16 early signs of pregnancy | HealthPartners Blog (2022)

You’ve got one question on your mind: Could I be pregnant?

A pregnancy test is the only way to know for sure. But if it’s too early to take a test, you may be on the lookout for early signs – or maybe you think you’re already experiencing some early pregnancy symptoms.

Is it too early to tell if you’re pregnant? What symptoms may be the earliest signs of pregnancy? Below, we answer those questions and more.

How early can you tell if you’re pregnant?

Again, you’ll need to take a pregnancy test at the right time to confirm your hopes or suspicions. But when it comes to the first symptoms of pregnancy, everyone is different. Some people start to notice changes within a week after conception. Others might not notice anything until they miss their period.

When should you take a pregnancy test?

It’s usually recommended that you take a pregnancy test after you’ve missed your period. This is because pregnancy tests measure the level of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) in your body, which is a hormone that starts to build up when you conceive. It can take around three to four weeks from the first day of your last period for there to be enough hCG in your body to show up on a test.

What are the first symptoms of pregnancy?

The most common sign of early pregnancy? A missed period.

Your menstrual cycle is your body’s way of preparing for a possible pregnancy each month. Part of that is the thickening of your uterine lining, which is where a fertilized egg would implant to begin a pregnancy.

If you’re not pregnant, your period is how your uterus sheds that extra lining. If you are pregnant, that lining stays put and you don’t get your normal flow. This is why a missed period is often the earliest sign of pregnancy.

Of course, a delayed or missed period doesn’t always mean you’re pregnant. If your body is under a lot of stress or you have a hormonal imbalance, you could be experiencing an irregular menstrual cycle.

What other symptoms can be early signs of pregnancy?

Every person – and every pregnancy – is different. So, if you are pregnant, you’ll likely experience a unique combination of common, not-so-common and sometimes overlapping symptoms. And, they may show up earlier or later than expected. Here are more than a dozen possible symptoms of early pregnancy.

1. Spotting or light bleeding

Many women are surprised to learn that spotting or light bleeding can be an early sign of pregnancy, but about one-third of women experience it. This is often called implantation bleeding because doctors believe it occurs as the fertilized egg attaches (or implants) itself into the uterine lining. This is different from bleeding that could occur from something like a miscarriage – which is usually heavier.

(Video) MY EARLY PREGNANCY SIGNS & SYMPTOMS (0-5 WEEKS) | HOW I KNEW I WAS PREGNANT BEFORE TESTING POSITIVE!

When does implantation bleeding occur?

Implantation bleeding typically occurs 10 to 14 days after conception, which is just before or right around the time your period is due. So, you may think you’ve gotten your period.

But implantation bleeding is a light flow, which may start and stop over a couple days. And while it can take on a range of colors, it’s more likely to be pink, brown or light red.

Your period, on the other hand, may start off light in flow and in color but after a couple days becomes heavier, changes to a crimson red color and lasts up to a week or so.

2. Lower abdominal pain or cramping

While cramps and lower-abdominal pain can signal a coming period, they can also be a sign of egg implantation.

What do implantation cramps feel like?

Implantation cramps can occur with or without spotting or bleeding, and may feel different from period cramps. For example, you might feel mild to moderate prickling, pulling or tingling that comes and goes over a few days.

But menstrual cramps can often feel like a throbbing or dull ache, and typically start a day or two before your period.

3. Higher basal body temperature

If you’ve been tracking your basal body temperature (BBT) to increase your chances of getting pregnant, you probably know that your BBT goes up slightly right after ovulation. If you’re pregnant, your temperature may remain elevated rather than dipping back down.

Of course, you could be running hot for other reasons, but if it lasts more than a few weeks, pregnancy may be the explanation.

(Video) My early Pregnancy symptoms / 16 and pregnant

4. Changes in cervical mucus

If you’ve already been checking your cervical mucus to figure out when you’re most fertile, here’s a reason to continue: In the first few weeks of pregnancy, the amount of cervical discharge may increase and become stickier and whiter.

5. Breast tenderness, swelling or tingling

When you’re pregnant, your body experiences big changes in hormones – specifically, increases in estrogen and progesterone – to support your growing baby. This change in hormones can contribute to many symptoms, including breast tenderness.

