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Top 10 Early Pregnancy Signs & Symptoms

What are the very first signs of pregnancy?

Symptoms

Some women experience many signs and symptoms very early in pregnancy, while others experience very few or even none. If you think you may be pregnant, or hope you may be, review the most common symptoms below and compare your symptoms. To confirm pregnancy use a home pregnancy test - if the result is positive be sure to see your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Good lifestyle choices, healthy diet and proper prenatal care will give your baby the best start in life.

Based on analysis of all data reported by our members, the following list shows the top 10 most common very early signs and symptoms during the first 22 days of pregnancy (ovulation day to 21 days past ovulation).

#1. Overall: Fatigue/Exhaustion
#2. Abdomen: Mild/Dull Cramps/Pressure
#3. Abdomen: Gas/Flatulence
#4. Abdomen: Bloating
#5. Back & Legs: Backache
#6. Chest: Tender Breasts
#7. Stomach: Nausea
#8. Chest: Sore/Sensitive Nipples
#9. Pelvis: Increased Cervical Fluid
#10. Chest: Breasts Feel Heavy or Full

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Top 10 Signs & Symptoms By Day Past Ovulation

Learn more about the very early signs & symptoms you may be experiencing from ovulation day until your expected period.

  Select Your Day Past Ovulation (dpo)
  Ovulation Day
Week 1
after ovulation
1 dpo 2 dpo 3 dpo 4 dpo 5 dpo 6 dpo 7 dpo
Week 2
after ovulation
8 dpo 9 dpo 10 dpo 11 dpo 12 dpo 13 dpo 14 dpo
Week 3
after ovulation
15 dpo 16 dpo 17 dpo 18 dpo 19 dpo 20 dpo 21 dpo

More About The Top 10 Early Pregnancy Symptoms:

  • #1. Overall: Fatigue/Exhaustion

    Most women experience increased fatigue during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester. Your body is producing higher levels of progesterone which can make you feel sleepy. Your body also produces extra blood to carry oxygen and nutrients to the developing fetus, this means your heart needs to work harder. Low blood sugar can also be to blame.

    Listen to your body; it is working very hard to create your little one. This symptom has only one cure. If you are tired, then sleep - even if it means going to bed at 8pm or taking small naps during the day.

    Avoid stimulants (like caffeine, these can be harmful in high doses), get lots of rest (cut back on extra responsibilities if needed, at least until the second trimester), eat a balanced healthy diet (be sure to get enough protein and iron) and get regular exercise (even just walking 30 minutes a day will help).

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  • #2. Abdomen: Mild/Dull Cramps/Pressure

    Some women describe the cramps they experience in early pregnancy as mild cramps or dull pressure low in the abdomen. Cramps in early pregnancy are not only common but very normal. There are a tremendous number of changes occurring in your body so cramping is to be expected. Some women feel cramping as early as implantation when the embryo attaches itself to the uterus (6-12 days after ovulation). Cramps are also described as feeling like PMS or period cramps, quick sharp pains, pinching/pulling or little twinges like pokes, tingles or bubbles.

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  • #3. Abdomen: Gas/Flatulence

    The rise in hormones during pregnancy relaxes the muscles throughout your body, including your digestive tract. This leads to the digestive process being slowed down. The bacteria now have more time to work on the undigested food before it is eliminated. This extra time leads to more fermentation and, as a result, more gas. Constipation can also be a cause as it slows down the bowel functions. This too will cause you to feel more gassy and bloated.

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  • #4. Abdomen: Bloating

    During pregnancy you have higher levels of progesterone, this hormone relaxes smooth muscle tissue throughout your body, including your gastrointestinal tract. This relaxation slows down your digestive processes, which can lead to gas, bloating, burping, and flatulence and generally create uncomfortable sensations in your abdomen, especially after a large meal.

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  • #5. Back & Legs: Backache

    You may suffer from backaches in early pregnancy because of the softening of supporting ligaments and disks caused by an increase in the hormone progesterone. If you develop a urinary tract infection while pregnant this too can cause backaches.

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  • #6. Chest: Tender Breasts

    Swollen or tender breasts are pregnancy symptoms which can begin very soon after conception. This might be your first clue that you are pregnant! Increasing levels of hormones cause increased blood flow and changes to the breast tissue. As milk ducts and milk-producing cells develop your breasts may feel swollen, tender or very sensitive to touch. You may also feel tingling, throbbing, burning sensation or itchiness. Your breasts may also grow in size, feel heavy or change in shape.

    As your body adjusts to the new surge of hormones the pain should subside. Soaking in a warm bath may help alleviate some discomfort, and consider sleeping in a comfortable bra. As your breasts change in size be sure to always wear a well-fitting supportive bra. It is recommended you have your bra professionally fitted.

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  • #7. Stomach: Nausea

    Nausea and queasiness can begin quite early in pregnancy. Nausea can strike at any time of day. Some women report that morning is the worst (when their stomach is empty), others say the afternoon or evening and some women feel queasy all day long.

    The cause is really unknown. Rising levels of hormones are one possibility (progesterone and hCG). The hormone progesterone causes the muscles in the gastrointestinal tract to relax and thus slows down the entire digestive process - this can cause bloating and gas which will contribute to nausea. Some women also develop an increased sense of smell in early pregnancy, so certain odours (like coffee, cigarette smoke, perfume/cologne or cooking foods) can cause waves of nausea. Avoid places with smells that trigger nausea, ask someone to take over the cooking if certain aromas trigger that unsettling feeling.

    Low blood sugar or swings is another possibility, especially if you are skipping meals because you are queasy. This will cause your blood sugar to drop and will worsen any nausea you already have. It may be difficult to force yourself to eat when you are not feeling well, but remember that it may actually help. You need to break the cycle. Eat small meals and snacks throughout the day, never let yourself get hungry. Eat before you are hungry! Soda crackers and milk seem to quite helpful between meals. Also be sure to get enough fluids.

    Stress is another possible cause. There are often a flood of differing emotions in the journey toward pregnancy and motherhood. Make sure to take good care of not only your physical health, but your mental and emotional health aswell.

    For the majority of women the unpleasantness of pregnancy related nausea tends to subside around the end of the first trimester.

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  • #8. Chest: Sore/Sensitive Nipples

    Changes to the breasts can begin very soon after conception. Increasing levels of hormones cause increased blood flow and changes to the breast tissue. This increase can cause sore or sensitive nipples, a change that can be enjoyable for some but painful for others. As your body adjusts to the new surge of hormones the pain should subside.

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  • #9. Pelvis: Increased Cervical Fluid

    Many women notice more cervical fluid (vaginal discharge) than normal during early pregnancy. This is normal. It can be white and creamy (like lotion) or wet and slippery. It can occur steadily throughout the day or appear in bunches (like globs) especially when wiping or just once during the day. If you notice an unusual smell, colour or you have any itching you should consult your physician as these could be signs of thrush (yeast infection).

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  • #10. Chest: Breasts Feel Heavy or Full

    Breast changes can begin very soon after conception. Increasing levels of hormones cause increased blood flow and changes to the breast tissue. As milk ducts and milk-producing cells develop your breasts may feel swollen, tender or very sensitive to touch. You may also feel tingling, throbbing, burning sensation or itchiness. Your breasts may also grow in size, feel heavy or change in shape. As your body adjusts to the new surge of hormones any pain or discomfort should subside.

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