Early signs of pregnancy

How do you know if you're pregnant? The most common first sign of pregnancy is a missed period. Find out what else to look for

Every pregnancy is different so if you don't have any of these early signs, don't worry. If you notice one or more of these symptoms, take a pregnancy test.

Your period is late

This is a classic sign of pregnancy. If your period is late, take a pregnancy test to check whether you are pregnant.

You can keep track of your period by marking the days in a calendar or by using an app.


About eight to ten days after ovulation, you might have some cramps in your lower tummy. You may also have a slight pink, red or brown staining around the time you expect your period. This is known as implantation bleeding and is caused by the fertilised egg settling into the lining of your womb.

‘I thought I'd had a period when I'd actually missed it and it was cramps/spotting.’ Tanya, mum-to-be

Deep tiredness

Even though your baby is still smaller than a peanut, the first few weeks of pregnancy can be draining, both physically and emotionally. You may have extreme tiredness, caused by changes in your body.

Early pregnancy tiredness is not like ordinary tiredness - you may feel completely exhausted after a normal day's activities. The best way to deal with it is to listen to your body and get more rest.

Breast tenderness

Some women have breast tenderness or a tingly feeling in their breasts during the early weeks of pregnancy. The skin around your nipples may look bumpier than usual, too. These bumps are called 'Montgomery's tubercules' and they secrete an oily fluid to prepare your nipples for breastfeeding.

Your breasts may also feel heavier. Many of these changes are because of the extra hormones that you have in your body during pregnancy.

Funny taste in your mouth

Have you suddenly gone off your favourite food or do you have a strange metallic taste in your mouth? These are signs of early pregnancy. Some women also complain about having too much saliva.

Some women also report being more sensitive to smells

Need to wee more often

In early pregnancy you may need to pass urine more often than usual because your womb is expanding and pressing on your bladder.

The hormone progesterone also makes you need to wee more, as well as sometimes causing constipation.

Feeling nauseous and/or being sick

New pregnancy hormones are flooding your body and, for some women, the reaction to this is to feel sick. Some women feel slightly queasy and others may actually be sick. This is commonly known as morning sickness but it can happen at any time of the day.

You might be more sensitive to smells, including food and cooking.

If you can’t keep any food or water down talk to to your midwife or GP because there is a risk that you may become dehydrated.


Not all mums-to-be will get strange cravings but hormonal changes can trigger them in some women.

Mood swings

Hormones are natural chemicals that help your body manage your pregnancy, prepare it for the birth and help produce milk for your baby. The hormones oestrogen and progesterone flood your body in the first 12 weeks. It is these hormones that can also make you feel more emotional than normal.

You may find that you are laughing one minute, then crying the next. Don’t worry, this is normal.

Pregnancy brings anxieties and stresses as well as happiness. However, if you are a feeling down or anxious for a large part of the day and it seems to be lasting longer than a couple of weeks it is important that you talk to your midwife or GP about how you are feeling.

The much talked about glow of happiness can actually make women who are not feeling this very isolated. It is common to feel stress and anxiety in pregnancy and you need to keep an eye on your emotional well-being as well as your physical well-being.

Download our Wellbeing Plan [PDF] to help you talk to your midwife about this.

Other symptoms

The symptoms above are just some of the most common but there are many others. Your pregnancy will be unique to you and your symptoms might be too. If you’re trying to get pregnant, listen to your body and look out for any changes.

‘One of my earliest signs is a rumbling tummy and feeling constantly hungry!’ Clio, mum of two

What to do next

If you’re experiencing one or more of the symptoms above, take a pregnancy test. However, if you haven’t missed a period yet it may be too early to tell, or your test result may be inaccurate.

Positive pregnancy test

If you have done a test and it was positive, read about the five things to do when you find out you’re pregnant.

Negative pregnancy test

A negative result might not be reliable if you took it too soon.

If you do a home test very early and have a negative result, do another test in two to three days' time if you still haven't had your period. If you continue to get negative results and still don't have a period, talk to your doctor.

Getting pregnant can take longer than you were expecting. Find out how conception works.

Read more about early pregnancy

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    Dos and don'ts for a safer pregnancy

    Congratulations on your pregnancy! This page covers the evidence-based recommendations from midwives of things to do and not do in pregnancy

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    Find out how healthy you are with our simple calculator tools and see what changes you can make to help you have a healthier pregnancy.

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    First trimester worries

    Smoking, drinking, folic acid and miscarriage. Get answers to some of the common worries in the first trimester of pregnancy

  • Young woman yawning

    First trimester trials

    Nausea, extreme tiredness, sore breasts, cramps... the first trimester is not always easy. Here’s some advice to get you through the first 12 weeks.

