Signs of Pregnancy: The 15 Earliest (and Weirdest) Pregnancy Symptoms

You've just got that feeling. You’re certain the sperm has met the egg, but you want to know for sure. Waiting those ten days after ovulation to take a home pregnancy test can be brutal! Read on to learn about 15 of the early pregnancy symptoms to look out for.

Video:
Signs of pregnancy with Genevieve

Watch Genevieve unpack the 15 earliest (and weirdest) pregnancy symptoms in this video overview.


At-a-glance:
15 early signs of pregnancy

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  • Pregnancy Symptom #1:
    Changes in your breasts

    Signs of Pregnancy 1 - Changes in Breasts

    Maybe you’ve noticed your breasts are swollen, tender and sore. Or perhaps your nipples are darkening and protruding in preparation for breastfeeding. Your areolas may also get larger.

    For some women, breast tenderness in early pregnancy feels suspiciously like the usual symptoms of PMS, but for others, it’s distinctly different.

    “The earliest sign of my first pregnancy was that my nipples started to look like my mother’s,” says Ilana, now a mama of three.

    Pregnancy Symptom #2:
    Frequent urination

    Signs of Pregnancy 2 - Frequent Urination

    If you find yourself getting up routinely at night for trips to the bathroom, it could be an early sign that a fertilized egg has begun implantation on the uterine wall.

    The hCG hormone—sometimes called “pregnancy hormone”—often triggers frequent urges to pee even while the embryo is still very tiny and there’s no real pressure on your bladder from a growing baby. Not yet, anyway.


  • Pregnancy Symptom #3:
    Nausea

    Signs of Pregnancy 3 - Feeling Nausea

    Call it morning sickness or all day sickness, but either way, nausea is a reality for many women in early pregnancy. About 50% of women will have vomiting along with nausea during their first trimester.

    While nausea may be a very early symptom of pregnancy, most women don’t experience vomiting until two weeks to two months after conception. For the majority of pregnant mamas, queasiness and vomiting will subside by the second trimester as production of the powerful hCG hormone plateaus.


  • Pregnancy Symptom #4:
    Fatigue and exhaustion

    Signs of Pregnancy 4 - Fatigue and exhaustion

    At conception, progesterone levels begin to rise rapidly and will continue to do so throughout your first trimester. Progesterone is the hormonal sustenance of pregnancy, preventing uterine contractions and inhibiting early immune responses.

    The downside? The sudden uptick in progesterone during early pregnancy may leave you utterly exhausted.


  • Pregnancy Symptom #5:
    A cold

    Signs of Pregnancy 5 - Having a cold

    With a tide of progesterone at work to keep your immune system from attacking the new (and foreign) DNA inside the body, it’s common for viruses and bacteria to use this opportunity to set up shop. A cold that would have been no biggie before pregnancy might knock you down after conception.

    Check out these natural cough and cold remedies to fight off a cold during pregnancy.


  • Pregnancy Symptom #6:
    Puffy and sore gums

    Signs of Pregnancy 6 - Puffy and sore gums

    With the immune system at bay, mouth bacteria might also begin to flourish. Plus, as your body builds blood volume and fluid levels to nourish baby, you may already have tissue swelling (including your gums!)

    Be aware of inflamed, sore or bleeding gums, or puffy eyes and face, as a sign that pregnancy is underway.


  • Pregnancy Symptom #7:
    Cervical mucus

    Signs of Pregnancy 7 - Cervical mucus

    If you’ve been keeping track of your menstrual cycle as you prepare for pregnancy, you already know that cervical mucus increases and thickens during ovulation to help carry sperm to meet the egg. In a cycle without conception, the stretchy cervical mucus will dry up within 24 hours of ovulation.

    But if conception has occurred, then this cervical mucus will continue to be produced for multiple days after the date of ovulation. This mucus will actually continue on some level throughout your entire pregnancy as it keeps the vagina clean and reduces the chances of bad bacteria approaching your baby.

    The difference is subtle, but for women who know their cycles and bodies well, it’s the earliest positive sign of pregnancy.


  • Pregnancy Symptom #8:
    Cramping and bloating

    Signs of Pregnancy 8 - Cramping and bloating

    Don’t despair if you feel these classic symptoms of PMS while you’re hoping for a positive pregnancy test result. Implantation of the egg on the uterine wall can create the very same premenstrual symptoms but without your true period ever arriving.