Oftentimes, increased breast tenderness, swelling or tingling start to become noticeable a few days before a missed period.

If you usually experience breast tenderness leading up to your period or shortly after it begins, pregnancy-related breast tenderness and swelling will likely be more intense than you’re used to and stick around. You may also experience nipple soreness.

6. Fatigue

Fatigue in early pregnancy is common, and some women might notice it before they know they’re pregnant. In fact, fatigue may set in as soon as one week after conception. This is thanks to those sudden changes in hormone levels, particularly increasing progesterone.

7. Frequent urination

If you’re making more trips to the bathroom than usual around the time your next period is due, it may be a sign of pregnancy.

Certainly, your drinking habits play a big role in how many times you pee in a day. However, pregnancy increases the amount of blood in your body, which gives your kidneys more fluid to filter and more waste to get rid of.

So if you’re pregnant, you may notice you’re peeing a lot more – a symptom that can start early on and (unfortunately) last throughout your pregnancy.

8. Nausea or vomiting

Morning sickness might be the most well-known of all pregnancy symptoms, taking the form of food aversion or nausea, and even vomiting for some. This symptom can set in as early as two weeks after conception, which is around the fourth week of pregnancy and right around the time you’d miss your period if you were pregnant.

But some may not experience nausea or vomiting at all. And despite its name, morning sickness can actually happen at any time of the day or night.

(Video) 17 Early Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy Before Missed Period | Getting Pregnant Naturally

9. Darkening areolas

When you’re pregnant, your areolas (the areas round your nipples) will likely grow and darken. Usually, these changes are gradual and continue throughout pregnancy. However, some women notice these changes really early on in combination with other symptoms.

10. Bloating or constipation

We all experience bloating or constipation from time to time, but both are quite common during pregnancy. Once again, those changing hormones are the culprit. They slow down digestion, which can cause a buildup of air in the gut and lead to constipation.

Early on, bloating or constipation may be mild and accompanied with other pregnancy symptoms. But – as a heads up – if you really are pregnant, these symptoms may stick around throughout your whole pregnancy.

11. Metallic taste in your mouth

Many women report a metallic taste in their mouth during pregnancy. Once again, hormones are to blame – specifically, estrogen.

Typically, this symptom (as well as changes in taste overall) is common in the first trimester but may occur at other times too – including before a missed period.

12. Sensitivity to smell

Many women report that sensitivity to smell was one of their first signs of pregnancy. In fact, as many as two-thirds of women become more sensitive or reactive to the smells around them during pregnancy.

And oftentimes, this heightened sense of smell can stick around through the first trimester or beyond, and contribute to other symptoms such as nausea, and food cravings or aversions.

13. Mood changes

From a stressful day at work to the natural wonders of your menstrual cycle, there are a lot of things that can affect your mood. But changes in mood are very common during pregnancy – and they may be especially noticeable early on as your body gets a sudden burst of estrogen and progesterone.

If you are pregnant, any mood changes you’re experiencing are likely coupled with other symptoms such as fatigue or nausea. You may feel more sensitive or weepy. Or perhaps your fuse is a little shorter and you’re more easily annoyed.

14. Headaches

Headaches are a part of life. They come with colds and allergies. They come with stress or fatigue, or when you cut down on caffeine to help prepare your body for pregnancy. But they can also come with pregnancy.

(Video) Symptoms of Pregnancy FIRST WEEKS! Signs to look out for/How I knew!

Headaches can happen thanks to the increasing blood volume and hormonal changes that occur in early pregnancy. You can also get headaches if you’re dehydrated as a result of nausea.

15. Dizziness

As blood flow increases during pregnancy, blood pressure can also decrease and lead to dizzy spells. Usually, dizziness is more of a second trimester symptom, but some women may notice it very early on, too.

16. Nasal congestion

A lot of people are shocked to learn that nasal congestion can be a pregnancy symptom. You may wonder if you’re coming down with something or your allergies are acting up. But if you’re noticing a stuffy or runny nose along with other pregnancy signs, you might be taking a pregnancy test in the near future.

The mucous membranes in the nose are also affected by hormones and increased blood flow throughout your body. This can cause blood vessels to swell, resulting in congestion and even sneezing.

Could you have early pregnancy symptoms and not be pregnant?

