11 Early Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy

11 Early Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy

Early Signs of Pregnancy

Have you missed a period and suspecting or hoping that you are pregnant? Well, the only way to know for sure is opting for a pregnancy test. But there are a number early signs of pregnancy which are experienced in the first few weeks right after conception. Knowing these early pregnancy signs will help you form some idea about your present situation. But the problem with these signs and symptoms of pregnancy are that they differ from women to women. Not every woman experiences the same symptoms. Also, the early pregnancy symptoms are quite similar to the symptoms one experiences right before menstruation, which also creates confusion. In this article we have described the most common early signs of pregnancy.

Tender Breasts:

One of the most common first signs of pregnancy that is experienced by almost all women is swollen and tender breasts. Your breasts may feel achy, fuller and heavier and you might notice that the areola or the darker region around the nipples getting bigger and darker. The tenderness of breasts during early stages of pregnancy is caused due to rising levels of hormone progesterone. The body retains more water during pregnancy which is another reason for breast swelling.

Morning Sickness (nausea and vomiting):

Although, full-blown nausea and vomiting does not start till the 7th or 9th week, but you might experience uneasiness in the stomach or a heightened sense of smell as early as 3 weeks after conception. Nausea can strike at any time of the day but it is more common during the morning. The exact cause of nausea during pregnancy is not known, but it is believed that the pregnancy hormoneslikely play a role.


Fatigue Early Signs of Pregnancy

Unexplained fatigue and a feeling of excessive tiredness is one of the first signs of pregnancy that shows up quite early. A woman can start feeling very tired as early as one week after conception. A combination of factors - high levels of hormone progesterone along with lower levels of blood sugar and blood pressure and a boost in blood circulation can contribute to this symptom.

Spotting and Cramping:

This is one of the early pregnancy signs that cannot go unnoticed. The fertilized egg attaches itself to the wall of the uterus a few days after conception. This can cause light spotting and you might experience cramping that is quite similar to menstrual cramps. This spotting is known as implantation bleeding and it occurs between 6 to 12 days after the egg is fertilized. Other than the bleeding, a woman may also notice a milky white discharge from the vagina which is caused by thickening of the vaginal walls. It starts immediately after conception and can continue throughout pregnancy.

Food Aversions or Cravings:

When you are pregnant you might experience strong aversion towards certain smells of foods. This heightened sense of smell is considered one of the early signs of pregnancy. Food cravings are also common during pregnancy. The food preferences during pregnancy are related to the hormonal changes that takes place inside the body.

Frequent Urination:

You might find that you are urinating more often than usual if you are pregnant. This is one of the recognizable early pregnancy symptoms. The kidney has to process more urine during pregnancy. The uterus also gets bigger and puts pressure on the bladder. These two factors result in frequent urination.

Mood Swings:

Mood Swings Early Signs of Pregnancy

It is common to experience mood swings during pregnancy and it is considered one of the early pregnancy signs. Mood swings are caused by the hormonal changes that affect the neurotransmitters or chemical messengers present in the brain. Each and every woman responds differently to these hormonal changes. While some women experience heightened good and bad emotions others feel more anxious or depressed.

Constipation and Bloating

These are two common early pregnancy signs that are caused by the sudden rise in progesterone and oestrogen levels in the body. Pregnancy hormone progesterone relaxes the muscle tissues all over the body, including the gastrointestinal tract and makes the food to pass more slowly through the intestine. It allows the body more time to extract nutrients from the food and supply it to the growing foetus. But it may cause gas, bloating and constipation for you.


Frequent mild headaches are one of the tell-tale early pregnancy symptoms that are related to changes in hormones and an increase in blood volume. Pregnancy fatigue, tension, increased hunger along with physical and emotional stress can also lead to headaches.


Backache Early Signs of Pregnancy

Many women experience chronic back painthroughout pregnancy. Back pain is one of the first signs of pregnancy that is caused by changes in hormones. As you conceive, your body gets ready for the changes and prepares for the birth by loosening some of your joints and ligaments. All these changes add together to cause back pain. Almost half of all pregnant women experience this particular pregnancy symptom.

Rise in Basal Temperature:

Rise in basal temperature (your body temperature when you wake up in the morning) is another positive sign of pregnancy and it occurs due to two reasons. First, the metabolic rate of your body rises as it recognizes that now it has to take care of two and as a result it boosts its normal activity which leads to higher body temperature. Secondly, hormonal changes that occur in your body cause an increase in basal body temperature. This is the reason why you might feel flushed or experience hot flashes during pregnancy.

Unfortunately, most early signs of pregnancy are very similar to the signs that you experience when your periods are about to start. So, if you experience a few or all of these symptoms along with a missed periods then take a home pregnancy test or consult a gynecologist who will be able to guide you properly. Are you in search of experienced gynecologists in Bangalore? Here at Sehat's Gynecologists section, you can select from a number of reputed gynecologists in Bangalore and call for an appointment.

Reviewed By:

Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)

Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad