate the feelings of queasiness, most of the time, the nausea can pop up at any time of the day.
A missed period is the most obvious sign of pregnancy. A good way to confirm your pregnancy at this time would be through a home pregnancy kit. You can also schedule a visit to the doctor, stock up on your prenatal vitamins and prepare to have your life changed forever.
Contrary to popular belief, pregnancy does not start the day you have sex. It usually takes up to a week after sex for the sperm and egg to join and form a fertilized egg. This fertilized egg takes about 6-12 days to travel to the uterus – a process known as implantation.
Thus, pregnancy begins during implantation when the hormones needed to support pregnancy are released.
It is therefore likely that the first few symptoms of pregnancy start showing up about four weeks after conceiving. This varies for every woman.
|Symptom||Approximate Timeline From Missed Period|
|Spotting And Cramping||Around the same time as expected periods|
|Raised Basal Temperature||Around the same time as expected periods|
|Extreme fatigue||As early as week 1|
|Bloating||As early as week 4|
|Hunger pangs and unusual cravings||As early as week 4|
|Sharper sense of smell||As early as week 4|
|Breast Changes||As early as week 1|
|Darker Nipples||As early as week 2|
|Darker Nipples||As early as week 4|
|Rapid Mood Swings||As early as a few weeks|
|Frequent urination||As early as week 2|
|Nausea||As early as week 5|
|Constipation||As early as week 2|
|Increased Heartbeat||As early as week 3|
|Vaginal Discharge||As early as week 5|
|Dizzy spells||As early as week 2|
|Dark patches on face||As early as week 2|
|Vivid Dreams||As early as a few weeks|
|Missing Period||Anytime after your period due date|
Always remember, every pregnancy is unique, and early pregnancy symptoms differ for every woman. While some of us may begin noticing the first early signs of pregnancy a week or two after conception, for many others there may barely be any symptoms.
If you would like to stay updated on the various pregnancy symptoms and receive expert tips, advice and guidance on how to navigate the first few weeks on pregnancy, sign up for the Hera newsletter.