What are the early signs of pregnancy?
- Missed period
- Tender breasts
- Feeling tired
- Feeling sick/Morning sickness
- More frequent urination
- Mood swings
- Changing tastes in food (cravings) and sensitivity to smells
There are various symptoms that can indicate you might be pregnant. These early signs of pregnancy differ from woman to woman, and from pregnancy to pregnancy. If you are pregnant, you may notice one or more of these symptoms. Don't worry, you are unlikely to get them all at once. Equally, you shouldn't worry if you don't experience any of them. Whether you get any of these first signs of pregnancy or none of them at all, a fast way to find out for sure whether or not you are pregnant is to take a home pregnancy test.
1. Missed period
If you have a regular menstrual cycle, missing your period is often the earliest physical sign. Bear in mind that you can get a little light bleeding or spotting around the time of your period even if you are pregnant, and when the fertilized egg implants in your womb. If your cycles aren't regular you may notice other pregnancy symptoms before you notice a missed period.
There are lots of reasons why your periods may suddenly stop, including putting on or losing weight very quickly, excessive exercise and stress. If you find that you are having hot flushes and a decreased interest in sex, it might be that you have the first signs of the menopause (peri-menopause). Whatever your symptoms, see your doctor if your regular periods change or stop.
2. Tender breasts
Your breasts might grow larger and feel tender or highly sensitive. The veins on your breasts may become more noticeable and your areola (nipples) may darken.
3. Feeling tired
You are likely to feel unusually tired in the first few weeks of pregnancy. This could be due to the rising levels of progesterone in your body as it maintains the lining of your womb to help support the pregnancy.
4. Feeling sick/morning sickness
You could start feeling sick, and even vomit, between the 2nd to the 8th week of pregnancy. This usually passes by the 16th week. Although this is often called 'morning sickness' it can happen at any time of the day or night – and can even affect you all the time.
Around one in 100 pregnant women could suffer from severe sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum). Normally continuing well past the first trimester (12 to 13 weeks), hyperemesis gravidarum causes vomiting so often and severe that no food or liquid can be kept down. Usually, the condition can be treated and only in very rare cases will cause complications for the pregnancy, but please seek doctor advice if you are suffering from severe sickness.
5. More frequent urination
About 6 to 8 weeks after conception you may need to urinate more frequently. This is due to your uterus (the medical term for your womb) growing larger and pressing on your bladder. At the end of the first trimester your uterus rises up into your abdomen which will takes some of this pressure off your bladder.
6. Mood swings
Your changing hormones may cause some mood swings in the early stages of pregnancy, which may leave you feeling delighted, anxious, exhausted, or even weepy – sometimes all at once.
7. Changing tastes in food (cravings) and sensitivity to smells
You may lose your appetite for certain food and drink things like coffee or fatty food and might start to crave things you don't normally like. You might feel queasy when you smell certain things too – like coffee, meat or alcohol.
You may get cramps in your legs or feet in the first trimester, and sometimes later in your pregnancy. This is due to changes in the way your body processes calcium.