Am I Pregnant? Early Symptoms of Pregnancy & When To Test (2022)

What are common symptoms of pregnancy?

Everyone experiences different symptoms of pregnancy and at different times. It’s important not to compare your pregnancy to someone else’s because pregnancy symptoms can vary so dramatically.

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There are several signs of early pregnancy that you may or may not have. The most common symptoms include:

  • A missed period: The most common and obvious sign of pregnancy is a missed period. Once conception has happened, your body produces hormones that stop ovulation and the shedding of the lining of your uterus. This means that your menstrual cycle has stopped and you won’t have a period again until after your baby is born. But missing your period isn’t always a sign of pregnancy. You can also miss your period from stress, excessive exercise, dieting, hormone imbalances and other factors that might cause irregular periods.
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom: Before you even miss a period, you may notice that you have to pee more often. This happens because you have more blood than before. During pregnancy, your body’s blood supply increases. Your kidneys filter your blood and remove the extra waste. This waste leaves your body as pee. The more blood in your body, the more you’ll have to pee.
  • Fatigue (feeling tired): Many people feel extremely tired in early pregnancy. This sign of pregnancy happens because of high levels of the hormone progesterone. Similar to other early pregnancy symptoms, fatigue tends to get better in the second trimester (after week 13 of pregnancy). However, it does come back in the third trimester for many people.
  • Morning (and noon and night) sickness: Despite the name, this pregnancy symptom can happen at any time of the day or night. Nausea can happen as early as two weeks into a pregnancy. Not everyone experiences nausea and there are various levels of nausea. You can feel nausea but never vomit. About half of pregnant people vomit due to nausea. Though nausea during pregnancy is fairly normal, it can be a problem if you become dehydrated. People who can’t keep down food and fluids because of extreme nausea could have a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum. Contact your healthcare provider if you’re experiencing extreme nausea and dehydration.
  • Sore (and swollen) breasts: Your breasts can become tender to the touch during pregnancy. The soreness may be similar to the way your breasts feel before a period, only more so. Your areolas (the area around your nipple) might also begin to darken and enlarge. This soreness is temporary and fades once your body gets used to the increased hormones. You may also notice that your breasts have gotten larger and your bra is tighter than normal.

Remember, the only way to know for sure that you’re pregnant is to take a pregnancy test or have your healthcare provider perform an ultrasound.

What are some less common signs of early pregnancy?

There are some additional signs of early pregnancy that aren’t as common. Just like with the most common symptoms, these signs of pregnancy may or may not happen. It’s important to remember that everyone is different and experiences signs of pregnancy differently.

Less common signs of early pregnancy can include:

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  • Spotting (also called implantation bleeding): Though it may seem like a bad sign, light bleeding (spotting) can be a sign that an embryo has implanted in the lining of your uterus. Implantation takes place about 10 days after conception. Implantation bleeding looks like small drops of blood or a brownish discharge from your vagina. It can start around the time of your regular period and can last for a few days to a few weeks. Spotting can cause some people to think they have just had a light period and aren’t pregnant.
  • Food cravings, constant hunger and food aversions: Food can be complicated during early pregnancy. Some people begin to crave certain foods or feel constantly hungry. While some foods and flavors may seem wonderful in early pregnancy, others might suddenly taste unpleasant. Food aversions can happen throughout pregnancy, making you dislike things you previously enjoyed.
  • Metallic taste in your mouth: Many people say that they experience a metallic taste in their mouths during the early stages of pregnancy. It may taste like you have a pile of coins in your mouth. This can happen when you eat certain foods or randomly throughout the day.
  • Headaches and dizziness: Headaches and the feelings of lightheadedness and dizziness are common during early pregnancy. This happens because of both the hormonal changes in your body and your increasing blood volume.
  • Cramping: You can also experience mild, period-like cramps that come and go over a few days. If these cramps are felt mainly on one side of your body or are severe, it’s important to contact your healthcare provider immediately. This could be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy or other complication.
  • Mood swings: As your hormones continue to change, you could experience mood swings. This is normal and can happen throughout pregnancy. However, if you ever feel anxious, depressed or have thoughts of harming yourself, it’s important to reach out to your healthcare provider.
  • Congestion: Some people experience a stuffy nose in early pregnancy due to the increase in hormone levels and blood. The mucous membranes in your nose become dry and are more likely to bleed.
  • Bloating: While it may take several weeks or months to have a noticeable baby bump, the surge of hormones can cause your stomach to feel bloated and lead to passing gas more than usual.
  • Acne or skin changes: Your increased hormones and blood volume are to blame for any skin changes you experience. While some people get a pregnancy glow and clearer skin during pregnancy, others may get more pimples.

