Early Pregnancy Symptoms

Early pregnancy symptoms can sometimes happen before a missed period and before a positive pregnancy test. Early pregnancy symptoms and signs are usually related to the pregnancy hormone hCG or "Human Chorionic Gonadotropin" which is responsible for the typical pregnancy signs.

Even though hCG is not usually detectable in large quantities in blood or urine until after a missed menstrual period, there are many women who report having typical pregnancy symptoms even before they miss their period. Early detection pregnancy tests can confirm pregnancy as early as 9-10 days acter ovulation and fertilization, well before a missed period.

If you're like everyone else then you're trying to figure out what the signs and symptoms of pregnancy or pregnancy symptoms are and how likely they are to mean that you are pregnant. Read more about a day-by-day appearance of pregnancy signs on the Pregnancy Symptoms Timeline Page. You can ask other people, you can worry in silence, but the best thing is to read through the categories and add up the signs. The more typical early pregnancy signs you have, the more likely you are to be pregnant.

Pregnancy Symptoms

Early pregnancy symptoms and signs differ from one woman to the other and from one pregnancy to the other. The most significant early pregnancy sign is a late or missed menstrual period. However, the only definite diagnosis even with the best pregnancy sign is to have a positive pregnancy test.

Understanding the signs and symptoms of pregnancy is important because each symptom may be related to something other than pregnancy. Some women experience early pregnancy signs within a week after ovulation/fertilization and conception.

In other women, early pregnancy symptoms and signs may develop much later, well after a missed period and after a positive pregnancy test. Other women may not have early pregnancy signs at all.

The first pregnancy symptoms and the time of their appearance are listed here:  

Pregnancy Symptoms Timing of Pregnancy Symptom
Temperature drop (dip) Implantation day
Implantation bleeding or spotting:(a slight staining of a pink or brown color) 8-10 days after ovulation
Lower abdominal cramps / Implantation cramps / hot flashes 8-10 days after ovulation
A positive blood hCG pregnancy test 10 days after fertilization/ovulation
A positive urine home pregnancy test (HPT)
10-14 days after ovulation/fertilization
An elevated BBT 15+ days without a menstrual period
No period. A missed menstrual period
Your period is supposed to come 14-16 days after ovulation
Nausea 2-4 weeks after ovulation
Nipple or breast tenderness 3-4 weeks after conception
Fatigue and tiredness 3-10 weeks after conception
Vomiting 3-10 weeks after conception
Food cravings 1-2 months after conception
Frequent urination Usually after 1-2 months
Softening of cervix 6+ weeks after LMP
Constipation Later
Lower-back pain Later
Breast changes After 14 weeks
Fetal heartbeat on sonogram 8-9 weeks after conception
Fetal movements 18-20+ weeks

Most women have uncomplicated pregnancies and their daily routines may not change until the last few weeks before delivery. Other women have difficult pregnancies that change their daily lives right from the start.

Did you have a negative pregnancy test but you think you still could be pregnant? Read more HERE about what your chances are that you are still pregnant after having a negative pregnancy test.

Small amounts of hCG enter the blood stream several days after implantation, about 8-10 days after ovulation and before a missed period. Thus, typical pregnancy symptoms typically do not appear until the hCG has reached sufficient levels which is about 1-2 weeks after you miss your period (3-4 weeks after ovulation, or 2-3 weeks after implantation), at a time when the hCG has risen enough. That is usually when you develop typical 2WW symptoms. While typical pregnancy symptoms may indicate that a woman is pregnant, nothing will really confirm a pregnancy except a positive pregnancy test.

Many women experience emotional shifts and mood swings. It's natural to feel doubt, anxiety, and fear about pregnancy and childbirth, as well as happiness, excitement, and anticipation. Keeping a on line pregnancy journal can help you keep track of your emotions. Plus, it will serve as a wonderful keepsake of your pregnancy in the years to come.

As soon as you think you might be pregnant, you should visit a pregnancy help center or clinic right away for a pregnancy test. If you are pregnant it is important to learn more about what to expect from pregnancy and how to care for yourself and your growing baby. It is important to begin taking a prenatal vitamin containing the recommended vitamins and minerals (including folic acid) to ensure your nutritional needs are being met. If you smoke or drink, you should stop immediately -- tobacco and alcohol can harm your unborn child. Certain medications can also harm your child. Pregnancy typically lasts 40 weeks, or 9 months. That time is divided into three periods called trimesters (three-month intervals), during which different things happen to your body and to the baby. Below is a list of some of the normal signs and symptoms  a pregnant woman may experience and the changes described here may happen earlier or later than they appear on this list, and some may continue throughout the pregnancy.