  • The words 'myths' and 'facts' written on a blackboard

    10 pregnancy myths

    You don’t need to kick your caffeine habit completely. Flying is fine. And sex actually gets better (for some). The truth behind 10 of the most misunderstood pregnancy myths.

  • Endometriosis and pregnancy

    10 common pregnancy complaints

    You may have heard about morning sickness and extreme tiredness, but what about these other common but less talked about pregnancy symptoms.

  • Woman having blood pressure checked by nurse.

    The booking appointment

    Your first antenatal appointment with a midwife is called a 'booking' visit and will take longer than later visits.

  • A woman wearing a yellow jumper bending over a sink and holding her mouth

    Morning sickness - information and support

    It's very common to feel sick during the first few months of pregnancy, and sometimes for a bit longer.


  1. NHS Choices, 'Tiredness in pregnancy'http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/tiredness-sleep-pregnant.aspx [accessed 29.03.18]
  2. NHS choices, 'Signs and symptoms of pregnancy': http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/signs-and-symptoms... 10/04/2018] 
  3. NHS Choices, 'Severe vomiting in pregnancy': http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/severe-vomiting-in... 10/04/2018]
  4. NICE (2014), 'Antenatal and postnatal mental health:clinical management and service guidance'; 1.5.4: http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg192/chapter/1-recommendations#recognis...
  5. Royal College of Psychiatrists, Mental health in pregnancy, London RCP, 2015: http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/problemsdisorders/mentalhealthinpr...[accessed 10/04/2018]
  6. NHS Choices, 'How soon can I do a pregnancy test?': http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/948.aspx?CategoryID=54&SubCategoryID=140 [accessed 10/04/2018]
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Last reviewed on April 10th, 2018. Next review date April 10th, 2021.

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Please note that these comments are monitored but not answered by Tommy’s. Please call your GP or maternity unit if you have concerns about your health or your baby’s health.
  • By Adaeze (not verified) on 19 Jul 2019 - 11:53

    I have be having pains on my lower abdomen and l ovulated on the 14th of these month.what could be the cause

  • By Michaela (not verified) on 19 Jul 2019 - 11:23

    For the last two months me and my partner have been more sexually active than before, normally I have regular HEAVY PERIODS, Then on the 14th of this month I thaught IDE started my period but this was not the same or no were near as heavy ! I've been spotting and have had a brown, I've been sick very tired and very emotional it's been ten years since I last carried! Please help as im so confused.

  • By Perol Juwel (not verified) on 18 Jul 2019 - 18:42

    I ovulate june 6 and i had unprotected sex that same day on June 8 I had sex again with my husband ..and My June period was to come 20th it came 21th with dark blood all through for 2days and dry off instead of 3days my normal period days..later on 24th I spotted and i didn't see anything again. After I began to feel tired and sick..hotflashes headache and breast were so full and tender to touch along with cramps much more on right side down Tommy. It continue like that...all through June. Now July same thin occur as that of June. Still feeling the same symptoms. Breast still hurt and many other pregnancy symptoms. I sleep a lot and eating like every minute. My body increase in size...weighing 80kg instead of normal 68kg. Am I pregnant because have been looking up to it. Pls any response to this?

  • By cecilia (not verified) on 17 Jul 2019 - 20:56

    I stated my period on the 10th of July nd I finished on the 14th,since den have been having the sharp pain @ D down of my stomach,wanna ask could I be pregnant.reply plz

  • By Adams (not verified) on 17 Jul 2019 - 18:03

    I miss my period 5 days now ,what I feel right now and all the time is tiredness sometimes shortness of breathe am I pregnant?

  • By Linda (not verified) on 15 Jul 2019 - 16:53

    I have a year and seven months old baby...I saw my period 20th of June and ovulation starts 2nd...I used ovulation kit and it was confirmed ovulation...so I make love with my hubby that second...2dayz later...I started having a sign around my waist...as if am to see peroid till 15th of this month...my next period Is 17th of this month...I also feel crampy signs and lower waist pain...I ran a test 3days ago and it was negative...Am I or not pregnant?

  • By Sylvia (not verified) on 16 Jul 2019 - 18:18

    You have to check again in the morning and see

  • By elizabeth (not verified) on 14 Jul 2019 - 09:15

    I saw my period on June 14 and it ended June17 then I had sex with my boyfriend few days later before my ovulation period and for dis month I ought to c my period on 12 and have not seen it but have been having menstrual cramps for d past three days and there is no sign of pregnancy am I really pregnant pls I nid answer ansap

  • By Madiha Malik (not verified) on 3 Jul 2019 - 13:29

    I got married on 10th April nd hv my periods on 15 April but my date was 21. Then I got my periods on 14th May nd next I got lil spotting on 8th june nd had my periods on 9th june properly. Its been 10 days I'm having lower back pain, sore nd heavy breast, feeling too emotional nd start crying without an issue, headache, nausea, lower abdomen cramps nd in the mid of stomach cramps, In morning 1st july I got a blood spot in light brownish color then I took pregnancy test at home but it shows negative after 2 days on 3rd july I had spotting of light pinkish discharge. Please tell me if I'm pregnant or not .

  • By Amanda (not verified) on 13 Jul 2019 - 18:33

    I am in same both as you I was due April period missed and then missed Mays June came along I had light bleeding and July I had light bleeding nothing like a period at all cause I usually soak through 3 pads a day first couple days that always last 7 days and these past two time it was only 3 or 4 days so light I didn’t need a pad and I have been feeling movement in my stomach for the past couple weeks but my test have been negative but something is off I have had pregnancy symptoms and even one test showed a faint positive but I am lost scheduled for an ultrasound on the 18 but I just feel like I am going crazy!!

  • By Anna Durk (not verified) on 3 Jul 2019 - 12:43

    We have been Ttc for three cycles now after getting my copper IUD removed. I have two children prior. This month I was set to get my period on the 29th of June. The 24th hit and I had some brown spotting so I used a tampon just in case and it was gone within a days time. I am now working on day 4 of being late for my period but tested this morning and am negative. Could I still be pregnant or could I just miss a period for the month without any birth control? Please give any suggestions you might think it is. - hopeful Anna

  • By sebolelo Elizabeth (not verified) on 1 Jul 2019 - 06:32

    Hello I removed my in plant on 22 may it was 3yrs old after a week in had unprotected sex with my boyfriend when the to the clinic on 19 June to test ifor I'm preg but came out negetive cos I saw water coming out of my breast and starting to have ubdominal pain an wee more often now it's first of July I don't see my period do u think Im pregnant

  • By Doris (not verified) on 30 Jun 2019 - 23:16

    after my period I had sex with my bf 3 days later I had sex with my ex now I think am pregnant who's the father, first I had sex with or the last guy

  • By Millie (not verified) on 9 Jul 2019 - 11:02

    Its ur ex

  • By zainny (not verified) on 26 Jun 2019 - 16:36

    I had sex a day after my period and also had unprotected sex during my ovulation week..I started having slight abdominal pain, breast sore especially when I take off my bra, temperature and sometime headache.. now my period came 3days early before the expectated date, and I also had unprotected sex this morning before the period... could I be pregnant?

  • By Pocahontas (not verified) on 1 Jul 2019 - 06:19

    It seems unlikely. Take a test to be sure.

  • By barbra (not verified) on 22 Jun 2019 - 19:11

    I had sex 10 days after my period.on day 38-40 I've been spotting and have been having cramps,lower back pains,no sore breasts and a flu for 2 weeks now.I've done 2 pg tests and they are negative.could I be pregnant?

  • By Bee (not verified) on 28 Jun 2019 - 08:45

    I’m in the same boat and it’s awful not knowing. I’ve been TTC with my partner, having regular sex. I’m now 8 days late for my period. I’ve been taking tests (even splashing out on the early detection ones), and all have been negative. Last night I had very light pink spotting and this morning there’s absolutely nothing. Was this implantation bleeding? Can it happen this late (day 38 of my cycle)? My boobs are so sore and swollen, I’ve been cramping in my lower back and tummy, I’m emotional, I’ve been having headaches, have an awful taste in my mouth. Everything is pointing to me being pregnant but all my tests are negative :( has anyone else experienced a similar thing? I’ve got to the point where I don’t mind if I’m not pregnant, but I’d just like to have my period so we can get back to trying to conceive. Thanks x

  • By Sidiqot (not verified) on 21 Jun 2019 - 22:58

    I am seen sign and sysmtom of pregnancy and my breast is heavier and my left stomach is hard than the right one and I am tried and too much sleeping and I am seen blood and is too much please what is the outcome

  • By Lebohang (not verified) on 21 Jun 2019 - 16:15

    Last month my period came early on the 12th it has never happened before ,so I thought maybe it's changing then this month I have not yet seen my period, my breast is heavier, nipples are iching lost epitate lots of cravings, & I sleep during the day

  • By amy (not verified) on 18 Jun 2019 - 07:34

    Im ment to come on today i had sore boobs from o er a week ago little cramps the same and noticed the other day tiny bit of blood on my pants also goin the toilet every half our ??

