Pregnancy Symptoms - Early Signs 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 menstrual cycle.

Understanding the signs and symptoms of pregnancy is important because each symptom may be related to something other than pregnancy. In order to find out if the symptoms you are experiencing are pregnancy related, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis with an ultrasound.

Some women experience signs or symptoms of pregnancy within a week of conception. For other women, pregnancy symptoms may develop over a few weeks or may not be present at all.

Below is a listing of some of the most common pregnancy signs and symptoms. If you have been sexually active and are experiencing any of the following symptoms it is important to take a pregnancy test.  (The information on this website is intended for general education purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional and/or medical advice.)

Implantation bleeding happens when the embryo implants itself into the uterine wall. This occurs about 6-12 days after conception and can be one of the earliest pregnancy symptoms. Women will experience spotting as well as some cramping. Other explanations for similar symptoms could be: Actual menstruation, altered menstruation, changes in birth control methods or brands, infection or abrasion from intercourse.

Delayed or missed menstruation is the most common pregnancy symptom leading women to test for pregnancy. When you become pregnant your next period should be missed. While some women can bleed during pregnancy, typically the bleeding will be shorter or lighter than a normal period. Other Explanations for menstrual changes could be: Excessive weight gain/loss, fatigue, hormonal problems, tension, stress, ceasing to take the birth control pill or breast-feeding.

Swollen or tender breasts are 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. Other Explanations: Hormonal imbalance, birth control pills, impending menstruation (PMS) can also cause your breasts to be swollen or tender.

Feeling fatigued or more tired in pregnancy can start as early as the first week after conception. Other Explanations for fatigue could be: Stress, exhaustion, depression, common cold or flu, or other illnesses.

Nausea or morning sickness in pregnancy will often show up between 2-8 weeks after conception. Not all women deal with morning sickness, while others feel nauseous throughout most of their pregnancy. Other Explanations for nausea or vomiting could be: Food poisoning, stress, or other stomach disorders can also cause you to feel queasy.

Lower backache may be a symptom that occurs early in pregnancy; however, it is common to experience a dull backache throughout an entire pregnancy. Other Explanations: Impending menstruation, stress, other back problems, and physical or mental strains.

Headaches early in pregnancy could be due to the sudden rise of hormones in your body. Other Explanations for headaches could be: Dehydration, caffeine withdrawal, impending menstruation, eye strain or other ailments.

Frequent urination is common around 6-8 weeks after conception.  Other Explanations for this could be: Urinary tract infection, diabetes, increased liquid intake or taking excessive diuretics.

During pregnancy, the skin around your nipples may get darker. Other Explanations for this could be: residual effect from a previous pregnancy or a hormonal imbalance unrelated to pregnancy.

Many women will feel cravings for certain foods and this can last throughout your entire pregnancy. Other Explanations for food cravings could be: Poor diet, lack of a certain nutrient, stress, depression or impending menstruation.

If your symptom is not listed, you may visit for more information or schedule an appointment with Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic.