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Most pregnancy tests can show accurate results only on the day of your missed period. And many tests recommend waiting at least 2 days after your missed period for the most accurate results (to avoid those potentially disappointing false negatives!).
However, some early pregnancy symptoms may appear before your missed period or before the necessity for taking a pregnancy test comes to your mind. In this article, we’ll cover 70 early signs of pregnancy that you may encounter as soon as 1 week after conception.
If you can recognize the early pregnancy signs that your body is giving you, it can help you predict if there is a high chance of pregnancy. Good luck!
Note: We looked everywhere for research-based and anecdotal early pregnancy symptoms. Every woman is different. This post is not meant to diagnose pregnancy- use a pregnancy test and talk to your doctor about that!
When Do Early Pregnancy Symptoms Start?
The earliest pregnancy symptoms can start as early as two weeks after conception, though most women don’t notice symptoms until around the fourth to the sixth week. Some women may never experience symptoms. The most common signs include fatigue, nausea (morning sickness), frequent urination, and breast tenderness.
Due to the vagueness of most pregnancy symptoms (that often are similar to pre-menstrual symptoms), some women can even end up with a cryptic pregnancy (also known as a stealth pregnancy) and not realize it until much later in pregnancy.
My Experience with Early Signs of Pregnancy
Ironically, when I was pregnant with my daughter, I was oblivious to these signs staring me straight in the face. As someone that never had regular periods unless I was on birth control, pregnancy was not on my mind after our first official month of “trying.” After all, I’d read it’d take at least 3 months to normally ovulate after getting off my birth control. When I finally realized I was pregnant, it was such a “duh” that I didn’t know how I missed it. (Now it even feels quite comical- ha!).
Anyways, the bottom line is that if you’re trying to get pregnant, having some of these early pregnancy signs in mind can give you a clue 😉 I will lead with the caveat that when you are really hoping for a pregnancy, some of your cycle symptoms can be very similar to these- so take them with a grain of salt. When we were trying for our second baby, which we are now pregnant with, there were many months I thought I was and wasn’t- so you can never really know for sure.
Here are 70 early signs of pregnancy to pay attention to that may indicate that you are pregnant.
The Most Common Signs of Pregnancy
Let’s review the most common pregnancy symptoms- including hidden pregnancy signs (or cryptic pregnancy symptoms) that you may not realize can be part of a typical pregnancy.
Women often experience heartburn as early as the first week of pregnancy. If you have some acid reflux, it may be your body’s way of saying “hey, you are pregnant!”.
You may be expecting a baby if you feel super tired without any special reason. Fatigue is one of the most common signs of pregnancy before missed period. I can definitely attest to this one! 🙂
Related read: 11 NATURAL WAYS TO COMBAT AND BEAT PREGNANCY FATIGUE
Nausea is also among the first signs of early pregnancy. You can feel nauseous, especially in the mornings; that’s why they also call it “morning sickness.” Although this is more common in weeks 5 and beyond…
Plus, it’s important to note that morning sickness is a colossal misnomer! It’s normal to feel nausea all day long or at different times of the day for many women.
Related read: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO HANDLING MORNING SICKNESS
4. Missed period
A missed period or irregular periods (particularly when bleeding is light) is a huge telltale sign of early pregnancy. But be aware that your period can also be late due to many issues, for example, stress, low body weight, diabetes, etc.
5. Elevated basal body temperature
Your basal body temperature is measured in the morning when you are at rest. If your basal body temperature doesn’t decrease for more than 2 weeks (after its peak with ovulation), it can mean that you are pregnant.
6. Sore and sensitive boobs
Sore and sensitive boobs are also very early pregnancy symptoms. You may experience soreness already 1-2 weeks after conception due to the pregnancy hormones. This was one of my friend’s favorite pregnancy stories- when she was at my wedding several years ago, we gave everyone hugs at the end of the ceremony, and she was wondering why everyone was squeezing her so hard- ha!
7. Veiny boobs
Many women realize that the veins in their breasts look much more pronounced than usual. Some can see them very clearly in early pregnancy.
8. Tender and darker nipples
With early pregnancy, you can find tender breasts and darker nipples. That circle you have around your nipple, known as your areolas, can also get darker and larger.
9. Period-like pains
Period-like pains and cramps can confuse early pregnancy symptoms as they coincide when you should generally have your period pains. If you notice a change in severity (more or less), this may signify early pregnancy. If cramping is severe, talk to your OB/BYN or go to the emergency room asap, as this can be a sigh of an ectopic pregnancy.
10. Spotting, light bleeding (implantation bleeding)
In about 20% of pregnancies, women can have a slight pink discharge or light bleeding (very light vaginal blood flow) due to the implantation process in early pregnancy.
You may feel dizzy and faint during early pregnancy. Changes in blood flow, particularly to your uterus, may be responsible for this.
12. Needing to pee
Frequent urination is one of the most common early pregnancy symptoms. Pregnant women need the toilet often due to hormone changes and increased blood volume.
A common symptom like a headache can also be a sign of pregnancy due to the increased blood volume.
14. Cravings or aversions
Oh, those famous pregnancy cravings! If you crave some food or treats and make weird food combinations, you may be pregnant.
Your digestion may be slowed down by the pregnancy hormones, and this can cause bloating. While it may feel like a baby bump, that’ll come later. This bloating can also cause slight weight gain.
16. Mood swings
At the beginning of the pregnancy and the last trimester, mood swings are very common. If you find yourself extra irritable or sad, this may be a sign of pregnancy. If you are concerned about any mental health conditions that a pregnancy could exacerbate, talk to your doctor asap.
Increased progesterone levels can relax the bowel walls, and as a result, it can lead to constipation. If previously you had no poop issues, chances are that this may be a sign as well.
I know it may sound strange after the above-mentioned constipation symptom. But it is possible! A lot of women have diarrhea in the first weeks of pregnancy.
19. Metallic taste
Hormones can leave you with a metallic-tasting mouth. Weird, isn’t it?
Again those pregnancy hormones! You may experience many sleepless nights even if you feel very tired because of the changes in your hormone levels. It can be one of the many signs of pregnancy before missed period.
21. Back pain
Several mums suffer from back pain (especially lower back pain) even before their missed period due to increased joint laxity (again- hormones).
Related read: 4 PREGNANCY YOGA POSES TO EASE BACK PAIN AND STRESS
22. Achy legs, arms, and hips
Hormone changes can cause not only back pain but also achy legs, arms, and even hips. These symptoms can be present from early pregnancy.
Women have discharge for many reasons. But extra clear or white discharge, also known as cervical mucus, may be an early sign of pregnancy.
Acne is very common; about half of women are affected during pregnancy. This is definitely what I got- instead of the sought-after pregnancy glow.
25. Blood pressure issues
If you recognize any sudden changes in your blood pressure (both elevation and drop), it can be an early pregnancy symptom as well. It is very common in the first 12 weeks of your first trimester.
26. Bleeding gums
It is an unpleasant symptom but your gums may bleed very often when you brush your teeth during pregnancy. I noticed this with my second pregnancy- having a constant sour taste in my mouth and soreness.
27. Sore gums
Your gums can not only bleed, but they can be inflamed, sensitive, and sore in early pregnancy.
28. Dry mouth
When pregnant, you may feel that your mouth is dry and you are more thirsty than you used to be.
29. Excessive saliva
So crazy! You can also have the opposite of dry mouth. Excessive saliva is a sign of early pregnancy as well. This one of one of my least favorite- because it definitely didn’t help my nausea!
You may realize a change also in your heartbeat as one of the early signs of pregnancy. Your heart can start to pump faster due to increased blood volume. So you may notice you’re heart is racing at rest or with even simple activities.
31. Motion sickness
Because of the hormone changes, you may even feel motion sick. It’s a weird feeling and typically part of morning sickness.
32. Weight gain
Some women start to gain weight from very early on. So if you feel that your jeans are a little bit tight recently, it might be a sign of pregnancy! This is especially true if this isn’t your first pregnancy.