Yes. As we’ve mentioned, many early pregnancy symptoms can overlap with symptoms of other conditions, especially premenstrual symptoms. So, the best way to know if the symptoms you’re experiencing are pregnancy related is to try to relax and patiently wait until it’s time to take a pregnancy test.

When should you see a doctor about a new pregnancy?

If you’ve taken a pregnancy test and it’s positive, go ahead and make your first prenatal visit right away. This is also a great time to start looking into educational resources like the myHealthyPregnancy app.

At the first prenatal visit, you’ll get a physical exam and other tests to make sure everything is looking healthy, and you’ll learn about the rest of your prenatal appointment schedule. You’ll also get to talk through any expectations and questions you have, such as which foods to eat and avoid while pregnant.

Questions or concerns about your symptoms? Our 24/7 nurse line is free for our members and patients.

Positive pregnancy test? Schedule a visit.

FAQs

What are the absolute earliest pregnancy symptoms? ›

The most common early signs and symptoms of pregnancy might include:
  • Missed period. If you're in your childbearing years and a week or more has passed without the start of an expected menstrual cycle, you might be pregnant. ...
  • Tender, swollen breasts. ...
  • Nausea with or without vomiting. ...
  • Increased urination. ...
  • Fatigue.

Can you have zero early pregnancy symptoms? ›

It's possible to be pregnant and have no pregnancy symptoms, but it's uncommon. Half of all women have no symptoms by 5 weeks of pregnancy, but only 10 percent are 8 weeks pregnant with no symptoms.

Does everyone get early signs of pregnancy? ›

To start with, you may not have any symptoms at all. When the pregnancy hormone “human chorionic gonadotrophin” starts to kick in, you may experience early pregnancy symptoms. During your 1st trimester, which is up until week 12, you may experience: a missed period (often one of the first signs of pregnancy)

Do you feel wet in early pregnancy? ›

During early pregnancy, changes in cervical mucus can be subtle. There is usually an increase in the amount of cervical discharge. However, the change may be so slight that it may be barely noticeable. Early on in a pregnancy, you may feel more wetness in your underwear than usual.

How does your lower stomach feel in early pregnancy? ›

Lower abdominal pain is normal during pregnancy and is most common between 18 and 24 weeks. Your growing uterus is pulling and straining the muscles that support it. You may feel sharp pains or just a mild pulling sensation. It often occurs when you cough, sneeze, stand up, sit down, roll over, or during sex.

How soon after implantation does frequent urination occur? ›

You may have to urinate more frequently as early as two weeks after conception or right around the time of your first missed period. Along with tender breasts and morning sickness, frequent urination is considered an early sign of pregnancy and may prompt you to take a pregnancy test.

Why am I pregnant with no symptoms? ›

No symptoms.

For some women, the physical tip-offs of pregnancy, like weight gain, morning sickness, heartburn, or fatigue, don't happen. Or they're so mild that a woman just doesn't notice them. Depending on their body type, “it's reasonable for a woman to make it to 30 weeks without looking pregnant,” Cackovic says.

Can you be pregnant without sore boobs? ›

A: Every pregnancy has its unique symptoms. Just because you had sore breasts early on in your first pregnancy does not mean you will in your second or third pregnancy.

Can you be pregnant without sore nipples? ›

Many pregnant women experience breast changes, but plenty of others don't – and that's normal, too. It's not necessary for your breasts to grow bigger, leak, or feel sore to indicate that you're having a healthy pregnancy or that you're ready to breastfeed.

What does pregnancy fatigue feel like? ›

Women who usually need only 6 hours of sleep at night often find they need nearly double that during these first weeks of pregnancy. And for others, daytime tiredness is paired with trouble sleeping deeply or for more than a few hours at night. Nausea and vomiting can also be a big drain on your energy.

What should you not do before pregnancy test? ›

Don't drink too much water, or any liquid, before taking a pregnancy test. Excess fluids can impact the accuracy of the test results, so if your urine is diluted or pale yellow, hold off on taking a test. Diluted urine tends to also have diluted hCG levels which can skew the test results.

How soon will a pregnancy test read positive? ›

In many cases, you might get a positive from an at-home test as early as 10 days after conception. For a more accurate result, wait until after you've missed your period to take a test. Remember, if you take a test too soon it could be negative even if you are pregnant.

