41 early signs and pregnancy symptoms – before you’ve taken a pregnancy test

Many pregnancy symptoms can happen as early as 2 to 3 weeks pregnant, say our experts – before you miss a period or take a pregnancy test. Find out how to spot them – and other very early pregnancy signs

first signs and symptoms of preganncy

There are an astonishing number of very early signs that you might be pregnant, so we’ve compiled the most common symptoms by talking to fertility experts, midwives and obstetricians, analysing the latest scientific research – and asking hundreds of mums and mums-to-be directly and in our forums.

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“Symptoms of early pregnancy range from the more obvious – such as a positive early pregnancy test – to the lesser-known – such as strange tastes and bloating,” says Dr Amin Gorgy, fertility consultant and co-director of the The Fertility & Gynaecology Academy.

“The exact symptoms – and the severity of them – will be different for everyone but there are certainly a large number of early signs of pregnancy that are worth looking out for.”

The main signs broadly fall into 11 main categories, each affecting different physical areas of your body (such as your breasts, your head or your tummy) or different emotions you may be feeling.

Before we start, though, a little word of caution: some of these early pregnancy symptoms are tantalisingly similar to those you get when you’re pre-menstrual or when you’re having your period – which means it can be tough to tell whether your body’s actually telling you you’re pregnant or not.

Here is our list of the 41 earliest and most common symptoms and signs of pregnancy…

YOUR BREASTS

sore breasts

1. Sore, sensitive, heavy boobs

Soreness or tenderness in your breasts can be one of the very earliest pregnancy symptoms. “Changes to the breasts can actually start as early as 1 to 2 weeks after conception,” says Dr Larisa Corda, obstetrician, gynaecologist and IVF consultant. “Pregnancy hormones can make breasts swollen and sore. Or they may feel heavier or fuller or more tender to touch.”

It’s certainly a symptom many of the mums on our forum recognise. “I started getting really sore boobs and sore nipples 7 to 10 days after my last period finished,” says DemWatson. “I thought it was due to my period because I was also experiencing cramping. I took a pregnancy test around 2 weeks later and it was positive!”

“I tested because I had really sore boobs,” adds ErinDsoontobeB. “They were that sore, I had to wear a bra in the bath!”

2. Veiny boobs

This is one of the early pregnancy signs BabyC2017 picked up on. “My boobs are SO veiny,” she said. “They are usually big but the veins are never prominent. Now I can clearly see them – like someone drew on me in blue pen!”

“Yes, the veins in your breasts may look more pronounced,” confirms Ellie Cockburn, a midwife at the world-famous The Portland Hospital. “This will be due to the blood flow to the breasts increasing.”

For Jo1311, her veiny boobs were definitely a sign of positive news: “I got veins on my boobs and my nipples changed colour. I tested and got a BFP [Big Fat Positive test result].”

3. Tender, tingly, darker, more ‘sticky out’ nipples

Your nipples may also change significantly during the early weeks of pregnancy. “Your nipples may begin to ache, tingle or protrude more than usual,” says midwife Ellie. “The areoles – the dark circle around your nipple – may also become even darker and larger.”

Tender nipples were the first sign for Tamarabell on our forum. “I started to get a feeling I was pregnant about 1.5 weeks before I was due on, so pretty early,” she says. “I had really tender nipples and sort of butterflies in my tummy for a few days. My test came up positive the week before I was due. The doctor didn’t believe it and made me do another one. I just sort of knew that something was different!”

“Who’d have thought we’d ever get excited about sore/dark nipples!” adds lynz_81, who’s been pregnant before. “Be warned: they will only get bigger and darker now!”

YOUR TUMMY

woman holding tummy

4. Late or missed period

Being late or missing your monthly period is the most well-known early sign of pregnancy – and for 1 in 3 women, says the American Pregnancy Association, a missed period is still their 1st pregnancy symptom.

There are plenty of other symptoms in our list that you may notice before you miss your period but, as Dr Larisa Corda says, “this is the one that prompts most women to get a pregnancy test.

“Be warned though that not all missed or delayed periods mean you’re pregnant. Sometimes weight changes, hormone problems, stress or recently coming off contraception can affect your periods and possibly lead to you missing a period or having a delayed period.”