  • By Lydia (not verified) on 13 Jun 2019 - 20:15

    I had sex on 14 -15th may 2019 and I had my menstruation on 24 may and on 7th June was my ovulation period but it seems it has lasted longer than I expected, I have being having morning sickness,my breast looks heavier that if I take off my bra I feel pains,feeling tired with or without working and this has continued for six days now still counting,could it be am still ovulating or pregnant eventhough I took contraceptive on the third day after sex?

  • By Lali (not verified) on 1 Jul 2019 - 12:36

    Tell mi the test

  • By Michelle (not verified) on 12 Jun 2019 - 02:06

    So just to put it out there, me and my boyfriend have been trying to get pregnant for 5 cycles now. And on may 31, 2019 I started spotting for 5 days after that it was light to red to light then brown. After the spotting ended, I was suppose to start my period that next day but nothing I had no spotting of any sort or period. It is now 4 days late and still nothing, I am experiencing fatigue and sore tender breasts and also a little cramping in the lower abdomen and lower back here and there. Should I take a test now or should I wait a couple more days in case my period suddenly shows up? I'm not so sure & it sucks to be disappointed at the results even though that's how it goes.

  • By babrah (not verified) on 30 May 2019 - 06:48

    j have headache and heartburn

  • By nelly (not verified) on 20 Jun 2019 - 07:47

    I have been having a headache since I had sex with my boyfriend​

  • By by name chioma (not verified) on 29 May 2019 - 22:20

    I missed my period for one month should it be as a result of pregnancy beside am experiencing signs of pregnancy such as morning sickness, breast pain, nausea, constipation,food aversion, etc

  • By Maria (not verified) on 18 May 2019 - 13:23

    I don't know if am pregnant or not ,but before my period comes out ,I went for lab they said am not pregnant while am having constant headache, tiredness,constant urine,feeling fainting, I later went for another lab twice also negative ,while the signs continued ,after that I had unprotected sex again which I took salt immediately for flushing out of the sperm ,so after some weeks my period also came out on 13 which the previous one came out on 16 ,and am 28 cycles,please am I pregnant

  • By Peet (not verified) on 18 May 2019 - 07:38

    I had my period on May 8 ended on may12 had unprotected sex on May 12 my periods are very irregular gaps are anywhere from 22-28 day and from April to May 8th it was 22 days gap so I had sec on the last day of my period and I’m now having lower back pains and leg pains comes and goes what does it mean???

  • By Mercy (not verified) on 15 May 2019 - 13:14

    I take my implant 6 weeks ago out and there is movements in my stomach gaining weight pain on my left side bladder sometimes if it can fell out much pain stomach is so big by the daypregnant test negative plz help

  • By Angelica (not verified) on 13 May 2019 - 05:23

    For the past two weeks I have been feeling nauseous, headaches, sore tender tingly feeling in my breasts, cramping and fatigue. I’ve taken about 3 home pregnancy test and gotten negative results. The last day of my PMS was on 4-29-19 and even with that it came on extremely late which isn’t normal because my periods are always regular. Could I be pregnant or could it be something else?

  • By pregnancy symptoms (not verified) on 8 May 2019 - 06:42

    There may be a myriad of symptoms indicating pregnancy. However, it is best to consult a doctor and confirm the good news before you get on with the real celebrations.

  • By Kaydeen (not verified) on 6 May 2019 - 02:22

    My last period was March 17 and was expecting on April 17 I did a pregnancy test once it’s negative I can’t understand the two sides of my stomach as sink forward

  • By Shaw (not verified) on 25 Apr 2019 - 05:46

    I am 22 days late for my period.
    Last month March 2-5 my cycle lasted for 3 days which is out the norm for me cause usually in 5 to 7 day for my cycle. I'm also a heavy bleeder
    I have been having headaches, sore and ended breast , back pains, nausea and some constipation and some diarrhea I also spotted for 2 days. It was only when I wiped one day , the other day it was a lil blood in the toilet just to tiny it lightly.
    I've taken home test but it came out negative . Home test usually dont work for me cause i took them with my other 2 children they came out negative and 9 months later boom baby.
    Trying to prevent that from happening again do you think that I could still be pregnant.
    Something in me feels as if i am . I've never missed a period.
    22 Days late is not normal

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 25 Apr 2019 - 13:05

    Hi - Thank you for your message.
    As your period has been delayed for quite a few days and you are experiencing unusual symptoms, you should contact your doctor to be checked and for advice.

