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.

Cramps

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.

Cravings

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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    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.

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    The booking appointment

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

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    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.

Sources

  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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    Comments

    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 afycso (not verified) on 6 Nov 2019 - 17:31

      I spotted twice the last month and my right boob has become a sensitive. I'm not sure if those are signs that I am but does anyone know if they are signs? This is my first time experiencing all of this but I have spotted before but I wasn't pregnant at that time.

    • By Elizabeth (not verified) on 31 Oct 2019 - 05:18

      During September I had a small amount of blood flow during menstruation,and usually I see my period around 24 until 28,but this time it is different I haven't seen my period ,my breasts have grown too much,when I press the breasts I see milk,and my breasts are always painful,I sleep too much than before,I have cravings,but I took a pregnancy test it says negative,could I be pregnant

    • By Mercy (not verified) on 17 Oct 2019 - 06:14

      I missed my period last month for 10 days and I had to take abortion pills and bleeding started the next day but messed up with my hubby on my third day of bleeding but am experiencing vomiting,nusea,growling stomach and my breasts are not even tender nor heavy.could I be pregnant?

    • By Angeline (not verified) on 26 Sep 2019 - 23:55

      I normally have 7 days periots but this month wam 2 days only and it was a light blood am I pregnant

    • By Courtney (not verified) on 23 Sep 2019 - 08:23

      My period is always on time and goes for 4 days this month's my breasts were very sore to the point we're I couldn't sleep my period started two days late and was extremely light it stopped three days later and then started the next day and went for four days it was pink in colour and very light now I have a egg white discharge which I have never had before I'm extremely tired, and have a tingling pulling feeling in my stomach, and I am extremely moody more then usual I get headaches everyday and I feel like I want to vomit half way threw the day...

    • By Zoë (not verified) on 25 Sep 2019 - 19:50

      Have you took a test?
      I feel the same but I’ve had no period

    • By Lerato (not verified) on 23 Sep 2019 - 00:43

      It is my first time missing my periods.....its been a week nou without seeing my periods....am so stressed don't even know wat to do.....am even scared to take a pregnancy test......u still have a hope that I will see my periods......I eat a lot this days,always sleeping......wake up during the night hungry....Can I Get Help Of What To Do...

    • By BUSI (not verified) on 17 Sep 2019 - 17:37

      I had my period on the 2nd till 4th August,then again on the 25th till 29th August,now I'm peeing slot and my breasts are itching, what's happening?

    • By Adegbesan Ade (not verified) on 14 Sep 2019 - 03:42

      I had my period on 14-16August, i saw the next on 10& 11 normal flow but dark spotting on 12&13th but before then i do feel cramps on my left abdomen towards the back and my legs but now I'm feeling it more still on my left side and sometimes on the right side and some movement in my tommy, no symptoms but just tiredness and lost mm of appetite for food, the pt test reads negative please help

    • By Tope (not verified) on 13 Sep 2019 - 06:23

      I did my last period on 4 of august and up till now have not seen it though I have an unprotected sex but I notice a brownish red stain on 12of September in the morning and I also saw the brownish red this morning and it disappear with abdominal pain and I also discover that my nipple are paining me and also feeling tired

    • By Lo! (not verified) on 20 Sep 2019 - 16:25

      Give it another week and take a pregnancy test. You could potentially be expecting. The spotting could’ve been implantation bleeding. I’m no doctor though, let me know.

    • By Princess (not verified) on 12 Sep 2019 - 08:17

      I have a problem last month My periods changed it was spotting for four days after that I was having back pains ,headache My breasts was big but not sore now they are flat a gain and I have pains in My cervix I took a pregnant test the was 1 pink line and the other was white I wait two weeks I took another one they were 2 lines 1 pink the other was faint I took the 3rd one it shows 2 line but still the other line was faint I go to the clinic I explained they test me it came out Negative I showed the Nurse the other test she said maybe its too early I must take again after 7 days I couldn't wait only 2 day's i buy clear blue cause I've already missed My period from this month it was supposed to be on the 10th but still nothing so I took clear blue yesterday it's Say's Not pregnant Am I pregnant or Not?

