9 Early Pregnancy Signs (That You’re Not Imagining)

If you’re trying to conceive, taking a pregnancy test at the right time is always your best bet to determine whether or not you’re pregnant. 

But even before it’s time to take a pregnancy test, you might notice symptoms. That’s because, even in early pregnancy, hormonal and physical changes can take place in your body. 

With all of the hormones rushing through a pregnant woman’s body, it’s no wonder that headaches are another common early sign of pregnancy.

Common Early Signs of Pregnancy

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  1. Missed period. First and foremost, the most obvious sign of pregnancy is a missed period. For many women, that’s the first symptom they notice. A missed period occurs two weeks after conception.
  2. Extreme tiredness. Have you been feeling exhausted lately? Many women feel tired in early pregnancy. That’s because the pregnant body is working overtime to maintain the pregnancy and develop milk-producing glands in the breasts. Some pregnant women notice this fatigue even as early as one week after conception, making this one of the first noticeable signs of pregnancy.
  3. Sore, swollen breasts. If you’ve noticed that your breasts feel full, heavy or even tingly, you may want to consider the fact that you might be pregnant. This symptom may show up even as early as one or two weeks after conception.
  4. Nausea and/or vomiting. Feeling sick to your stomach? Pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting can start two to eight weeks after conception and continue throughout pregnancy.
  5. Frequent urination. Early on in pregnancy, women might feel that they’ve “gotta go” frequently. As the pregnancy hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) flows through the pregnant body, more blood flow enters the pelvic region, which then causes more frequent urination. 
  6. Intense cravings/aversions. Feeling especially hungry for a particular food? Can’t stand the sight of foods you usually enjoy? Food cravings or aversions are common throughout pregnancy. 
  7. Breast changes. Even at the very early stages of a pregnancy, some women notice a darkening of skin around their nipples.
  8. Headaches. With all of the hormones rushing through a pregnant woman’s body, it’s no wonder that headaches are another common early sign of pregnancy.
  9. Mood swings. Yelled at anyone lately? Mood swings are common for newly expectant mothers. That’s because hormonal changes can affect neurotransmitters in the brain. Pregnancy can cause women to feel extreme highs and lows. If you’re feeling stressed, try these stress-busting tips for pregnant mothers.    

What Else Could Be Going On?

Keep in mind that many of these symptoms can also be the signs of other conditions, such as your period being ready to start or a hormonal imbalance. They also can result from stress or occur when you change birth control pills, so they don’t always mean that you’re pregnant. Be sure to see your doctor if you suspect that you’re pregnant.

Small Steps: Know when to seek support
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by depression, anxiety or worry, consider joining a support group or talking to a mental health professional.