    Many women experience mild uterine cramping as the egg implants, which can extend to a mild backache and abdominal bloating.


  • Pregnancy Symptom #9:
    Spotting

    Signs of Pregnancy 9 - Spotting

    As the fertilized egg implants deeper into the thick uterine lining, you may experience several days of light bleeding. In fact, about 25-30% of pregnant women have spotting during the first few days of pregnancy.

    Because implantation will likely occur around the time of your period during a regular menstrual cycle, you may mistake these few days of light bleeding for an actual period. Early pregnancy spotting, however, will be brownish or light pink in color and will not be enough to fill a pad or tampon.


  • Pregnancy Symptom #10:
    Food sensitivity and aversion

    Signs of Pregnancy 10 - Food sensitivity and aversion

    If you’re experiencing nausea, food aversion tends to just come with the territory. (Rethinking that beloved spicy kimchi?) But even without early pregnancy queasiness, you may find that your morning Joe no longer seem appealing, while other foods and drinks suddenly hit the spot.

    Hormone fluctuations around the time of conception and throughout early pregnancy can trigger cravings for some foods and sensitivity to others.


  • Pregnancy Symptom #11:
    Metallic taste

    Signs of Pregnancy 11 - Metallic taste

    Perhaps the weirdest symptom of early pregnancy is a persistent metallic taste in the mouth that lingers even after eating food. Many women have reported this symptom in early pregnancy without understand where it came from or why it was happening. But tasting pennies or aluminum is a true side effect of the hormonal shifts that are taking place in your body.

    That metallic taste even has a medical name: dysgeusia. Estrogen levels have a remarkable effect on our sense of taste, and until hormone production stabilizes in the second trimester, that metallic taste might be here to stay.


  • Pregnancy Symptom #12:
    Temperature sensitivity

    Signs of Pregnancy 12 - Temperature sensitivity

    Freezing cold? Burning hot? Feeling just… strange? With all the hormonal changes of conception and early pregnancy, it’s no wonder that you might be feeling a bit off. If you know your body well, you’ll likely feel real changes in your sensory organs and your body’s internal thermostat soon after conception.


  • Pregnancy Symptom #13:
    Excess saliva

    Signs of Pregnancy 13 - Excess saliva

    Are you all of a sudden drooling like Pavlov's dog? What gives? Well, ptyalism gravidarum, the medical term for excess saliva is usually caused by the beginnings of morning sickness, acid reflux or heartburn, which are all very common in pregnancy.

    Progesterone relaxes the muscles in our body, which can cause the valve that closes the esophagus off from the stomach to stay slightly ajar. As a result, stomach acid can make its way north, leading to heartburn or acid reflux. Try sipping a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in 1/2 cup of water before meals to ease indigestion and help tame the saliva flow.

    Additionally, progesterone can slow down digestion and the bowels (fun times!)


  • Pregnancy Symptom #14:
    Constipation

    Signs of Pregnancy 14 - Constipation

    Well, progesterone again is to blame for this lovely symptom because it can slow down your bowels and their peristalsis movement. Be sure to drink enough water (1/2 your body weight in ounces) and boost your magnesium-rich foods. I also love this simple diet trick to get the bowels flowing with ease.


  • Pregnancy Symptom #15:
    Moodiness

    Signs of Pregnancy 15 - Moodiness

    If you’ve made it this far in the list, then you know, above all, early pregnancy means huge hormone fluctuations as your body begins the enormous process of growing a baby. So perhaps the least surprising symptom of these hormonal changes is their effect on your mood and emotions. Yes, you might find yourself feeling particularly hormonal during this time.


What’s behind these symptoms?

Peeing on a chemically prepared stick from the drugstore is the fastest and most convenient way to detect the presence of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), or “the pregnancy hormone” in your urine. When you have a pregnancy blood test at the doctor’s office a few weeks later, they’re actually testing for the same hormone’s presence in your blood.

The new embryo begins to produce hCG immediately after it attaches to the uterine wall in the very first few days of pregnancy, even before you’ve had a missed period. It is the first hormone produced by the placenta, and its levels double every two days in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. After passing through your body, hCG is eliminated through the urine.

