What Are the Early Signs of Pregnancy?

Have you recently had unprotected sex, or did you experience some sort of birth control mishap? Perhaps you are now concerned about the potentially life-changing outcome of a pregnancy. If you are in this position, it is natural to wonder if you are experiencing early signs of pregnancy.

The best way to find out for sure is to take a pregnancy test. After a positive pregnancy test, you should have an ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy. But if you want to know about the early signs of pregnancy before taking a test, here are some symptoms you may experience


Early Signs of Pregnancy


A Missed Period

The most obvious early sign of pregnancy is a missed period. You might think that you are familiar with your cycles and will know immediately when your period is late. Even if you are correct, a late period is not necessarily a guarantee that you are pregnant. Stress, travel, or illness could be the true reason that your period is late. With that said, a missed period might mean that you are pregnant, so you should treat yourself as though you are until you find out for sure.


Spotting and Cramping

After conception, you might experience what is called implantation bleeding or spotting. This will take place sometime between six and 12 days after the egg is fertilized.

The cramps you might experience may resemble menstrual cramps, which is why some women mistake them for the start of their period. Bleeding and light menstrual cramping are common in early pregnancy.  These may occur together or separately and occur in the first 15-25% of all pregnancies. Just be aware that they might be an early sign of pregnancy.


Nausea and Vomiting

Also known as morning sickness, you might experience nausea and vomiting early in your pregnancy. Though it is a well-known symptom, not every woman deals with it, so you might be one of the lucky ones who is spared. Fortunately, if you do encounter morning sickness, the symptoms typically subside by the 14th week of your pregnancy.



You might begin to feel excessively tired early in your pregnancy. You might even experience this as early as one week after conception. In most cases, women feel most tired in the first trimester. By the end of the second trimester, the fatigue has usually become less severe. If you are feeling extra tired and are experiencing some of these additional symptoms, it may be time to take a pregnancy test.


Headache and Back Pain

You might experience frequent headaches early in your pregnancy due to hormone changes. Oftentimes women also deal with back pain and general aches. If you experience either of these symptoms at a rate more common than usual, it could be a sign that you are pregnant. It helps to be mindful of these sorts of changes to your body.


Breast Changes

Breast changes are another one of the most common early signs of pregnancy. A week or two after conception, you might notice that your breasts are swollen, sore, tender, or fuller than usual. You might also notice that the areola (the area around the nipple) becomes darker. After a few weeks to adjust to your new hormone levels, your breast pain should decrease, making you more comfortable.


Frequent Urination

Beginning around week six or eight of your pregnancy, you might start to urinate more frequently. It is possible that this is caused by a urinary tract infection, but if you’re pregnant, it is likely due to your increased hormone levels. If you are concerned about your frequent urination, talk to a doctor to find out the cause.


Mood Swings

Mood swings are most common during the first trimester and are caused by changes to your hormone levels. Mood swings are a natural part of the early phase of your pregnancy, so don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed when you cry more often. If you need support, talk to someone you trust or make an appointment at our center.


When do Early Signs of Pregnancy Begin?

Since every woman’s menstrual cycle is different, you will not encounter the same early signs of pregnancy as everyone else. Typically, women start to experience pregnancy symptoms approximately five to eight weeks after conception, so that is when you should expect to see early signs of pregnancy. However, it is possible that you will begin to see the first signs of pregnancy within a week after conception, which is why it’s important to pay attention to your body! 


After You Experience Early Signs of Pregnancy

After you have missed your period and start to experience any of the above early signs of pregnancy, you can consider taking a pregnancy test. It is recommended that you wait at least a week after your missed period to take a pregnancy test, and the longer you wait, the more accurate the results will be. If you don’t want to take a home pregnancy test or just want to follow up after taking one, you can take a free pregnancy test at First Care Clinic. We will also provide an