Early Pregnancy Symptoms

Whether you are trying to get pregnant, or think you may already be pregnant, it can be extremely frustrating waiting to find out one way or the other! Lots of women cannot bear the wait between ovulation and menstruation and want to find out if they are pregnant sooner rather than later.

If you are really impatient to get results, you may be surprised to know that your body can be an excellent indicator, if you monitor yourself carefully!

Some women experience pregnancy symptoms within just a few days of conception; others experience nothing at all until a few weeks into the pregnancy.

So what are the early signs of pregnancy?

Nausea/ Vomiting

Otherwise known as “Morning Sickness”, this can occur very early on in pregnancy, even before you realise that you are pregnant. Many women think they may have a touch of food poisoning or are coming down with a cold!

Enhanced Sense of Smell and Taste

Lots of women become more sensitive to everyday smells and common foodstuffs, such as tea, coffee and toast, can trigger nausea.

Frequent Urination

This can happen as early as 1 week into the pregnancy. You may find you are running to the toilet a lot more often than normal and maybe even during the night.

Breast Tenderness

It is very common for women to report that their breasts and nipples enlarge and become extremely tender very early on in pregnancy – all in preparation for breastfeeding!


You may feel absolutely exhausted very early on in pregnancy and throughout the first trimester.

Missed Period

For most women this can be the first indication that they are pregnant, but for the first few weeks of pregnancy you may experience cramping and have a feeling your period will arrive at any moment. Often the cramping is accompanied by back pain.

Obviously, any cramping and bleeding, even if it is light, should be reported to your doctor.

Light Bleeding/ Spotting

About 8-10 days after ovulation some women experience some light bleeding which coincides with the time a period was due.

Dizziness/ Fainting

Because pregnancy affects the sense of taste and smell, lots of pregnant women unintentionally avoid food and skip meals. This causes low blood sugar levels which can lead to dizzy spells and fainting.


In order to absorb all the nutrients that your developing baby requires, pregnancy hormones slow down your metabolism and this can lead to constipation.


With lots of pregnancy hormones raging through your body, as well as coping with sickness and tiredness, is it any wonder pregnant women get easily irritated during early pregnancy?

Heartburn/ Indigestion

Although heartburn and indigestion are usually associated with the later stages of pregnancy, they can also occur early on for some women.

Changes in Complexion

You might notice your skin breaks out in spots as a result of all the pregnancy hormones coursing through your body, but this often settles down by the second trimester!

Increased Cervical Mucous

Many pregnant women notice that they pass more cervical mucous than normal and that it is thick and white.

Weight Loss

Perhaps surprisingly, you may lose weight during the first trimester of pregnancy. However, considering that most women try to eat more healthily, cut out alcohol and eat less due to a decreased appetite, it is completely normal!

Enjoy your precious nine months!

This is an edited version of Early Pregnancy Symptoms by Sinead Hoben.

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