By the time your period is late, there is usually enough hCG in the urine for a home pregnancy test to give an accurate result.

In fact, a pregnancy test taken on the first day of a missed period (which, for a woman with a regular 28-day menstrual cycle, will be 14 days after ovulation) is 99% accurate.

What if you don’t get the positive pregnancy test you were hoping for?

Be aware that, until your body is producing enough hCG hormone to be flushed out in your urine, a home pregnancy test might give you a false negative. While the first hCG spike is typically eight days after conception, not all women have the same cycle. If you tested early on, be sure to try again in a few days.

If you didn’t conceive this month, staying mindful of early pregnancy symptoms while tuning into your body is never a lost cause. Knowing more about your cycle, your hormones, and your body may help you achieve a different result next month.

How soon can I tell if I’m pregnant?

Waiting for that positive pregnancy test? At-home pregnancy tests are most accurate about 7 days after your missed period. THAT FEELS LIKE FOREVER, I know! Luckily, you can get a positive pregnancy test earlier.—some women say they’ve had positive pregnancy tests as early as 10 days past ovulation. 

How can you tell if you are pregnant?

The best way to tell if you are pregnant is to take an at-home pregnancy test. When used correctly, they’re 99% accurate—that’s just as accurate as a urine test at the doctor.

Once you get a positive pregnancy test, call your healthcare provider. They’ll want to set up an appointment to confirm your pregnancy with a blood test.

What are the first signs of pregnancy?

One of the earliest signs of pregnancy is implantation cramping and/or implantation bleeding. This occurs when the blastocyst implants in the uterus, often 6-11 days after conception. Some women may also experience mood swings and/or headaches, but it’s important to note that some women don’t experience any of these things when they’re pregnant.

What color is your urine when you are pregnant?

Some women say the knew they were pregnant because their urine was darker, cloudy, and/or had a strong odor. Unfortunately, there really isn’t much scientific evidence to support this theory.

That said, frequent urination is an early sign of pregnancy. This is thanks to an increase in the hormones progesterone and hCG an increase in body fluids.

Been through this before? Tell us about it!

What were some of the earliest and weirdest signs of pregnancies that you experienced? Add a comment.

Could you be pregnant, but it's too early for a home pregnancy test? Here are the 15 earliest signs of pregnancy and pregnancy symptoms to look out for.

References

  • http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/am-i-pregnant
  • http://ccobgyn.com/obstetrical-care/am-i-pregnant/how-soon-after-a-missed-period-can-i-take-a-home-pregnancy-test-and-get-accurate-results/
  • http://americanpregnancy.org/getting-pregnant/pregnancy-faq/
  • http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1990-07-18/entertainment/9002280644_1_oral-health-non-estrogen-oral-hygiene
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40 Comments

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  1. My fiancé thinks I’m pregnant, I’ve had nausea and vomiting every now and then but not every day!!! Lately I’ve been light headed and dizzy from time to time, certain things I would eat before make me sick and some stuff I didn’t eat before I now do!! I took 2 Hpt but both came back negative!!! What should I do?

    • My last period was May 11 and it’s ysua pretty regular and comes the same time each month, but this month it didn’t and about a week and half ago I had some spotting but that’s it!!! But have been having mild cramping here and there!!!

    • Talk to your provider about getting a blood test.

  2. I’m in the same boat, my last AF was apt 13. 8 weeks ago!!! I’ve been having so many prego symptoms but all my tests and blood tests come back negative!!! I begged my Dr to schedule me an ultrasound. I have low hormones, quite a few miscarriages. So when I told my Dr I know my body and I’m prego or losing my mind!! Finally til her that an ultrasound would ease my mind, tomorrow I will find out if my body is playing games with me or there’s a baby in there!! Baby dust to all!!

  3. Hello, I started my period on May 25th, it lasted four days. I have a 24 day cycle, that is pretty regular. My partner and I got a little carried away…..on June 4th. I looked at a few ovulation charts and some have me ovulating on June 3rd or 4th. A pregnancy was not planned, but would be a nice surprise. My next period is due on the 19th. When is the soonest I can take a HPT? The only symptoms I’m feeling are frequently urination and nervousness. Thank you 🙂

  4. 3 kids and those home tests failedto- bloodexam was the only way. i had my tubes tied and here it is 12 years later and ihave miscarried in feb, but now ive missed this period. night ill and smells again bother me

  5. I had intercourse Jan 28 2018 about a week or two later I start having pregnancy symptoms I’ve tested positive March 8th 2018 but then all my symptoms left and now they’re slowly coming back I’ve been feeling bloated everybody thinks I’m pregnant but I feel fine and I tried testing again but I keep getting negatives, I need help can anyone help me? P.s I be feeling little fluttering but I don’t know. The doctors said they can’t see me until I get another positive.