And of course, for many of us, late and irregular periods can be the norm – which is why it’s useful to know other symptoms.

Saying all that, if your period is unusually late, it’s time to take a pregnancy test.

5. Feeling a bit sick

Probably the most talked-about symptom is, of course, morning sickness. You can actually start feeling queasy from as early as 2 weeks of pregnancy, due to changes with your hormones.

That’s certainly what happened to mamapink on our forum: “The first symptom I had was starting to feel slightly travel sick when in the car or on the bus.”

Not every pregnant woman feels sick, and not every pregnant women who feels sick actually throws up. “But about 9 in 10 women will either suffer from vomiting or nausea, and this tends to last until about 12 weeks,” says Rachel Heathcock, an antenatal teacher at the NCT.

There is no conclusive research explaining to why morning sickness happens but, says Dr Amin Gorgy, “it is widely considered to be brought on by the sudden increase of hormone levels in your body – specifically the levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) – that are required to develop the placenta.”

“And despite its name,” adds Dr Amin, “morning sickness isn’t exclusively confined to the morning. It can strike at any time of the day or night.”

“I had morning sickness very early on, at about 3 weeks,” says Bride-carly-barley, “and my tastes changed. I couldn’t eat anything strong-tasting and the smell of my husband making his morning coffee made me want to be sick!”

To combat the sickness Dr Amin advises eating little and often. “And ensure you keep up fluid intake. In extreme cases, anti-sickness medication can be prescribed.”

6. Spotting or light bleeding

It’s not unusual at all to have light spotting or bleeding in early pregnancy – in fact, it can occur in around 20% of pregnancies.

Dr Larisa explains the science behind it: “This is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy and is usually associated with ‘implantation bleeding’ – when the fertilized egg or embryo attaches to the wall of the uterus. The embryo usually implants between 6 to 12 days after conception.

“Not all women will get spotting though, so don’t worry – it’s not a reflection of how successful the implantation has been!”

Forum mum xFran82x says she had implantation bleeding 8 days after ovulating. “I had some watery pink discharge when I wiped a few times,” she says, “and then found 2 dots of brown blood on my pants. I tested the next afternoon and got a faint positive result.”

And it was similar for BabyGirlsMummy: “I had a regular 28 day cycle and the implantation bleeding was about a week before I’d have expected my period. Mine was some pink cervical mucus for a couple of days – enough that I needed a panty liner.”

If you do bleed, our expert say you should definitely get anything unusual checked out by your doctor. “In most cases, spotting is nothing to worry about,” says Dr Amin, “but it can be a sign of something more serious like an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage. If you experience any bleeding that’s not normal for you, seek immediate medical attention.”

7. Period-like pains

This is a confusing symptom, as it can happen exactly around the time that you would expect your regular period pains. If you’re hoping you might be pregnant and then start feeling menstrual-type cramps, this may be a sign of pregnancy rather than your period. However, it’s one of the less common symptoms.

“These can often happen with spotting – are are also the result of the embryo planting into the wall of the womb,” explains midwife Ellie Cockburn.

Forum mum firsttimemum88 felt these pains at 5 weeks. “I’m having pains like I do on my period,” she said. “I found everyone says it’s normal. A hot camomile tea helps.”

8. Stomach cramps

Rather than period-style pains, some women experience a bit of tummy cramping. This may be due to your ligaments starting to stretch as your uterus (womb) starts to change shape.

“At around a week after I would have ovulated, I got sharp stomach pains like a stabbing pain,” describes forum mum gsmummy55. “Around the time of my missed period, I felt tired, with cramps, and needed the loo more. And a week after that, I started being sick!””

9. Tummy twinges, pulling and pinching

These are some of the terms our mums use in our forum when describing the sometimes curious feelings many of us have in our stomachs in early pregnancy.

It might feel like your muscles are being stretched or even pinched from inside, and can seem to be on either side, as forum mum Louis2 who is 5 weeks pregnant, describes“For the past few days,” she says, “I have been having a few lower abdominal twinges, often on one side, but occasionally on the other.”

“I had abdominal twinges at approx 5 weeks and panicked,” adds xxmrsjohnstonexx. “But the doctor said it was just everything stretching and changing and not to worry.”

