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Early Pregnancy: Pregnancy Services at UPMC in Central Pa.

When you are trying to conceive, you may experience a number of emotions while waiting to find out if you are pregnant. You may feel anxious, afraid, excited and nervous. You might also feel confused, since some of the symptoms of early pregnancy are often similar to symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

A number of signs and symptoms indicate early pregnancy, including:

  • Spotting and cramping. A few days after conception, the fertilized egg attaches to the wall of your uterus, a process that can cause spotting and cramping. The cramps can be barely noticeable or can resemble menstrual cramps. Some women mistake cramps and spotting for the start of their periods.
  • White, milky vaginal discharge. Almost immediately after conception, your vagina's walls start to thicken, which can cause a white, milky discharge that may continue throughout your pregnancy. The discharge is typically harmless. If the discharge is accompanied by a smell or a burning or itching sensation, contact your physician immediately.
  • Breast changes. Hormone levels change rapidly after conception, which may cause your breasts to become swollen, sore or tingly. Your breasts may feel heavier, fuller or tender to the touch, and the areola, or the area around your nipples, may darken. Breast changes typically occur one to two weeks after conception.
  • Fatigue. You may start feeling unusually tired as early as one week after conceiving. This fatigue is often related to a high level of a hormone called progesterone as well as other pregnancy-related changes, such as lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure and a boost in blood production.
  • Nausea. Hormone levels can slow the emptying of the stomach, which can cause nausea, or morning sickness. Although the name suggests that morning sickness is limited to the morning, it can occur at any time during the day. You may also experience cravings and food aversions that can last for your entire pregnancy. Nausea, however, usually subsides in the second trimester.
  • Missed period. The most obvious early symptom of pregnancy and the one that prompts most women to take a pregnancy test is a missed period. Even this symptom can be misleading, however, because not all missed or delayed periods are caused by pregnancy.

Other symptoms can include frequent urination, constipation, mood swings, dizziness and fainting. Because the symptoms of early pregnancy vary widely from person to person, you may experience only one or two, or you may experience several.

If you think you may be pregnant, or if your early-pregnancy symptoms become bothersome, contact your physician. UPMC Pinnacle's expert obstetricians and gynecologists are accepting new patients and offer appointments and pregnancy verification services.

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Learn more about the Prenatal and Maternity Services at UPMC in Central Pa.  


Maternal Fetal Medicine
Located at PinnacleHealth Alex Grass Medical Sciences Building
100 South 2nd Street
Suite 4B
Harrisburg, PA 17101

Phone: 717-231-8472
Fax: 717-231-8490

PinnacleHealth Obstetrics and Gynecology Specialists
1 Trinity Drive East
Suite 110
Dillsburg, PA 17019

Phone: 717-432-3245
Fax: 717-703-5748

PinnacleHealth Obstetrics and Gynecology Specialists
Located at PinnacleHealth Alex Grass Medical Sciences Building
100 South 2nd Street
Suite 4A
Harrisburg, PA 17101

Phone: 717-231-8341
Fax: 717-231-8705

UPMC Pinnacle Obstetrics and Gynecology Specialists
Located at Commerce Park Professional Center
20 Expedition Trail
Suite 203
Gettysburg, PA 17325

Phone: 717-637-7755
Fax: 717-646-1991

UPMC Pinnacle Obstetrics and Gynecology Specialists
20 North Street
Hanover, PA 17331

Phone: 717-637-7755 

PinnacleHealth Women's Outpatient Center
Located at Community Care
2645 North 3rd Street
4th floor
Harrisburg, PA 17110

Phone: 717-782-4700
Fax: 717-782-4710

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