    • That’s crazy! Lots of women’s pregnancies never show up through urine testing! Schedule an appointment with a better doctor if you can! A growing baby needs care, as well as you do!

  6. please I don’t know if am pregnant, but this two weeks I have been feeling dizzy and weak and this weakness makes me feel like I would faint. My back ache , and my waste pains me , I don’t have much appetite for food , my best plantain chips I love eating I don’t want it anymore, two days ago I saw white substance from my vagina .I don’t know how to feel but I think am pregnant .Please help me am I pregnant

  7. I read a comment that sounds just like me!!! I feel the exact same symptoms she is/was feeling!

  8. I confirmed it four days ago that I am pregnant. But now am having some itching in my Virginal with thick creamy discharge. what can I do Doctor?

    • Sounds like a yeast infection but, I am not a physician. Reach out to your provider for a diagnosis.

  9. Can anybody help me out asap. So my girl and i had protective sex on May 21, now it May 29 its been 8 days. My girl have been waking up in the middle of the night and feeling nauseous. Her breast have been hurting out off no where. Can this mean shes pregnant. She hasnt tried one of those pregnancy test, but can this mean something or no? need a response asap. thank you!

    • She should contact her healthcare provider.

  10. The last day of my period was April 24th. I had sex may 4th. I’m having most early pregnancy symptoms. Is it too early to take a home pregnancy test?

    • The early pregnancy tests can be taken six days before your missed period.

  11. The last time I had unprotected sex was may 18-19 . Feeling nauseous before my cycle which never happen at all Had my period a week later but is off and still is feeling nauseous can it be a possibility that I am pregnant?

    • Not to mention my weird craving kicking in

    • Great question for your provider.

  12. Hey everyone!

    So my husband and I got married on April 28th (one month ago) which just so happened to be the last day of my most recent period. Since we got married a week after our 6 year anniversary, we decided to start trying to get pregnant right away and started trying on our honeymoon. I’m currently 4 days late for my period which is (for the most part) very regular. I track it with an app on my phone.

    I started experiencing weird symptoms 2 weeks ago that I’ve never experienced before. It started with a urinary tract infection as soon as we got home from honeymooning. Once that cleared up, I went about 3 days of normal urination before I began having to pee up to 15 or more times a day. I thought maybe the UTI was still lingering but there was no more pain or discoloration. Just had to pee a bunch and it would hit me like a ton of bricks, sending me running to the bathroom. It’s been so bad I’ve been wearing pads to work to help combat leakage!

    Now the past week I’ve been experiencing hot flashes, heart palpitations, extreme exhaustion, bloating (I can’t suck in my tummy), lower back pain, and occasionally I get queasy at random times.

    I just have this feeling that I’m pregnant, but I took a home pregnancy test a day before my missed period (I bought the expensive one that says it can detect pregnancy prior to a missed period) but it was negative.

    I’m going to take another test in the next day or two, but in the meantime I’ve started feeling light cramps, breast tenderness, sharp twinges on the right side of my tummy, feeling either really hot or really cold, I feel like my tummy is physically bigger from bloating, and some SEVERE mood swings where I feel like I could just smack someone (which is totally unlike my usual laid back and happy go lucky self).

    Until I get my hands on another HPT though, I’m anxious and feeling like I’m getting my hopes up because I’m feeling symptoms like I would get before my period. I keep searching Google for early signs of pregnancy thinking that it will make me feel more confident that I am pregnant, but it’s only making me more nervous that I’m giving myself false hope.

    I guess I’m looking for some reassurance, or someone who had a similar situation that can relate to what I’m feeling right now. I know we JUST started trying, but I’m 31 and with the heart condition I have, I only have a short window to be able to safely have children of my own so I have this huge sense of urgency to get pregnant asap.

