Early Signs & Symptoms of Being Pregnant

Women who might be pregnant are understandably eager to know whether they have conceived a child. But a pregnancy test isn’t accurate until about two weeks after conception, and some women with irregular periods may find judging the timing of potential conception difficult. This leaves many potential moms-to-be wondering if there is any other way to determine if they are carrying a baby. While a positive pregnancy test result is the only way to be completely certain that you are pregnant, there are some signs and symptoms that may be evident before a pregnancy test can reveal the results.


Many women who become pregnant begin to feel fatigued as their bodies divert energy to supporting the developing embryo.

Sore Breasts

Sore and swollen breasts are a common early sign of pregnancy caused by the hormonal changes that occur in a woman’s body when she conceives a child. This usually feels similar to the soreness that sometimes occurs during a woman’s menstrual period.


Morning sickness often occurs early in pregnancy as the hormones that support pregnancy cause a disruption to a woman’s digestive system. Despite the name, morning sickness can strike at any time of day.


The increasing hormones, especially progesterone, can also result in bloating during early pregnancy, especially around the abdomen.

Implantation Bleeding

Around 11 to 12 days after conception, some women experience a small amount of vaginal bleeding or spotting. This occurs when the new embryo implants into the lining of the uterus.

Frequent Urination

Women who are in the early stages of pregnancy may find themselves needing to use the bathroom more frequently than normal. This increase in urination is another symptom caused by the fluctuating hormones of pregnancy as the body produces more fluids than normal.

Sensitivity to Smells

If a woman notices some smells seem stronger than normal and that she feels nauseated or disturbed by some scents, this can be a sign of early pregnancy.

High Basal Body Temperature

The basal body temperature is the temperature of the body first thing in the morning after waking. For women who chart their body temperature each morning, a high temperature for more than 18 days typically signals that the woman is pregnant.

Missed Period

For women who have regular periods, a missed period is often the first sign that they notice that indicates a potential pregnancy. Since this occurs about 14 days after conception, a pregnancy test taken after noticing a missed period is considered accurate for confirming pregnancy.

About this Author

Bridget Coila has been writing professionally since 1998 and specializes in health, science and nutrition topics. Some of her articles have appeared in “Oxygen,” “American Fitness” and “Suite 101.” Coila has a B.S. in cell and molecular biology from the University of Cincinnati and 10 years of medical research experience.