Early Pregnancy Symptoms

If you are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms, you may be pregnant:

Delayed Period 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. Is it possible to be pregnant and still have a period? Some women can bleed while they are pregnant, but typically this bleeding will be shorter or lighter than a normal period. 

Can I have a delayed or missed period and not be pregnant?

Yes, some other causes for a delayed or missed period can include:

Pending menstruation

Excessive weight gain or loss

Fatigue or exhaustion

New workout regimen

Hormonal imbalance

Tension or stress

Change in birth control usage

Various illnesses



Nausea or Morning Sickness

Nausea or morning sickness is the second most commonly reported first sign of pregnancy. Most expecting women experience nausea which typically shows up 2 to 8 weeks after conception. Nausea can be experienced with or without vomiting. It is important to know that nausea, frequently called morning sickness, can actually be experienced at any time of the day. It usually occurs during the first trimester and subsides after that for most women, but some will experience nausea all throughout their pregnancies.

Can I have nausea or morning sickness and not be pregnant?

Yes, some other causes for nausea or morning sickness include the following:

Food poisoning

Tension or stress


Change in hormonal birth control

Other stomach ailments


Swollen or Tender Breasts

The third most frequently cited pregnancy symptom is breast swelling or tenderness. Changes to the breasts can start as early as 1 to 2 weeks after conception.

Can I have swollen or tender breasts and not be pregnant?

Yes, some other causes for swollen or tender breasts include the following:

Hormonal imbalance

Change in hormonal birth control

Impending menstruation


Spotting or Light Bleeding: Implantation Bleeding

If pregnant, this symptom is usually associated with implantation bleeding and is considered one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. The embryo usually implants to the uterine between 6 to 12 days after conception. Some women will experience spotting as well as cramping. Other women don’t 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. When this implantation occurs, light bleeding or spotting is perfectly normal. This symptom is sometimes accompanied by light cramping.


Fatigue or Tiredness

As early as the first week after conception many women cite feeling tired as a sign of pregnancy.

Can I have fatigue or tiredness and not be pregnant?

Yes, some other causes for fatigue and tiredness include:

Tension or stress

Exhaustion from working too hard

Depression or other mental health struggles

Common cold or flu

New workout regimen

Allergies or other ailments

Lack of sleep

Improper nutrition

Pending menstruation



Lower backaches are common. It can occur with the onset of pregnancy, but it’s usually experienced later as the pregnancy progresses, around  pregnancy week 27 to week 34.



Experts believe the sudden rise of hormones and/or blood flow in your body leads can cause headaches. There is an approximate 50% increase in the volume of blood flowing during your pregnancy.


Frequent Urination

Don’t be surprised if between 6 to 8 weeks you feel like you have to pee more often. You’ll feel the need throughout your pregnancy as the growing baby and expanding uterus place more and more pressure on your bladder.


Darkening of Areolas

It’s normal if the areolas, or the area around your nipples, darken. It’s a common occurrence within those who are expecting.


Food Cravings

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself drawn to something you normally do not care for, or avoiding things that you normally like. The food that expecting women crave or seek to avoid varies and are quite sporadic. It is alright to allow yourself the freedom to pursue those cravings and avoid the things you don’t want as long as you are getting the nutrition you need for a healthy pregnancy. These cravings or aversions can occur early in pregnancy or anytime throughout your pregnancy.


Mood Swings

Expecting mothers frequently experience mood swings. This is primarily caused by the hormonal changes that affect the neurotransmitters of the brain. The types of mood swings can vary from woman to woman. Some may experience elevated highs and lows, and others alternate between states of happiness and depression or anxiety. Mood swings are normal; but, if you’re struggling with depression or extended periods of sadness, please contact your healthcare provider. Some women prefer to go directly to a counselor or mental health professional.