10. Bloating

“Bloating is a lesser known pregnancy symptom but it definitely can occur,” says Dr Amin. And, if you find you’ve got a bloat bump way before any kind of baby bump, it’s probably all down to pregnancy levels of the hormone progesterone.

“Progesterone can cause bloating by allowing the smooth muscle in the walls of the bowel to relax,” explains obstetrician Dr Claire Hein. “Hormones often have several effects – some of them less desirable than others!”

“I had bad bloating in the 1st trimester,” recalls forum mum  Kelmo. “I could easily pull off looking 5 months but it did ease around 12 weeks.”

YOUR BODY ‘DOWN THERE’

woman on toilet

11. Needing the loo more often

If you’re pregnant, the loo may become your new best friend over the next few months. One Taiwanese study found that ‘urinary frequency’ – aka needing to pee a lot – affects 77% of pregnant women.

At the very beginning of pregnancy, it’s not the pressure of your growing baby on your bladder that’s causing you to wee a lot (that particular pleasure comes later!). Instead, it’s pregnancy increasing the blood flow to your kidneys by 35% to 60% – and because it’s the kidneys job to produce urine, that means more urine collecting in your bladder.

As mum-to-be lunar eclipse says on our forum, it can get a bit much, especially at night. “I’m 5 weeks and peeing at least 3 to 4 times every night. I’ve not got a decent sleep for about a week now. It surely can’t get worse – I’ll be sleeping on the toilet!”

12. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Confusingly, frequent trips to the loo can also be a sign of a urinary or bladder infection. And even more confusingly, both can be more likely when you’re pregnant due to your changing hormones.

“Reduced immunity during pregnancy, even in the early stages, can be responsible for an increased susceptibility to urinary tract infections,” explains midwife Ellie Cockburn.

Common signs of a UTI include stinging when you wee, sharp, low abdominal pain and, sometimes, a little blood in your wee. You should see your GP if you notice any of them but it’s not something to worry about because it’s easily treated – as forum num Chloe123 says: “I had several UTIs throughout early pregnancy. They are very common. The sooner you get a wee sample to your GP, the better so then they can treat you for it.”

13. Trapped wind

Not as funny as it sounds. In fact, not funny at all – trapped wind can give you a painful bloated feeling in your stomach or under your ribs, even in very early pregnancy.

“Shifting hormones during the first trimester can interfere with normal digestion, causing trapped wind,” explains midwife Ellie.

Over on our forum, mum-to-be Overjoyed was absolutely not overjoyed by her trapped-wind symptoms. “I suffered terribly with this for about 2 weeks,” she says. “It was agony one night and I thought it must be a test to see how I might cope with contractions!”

Of course, trapped wind can also become passed wind, as in farting and burping, which can make you feel better afterwards – but may not be appreciated much by those close by!

 14. Constipation

Been regular and suddenly gone on a poo-no-show? “Constipation is a side effect of the increase in progesterone in your body, which relaxes the bowel walls and can make it harder to poo,” explains midwife Ellie.

As with constipation when you’re not pregnant, the solution is usually just eating more fibre, fruit and veg and keeping your water intake up.

15. Diarrhoea

Yes, the pregnancy gods have a sense of humour! If you’re not constipated, you might have the runs instead. This can happen at any point in pregnancy, but is one of the symptoms several of our forum mums singled out as something they had in the first few weeks.

This time, though, we can’t blame our friendly pregnancy hormone progesterone.

“It’s actually more likely to be a side-effect of picking up a tummy bug due to reduced immunity during pregnancy,” says midwife Ellie.

For HappyMrsS on our forum, certain foods caused the problem. “I worked out that there were certain foods that would cause it more than others,” she says. “Chinese food went straight through me and anything that was quite rich did the same. It stopped at around 10 weeks I think.”

Neenawneenaw agrees: “I had diarrhoea through the 1st trimester which really freaked me out, as usually I have IBS with constipation. But it was fine, and of course had no ill effect on the baby.”

16. Change in cervical mucus

Some of our forum mums find their cervical mucus changes – and they seem to have more mucus than usual.

In very early pregnancy, your mucus may seem to be thinnish and slippery for longer than usual (its texture changes across your normal monthly cycle) and it will then thicken due to the increase in progesterone.

