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5 Early signs of pregnancy

Lisa Steinke, with Liz Fenton, is the co-author of the debut chick lit novel l'll Have Who She's Having and the popular Chick Lit blog chicklitisnotdead.com.

Am I really pregnant?

When you’re trying to conceive, one of the hardest parts can be the waiting to find out if you’re pregnant or if you’re going to have to try again next month. If you’re feeling anxious and need some information before you even miss your period, there are some early signs of pregnancy you can be on the lookout for -- some as early as one week after conception. From changes in your body to swings in your mood, here are some hints that could mean you’ve got a bun in that oven of yours.

early signs of pregnancy

YOU HAVE PERIOD-LIKE SYMPTOMS

As few as six days after you've conceived, the fertilized egg will attach itself to your uterine wall and you might experience what's known as implantation bleeding. This can cause slight spotting and even some cramping, which many women don't associate with pregnancy because it can feel like the beginning of their period.

YOU'RE EXHAUSTED

As early as one week after you've conceived you might find it hard to keep your eyes open. This increased fatigue can often be connected to an increased amount of the hormone progesterone in your system. This exhaustion often goes away in the second trimester but can rear its ugly head again in the third trimester as the due date approaches.

YOUR BREASTS CHANGE

Just one to two weeks after conception you may notice that your breasts are sore and your bra feels tighter. Also be on the lookout for a darkening of your areolas and the veins across your chest.

YOU'RE MOODY

Because of those increased hormones in your body, you could be extra-irritable and find yourself riding a roller coaster of emotions. But don't worry, because over the course of the pregnancy, most women adjust to the higher level of hormones.

YOU FEEL SICK

About six weeks after conceiving (although it can happen even earlier), many women might begin to feel queasy and even vomit. It's most commonly referred to as "morning sickness," but can happen at any time of the day or night. This subsides for many women after the first trimester (and some women never experience it).

Of course, the best and most accurate way to determine if you're pregnant is to go to your OB-GYN's office and take a blood or urine test. Most OB-GYNs recommend that you take one of these tests after you've missed your period.

More on pregnancy

Common prenatal procedures

Early pregnancy bleeding: What's normal?

First pregnancy milestones

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