Early Signs of Pregnancy

A woman is holding a home pregnancy test to her abdomen.Do you know the early signs of pregnancy? You could be pregnant and not know it yet.

Missing your menstrual period (or two or more periods in a row) is the main sign of pregnancy, and a pregnancy test could confirm it. However, some women have experienced other pregnancy symptoms before noticing they missed a period.

And even if you have missed a period, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re pregnant; some women have an irregular menstrual cycle for various reasons and certain conditions. Talk to your healthcare provider if you miss a period – or experience any of the symptoms below – to find out if you’re pregnant or have a health problem.

While symptoms of pregnancy are not the same for every woman or for every pregnancy, here are some early signs of pregnancy from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development:

  • Swollen, tender breasts or nipples: This could occur 1 to 2 weeks after conception because of hormonal changes.
  • Nausea and/or vomiting: This could begin sometime between 2 and 8 weeks after conception and could continue until the final trimester.
  • Fatigue: This might start 1 week after conception. With their bodies producing progesterone and more blood flowing to their growing baby, many women might be more tired.
  • Increased or frequent urination: This could begin in the first few weeks after conception and continue throughout your pregnancy.
  • Headaches: Hormones might cause headaches early in your pregnancy.
  • Food aversions or cravings: Throughout your pregnancy, you might have a craving for or be repulsed by certain foods.
  • Mood swings: Beginning a few weeks after conception, you could experience mood swings because of hormonal changes.
  • Slight bleeding/light spotting: This might happen when the fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus (up to 14 days after conception).

Not every woman will experience these symptoms. If you’ve taken a home pregnancy test and it’s positive, visit your doctor for confirmation and then start your prenatal care.