Early Signs of Pregnancy in Week Four

In your fourth week of pregnancy you may have already missed your period and may have taken a home pregnancy test. Symptoms of pregnancy can occur as early as 1 to 2 weeks following conception. At four weeks pregnant your baby is an embryo the size of a poppy seed, consisting of two layers: the epiblast and the hypoblast, from which all of her organs and body parts will develop, states Baby Center. Not all women experience the same symptoms at the same time. Symptoms can also vary from those of a subsequent pregnancy. In week four you may already be experiencing signs of pregnancy.

Breast Tenderness and Changes

You may experience breast tenderness in week four of pregnancy. Your breasts may feel tender, sore and swollen. It may be similar to the way your breasts feel prior to your menstrual period. This is due to the rising hormones of pregnancy. You may also notice changes in the way your breasts look. The areola can appear darker and larger. Small glands on the surface of the areolas called Montgomery’s tubercles become raised bumps during pregnancy, states the American Pregnancy Association. The appearance of blue colored veins on breast tissue can also appear as blood flow to the breasts is increased. Wearing a supportive bra and using warm compresses may help alleviate breast discomfort.

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting (also known as morning sickness) is a common sign of pregnancy in week four. Nausea seems to stem at least in part from rapidly rising levels of estrogen, which causes the stomach to empty more slowly, reports Mayo Clinic. You may also develop a sensitivity to certain odors and experience food cravings. For most women, morning sickness will diminish after the first trimester. Some women may go on to experience nausea and vomiting throughout their entire pregnancy. If you are suffering from severe vomiting contact your obstetrician. You may be at risk for dehydration and should be closely monitored by your physician.

Implantation Bleeding and Cramping

Early in week four you may experience implantation bleeding and mild cramping. This bleeding occurs as the embryo implants itself into the wall of the uterus. Implantation bleeding is usually lighter in color and flow and shorter in duration that a menstrual period. You can experience mild cramping during this time and throughout the first trimester as the uterus begins to stretch to accommodate the pregnancy.

Headache and Fatigue

You may experience headache and fatigue during the fourth week of your pregnancy. Headache and fatigue are thought to occur due to the rising levels of the hormone progesterone. You may feel more tired and sleepy than usual, and require additional sleep. Headache and fatigue usually diminish after the first trimester as your placenta begins to function.

About this Author

Laura Candelaria is a family nurse practitioner and assistant professor of nursing and nutritional science. Her experience includes neonatal and pediatric intensive-care, women’s oncology, gynecology, obstetrics, lactation, nutrition, and infertility. She has been published in “Nursing Spectrum,” “Newsday,” and LIVESTRONG Health.