For forum mum Blue_Gecko, this thickened mucus was one of the clearest early signs she was pregnant. “The cervical mucus was creamy and quite heavy,” she recalls. “It felt quite moist down there.”

Cervical mucus is usually a pale white/yellow colour but don’t worry if you see a brownish discharge: this is also common. It’s usually harmless, but if you’re worried, have a chat with your GP.

 17. Thrush

Thrush is another pregnancy symptom that is affected by the increasing level of the hormone progesterone – and research reported in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology suggests that, during pregnancy, women are twice as likely to develop thrush than at any other stage in their life.

A sign of thrush can be increased or thicker cervical mucus – but this is also a sign of early pregnancy, so permission to be confused! Thrush does have other symptoms, too, though, including itchiness and soreness, and possibly a stinging sensation when you wee.

On our forum, CupcakeLadyJ is a sufferer. “I am only 4 weeks and I have got thrush,” she says. “It feels uncomfortable more than itchy – like a niggle I can feel down below!”

YOUR SLEEP

woman sleeping in bed

18. Tiredness

From feeling a bit rundown to experiencing complete fatigue (here at MFM we call it ‘pregxhaustion’), unusual tiredness can be a very early sign that you’re pregnant.

“Extreme tiredness often comes as a shock but is a completely normal symptom of early pregnancy,” says Dr Amin Gorgy. “During the 1st trimester, your body’s hormone levels skyrocket and the rise in progesterone can really have a significant impact on how you feel. Feeling tired is a sign that you need to slow down and rest up.”

Forum mum-to-be Yummymummyalli found the exhaustion hits her most at the start of the day and when she’s finished work. “I am exhausted when I wake up,” she says, “but sort myself out by the time I get to work. Then by 7pm I’m tired again. I’ve been going to bed 1 or 2 hours earlier than usual.”

19. Sleeplessness

If it’s not tiredness you’re feeling,  then maybe it’s the opposite and you just can’t get to sleep in the first place. The cause? Yep, experts believe it’s changes in our hormones (those hormones have a LOT to answer for).

For poor forum mum-to-be EvelynsMummy6390 insomnia has been really quite debilitating. “My first hint of being pregnant was that I just couldn’t sleep one night,” she says. “Right now it’s past 4am and I’ve been in bed since about 9pm as I was so tired. Slept an hour and PING! awake and can’t get comfy.”

Meanwhile Lauri27 says she initially blamed her insomnia on anxiety and excitement at finding out she was pregnant. “I am 4 weeks and only just found out I was pregnant,” she says. “I haven’t been able to sleep for the last 2 nights and thought I was just nervous. I didn’t know this was a thing!”

20. Vivid dreams

“Some just-pregnant women mention experiencing strange or unusually vivid dreams,” says midwife Ellie Cockburn. “This is not so much a symptom of pregnancy as it is of all the emotions and natural anxiety around becoming a parent.”

And as some of our forum mums share, the dreams really can be unusual!

“I dreamt I bought my older daughter a baby goat, as there is a little grey one at our local open farm that she absolutely adores. But it was white and I was so worried that she wouldn’t like it, I woke up crying!” says 3-little-princesses.

One of Critters-Mum-Claire-21 was particularly vivid: “I dreamt last night I had a 4 ft 11in baby and the only thing I could get to fit him was a red velour jumpsuit!”

YOUR HEAD

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21. Headaches

“Headaches can certainly be an early sign of pregnancy,” says Dr Larisa Corda. Although more common during the latter part of your first trimester and then into your second, she says headaches can start earlier and are (you guessed it!) due to the change in hormones in your body.

For forum mum RedBrown28, they were definitely there at the start. “I had headaches for about a month in early pregnancy,” she says. “It was a nightmare as I normally never get headaches. Thankfully they did pass and, by about 15 to 16 weeks, they were nowhere to be seen.”

“They were torture,” agrees Happy-Mrs-S. “I phoned my midwife in tears. She told me that they are very common in early pregnancy and caused by all the hormones. She told me to make sure I drank as much as I possibly could and, as it was summer, I tried to get extra liquids from eating lots of melon and ice lollies, too.”

