Even for those who have been pregnant before, the signs of early pregnancy can sometimes be easy to overlook. Every pregnancy is different—and the symptoms you experience in a second pregnancy may be different from what you experienced in the first one.
But there are some common symptoms that can give you a clue that you might be pregnant—if you’re paying enough attention, that is. Here’s a common early pregnancy sign most people miss, and what to do if you notice early pregnancy symptoms.
A Common Early Pregnancy Symptom People Often Miss, According to an OB/GYN
One of the most common early pregnancy symptoms is fairly well known, and yet people still frequently fail to spot it. “Nausea or feeling more hungry than typical is a very common early sign of pregnancy that can often be overlooked,” says Dr. Bana Kashani, OB/GYN, a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist. The increased hunger, in particular, is something people will routinely brush off without much concern.
“Some women experience so-called ‘morning sickness’ as a feeling of an upset stomach, or a sudden sensation of feeling hungry,” says Dr. Kashani. “They may get hot and sweaty as a result. Others do feel nauseous. These are all symptoms associated with early pregnancy and the rise in serum HCG, which is the pregnancy hormone.”
Dr. Kashani says other signs of a potential pregnancy that people might overlook include breast tenderness, feeling hot and overheated, and feeling fatigued or tired.
What To Do if You Notice Any Early Pregnancy Symptoms
Confirming whether your symptoms are caused by pregnancy will help you determine if you need to seek care from an OB-GYN or if you should consult with your primary doctor to investigate other possible causes of those symptoms if it turns out you’re not pregnant.
“The best thing to do is to take a urine pregnancy test, such as First Response Early Result pregnancy test, to determine if you are pregnant,” says Dr. Kashani. “These tests are very sensitive and can easily check for pregnancy in the convenience of your home. Then you should consult your doctor to get seen and evaluated for your pregnancy.”
When To Seek Immediate Treatment
A positive pregnancy test doesn’t typically warrant emergency care—you can usually wait until your doctor has an opening—but certain symptoms would be a reason to seek care right away. Some signs can indicate a potential ectopic pregnancy (which is when the pregnancy forms outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube) or early miscarriage.
“It’s more important to see your doctor as soon as possible if you are experiencing vaginal bleeding or spotting, or having significant pain and cramping as these can be signs of a miscarriage or a pregnancy that may have implanted outside the fallopian tube,” says Dr. Kashani. “Also, if you are finding that you are very nauseous and having continuous vomiting, you should see your doctor to get medications to help control these symptoms.”
Benefits of Confirming Pregnancy Early On
Even if you’re not experiencing any issues, it can be beneficial to see your doctor as early in your pregnancy as possible. “It is always advised to establish prenatal care with a health care provider as soon as you can,” says Dr. Kashani. “This is so you can confirm the pregnancy is in the right location and that there is a heartbeat. Also, you can make sure your heart rate and blood pressure, as well as labs, are in the normal range at the start of your pregnancy.”
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- Dr. Bana Kashani, OB-GYN, reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist