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What are the Early Signs of Pregnancy?

The primary way of telling if you are pregnant is generally missing a period or two, however this doesn’t necessarily mean that you are pregnant and can often be misleading.


Women can miss their period for a number of reasons. Missing periods can be due to failure of birth control pills, diet, stress and eating disorders. Diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome can also be reasons for missing a period. If you do miss your period and are concerned you should contact a healthcare provider to see if you are pregnant or have another health problem.


Often pregnancy symptoms can vary from woman to woman. Everyone’s body is different and sends pregnancy signals in different ways. We’ve compiled a list of some symptoms that can be early signs of pregnancy.


Light Bleeding

Studies have shown that almost 25% of women experience some form of bleeding during the early stages of their pregnancy. This typically occurs during the first trimester of pregnancy and normally within 6-12 days of conception. This type of bleeding is often light and produces more of a spotted pattern than a heavy flow. Light bleeding is perfectly normal during the first trimester of pregnancy and shouldn’t be a cause for alarm but it’s always advised to contact your healthcare provider to be on the safe side. Bleeding after the first trimester should be treated more seriously as it can place both the fetus’ and your life in danger. You can read more about bleeding during pregnancy here and what to look out for.


Tender, Swollen Breasts or Nipples

Women may notice changes in their breasts often 1 to 2 weeks after conception. Breasts can often feel tender, sore and sometimes tingly as a result of hormonal changes in the body. Breasts can often feel heavy and fuller as well. Again this is perfectly normal and it’s your body preparing itself for feeding your baby. Your breasts will change throughout your pregnancy in shape and comfort.



Many women report that they feel tired and run down during the early stages of their pregnancy which is common. This is because your body is reacting to the new pregnancy and is now producing a hormone called progesterone which helps maintain the pregnancy and produce milk glands in the breasts. In addition to this the body is pumping more blood around to carry more nutrients to the fetus which puts a strain on the body and uses up more energy. Women may notice fatigue 1 week after conception.



Due to the sudden rise in hormones being produced and increase in blood flow, headaches can often occur. These can occur just 1 week into pregnancy.


Morning Sickness

Nausea and vomiting can often start anywhere between 2 and 8 weeks into pregnancy. It’s often referred to as “morning sickness” although nausea and vomiting can often occur at any time of the day. Between 50% – 75% of women experience some form of morning sickness within the first trimester of pregnancy and it’s actually a good indication and means that your pregnancy is most likely healthy. Nausea is caused by the hormones your body is producing to cope with the pregnancy, and levels of sickness can differ from person to person. Morning sickness will often pass at around 4 months into your pregnancy once your hormones have leveled off.


Food Cravings

Many women report that they experience a change in appetite in the early stages of pregnancy and often experience cravings for food that they wouldn’t usually eat. This can often occur during the early stages or throughout the entire pregnancy. Again, these cravings are a result of hormones and increased blood flowing through the body.


Mood Swings

Due to the amount of changes happening in your body, it’s natural to experience mood swings throughout your pregnancy. 


Frequent Urination

During the first few weeks of pregnancy the body produces a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin. This increases blood flow to the pelvic region which in turn will cause a more frequent urge to urinate.



Many of these symptoms can occur outside of pregnancy so it is important to speak to a healthcare provider if you have any concerns or suspect that you are pregnant. Taking a pregnancy test is one of the best ways to see if you are pregnant. Once you have a pregnancy test and you discover you are pregnant it is advised that you book an ultrasound to check the baby’s well being and to see how far along you are.


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