How early do pregnancy symptoms start?

It varies. Some people feel pregnant within a few days of conception, while other people don’t feel pregnant for weeks after a positive pregnancy test. Pregnancy symptoms vary between people and even between pregnancies.

Can you feel pregnant before you miss your period?

Yes, you can feel pregnant before you miss your period. Some people say they’ve felt pregnancy symptoms within a week of conception (about one week before a missed period).

Could I have the symptoms of early pregnancy and not be pregnant?

Many of the symptoms of early pregnancy overlap with other medical conditions, as well as your typical menstrual cycle. Premenstrual symptoms can be very similar to pregnancy symptoms. This can make it difficult to tell the difference. You can also miss a period and not be pregnant. This can happen when you lose or gain a lot of weight or are stressed. Breastfeeding can also cause your period to stop.

The best way to know you’re pregnant is to take a pregnancy test. Pregnancy tests are available at your local pharmacy or grocery store without a prescription.

(Video) Earliest Signs Of Pregnancy (that you didn't know about!) Pregnancy Symptoms BEFORE MISSED PERIOD!

How soon can I take a pregnancy test?

Pregnancy tests work by detecting a certain level of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) in your pee. You can take a pregnancy test as soon as you’ve missed your period. However, it’s best to wait at least one week after you’ve missed your period to get the most accurate results. While some tests claim to give you accurate results before a missed period, taking a test too soon can result in a false negative (the test says you aren’t pregnant, but you are).

Your healthcare provider can take a blood sample to test for pregnancy as early as one week before a missed period.

When should I call my doctor about a new pregnancy?

If you’ve missed your period and gotten a positive pregnancy test, your next step will be to call your healthcare provider for your first appointment. While scheduling, your provider may ask if you have already started taking a prenatal vitamin containing folic acid. Prenatal vitamins are important in early pregnancy because they help in the development of the fetal neural tube. The neural tube will become your baby’s brain and spine. Many healthcare providers recommend that anyone who could become pregnant take folic acid at all times.

If you’re planning a pregnancy, a preconception appointment with your healthcare provider is a good place to start. A preconception appointment is especially important if you take medication for a chronic illness or have other medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure or lupus.

(Video) Early Pregnancy Symptoms at 10 Days Past Ovulation

During this appointment, your provider will discuss any current medical conditions, as well as your general health before pregnancy. This appointment is meant to get you into the best place for a new pregnancy.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Everyone experiences pregnancy differently. Things like missing your period, sore or tender breasts, feeling more tired and nausea (morning sickness) are common symptoms of early pregnancy. Some people have symptoms of pregnancy before they miss their period. Take an at-home pregnancy test if you think you might be pregnant. They’re available at most grocery stores and are highly accurate when used correctly. Call your healthcare provider if you get a positive result. Early prenatal care is important and ensures you and the fetus are healthy.

FAQs

How do I know if I'm pregnant but too early to test? ›

You should wait to take a pregnancy test until the week after your missed period for the most accurate result. If you don't want to wait until you've missed your period, you should wait at least one to two weeks after you had sex. If you are pregnant, your body needs time to develop detectable levels of HCG.

How long after you think you got pregnant should you test? ›

When you can do a pregnancy test. You can carry out most pregnancy tests from the first day of a missed period. If you don't know when your next period is due, do the test at least 21 days after you last had unprotected sex. Some very sensitive pregnancy tests can be used even before you miss a period.

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 long does it take for hCG to show up in urine? ›

hCG is a hormone produced by your placenta when you are pregnant. It appears shortly after the embryo attaches to the wall of the uterus. If you are pregnant, this hormone increases very rapidly. If you have a 28 day menstrual cycle, you can detect hCG in your urine 12-15 days after ovulation.

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 long after symptoms should you test positive? ›

Key times to get tested: If you have symptoms, test immediately. If you were exposed to COVID-19 and do not have symptoms, wait at least 5 full days after your exposure before testing. If you test too early, you may be more likely to get an inaccurate result.

What triggers positive pregnancy test? ›

After an embryo implants , it begins to secrete human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), the pregnancy hormone. HCG is produced by the cells surrounding a growing embryo. The presence of hCG triggers a positive test result.

What to do while you wait to take a pregnancy test? ›

There is no harm in waiting even though some pregnancy tests can now detect a pregnancy before your missed period.
...
Move your body through your emotions.
  • Dancing.
  • Walking.
  • Exercise.
  • Yoga.
  • Physical closeness with a loved one.
  • Laughter.
  • Creative activities.
  • Crying or screaming.
9 Nov 2021

Can too much pee on a pregnancy test make it negative? ›

Yes! Drinking too much water — or any liquid — can affect a pregnancy test. The hormone hCG is more concentrated in your urine first thing in the morning. If you haven't missed your period yet, your hCG level may not be high enough to be detected in more diluted urine.

How high does hCG have to be to get a positive pregnancy test? ›

Pregnancy blood tests can detect hCG hormone levels as low as 5 to 10 mIU/mL. Urine tests. At-home urine tests require higher levels of hCG to detect a pregnancy, typically at least 20 mIU/mL.

What kind of cramps indicate 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.

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.

What pains are normal in early pregnancy? ›

Cramps, a bit like period pains, are very common in early pregnancy. These are usually caused by changes in your hormones and by your growing womb. Sometimes stomach pains in early pregnancy can be a sign of something more serious such as: ectopic pregnancy.

When can I come out of isolation? ›

If you have COVID-19, you can pass on the virus to other people for up to 10 days from when your infection starts. Many people will no longer be infectious to others after 5 days. You should: try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days.

Am I still contagious after 10 days if I still have symptoms? ›

When do you stop being contagious if you have COVID-19? It depends. If you have a mild illness and your symptoms are getting better, you're probably not contagious after 10 days. If you have a severe illness or a weakened immune system, you can be contagious for up to 3 weeks.

What is PCR test? ›

What is a PCR test? PCR means polymerase chain reaction. It's a test to detect genetic material from a specific organism, such as a virus. The test detects the presence of a virus if you have the virus at the time of the test. The test could also detect fragments of the virus even after you are no longer infected.

Should I hold my pee before taking a pregnancy test? ›

Use First-Morning Urine

This makes it more likely to get an accurate test reading. 1 If you're worried you'll forget to collect it when you first get up, close the lid to your toilet and set the pregnancy ​test on top. Some say that if you hold your urine for more than four hours it is the same as first-morning urine.

Can I drink a glass of water before a pregnancy test? ›

Yes, it's important not to drink too much of any liquid including water or alcohol before you take a pregnancy test. It's better to wait until you naturally need to pass urine. This way, you'll avoid diluting your level of pregnancy hormone and getting a false 'Not Pregnant' result.

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

Should I dip my home pregnancy test in urine, or pee on it? Most tests allow you to either place the absorbent tip in your urine stream for (usually) five seconds or dip the tip in a collected urine sample for five to 20 seconds. Accuracy is not dependent on the method as long as you follow the instructions.

Can I save my morning pee for a pregnancy test? ›

First morning urine samples will normally contain the highest levels of hCG. C. If not tested immediately, urine may be stored at room temperature (59-86oF or 15-30o C) or 8 hours refrigerated at 36─46oF (2─8oC) for up to 3 days. Samples must be brought to room temperature before testing.

Videos

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2. Implantation and Early Pregnancy Symptoms: How Early Can You Take a Pregnancy Test?
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4. 20 SIGNS I WAS PREGNANT: Early Pregnancy Symptoms & How I Knew I Was Pregnant BEFORE A Positive Test
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