Pregnancy Symptoms — Early Signs of Pregnancy

Image of a woman showing signs and symptoms of pregnancy

Pregnancy symptoms differ from woman to woman and pregnancy to pregnancy; however, one of the most significant pregnancy symptoms is a delayed or missed period. Understanding the signs of pregnancy is important because each symptom may have causes other than pregnancy.

You may experience pregnancy signs within a week of conception. However, some women report that they did not experience any symptom for a few weeks. If you need free testing, you can search below or order affordable early detection pregnancy tests online.

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What are the first signs of pregnancy?

In a poll conducted by the American Pregnancy Association, the most commonly reported first signs of pregnancy included the following:

  • Missed Period (29%)
  • Nausea (25%)
  • Change in breasts (17%)

While implantation bleeding is oftentimes considered a first sign of pregnancy, the poll conducted by the APA revealed that only 3% of women identified implantation bleeding as their first sign of pregnancy. Other potential early pregnancy symptoms include fatigue, headaches, lower backaches, and increased urination.

You may contact the American Pregnancy Association at 1-800-672-2296 M-F 10am-6pm to discuss your concerns or ask questions about the pregnancy symptoms you may be experiencing.  You should also look to see if your symptoms could be caused by something else.

Below are more resources related to those experiencing signs of pregnancy:

Image of a pregnant mother with morning sickness which is an early sign of pregnancy

A Comprehensive Review of Pregnancy Symptoms

Each of your symptoms of pregnancy noted below could be explained by other causes. What else could they be?

Spotting: Implantation bleeding can be one of the earliest pregnancy symptoms. About 6-12 days after conception, the embryo implants itself into the uterine wall. Some women will experience spotting as well as cramping. Some women do not even notice implantation bleeding or cramping, so don’t worry if you are trying to get pregnant and don’t experience these symptoms; you could still be pregnant.

Delayed or Missed Period: A delayed or missed period is the most common pregnancy symptom leading a woman to test for pregnancy. When you become pregnant, your next period should be missed. However, some women can bleed while they are pregnant, but typically this bleeding will be shorter or lighter than a normal period.

Swollen or Tender Breasts: Swollen or tender breasts is a pregnancy symptom which may begin as early as 1-2 weeks after conception. Women may notice changes in their breasts; they may be tender to the touch, sore, or swollen.

Fatigue or Tiredness: Feeling fatigued or more tired is a pregnancy symptom which can also start as early as the first week after conception.

Morning Sickness or Nausea: This well-known pregnancy symptom will oftentimes show up between 2-8 weeks after conception. Some women are fortunate to not deal with morning sickness at all, while others feel nauseous throughout most of their pregnancy. If you experience morning sickness, take a look at our articles on morning sickness to learn how to manage it better.

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Backaches: Lower backaches may be a symptom that occurs early in pregnancy; however, it is common to experience a dull backache throughout pregnancy.

Headaches: The sudden rise of hormones in your body can cause you to have headaches early in pregnancy.

Frequent Urination: Around 6-8 weeks after conception, you may find yourself making a few extra trips to the bathroom.

Darkening of Areolas: If you are pregnant, the skin around your nipples may get darker.

Food Cravings or Food Aversions: While you may not have a strong desire to eat pickles and ice cream, many women feel cravings for certain foods when they are pregnant. This can last throughout your entire pregnancy. Some women develop aversions to certain types of food as well, and this too can last throughout your pregnancy.

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Your Next Steps:

Last Update 09/2015

Recommended Reading

Trying to get pregnant? Download the APA’s e-Book, The Essential Guide to Getting Pregnant

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