A home pregnancy test gives you the most reliable results if you wait for the first day of your missed period. But there are also some uncommon pregnancy symptoms, and some of them can start as early as one week after conception. Sure, some of them sound like old wives tales. Like the one that starts with a metallic taste in your mouth. Seriously? And you certainly wouldn’t want to pin all your hopes on these symptoms (or all your fears). But from utter exhaustion to turning into a super sweating machine, there are a handful of intriguing signs that you might be pregnant. Here are a few of the oddest early pregnancy indicators:
The taste of metal
This uncommon pregnancy symptom is one of the most recognizable, because hey, usually a woman can tell she didn’t just eat stainless steel for dinner. The phenomenon even has a name, “dysgeusia.” It results from the increased amounts of the hormones, estrogen and progesterone, that your body starts producing once you conceive. The metallic taste can appear early in pregnancy and occur even if you haven’t eaten recently. One safe way to get the taste out of your mouth is to consume acids like orange juice or salads with vinegar-based dressings.
An uncommonly persistent head cold
You may not realize you’re pregnant yet, but your blood volume may already be increasing in response to conception. That, along with those same pregnancy hormones that cause odd tastes in your mouth, can dry your mucous membranes. In turn, your body is duped into thinking it needs to produce more moisture, so pregnant you might have a heck of a head cold and post-nasal drip. While it’s a weird symptom of pregnancy, it’s one to be cautious with. If you are pregnant, you probably don’t want to take the typical OTC allergy or cold medicines. So if you’re trying to conceive or even think you could be pregnant, combat this symptom with a humidifier or saline nasal drops.
Belly button pain
If Dr. Robyn Horsager-Beohrer didn’t bring this up on the UT Southwestern Medical Center blog, it would be easy to dismiss pain in the belly button region as a pregnancy myth. But the OB-GYN shared that many of her patients complain of this symptom, with pain so intense they can’t stand a transducer touching that spot during an ultrasound. “There’s no one reason for this pain, but it’s usually due to the changes your body is going through,” she explained on the hospital’s website. “Your skin and muscles are stretching and your uterus may be pressing up against the belly button. In fact, as your uterus grows, you may find one day that your ‘innie’ belly button is now an ‘outie’! Don’t worry, you’ll become an ‘innie’ again about six weeks after delivery.”
Sweat and more sweat
There’s no guarantee this is what’s going on, but sweating a lot can be an early symptom that you’ll be sweating as you deliver in about nine months. That’s because your body increases its metabolism quite quickly sometimes when you conceive. It’s responding to its need to pump more blood, but you’ll mostly notice that you sweat profusely. Could it be an early sign of pregnancy? In a few weeks, if you don’t miss a period or have a positive home pregnancy test, head to the doctor to rule out other ailments that could cause sweats.
Ideally, if you’re trying to conceive you’ve already prepared for a healthy pregnancy by curtailing your alcohol consumption. But if you’re pregnant, you may still be feeling lightheaded. Even in the very early stages, pregnancy will start dilating your blood vessels and can make your blood pressure drop. That means you can have symptoms like feeling that you might pass out at any second. These dizzy spells are normal, but if you don’t think you might be pregnant or you have other symptoms, seek medical advice for any indications of low blood pressure.
Certain stuff smells bad
Women who have recently been pregnant may nod knowingly when a colleague or friend starts remarking on certain smells. Just like a change in taste, your body’s amped-up estrogen production during pregnancy can heighten your olfactory reactions. In simple terms, the oddest things now smell really bad and can make you feel ill for hours after a good whiff. A few of the top culprits include alcohol, coffee, perfume, and hard-boiled eggs. The scent of aged cheese might start really bothering you, too, smelling more like dirty socks. And if you’re around someone with dirty socks or smelly shoes, that can create the same retching sensation. Once you’ve confirmed your pregnancy, you have every reason to stay out of middle-school locker rooms.
You’re getting sleepy…
This uncommon pregnancy symptom can make you feel like you’re constantly being hypnotized. Exhaustion is one way your body lets you know that conception has taken place. This shouldn’t be confused with that “binge-watched a little extra television last night” type of fatigue. It’s more like a “fall asleep with your face on your dinner plate” sensation. This exhaustion is most common during the early months of pregnancy, abating in the second trimester. “During early pregnancy, hormonal changes are likely the cause of fatigue,” the American Pregnancy Association website explained. “Your body is producing more blood to carry nutrients to your growing baby. Your blood sugar levels and blood pressure are also lower. Hormones especially increased progesterone levels, are responsible for making you sleepy.”
But here’s the nice thing about that: If you are pregnant, you’ll need your rest. This hormonal exhaustion will make it impossible to ignore your body’s need to sleep–even if your mind hasn’t realized you’re pregnant yet.