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Symptoms of pregnancy after sex: What to look out for in the weeks after

The symptoms of pregnancy after sex can be confusing. Maybe you’ve had unprotected sex, you’ve missed your period, or you just feel off. We get it. Conception and fertility aren’t always straightforward. Knowing a little more about them can help you understand pregnancy.

Cleveland Clinic, Conception

Let’s have a chat about something important – the process of becoming pregnant. We know it might be a lot to take in right now, but let’s take it step by step.

Your fertility cycle

So you might have heard about how our bodies work in cycles.

Your period comes in a rhythm, along with your period symptoms. Many women expect their periods to come around the same amount of days apart, and expect similar symptoms every time. 

When it comes to getting pregnant, timing is important. Your body goes through something called a fertility cycle. Your ovaries store hundreds of thousands of eggs. Every month, an egg is released from your ovary (if you experience typical fertility patterns). This happens during ovulation, which occurs between your monthly periods. If the egg isn’t met by a sperm, the egg is broken down and you have your period. 

However, the egg can connect with a sperm if they’re together at the right time. If you’re wondering about the symptoms of pregnancy after sex, it might be because you’ve had unprotected sex. Unprotected sex can lead to sperm entering your body and meeting with one of your eggs. 

When this happens, there’s a chance that the sperm can fertilize the egg, and you can become pregnant. You might not feel any different for a while, or you might start to feel different within a few days.

Mayo Clinic, Menstrual Cycles: What’s Normal, What’s Not?

How long does it take to find out?

After you have sex, it might take a little while to find out if you’re pregnant. Even if the egg and sperm meet, it takes some time for the body to realize it. This can be around 6 to 14 days. So, if you take a pregnancy test too early, it might not show accurate results. Pregnancy tests can bring up anxiety and strong emotions, especially if you’re getting mixed results. It’s good to wait until after you miss your period before taking a pregnancy test. If you decide to take a pregnancy test from the store, make sure to read the directions on the best time to take the test. Or you can call us at Thrive+ to speak to someone who can help you determine when to take a test and/or make an appointment with one of our nurses

Cleveland Clinic, Pregnancy Tests

Taking a pregnancy test can feel scary to some people. Having an ultrasound can actually confirm if you’re pregnant or not — even early in a pregnancy.

If you’d like someone to be with you for your pregnancy test, our team of nurses at Thrive+ would be happy to support you for that. You can talk about the symptoms of pregnancy after sex and learn about the resources available to you. You’re welcome to get a no-cost pregnancy test.

Pregnancy symptoms after sex: bleeding

Sometimes, after sex, a person might experience some bleeding. This can happen because the tissues are sensitive and might get a little irritated. This is typically normal. But if you’re experiencing a lot of bleeding that continues, you should see your doctor. 

There’s something called implantation bleeding, which is a bit different. Implantation bleeding is when a fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus, some spotting might occur. Implantation bleeding doesn’t happen right away. It usually happens 6-12 days after sex, but can vary from person to person.  It’s usually lighter than a regular period and doesn’t last as long. It doesn’t mean you’re having a medical emergency, but it’s a good idea to make an appointment and talk to a nurse.

Speaking of periods, let’s talk about them too. Period bleeding is the normal shedding of the uterus lining. It’s different from implantation bleeding because it’s usually heavier and lasts for a few days. If you experience period-like bleeding, it might mean you’re not pregnant. But if you’re unsure, taking a pregnancy test can help clear things up. Contact your doctor anytime you experience vaginal bleeding which is not normal for you.

Cleveland Clinic, Implantation Bleeding

Early symptoms of pregnancy

Now, about early pregnancy symptoms after sex – they can be quite different for each person. Some women might start feeling a bit more tired than usual. Others say that they just feel off, or weird. You might start to feel nauseous after a few weeks. Many women start to notice changes in their breasts. They might become tender or sore.

You might also experience some mild cramping, kind of like period cramps, but different. These symptoms can show up about a week or two after you’ve had sex. If you start having intense pain, see your doctor to make sure you aren’t having a medical emergency. Keep in mind that having only one of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you’re pregnant.  

Read about these pregnancy symptoms in more detail to learn why we experience them.

Mayo Clinic, Symptoms of pregnancy, what happens first

Everyone’s body is unique. These signs might not be the same for you. If you think you might be pregnant or have any concerns, it’s always a good idea to talk to a doctor. They’re experts and can provide the best advice based on your situation.


Mayo Clinic, Symptoms of pregnancy, what happens first

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