When you’re trying to conceive, you might be on the lookout for classic pregnancy signs such as nausea and frequent urination, but these symptoms generally don't appear until you're a few weeks pregnant -- approximately two to eight weeks after conception. You don’t have to wait until you’re making frequent trips to the little girl’s room to know you’ve got a baby on board.
While you won't notice any differences in your body the moment sperm meets eggs, your body might provide you with a few subtle pregnancy clues in the days and weeks following ovulation. If you've been monitoring your basal body temperature, you might notice it stays elevated beyond your period’s due date. You could notice some light spotting six to 12 days after ovulation as the fertilized egg buries into the uterine lining, explains the American Pregnancy Association website.
Cramping is generally a premenstrual symptom; if it starts earlier than usual, it can be a sign of conception. Severe cramping, or cramping accompanied by vaginal spotting, can be potential signs of an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage. Speak to your health care provider to assess the cause of cramping if you're concerned. Backaches and breast tenderness can be pregnancy symptoms, too. Other common PMS symptoms might actually be pregnancy symptoms if they are more pronounced than usual, such as moodiness, bloatedness and fatigue. Hormonal changes begin to increase your kidneys' workload, and within the first few weeks of pregnancy, you might find yourself visiting the ladies' room more frequently than usual.
Testing at Home
Shortly after conception takes place, the fertilized egg implants into the uterus and begins to secrete the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). A home pregnancy test is generally sensitive enough to detect the rising levels of HCG in your blood approximately 12 to 14 days after ovulation -- about the same time your next period should start if you aren't pregnant. If you receive a negative result but continue to suspect you may be pregnant, repeat the test a couple of days later or speak with your health care provider.
Early Blood Tests
A blood test at the doctor's office can detect HCG in the bloodstream earlier than alternative tests -- approximately 11 days after ovulation. However, it takes longer to get the results; the blood work must be sent to a lab, so the results are not instantaneous. There are two types of blood tests; qualitative and quantitative tests. A qualitative blood test confirms the presence of hCG and is about as accurate as a urine pregnancy test. A quantitative blood test can detect trace amounts of hCG, making it an even more accurate test. Because hCG levels increase in a predictable manner in early pregnancy, it also provides information on the progression of a pregnancy, too, making it easier to determine an accurate due date.
- Eunince Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: What are Some Common Signs of Pregnancy?
- American Pregnancy Association: Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG); The Pregnancy Hormone
- American Pregnancy Association: Pregnancy Symptoms - Early Signs of Pregnancy
- Medline Plus: Pregnancy Test
- American Pregnancy Association: Cramping During Pregnancy
- Baby Center: Frequent Urination During Pregnancy
- Photo Credit diego_cervo/iStock/Getty Images
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