15 Early Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy

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While pregnancy tests and ultrasounds are the only way to know if you’re pregnant, you can look for other signs and symptoms like morning sickness, fatigue, and more.
Though it may sound odd, your first week of pregnancy is based on the date of your last menstrual period. Your last menstrual period is considered week 1 of pregnancy, even if you weren’t pregnant yet.
The expected delivery date is calculated using the first day of your last period. For that reason, you may not have symptoms during the first few weeks of your 40-week pregnancy.

Pregnancy signs and symptoms

Pregnancy signs and symptoms
If you’re pregnant, you may notice common early indicators. These can include:
mild cramping and spotting
missed period
fatigue
nausea
tingling or sore breasts
frequent urination
bloating
mood swings
temperature changes
Other signs may include:
high blood pressure
extreme fatigue and heartburn
faster heartbeat
breast and nipple changes
acne
noticeable weight gain
pregnancy glow

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Cramping and spotting during early pregnancy

Cramping and spotting during early pregnancy
About 10 to 14 days (week 4) after conception, you may experience implantation bleeding, which may be mistaken for a light period. It does not occur for everyone. If it does occur, it will usually happen around the time you expect your period.
Signs of implantation bleeding include:
Color: The color may be pink, red, or brown.
Bleeding: It’s often described as light bleeding that never turns into a flow or enough to need a tampon.
Pain: Though usually milder than menstrual pain, it may involve mild to severe cramping.
Timing: Bleeding episodes may last a few hours to a few days.
If you think you may be experiencing implantation bleeding:
Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, or using drugs, which can be associated with heavy bleeding.

Missed period during early pregnancy

Missed period during early pregnancy
After implantation, your body starts making the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which helps maintain the pregnancy. It also tells the ovaries to stop releasing mature eggs each month.
You will likely miss your next period 4 weeks after conception. If you typically have an irregular period, you’ll want to take a pregnancy test to confirm.
Most home tests can detect hCG as soon as 7 days after a missed period. A pregnancy test detects hCG levels in your urine and shows if you are pregnant.
Know that a false negative is more likely than a false positive.
If you get a positive result, schedule an appointment with a doctor to confirm.
If you’re on any medications, ask a doctor whether they pose risks to the pregnancy.

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Current Version
Jun 26, 2023
Written By
Kimberly Holland
Edited By
Heather Hobbs
Medically Reviewed By
Stacy A. Henigsman, DO
Copy Edited By
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Sep 23, 2021
Written By
Kimberly Holland
Edited By
Shannon Ullman
Medically Reviewed By
Valinda Riggins Nwadike, MD, MPH
Copy Edited By
Alyssa Schad
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Fatigue during early pregnancy

Fatigue during early pregnancy
Fatigue can develop anytime during pregnancy. This symptom is common in early pregnancy. Rising progesterone levels can make you feel sleepy.
The early weeks of pregnancy can make you feel exhausted. Try to get enough sleep if you can.
Keeping your bedroom cool can also help you sleep better.

Increased heart rate during early pregnancy

Increased heart rate during early pregnancy
Around weeks 8 to 10, your heart may begin pumping faster and harder. Palpitations and arrhythmias are common in pregnancy. This is usually due to hormones.
Your blood flow can increase by around 50% during pregnancy. This adds to your heart’s workload.
It’s best to discuss any underlying heart conditions or medications you take with your medical team.

Early changes to breasts

Early changes to breasts
Breast changes can occur between weeks 4 and 6. You’re likely to develop tender and swollen breasts due to hormone changes. This will likely go away after a few weeks when your body has adjusted to the hormones.
Nipple and breast changes can also occur around week 11. Hormones continue to cause your breasts to grow. The areola — the area around the nipple — may grow darker and larger.
A comfortable, supportive, underwire-free maternity bra may help relieve breast tenderness.
A bra with varying clasps can give you room to “grow” in the coming months.
Breast pads that fit into your bra can reduce friction and nipple pain.

Changes in mood during early pregnancy

Changes in mood during early pregnancy
Your estrogen and progesterone levels increase during pregnancy and can make you more emotional or reactive than usual. Mood swings are common during pregnancy and may cause feelings of:
depression
irritability
anxiety
euphoria

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