What are the Most Common Early Signs of Pregnancy?
Early pregnancy is marked by significant changes in your body as it adjusts and prepares to nurture a new, growing baby. Hormonal fluctuations caused by pregnancy hormones like hCG and progesterone are the main culprits behind the common symptoms experienced during pregnancy. These hormones directly impact the way your body functions, resulting in physical and emotional changes.
- Missed period (amenorrhea) – For women who have regular menstrual cycles, if your period is one week late or more, you might be pregnant. This pregnancy symptom is not a reliable sign of pregnancy if you have irregular cycles.
- Tender or swollen breasts – In early pregnancy, the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin are elevated and often make the breasts/nipples sore due to tissue swelling.
- Nausea with or without vomiting – Morning sickness or all day sickness usually begins 1-2 months after conception. Some women never feel nauseated, while some women struggle with it their entire pregnancy. The cause of this nausea isn’t clear, but it may be caused by pregnancy hormones.
- Increased urination – Due to the increased amount of blood in your body during pregnancy, your kidneys will have to process extra fluid that ends up as urine in your bladder, leading to more frequent urination.
- Fatigue – Fatigue is a very common early symptom of pregnancy. A rapid rise in progesterone may contribute to this fatigue. Your body is now supporting two lives, taking more energy.
- Moodiness – Mood swings including being emotional and weepy are common due to the rush of hormones in early pregnancy.
- Bloating – These hormonal changes can also make you feel bloated like you may feel at the start of a menstrual period.
- Light spotting – Spotting can be caused by implantation bleeding and happens when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus, about 2 weeks after conception. Not all women experience this spotting.
- Mild cramping – Mild, period-like cramps can be normal in early pregnancy.
- Constipation – Your digestive system can slow down due to hormonal changes, leading to constipation. The iron in your prenatal vitamin can also contribute to this.
- Food aversions – During pregnancy, your sense of smell and taste may be heightened. Foods you usually enjoy might not be appealing, and you may be more sensitive to certain odors. Hormonal changes are the cause of these changes and most other symptoms of pregnancy.
- Nasal congestion – A stuffy or runny nose is not uncommon due to increased blood production during pregnancy. The mucous membranes in your nose may swell and be congested or dry out and bleed easily.
Find out for sure if you’re really pregnant and how far along you are.
Pregnancy Symptom FAQs
Pregnancy Symptom FAQs
A missed period is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. Although it’s not always the most reliable indicator, as periods can sometimes be irregular, it’s one of the most common early signs that you may be pregnant. You may experience some of the other symptoms, such as fatigue or nausea around the same time. When these pregnancy symptoms start can vary for each woman (and each pregnancy).
I’m experiencing some weird early pregnancy symptoms...is this normal?
Each pregnancy is different and not all pregnant women will experience all symptoms listed above. You may even find yourself experiencing symptoms that are more “uncommon” and seem a bit strange. Pregnancy requires a lot of change to your body as it cares for your growing baby and prepares for labor and it’s common for some of those changes to be a little “weird”.
However, if you are concerned with some of the symptoms you are experiencing, it’s best to check in with a medical professional.
Do women often experience cold symptoms in early pregnancy?
Some cold symptoms in early pregnancy can be common (such as nasal congestion). Pregnancy can cause inflammation to the mucous membranes lining your nose and also increased blood flow in your nasal passages. This can sometimes cause symptoms that may mimic a cold.
Do early pregnancy symptoms come and go?
As your hormones are fluctuating and your body is changing, it is certainly common for early pregnancy symptoms to “come and go”. It is also quite common for pregnancy symptoms, such as morning sickness, to ease up a bit as you progress from the first trimester to the second trimester as well.
I have early signs of pregnancy on birth control. What should I do?
While there are many options of reliable birth control, abstinence is the only birth control that will 100% prevent pregnancy. If you are on birth control, have recently had unprotected sex, and believe you could be pregnant, you certainly could be. You’ll want to take a pregnancy test to confirm.
First Care Women’s Health offers free pregnancy testing to help you know for certain.
How early can nausea start after conception?
Some signs and symptoms of pregnancy can start as soon as conception occurs. For some women, these early symptoms can appear within days after conception while for others they may take weeks.
Not Sure if You’re Pregnant?
If you find yourself experiencing early pregnancy symptoms, and think you might be pregnant, the professionals at First Care Women’s Health are here to support you.
We offer free, confidential, lab-quality pregnancy testing as well as a free ultrasound to confirm pregnancy and viability (no insurance necessary).