22. Feeling dizzy

Dizziness and feeling faint is more commonly reported as a 2nd and 3rd trimester symptom but it’s definitely not unknown as an early-pregnancy sign – and for forum mum Supersquish it was the clincher.

“I was queuing in Primark,” she says, “and felt faint all of a sudden, and it suddenly hit me! I remember thinking, ‘Oh my God!’ and dropping my items and running to Boots for a test! I knew it was going to be positive.”

And it was!

YOUR MUSCLES & JOINTS

woman with backache

23. Backache

Back pain, particularly in your lower back, is an early symptom pinpointed by several of our mums – even right at the beginning of pregnancy.

“I had lower backache about a week before my period was due,” says forum mum-t0-be  xlittlemissx.

“It is caused by ligaments in the body becoming softer and stretching, which can put a lot of strain on the lower back,” explains midwife Ellie.

“In addition,” says Dr Larisa, “constipation, which is common in early pregnancy because of the effect of pregnancy hormones on the gut, can also cause backache too.”

Forum mum-to-be nikkiandneil was suprised to get early backache. “‘I’m only 5 weeks!” she says. “I have been having backache every day for the last week and a half. It usually eases off if I move about, though.”

24. Achy hips, legs and arms

Yep, it’s not just your back – your hips, legs and even arms may also ache at different times during early pregnancy due to hormone changes.

“Yesterday I had a achey left leg and an achey right arm and I was like, ‘Am I falling to pieces?’ And then this morning I got a BFP [Big Fat Positive test]. At least I know why!” says Sparkling_DiamondButton.

“Yes,” says Dr Larisa. ‘It’s those pregnancy hormones loosening up your ligaments and joints to prepare for accommodating your growing baby.”

25. Leg cramps

Studies, such as this 2006 one in the Journal of Reproduction & Infertility, suggest that between a third and a half of pregnant women experience leg cramps in pregnancy – although usually not until they’re well into their 3rd trimester.

Early cramping does happen but it’s not often as severe as the cramping you may experience later on (there’s something to look forward to!)

They are plenty of theories as to why leg cramps happen in pregnancy – from vitamin deficiencies to electrolyte imbalances – but no one’s come up with the definitive answer yet.

YOUR MOUTH

close up of mouth

26. Sour or metallic taste

Forum mum sealeyB says she had a “really metallic taste” in her mouth very soon after ovulation and “it didn’t go for 2 weeks”. And she’s definitely not alone in experiencing this early pregnancy symptom.

“Experiencing strange tastes, known as dysgeusia, is one of the lesser-known but actually quite common early pregnancy signs,” says Dr. Amin Gorgy. And, once again, pregnancy hormones are the culprit.

The metallic taste symptom can vary in its intensity but it’s definitely sour. “It’s as if I have sucked 2p pieces!” says forum mum-to-be Deli3.

27. Food tasting ‘wrong’

Dysgeusia can affect you in early pregnancy is other ways – going off previously favourite foods and drinks because they don’t taste ‘right’ any more.

“My first sympton was an aversion to Diet Coke which I normally love! It just seemed to taste funny,” says forum mum-to-be Hushpuppy.

“I had a problem with coffee,” recalled fellow forum mum bev6. “It tasted stronger, if not bitter, and I could not drink it.  I also had a horrible film in my mouth that I could not get rid of – it lasted for weeks”

28. Excess saliva

Another weird one – you may find you have more saliva in your mouth or notice a bit of drooling when you fall asleep!

The medical term for this one is  ‘ptyalism’ and experts believe it happens because your body knows it is pregnant and the nerves that control salivation are more stimulated than usual.

 29. Dry mouth

Then again, you may get the opposite to excess saliva: a dry mouth. And, along with that, you may find you’re more thirsty than usual, which is normal but, very occasionally, can be a sign of gestational diabetes.

When mum ILOVECUPCAK3S discovered she was pregnant – very early on – dry mouth was one of the many symptoms she experienced. “I had headaches, really spotty skin, low, mild period-like pain, restless sleep, dry mouth, hot flushes, tiredness, crying all the time, sore boobs and major bloatedness.” Almost a full house there, ILOVECUPCAK3S!