Related read: The Complete First Trimester To-Do List
33. Stuffy nose
During pregnancy, the blood vessels expand in your nose, and they cause your nose to be stuffed. This symptom is also called pregnancy rhinitis.
34. Runny nose
Again the exact opposite of something! A runny nose can also be a sign of pregnancy.
Nosebleeds are very common amongst pregnant women throughout the whole pregnancy.
36. Vivid dreams
It is strange, but unusually vivid dreams can mean you are pregnant. If you wake up wondering what the heck you just dreamed about, you might bein your first trimester of pregnancy
Do you feel hungry all the time? It might be an early sign!
Several women can develop hemorrhoids in the early stages of pregnancy and after birth, secondary to constipation symptoms.
39. Peeing when sneezing
I’m sure you are familiar with the symptom “peeing when sneezing,” as it is very common among pregnant women in the later stages of pregnancy. Although, as a physical therapist, I’d like to mention that this is a sign that you need to work on your Kegels!
40. Hot flashes
The next one from early signs of pregnancy is also very often present; about a third of women are affected by hot flashes during pregnancy. I noticed this at night when I woke up sweating even though my room was cold.
Related read: HOW TO SURVIVE A HOT SUMMER WHEN YOU’RE PREGNANT
41. Feeling cold
While many people feel hot and have hot flashes, others experience the opposite. They may often feel cold. I am experiencing this with my second pregnancy.
42. Heightened sense of smell
Can you smell things that you had no idea they had a smell of? Heightened sensitivity to smells is a telltale sign of being pregnant! This one drove me and my husband crazy! My heightened sense of smell triggered my nausea from things that I had never even noticed before.
43. Pregnancy brain
Pregnancy brain, or brain fog, is a huge sign. If you are expecting a baby, you may be more forgetful and absentminded than usual.
Not only your veins in your breasts can be pronounced but also all over your body they may be more visible.
45. Breast leaks
You may notice some kind of wet patches on your T-shirt after waking up in the morning or a little white residue on your nipples. Breast leaks are less common but can be an early signs of pregnancy.
There can be massive changes regarding libido. You may suddenly be more interested in your partner or can’t even stand his approach. Either way, you can again thank those pregnancy hormones!
47. Increase in breast size
Did your bra become too small? If your breast size increases suddenly, you are possibly pregnant, and its time to take a pregnancy test.
48. Beautiful, shiny hair
Throughout the pregnancy, women often have beautiful and shiny hair, which is also thick and long at the same time. This is due to the increased levels of estrogen.
49. Hair loss
Unfortunately, for some women, hormonal changes can cause increased hair loss.
50. Pregnancy glow
In most cases, when you look at a pregnant woman, you can see a beautiful, glowing, and happy face. Pregnancy glow is clearly amongst the earliest signs of pregnancy, so if you are experiencing it by yourself, you may consider taking a home pregnancy test.
Sometimes freckles can appear on the faces of women who are going to be a mom. Hormone changes can affect your melanin (skin pigment) levels and make pregnant women more sensitive to the skin.
52. Brittle nails
If you are pregnant, your nails can become thinner and more fragile than they have been before. They can crack very easily.
53. Belly button
You may recognize changes in the form of your belly button during pregnancy.
54. Black line
Have you ever seen a pregnant woman with a black line on her belly? This black line between the belly button and the groin is a pregnancy symptom. This can be one of the early pregnancy signs but is more common later in pregnancy.
55. Stretch marks
Stretch marks are different for every mom-to-be. While some women have a lot of them and even get them early, others go through the whole pregnancy with a few visible lines.
56. Blurry vision
Pregnant women can have blurry vision during pregnancy that goes away after giving birth.
If you are dealing with early pregnancy symptoms, you may have swelling in your legs, feet, and ankles. This is a common symptom that can last until birth.
58. Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath can be one of the unusual early pregnancy signs. (Later on during the pregnancy it is more common.) If you feel like you are out of breath after going up the stairs and getting up too fast, you are not alone, mama!