What kind of breast pain indicates pregnancy? ›

Breast changes

In the early stages of pregnancy, your breasts may feel more tingly, full and sore and your bra may not fit quite like it used to. Because this is linked to hormone changes in your body, it could also mean you are about to start your period.

Can pregnancy hide at the back? ›

The answer is yes, even if you've taken pregnancy tests and seen your doctor. Cryptic pregnancy is exactly what it sounds like — a seemingly mysterious pregnancy that goes unnoticed right up until labor begins. Sometimes called a “stealth pregnancy,” cryptic pregnancies often don't cause typical pregnancy symptoms.

Can I be pregnant with no discharge? ›

Some people notice a lot of discharge during early pregnancy. However, others might have little to no pregnancy discharge. Both are completely normal. We all have different bodies, and not everyone will produce pregnancy discharge.

When do pregnancy cramps start? ›

It occurs anywhere from six to 12 days after the egg is fertilized. The cramps resemble menstrual cramps, so some women mistake them and the bleeding for the start of their period.

Is your stomach hard or soft in early pregnancy? ›

How does a pregnant belly feel in early pregnancy? For most of your first trimester, you may not feel much, if any, difference in your belly. It will probably be soft and look a little bigger – similar to when you get bloated during your period or after you've eaten a large meal.

Where do you feel period cramps vs pregnancy cramps? ›

The core difference between PMS vs. pregnancy cramps is that the cramps during early pregnancy are not as severe as in PMS and also occur lower in the abdomen. Some women also report early pregnancy cramps in the lower back.

When do nipples start hurting when pregnant? ›

Breast pain is often the first symptom of pregnancy, occurring as early as one to two weeks after conception — technically, weeks three and four of pregnancy. That sore boob sensation peaks in the first trimester because your body is flooding with hormones.

Do you poop more when pregnant? ›

Sooo...is pooping a lot one of the signs of early pregnancy? Actually, this is a bit of a myth, says Temeka Zore, MD, a board-certified ob-gyn and reproductive endocrinologist at Spring Fertility. Pooping a lot isn't linked to the beginning of most pregnancies. In fact, constipation is more likely.

How long do your breasts stay sore in early pregnancy? ›

Breast tenderness is one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy, possibly starting very early around weeks 4 to 7 and lasting through the first trimester.

How can you tell if your pregnant with your fingers? ›

It's possible to check the position and firmness of your cervix at home. You can do this by inserting a finger into your vagina to feel for the cervix. Your middle finger may be the most effective finger to use because it's the longest, but use whichever finger is easiest for you.

What do pregnancy nipples look like? ›

The nipples and the area around the nipples (areola) become darker and larger. Small bumps may appear on the areola. These bumps will go away after you have your baby. You may notice a yellowish discharge, called colostrum, from your nipples as early as the 16th to 19th week.

Does no breast pain after ovulation means pregnant? ›

Changing hormone levels around ovulation may cause sore nipples or tender breasts. However, this is not necessarily a sign of ovulation or pregnancy. Everybody is different, and breast pain is not a reliable indicator of ovulation. People monitoring their fertility should look for other symptoms.

Where are pregnancy headaches located? ›

Migraine headaches are a common type of headache in pregnancy. These painful, throbbing headaches are usually felt on one side of the head and result from expansion of the blood vessels in the brain. The misery is sometimes accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light.

How much cramping is normal in early pregnancy? ›

“Early on in your pregnancy, it's natural to feel some mild cramping in your lower abdomen at infrequent times as your body prepares for your growing baby,” Dr. Nalla said. As your belly grows, so does your uterus. This may cause you to feel some slight pulling, tugging or stretching similar to menstrual cramps.

How do u know implantation is taking place? ›

Some women do notice signs and symptoms that implantation has occurred. Signs may include light bleeding, cramping, nausea, bloating, sore breasts, headaches, mood swings, and possibly a change in basal body temperature. But — and here's the frustrating part — many of these signs are very similar to PMS.

Can you be pregnant with no symptoms except missed period? ›

According to research in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 1 in 475 women may not realize they're pregnant until 20 weeks, and another 1 in 2,500 women only learn they're pregnant once they're in labor. It's not uncommon to have no pregnancy symptoms in the four to six weeks after your last period.