30. Bleeding gums

Not a pretty symptom but, from fairly early on in pregnancy, when you brush your teeth, you may find a bit of blood on your toothbrush or in the sink when you spit out.

This is all due to a combo of pregnancy hormones and more blood pumping around your body, making your gums swell.

But even if it’s uncomfortable, it’s best to brush your teeth more, not less according to the experts. “Many people think they should stop brushing if they have bleeding gums but this isn’t the case,” says Janet Clarke from the British Dental Association. “Brush more and make an appointment to see your dentist about it,”

YOUR NOSE

31. Increased sensitivity to smells

This is a big early sign for lots of our forum mums. Can you suddenly smell damp? Does your pet have a new whiff about them? And have you started thinking your partner could do with a good wash and a splash of cologne?

Oh yes, your sense of smell may be so heightened that you can smell things that you didn’t even know had a smell, as MadForNO5 experienced: “Seven days after ovulating, I started to get a strong sense of smell. I could smell absolutely everything!”

The downside? The slightest odour can make you feel queasy.

32. Stuffy or runny nose

“I have a runny nose and I’m sneezing a lot. It started a week before my period was due and I’m 5 weeks now,” says forum mum-tone jumpingzebra.

But anouska-b has the opposite problem. “I’ve had a stuffy nose all the way through, starting right from the beginning. I’ve become one of those annoying people who breathe really loudly!”

Sounds contradictory until you realise that the main culprit here is your pregnancy levels of the hormone oestrogen, which can increase mucus production. Pass the tissues…

  • Are Vicks and Sudafed decongestants safe to take during pregnancy?

33. Nosebleeds

It doesn’t get more glamorous than this early sign: blood dripping from your nose. It happens quite commonly in pregnancy, from early on till quite late, because the blood vessels in your nose expand when you’re pregnant, putting more pressure on the delicate vessels in your nasal passages.

“My nosebleeds started as soon as I got pregnant (although I didn’t know I was at the time) and I get them quite badly,” says forum mum kelsy1978. “My midwife suggested I carry a small bottle of Lucozade with me at all times so that, after the nosebleed, it gives me a little pick me up. “

YOUR DIGESTION & APPETITE

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34. Not hungry

In those 1st few weeks of pregnancy, your appetite may be affected. Many of our forum mums-to-be found they were suddenly less hungry than before – either because they were feeling queasy or because their normal hunger just wasn’t there.

That’s how it was for ClaireHair: “I’m off food,” she said. “Not much appetite. I just have to eat what I fancy [when I do feel hungry]. Saturday night, that was chips, curry sauce and deep-fried chilli beef from the Chinese!”

35. More hungry or more thirsty

While some mums-to-be suddenly can’t bear the thought of eating, others suddenly find they’re so ravenous, eating is all they can think about.

For forum mum MsDodger, her appetite went through the roof. “I eat a lot normally but this it was a massive leap,” she says. “I could not (and still cannot) stop snacking all day and eating large meals.”

And this ravenous urge can apply to drinking as well, as eating, as bleurgh discovered. “Thirst! I wondered how much I could actually drink before drowning myself. Even my hubby said he nearly asked if I was drinking for two before I tested.”

36. Not sure if hungry or sick

Oh dear, our appetite really can be a bit of a rollercoaster in early pregnancy. It can be a confusing time when you’re not sure if you’re feeling sick because you need to eat or you’re feeling sick because you’ve got morning sickness and eating will make it worse.

Forum mum-to-be katie4matthew sums it all up when she says, “I can’t tell the difference between feeling sick and hungry at the moment. I’m so confused!”

37. Heartburn

Ouch. While heartburn is a very frequent mid to late-pregnancy symptom, we know from our forum posts that some mums-to-be experience it in the early weeks of pregnancy, too.

Indeed, for MissTysonMayer, it was 1 of the very first signs that she was pregnant. “I felt different from what would of been around 3 weeks,” she says. “Had a bad stomach and felt sick, heartburn, headaches. The lot. Then I tested the next week when I was due and it was positive!”

So what’s going on? “In pregnancy, the sphincter at the top of your stomach relaxes, allowing stomach acid to rise up into your oesophagus,” explains family GP Dr Philippa Kaye.