59. Increase in shoe size
Amongst the 70 signs of early pregnancy, the increase in shoe size is one of the most incredible early pregnancy symptoms. Your feet can become one size larger and will stay like that forever. Crazy, isn’t it? This is due to changes in the flexibility of your feet that make them flatter and occupy more length.
As your boobs and tummy will get bigger, they can become itchy. This can be an early sign of pregnancy as well.
61. Dark patches
Again, due to pigment changes. You might experience dark patches around your neck, thighs, belly, and more.
Sometimes you can just feel that you are expecting a baby. Some women report knowing immediately after conception. Sometimes you just know!
This one is a very uncomfortable symptom related to digestive changes. If you have to burp more often than usual, maybe you have a bun in the oven.
64. Lack of hair growth
Some women have to shave their legs less often than usual during pregnancy because their hair grows slower. I think this is a symptom that we all would like to have!
65. Yeast Infection
If you experience white, cottage cheese discharge or some kind of itchiness down there, there is a big chance that you have a yeast infection. This one can be one of the 70 signs of early pregnancy that you should watch out for due to bacteria changes.
66. Color sensitivity
It is quite weird but pregnancy can cause some people to become sensitive to intense colors to the point that they even feel nauseous.
67. Leg cramps
Leg cramps are common during the early stage of pregnancy due to changes in blood circulation and dehydrations. More blood will be going to your uterus now to help that new baby grow.
68. Pollen allergy
If you have to sneeze a lot and you have itchy eyes, it can be a simple allergy. However, it can be a pregnancy symptom as well! You may find your body is more sensitive to allergies you already had or you develop brand new ones.
69. Feeling sick
If you feel like you are sick or caught the flu, you might be pregnant! This is one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy, just feeling “off” like something is coming on.
70. Cigarette aversion
If you are a smoker and you can’t stand the smell of cigarettes anymore, it can be an early sign.
BONUS # 71: If you already have a little one and are breastfeeding, you may notice a drop in breast milk supply if you get pregnant while nursing.
Related read: 67 THINGS THAT SHOULD BE ON YOUR PREGNANCY TO DO LIST
What Other Hidden Pregnancy Symptoms Might I Experience Early?
There are a few hidden pregnancy symptoms that are not always talked about- all of which we discussed above.
To quickly review and summarize, some women experience constipation early in their pregnancy due to the increase in progesterone. Others may have heartburn or indigestion. Back pain or hip pain is also common due to the relaxin hormone, which starts to increase joint laxity and reduce stability. Hormones can also cause changes in skin pigmentation, so some women may notice a darkening of their skin around their nipples or on their face. Finally, many women experience a decrease in energy in the early stages of pregnancy, which can be accompanied by mood swings.
When Should You Take a Pregnancy Test?
A pregnancy test can be taken at any time. Still, it is most accurate when you wait until after you have missed your period (approximately 2 weeks after ovulation for most women). Each pregnancy test has a different level of sensitivity, so make sure you read the direction for the best pregnancy test results.
If you have a negative pregnancy test but still have symptoms, keep taking a test and talk to your doctor to rule out ectopic pregnancy, polycystic ovary syndrome, hormonal imbalances, and more. They can also use blood tests that are more sensitive to assess pregnancy and get you started with prenatal care (if applicable).
Are You Pregnant?
Although every pregnancy is different, and pregnant women experience a different set of symptoms, some of these early pregnancy symptoms may be more frequent than others. In some cases, as with a cryptic pregnancy, you might not realize you are pregnant until well past the first trimester- although this isn’t common.
It is up to you if you take a test, but if you experience multiple early pregnancy symptoms from the list, it may be a good idea to take one. And if you get a positive pregnancy test, congratulations! I hope we can help you in your pregnancy journey! Also, if you get a negative test but think it’s wrong, you can talk to your doctor about getting a more sensitive blood test.
Related read: PREGNANCY ANNOUNCEMENT IDEAS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
What early pregnancy symptoms are you currently experiencing? If you’ve been pregnant before, what symptoms did you experience early on? When did you decide to take a pregnancy test?