  • By edna (not verified) on 25 Mar 2019 - 23:29

    I remove my implant February I was seeing a brown sport then but am dew for my period March over a week now it has not come feeling breast pain paing in d low part of my stomach and some move in d left part of my stomach did test it was negative pls am just confused

  • By Amoni (not verified) on 22 Mar 2019 - 06:54

    Hi, normally my periods last at least 4 days if not 5. I came on my period Sunday morning, but later on Monday evening I noticed slight change happening. Tuesday, I noticed a major change. My period had slowed down A LOT, and I was spotting for a couple of hours, just until it stopped. While my period seemed to be stopping, I noticed if I moved to much that in my lower right back there were little cramps that were a bit uncomfortable. Later that night, my period had definitely proven to be off. Me and this guy I’ve been “dating” had intercourse and we thought I would start bleeding again, but it never happened, not the day after, or even after that. The crazy thing about it is I was feeling nauseous for a week straight at night, couldn’t eat pizza like I normally can, I’ve been feeling really tired no matter what I do, even if I’m constantly working and staying busy. Btw, all of this has never happened all at once to me before. I wonder if I am pregnant? If I am I could be like 2-3 weeks.. maybe. He keeps asking me everyday if I have came back on lol.

  • By Steph1345 (not verified) on 19 Mar 2019 - 07:11

    I’m 2days late and my periods are regular. Always I have sore breast and light cramping could I be pregnant?

  • By Emma James (not verified) on 27 Dec 2018 - 22:59

    I have only come off my period last week and this week my breasts are really tender And I'm having slight pains, that feel like period pains and I had a bad taste in my mouth at the beginning of this week and I'm really emotional. I did a test and it came up as not pregnant, but it's only been 6/7 nights since I slept with my partner. If anyone has any idea I'd appreciate your opinion because I'm really worried.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 9 Jan 2019 - 12:55

    Hi Emma
    Please repeat the pregnancy test if you have not already done so.
    Here are some tips for when is best to take a pregnancy test -
    All the best, Tommy's Midwife

  • By Sovy (not verified) on 17 Oct 2018 - 22:15

    I always have frequent headache, stomache ache below my tommy, my mouth is tasteless and lost of appetite,am discharging something like egg yolk,feeling sick,feel one kind of movement in my tommy and i haven't see my period for this month. Can it be pregnant? Because pregnant kit is given me negative can this be real? Please am confuse.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 22 Oct 2018 - 16:01

    If pregnancy test is negative, please see your doctor for help with your symptoms.

  • By Liz (not verified) on 7 Sep 2018 - 18:03

    I have very sort breasts tiredness mood swings Miss period

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 11 Sep 2018 - 16:39

    I would advise that you do a pregnancy test-if it is positive, please contact your GP or maternity unit for a referral to start your antenatal care. If the test is negative please discuss your symptoms with your GP as there may be other causes for them

    Tommy's Midwife

  • By naomi chuks (not verified) on 23 Jun 2019 - 08:57

    i heard my period on the 16th june and stopped on the 19th . been having sex with my partner and am feeling tired, back waist pain , i have done pt but negative . when will it likely to show on the test tube positive

  • By Sangeetha (not verified) on 11 Jul 2018 - 10:21

    Every time I have my period regularly but this month I have only 2 days period but it seem to be brown pinkish blood. Once my period over in 2 days but my stomach is bloating and my left side of wormb is hard it seem to be like pregnant. Help me pls

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 12 Jul 2018 - 15:40

    Hi Sangeetha,
    If you have been having intercourse then it is possible this bleeding is an implantation bleed and you could be pregnant. I would advise for you to do a pregnancy test to see if you are pregnant or not. If this is positive then do see your GP if you are having pain on the left hand side. If you are bloated and left side seems hard then it could be that you are constipated, therefore drink water regularly and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, with regular exercise to ease this.
    Best wishes
    Tommy's midwife

  • By Doris (not verified) on 26 Jun 2018 - 17:22

    Two days ago,I was very dizzy and weak, when I take off my bra,I see heaviness on my breast and I'm feeling back pains on the upper right side. My period is supposed to come in 4-6days time. Please what could this mean?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 28 Jun 2018 - 11:20

    Thank you for your message
    It is possible that you are pregnant from the breast symptoms you describe. I would advise that you wait to see if you have your period in the next few days; if it is late or not a normal period for you I would suggest you do a pregnancy test. There are also pregnancy tests that you can use before a period if you would like to know sooner what is happening.
    I have attached a link with more information for you
    Hope this helps
    Tommy's midwife

  • By Angela (not verified) on 25 May 2018 - 00:41

    I'm supposed to see my period for four days but it stopped on the second day.i also feel pain in my abdomen.could it be that am pregnant?

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