YOUR SKIN

woman worrying about spots

38. Spots and acne

Remember those outbreaks that peppered your teens? Well, they could be back now you’re pregnant. Given the hormonal changes in early pregnancy, it’s no surprise that one of the first signs can be an eruption of spots – as if we don’t have enough else to cope with!

“When I got pregnant, the first symptoms were that I got little bumpy spots on my forehead a few days before my period was due,” forum mum mama pink says.

“Yes, for many pregnant women, the hormone progesterone can cause a flare up of the teenage acne that you thought you’d ditched years ago,” explains GP and homeopath Dr Jeni Worden. “Essential as it is, progesterone is to blame for many of pregnancy’s less desirable effects.”

39. Hot flushes

Some of our forum mum-to-be say they have felt that rising heat creeping up on your skin during early pregnancy so it might just be a sign that there is good news on the way.

It’s well known, as the NHS Pregnancy & Baby Guide confirms, that hormonal changes and an increase in blood supply to the skin can mean your basal temperature (your normal resting body temperature) is higher than normal. And US researchers from the University of Pittsburgh have found that hot flushes affect just over a third of mums-to-be at some stage in their pregnancy.

For Tullah on our forum, hot flushes affected her from as early as 5 weeks’ pregnant: “I’m normally always cold but have been really hot especially in bed,” she says. “Yesterday I was walking about the shops and had to have a sit down, I was so hot. My stomach seems to be very hot, too!”

YOUR EMOTIONS

40. Oversensitivity, grumpiness, tearfulness

Can’t watch Bake Off without tearing up? Find niggly things have become super niggly? Your emotions are heightened in the early days of pregnancy and the result can be sudden and surprising mood swings.

“Your body is producing hormones at levels you’ve never experienced before and they’re whizzing round your system like wildfire,” says independent midwife Eleanor May-Johnson of Neighbourhood Midwives.

Which would explain why forum mum-to-be racheltidy is finding herself flying off the handle at anything and everything: “I am 5 weeks pregnant. I’m usually a chilled-out person. However, the last few days I have turned into the devil! I just want to shout at everyone!”

41. Feeling different

Finally, sometimes there’s not a specific ‘thing’ that’s different, it’s just you don’t feel quite, well, the same. Pregnancy can work in mysterious ways, and sometimes you just have a gut feeling that you’ve conceived.

Obviously, there are no scientific studies to substantiate that ‘feeling’ pregnant could, in any way, mean you are pregnant but this, from ace10 on our forum, is not the only post we’ve seen like this:

“I am 6 days past ovulation and today I just can not shake the feeling that I am pregnant. It’s like something in me is telling me I am? Its very strange.”

And then, a week later, she comes back to add: “Well I guess my feeling was spot on because I got my Big Fat Positive [test result]. I tested today and the line came up pretty much straight away. We are so happy!”

So maybe there’s something in it…

So, I’ve got some of these symptoms. Am I definitely pregnant?

Frustratingly, as we’ve already explained, many of the signs and symptoms of early pregnancy we’ve details above are the same as, or can be easily confused with, the signs and symptoms of PMS or the signs and symptoms that your period’s on its way.

Some of the signs – nausea, breast tenderness, mood swings, and a frequent need to wee – are, anecdotally, more common signs of pregnancy than others. But you could be pregnant without experiencing any of them. And you may not be pregnant  even if you experience them all.

“We will all experience the first signs of pregnancy in completely different ways,” says Dr Amin Gorgy. “There is no specific way that you ‘should’ feel. We are all individuals.”

As wise forum mum gazsgirl says, “Everyone is different and most symptoms are so like period ones, it’s always hard to know until you see the line.”

Time to take a test if you haven’t already…

About our fertility expert Dr Amin Gorgy

Dr Gorgy co-founded The Fertility & Gynaecology Academy in 2004 and is now its co-director. Previously, he was the deputy director of the Assisted Reproduction and Gynaecology Centre. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (2006) and a member of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

About our expert obstetrician Dr Larisa Corda

Dr Corda is an obstetrician and gynaecologist who specialises in IVF. After working in Sydney at IVF Australia (2012-13), she returned to the UK and was awarded membership of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. She now works as a gynaecologist and IVF consultant and is also Fertility Expert for ITV’s This Morning show.

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