    • By Sanah (not verified) on 9 Sep 2019 - 16:19

      I would like to ask if there's possibility i might be pregnant after i had an unprotected sex, and suddenly my mouth is always filled with saliva, im lazy n tired lately. I eat too much and my moods change often

    • By Linus Maryanne (not verified) on 9 Sep 2019 - 00:02

      Had my period started on 24th August to 28thaugust 2019. Had unprotected sex with my hubby on31st August. I've been feeling nausea, slight pain on my lower abdomen which is on n off. Today been 8th September, is d 16th day after my period. No sign of ovulation also normal Virgina discharge isn't much this month after my period. What could be of help. Advice plssss.

    • By Sanah (not verified) on 4 Sep 2019 - 09:07

      I had unprotected sex 3days ago, and im feeling weird, my mouth is full of saliva, n my tummy its like I'm gonna throw out, i don't know what to think, or say what is wrong with me.

    • By Finlay (not verified) on 28 Aug 2019 - 23:16

      I have light cramps and feeling waves of sickness and smells making me borky but I am not due period for another week. Have a metallic taste in mouth also. We are trying to conceive and I think I might be just being hopeful. How early after fertilisation can you feel the above symptoms?

    • By Anonymous (not verified) on 9 Sep 2019 - 20:59

      Update I am now 3 days late for my period and trying not to get too excited

    • By Ngozi (not verified) on 14 Oct 2019 - 16:35

      My breast is heavy and painful I been sick for 2weeks now.

    • By Anonymous (not verified) on 24 Oct 2019 - 03:56

      Get a pregnancy test

    • By Natasha (not verified) on 25 Aug 2019 - 20:44

      I had sex a day to my period that was on the 5 of august and I also had sex on the 16 of same month....have been having abdominal cramp and my breast is itching me....am I pregnant?

    • By Anonymous (not verified) on 23 Aug 2019 - 23:14

      I had mild cramps in my sleep, not painful but so irritating it could wake me up out of my sleep, I knew it wasn't my period but it felt like how it feels when my period is just about to start. I used the restroom and I had light bleeding TMI but It lasted 2 days and My Period is 2 weeks away. Ive been trying to conceive but I don't want to get my hopes up. I need help!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • By Happy (not verified) on 14 Aug 2019 - 21:38

      I have symptoms of pregnancy like pain on my napples and slight milk from it and right abdomen pain and discomfort but my test results are negative

    • By carol (not verified) on 13 Aug 2019 - 08:58

      had my periods on 2nd,3rd,4th and 5th july....on 19th had sex with my hubby,on 20th i took an emergency pill-choice 72.....was expecting my periods on 6th augustbut they haven't.on 11th,12th and 13th august i experienced light spotting or is it bleeding in the early hours which is barely 4drops of blood....could i be pregnant?

    • By Anonymous (not verified) on 8 Aug 2019 - 10:41

      I have my period frm 26 june till 15 july but upto now 8august my period is not coming my expected period is 24 july but i did nt came i have dne urine test for 4 times bt it came negative please tell me is that i am pregnant or any other reason

    • By Anonymous (not verified) on 7 Aug 2019 - 18:09

      It's worth mentioning that you would have had sexual intercourse in the last 1 to 33 days since your last period

    • By Desiree (not verified) on 6 Aug 2019 - 09:58

      Me & my husband have been trying for a baby for almost 2 years now. Experienced some light cramping around 7-8DPO followed by very light pink spotting after intercourse ( I also have irregular cycles but if I ever spot I always start my cycle the very next day) Tested at 9DPO came out negative. Been very bloated, super tender/sore nipples, mood swings, frequent pee, fatigue. it’s now 15DPO no cycle yet. I just have this feeling but don’t want to get my hopes up. When should I test again?

    • By Increase Kennedy (not verified) on 3 Aug 2019 - 03:42

      D last time I saw my circle was june, cant remember d date. But all through july n dis August, i hvnt seen my circle. I've been having slight fever, breast heaviness, abdominal pain, always hungry. But when I did a pregancy test I saw just one line which was faint. Please what could be wrong. Is it that I'm pregnant or what. Please i need urgent help.