Do you get extra hungry in early pregnancy? ›

An increased appetite during pregnancy is very common. From early pregnancy, changes in your hormones can make you feel hungry at any time. Eating plenty of fibre-rich food and drinking lots of fluids during the day can help you feel fuller for longer.

How should you sleep during first trimester? ›

Early in your pregnancy, try to get into the habit of sleeping on your side. Lying on your side with your knees bent is likely to be the most comfortable position as your pregnancy progresses.

Do you get white creamy discharge early pregnancy? ›

When you're pregnant, it's normal to have more discharge than before. Healthy vaginal discharge is usually thin, clear or milky white, and should not smell unpleasant.

What is the first thing to do after a positive pregnancy test? ›

Get an ultrasound

The first thing you should do after a positive pregnancy test is to schedule an ultrasound. This will confirm the pregnancy in case the pregnancy test produced a false positive. If you are pregnant, it will also reveal important information about the pregnancy.

Which urine is best for pregnancy test? ›

In the early days of your pregnancy, when hCG levels are still increasing, your first morning urine will offer you the greatest chance of having sufficient hCG levels built up for a positive pregnancy test.

Is it better to pee on a pregnancy test or in a cup? ›

With HCG test strips, you'll want to pee in a cup and dip the test strip in the cup to get an accurate result. If you try to pee directly on the strip, the results may be blurry or invalid.

How do you know if you conceived after ovulation? ›

The earliest symptoms of pregnancy you may start to notice include:
  1. Cramps. The earlier days of pregnancy may include abdominal cramping. ...
  2. Spotting. This may be implantation bleeding and typically happens around 6 to 12 days after the egg gets fertilized. ...
  3. Nausea. ...
  4. Tender breasts.
29 Jul 2020

Can you feel pregnant after 2 days? ›

This is a difficult concept to grasp at first, and many people wonder if there are any symptoms during the first 72 hours of pregnancy. Again, because of the way pregnancy is calculated, you won't feel any symptoms of being pregnant during those first three days—or possibly three weeks.

What are the early signs of 2 weeks pregnancy? ›

Some early symptoms you might notice by week 2 that indicate you're pregnant include:
  • a missed period.
  • moodiness.
  • tender and swollen breasts.
  • nausea or vomiting.
  • increased urination.
  • fatigue.
28 Aug 2017

When do pregnancy cravings start? ›

If you do start having cravings, it'll probably be in your first trimester (it could be as early as 5 weeks into pregnancy). They'll get stronger in your second trimester, and then eventually stop in your third trimester. Cravings come in all shapes and sizes. Some women crave fatty foods like chips.

How soon do you get hungry when pregnant? ›

When does appetite generally increase during pregnancy? Some women notice that their appetite increases as soon as the first trimester of pregnancy. However most women feel a shift in their appetite during the second trimester, around the time morning sickness ends.

Videos

1. Signs of Pregnancy: The 15 Earliest (and Weirdest) Pregnancy Symptoms
(Mama Natural)
2. 2 Week Wait Symptoms: Pregnant vs. Not Pregnant | Kendra Atkins
(Kendra Atkins)
3. 16 Week Pregnancy Update | Symptoms + Baby Bump | ariellethalia
(Arielle Thalia)
4. Implantation and Early Pregnancy Symptoms: How Early Can You Take a Pregnancy Test?
(Natalie Crawford, MD)
5. Early Pregnancy Symptoms Before Missed Period
(Jenna Wicklund)
6. Pregnancy Two Weeks Wait SYMPTOMS 1 -6 DPO Leading To BFP Results | SuperPrincessjo
(SuperPrincessjo)

Top Articles

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Golda Nolan II

Last Updated: 12/28/2022

Views: 6491

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (58 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Golda Nolan II

Birthday: 1998-05-14

Address: Suite 369 9754 Roberts Pines, West Benitaburgh, NM 69180-7958

Phone: +522993866487

Job: Sales Executive

Hobby: Worldbuilding, Shopping, Quilting, Cooking, Homebrewing, Leather crafting, Pet

Introduction: My name is Golda Nolan II, I am a thoughtful, clever, cute, jolly, brave, powerful, splendid person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.