    Any advice or reassurance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

    Janelle

  13. My period was 2 almost 3 days late. Today it started very light and a brownish red color. Usually during my period I have mild to no cramps and backaches. I’m now experiencing like 1 second short pains in my left side that are not really painful at all and also back aches. Also pain in my upper abdomen and a small tingle above my belly button. No sensitivity to food and no nausea. No food cravings. Slight diarrhea (sorry tmi). 2 weeks ago after my ovulation I experienced like 4 days of severe head aches in a row. I had protected sex close to my ovulation day. (I read that heat can throw your period off and summer is beginning here. I also know if you are young or haven’t had your period long it changes and I’ve had mine for close to 3 years) so could this just be an off period or pregnancy???

  14. I had my periods from may 2 to may 6,help me no my ovulation day pliz.if I had unprotected sex on may 14,are there chances that I could get pregnant?

    • Yes there is a very likely chance! Were you trying to get pregnant?

  15. Hi it started with the cramping, nausea headache and back pain food craving some foid I cant smell them urinating frequently like fourteen times a day

  16. My period is supposed to come in 3 days and I’m pretty sure I’m pregnant. I normally hate anything orange and all I have been craving is orange soda. I’ve been super nauseous lately and lightheaded. Hoping for a positive test since I have had two miscarriages in the past 3 years.

  17. I did my menstral on the 19 to 23 of April, I want to know help me calculate my ovulation period and also tell me when to do the urine home test? thanks

    • There are plenty of apps for your phone that calculates everything for you. You should look into downloading one to be sure considering everyone’s is different ☺️

  18. I just got off the nexplanon birth control Jan 25th 2018 and I had a 7 day period in Feb. a 3 day period in March and have not yet to come on for the month of April. My fiancé and I have been having unprotected sex since I’ve gotten off the birth control but for my period to be 9 days late now has me a bit nervous. I have been getting dizzy often and now today I have a constant left side pain (not severe). I took a pregnancy test last week that came back negative but I think I am pregnant but I don’t know for sure. I got pregnant with my youngest son who is 2 now 3 months after getting off the birth control before… what do you guys think? and what should I do?

    • Thanks for this information..

  19. My symptoms mirrored those of stress (anxious/upset tummy, frequent, startling awake throughout the night like I forgot something or from crazy dreams, heart palpitations, overall uneasiness) so I was completely shocked when my pregnancy test came back positive for my daughter! Now it’s the opposite. I’m getting a few of those symptoms along with unheard of temperature changes for me (my feet are NEVER hot unless I’m running a fever or working out), tooth sensitivity, nausea into early afternoon, and food aversions. I had cramping today, 8 days from my period. If the pregnancy test I plan to take in a few days doesn’t show two lines, I’ll be shocked and, if I were to be honest, sad. We weren’t planning another baby yet but I’ve been feeling that baby fever so badly since my daughter turned 1 in December!

  20. One major sign for me was EXTREME thirst!

  21. i saw my period on the 17th of november n i saw my period againg on the 17th of december when am i suppose to ovulate tnxs

    • It’s normally 2 weeks 14 days after the beginning day of your period I use my days app on my phone it’s an amazing app

  22. I’ve had the brownish/pink mucus for a few days; ovulation was last week.. it’s early for a home pregnancy test but I did anyway – couldn’t contain myself! but knew it’d likely be negative and it was. really hoping to have a positive pregnancy test in the next couple of weeks.

    • Good luck!

  23. I had vomitsh and my stomach was very hard then before

  24. My husband suspected I was pregnant before I did both times. He said I smelled different!

    • My boyfriend said the same thing to me yesterday. I hope he’s not wrong 🙂 I get to test in a couple of days. Still a bit early now.

  25. Before I got my positive pregnancy test, my entire jaw area felt really warm one day. It was as if I had a fever just in my mouth. I also noticed some nasal dripping when I bent over to tie my shoes. The third symptom was some pulling and tugging in my lower abdominal area. I decided to test after a few days, and sure enough, I got 2 pink lines.

  26. I had the most vivid and crazy dreams the week before I knew I was pregnant. I dreamed about whales, dolphins, other women having babies, oh and Channing Tatum. :p I also had a very heightened sense of smell…the smell of raw chicken was almost unbearable. (And my husband said it didn’t smell like anything!)

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