The early signs of teenage pregnancy are obviously the same as the pregnancy signs for all women. The difference lies in the reaction that the adolescent may have to the suspicion of pregnancy, one of fear and shame more often than not. Despite these feelings, it is critical that pregnancy is detected early in a teenager, to provide options and adequate prenatal care. Indeed, inadequate prenatal care is the major cause of higher pregnancy complications in women aged 15 to 19.
In any case, early signs of teenage pregnancy can include:
- Missing a period. This is often the first sign which makes women suspicious of a possible pregnancy. In order to confirm pregnancy, you should do a pregnancy test followed by a pelvic exam.
- Swollen or tender breasts. This is yet another of the early signs of teenage pregnancy, due to that the breasts are undergoing changes to prepare for breastfeeding. Increased levels of progesterone and estrogen are responsible for these changes.
- Feeling tired. Early in your pregnancy, your body is working hard to prepare to support a baby. Your heart pumps faster to increase blood flow to bring nutrients to the growing fetus. Also, increased levels of progesterone, which causes sleepiness, contribute to the feeling of fatigue, as do the emotional extremes you will most likely experience.
- Vaginal spotting and cramping. You may see a spot of blood on your panties as another of the early signs of teenage pregnancy, this is due to implantation, when the fertilized egg implants itself in the uterine lining (about 10 to 14 days after conception). Cramping occurs early during pregnancy and is due to the expansion of the uterus to make room for the growth of the baby.
- Morning sickness. Nausea and/or vomiting can actually occur at any time of the day and is mostly due to the rise in estrogen, certain triggers, like odors, can also cause nausea. Most women experience morning sickness during weeks four and eight, while many experience it about two weeks from the date of conception.
- Frequent urination. The growing uterus pushes on the bladder and this causes the urge to urinate more. Most intense frequent urination occurs in the first and third trimesters.
There are other early signs of teenage pregnancy, but the ones mentioned above are the most common. Remember that symptoms often don’t occur until roughly two weeks after you’ve missed your period, this varies, however, from woman to woman and from pregnancy to pregnancy.
If you suspect you are pregnant, you can do a home urine test (using the first urine of the day) which can give reliable positive results as early as 10 to 14 days after ovulation, these tests, though, may not be able to detect a pregnancy until one week after a missed period. False negatives do occur, however. If you “just have a feeling” got to your doctor and have a blood test or a pelvic exam done.