    • By Linda Osei (not verified) on 4 Sep 2019 - 04:21

      Have u had your period yet? If not try clearblue pt with the weeks indicator and see.

    • By Esther (not verified) on 7 Nov 2019 - 07:16

      pregnancy moods

    • By Teeyee (not verified) on 1 Aug 2019 - 14:38

      I'm 42, had my period 3 days after but since then my Tommy started getting heavy, feeling tired, eating uncontrollably and have a slight metallic taste in mouth. I am so confused right now, could this be early sign of menopause or pregnancy? As soon as I wake up in the morning, I won't feeling comfortable until I eat and after eating, my belly will blow like 3 month old pregnancy and I feel so heavy in my belly and waist. This is strange for me, someone help me because I feel so sick every morning this days. Thanks

    • By Busi (not verified) on 1 Aug 2019 - 08:28

      So I missed my periods for more that four months now and last month (Jul) I did home pregnancy test and it came out negative so I decided to go to thet clinic they did two test and they both came out negative. the nurse felt my tummy and found nothing so they gave me pills saying that they will help me go back to my circle. but I'm scared Am I pregnant?

    • By Annoymous (not verified) on 31 Jul 2019 - 10:52

      My fiancé and I just started trying to have a baby, I for the last month I have been feeling very sick, and I started to get cramps about 2 weeks ago, I have not started my period this month, I did take a pregnancy test a few days after my period and it was negative. Should I take another one?

    • By Anonymous (not verified) on 30 Jul 2019 - 15:57

      Am I pregnant? I started my periods on 15 June and finished on 18th ...Next month July I did not get my periods this this month and I had unprotected sex with my boyfriend on the 9th until 10th of July but I got some few symptoms which are tiredness , headache,discharge, breast changing, appetite, nausea.... And still I did not get my periods... And I still need to take a pregnancy test. ....I am worried about myself.

    • By Jennifer (not verified) on 25 Jul 2019 - 17:58

      Ive been spotting for 3 days now only when i wipe theres light pink blood , my time of the month was supposed to be july 23 , i took 2 pregnancy test both negative could i be pregnant

    • By Brandee (not verified) on 25 Jul 2019 - 13:10

      So me and my boyfriend have been trying for a baby. And this has never happened before every other time we had intercourse but we had sex then a few days later I would have discharge then 2 days after that I had some red spotting and it went away the same day I don't have any abdominal pain but this discharge and spotting thing has happened twice now in less then week?

    • By Lily (not verified) on 25 Jul 2019 - 12:21

      Hi my husband and have been trying for 2 years for a baby we have not have had any luck, but since Wednesday morning I woked up with a very light red spotting, and on Tuesday each time I wiped it was pinkish. My period will be starting in 9 days, could this be implanted or early period?

    • By Louise Mary Harris (not verified) on 24 Jul 2019 - 22:14

      Me and my other half had sex 4 times this month . Well I was meant to be on my time of the month today or yesterday and it only last for 3 or 4 days. So I was hoping u can help me has its really not the best time for me to be pregnant . I have bad moods and wanting to eat but keep feeling sick . Well I would like to now what to do . And I don't get payed untill next month . And my time of the month is sometimes really late

    • By Queen (not verified) on 23 Jul 2019 - 11:57

      Please I need your help,I had my period late late month it can on the 25th of June instead of 20th,my period lasted just two days and stopped on the third day,i only bleed on the second day and until now my breast has been full and it paining me,have done a pregnancy blood test and it negative, but my breast is still full and it hurt badly every time I take off my bra ,am I pregnant

    • By Louise Mary Harris (not verified) on 24 Jul 2019 - 22:06

      Hi
      It can take time for pregnancy test can be wrong . Because I did 4 or more pregnancy test and it was neg and I did pregnancy after I had the blood test and I was pregnant so I did a clear blue and I was 3 and half months . And that was 6 yes ago .

    • 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 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

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