Pregnancy is measured in weeks and begins with the first day of the woman's menstrual cycle for the month in which she conceives. Conception occurs around 14 days later, which means that the day a woman conceives, she is already two weeks pregnant according to the way doctors measure. Many women do not notice any symptoms or signs of pregnancy until at least two to four weeks later, but some women notice changes in their bodies immediately, the first week after conception. This is called week three of pregnancy by doctors, but it is the first week that the woman is actually pregnant.
Spotting During Early Pregnancy
At the end of the first week after conception, a woman may notice some spotting. When she wipes after using the bathroom, there may be a few bright red or dark brown drops of blood on her toilet paper. At this point the woman does not even know she is pregnant because a home pregnancy test will not show a positive sign for at least another week.
Spotting can be a sign of miscarriage but in this first week after conception it is usually something called implantation bleeding. Implantation bleeding occurs when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus. When this happens, some of that lining can dislodge, causing some slight vaginal bleeding for the woman. Many women who are trying to conceive take this bleeding as a sure sign that they are pregnant long before a pregnancy test will show results.
Exhaustion and Morning Sickness
Some women feel exhausted immediately after conception. Many women notice that they are tired and achy. If the woman was not trying to get pregnant, she will normally write off the exhaustion as a touch of the flu or she might say "I think I am coming down with something." The symptoms of early pregnancy are similar to the way a person feels the day before getting a really bad flu. Morning sickness is another symptom that can begin as early as the first week of pregnancy. Many women notice that they feel queasy almost instantly. Some woman begin to have trouble keeping food down before they even know for sure that they are pregnant.
Other Signs of Early Pregnancy
There are other sings of early pregnancy, although they are harder to notice. Sore breasts, for example, can be a sign. A woman may notice that her breasts feel fuller and heavier. They may also be tender if touched. Because this is normal for many women towards the end of the menstrual cycle, some women do not realize it is a sign of pregnancy. In addition, a woman who charts her cycles by taking her basal body temperature will notice that her temperatures stay up, rather than dropping the way they normally do during the second half of the month.
Home Pregnancy Test
Home pregnancy tests work by measuring the amount of pregnancy hormone in a woman's urine. Normally there is not enough of this hormone in the woman's urine to register on a home pregnancy test until the end of the second week after conception, or around the time that the woman is expecting her period to begin. Some women, however, find that a pregnancy test will show a positive at only one week after conception because they simply begin producing pregnancy hormones more quickly than most. A negative pregnancy test one week after conception does not, however, mean that a woman is not pregnant. It may simply mean that there is not enough pregnancy hormone in the urine to show up on a test. Waiting another five to 10 days before testing again will usually result in a positive test if the woman is, in fact, pregnant.
No Pregnancy Symptoms
While there are signs and symptoms of pregnancy as early as the first week, it is just as normal to have no symptoms at all. Many women do not have any symptoms of pregnancy until after they have a missed period and take a home pregnancy test. Most women do not notice any symptoms of pregnancy for many weeks after that. In rare cases, some women never have any signs of pregnancy at all. Not having any signs or symptoms does not mean the pregnancy is not healthy. Some women worry that if they are not suffering from multiple symptoms, the baby is not healthy and the pregnancy is going to end in miscarriage. This is not true at all; many women have easy pregnancies with few symptoms and go on to give birth to healthy babies.