Pregnant With No Pregnancy Symptoms?

Lack of Symptoms Versus Disappearance of Symptoms

Happy pregnant woman
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It is not uncommon to think about pregnancy as an endless onslaught of symptoms ranging from morning sickness and heartburn to food cravings and breast tenderness. While many women do experience these and other symptoms, there are those who never feel particularly ill during the entire course of their pregnancy.

But does this necessarily mean that everything is okay? Or should the lack of symptoms be more a cause for concern than celebration?

Frequency and Severity of Symptoms

Just as the types of pregnancy symptoms can vary from woman to woman, so, too, can their severity. In the end, pregnancy is simply an individual experience with its ​own feature and challenges. As such, neither the type nor severity of symptoms can ever be considered more or less "normal” than the other. 

The same applies to the frequency of symptoms. From day to day and week to week, what you experience can change frequently. There will be days when you may experience cramping or frequent urination and others when you’ll have constipation or mood swings. There may even be days when you feel perfectly fine with no symptoms at all.

If present, most pregnancy symptoms will begin on or around the fourth week of pregnancy. Some of the more overt physical manifestations (such as acne, weight gain, and breast and nipple change) tend to occur between the ninth and eleventh weeks.

By the second trimester, many of the more profound symptoms of pregnancy will begin to subside. while others will continue right up until the moment of delivery.

Complete Absence of Pregnancy Symptoms

An impromptu search of the internet will reveal a plethora of postings from women who have reported no symptoms during part of all of the first trimester.

Many seem clearly elated by this. Others feel just the opposite, often worrying if this is a sign of a less healthy baby or a pregnancy that may end in miscarriage.

Most of these fears are unfounded. There is currently no evidence to suggest that the lack of symptoms places the baby at any risk of either low birth weight, preterm birth, or spontaneous miscarriage. 

There are, however, two situations that warrant concern. Both relate not so much to the absence of symptoms but rather a change in symptoms that occur suddenly and without explanation:

  • Chief among these are changes in fetal movement. Any decrease in movement, or a complete cessation of movement, may be the sign of an impending pregnancy loss. While some symptoms tend to decrease as the pregnancy progresses, the movement of your baby should not. There may be days when your baby will be quieter, but if movement suddenly stops (or shifts from a lot of activity to a little), you should see your doctor immediately and have it checked out.
  • Just as worrisome is the sudden disappearance of symptoms. We’re not referring to women who have had no symptoms of pregnancy. Rather, we’re concerned about those who have had symptoms and now suddenly have none. The sudden cessation may be the sign of a miscarriage and developmental problem, especially during the first trimester. Even if there are no other symptoms of miscarriage, it is important to have it checked out as soon as possible.

    Source:

    Gabbe, S.; Niebyl, J.; Simpson, J. et al. (2017) Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies (Seventh Edition). Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Saunders/Elsevier.

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