Top 10 Signs of Pregnancy

Contributor: Amy Hoover
Young woman smiling at her pregnancy test

Familiarizing yourself with the signs and symptoms of early pregnancy is important, especially if you are actively trying to get pregnant. Since every woman is different, some will experience the whole gamut of signs and symptoms, while others may only experience a few.

Recognizing the Signs

If you are waiting to take a pregnancy test, you may want to watch for possible signs of pregnancy because some of them do happen prior to a positive pregnancy test. Noticing and recognizing these symptoms can make the "two week wait" after ovulation much more interesting and exciting.

The First Nine Signs

There are a number of signs and symptoms of early pregnancy to watch for prior to testing for pregnancy. You should keep track of these symptoms and correlate them with the results of your pregnancy test. If your pregnancy test ends up being positive, you should call your doctor to set up your first prenatal visit. If your pregnancy test is negative and you are experiencing any signs of pregnancy, you may need to repeat the test or this may be a sign of something else and could be potentially serious. You will need to discuss this with your doctor as well.

The following are the top signs of early pregnancy which include:

Sore or Tender Breasts

Sore or tender breasts can indicate early pregnancy. This is due to hormone changes and increased blood flow to the breasts. You may notice an increase in blue veins running through the breast tissue. Your nipples may become ultra sensitive and the areola are darker in color. These changes can happen one to two weeks after conception.

Frequent Urination

Frequent visits to the bathroom is a common sign of early pregnancy. This typically happens due to hormone changes at the beginning of your pregnancy that will increase the blood flow and fluid in your body. Your kidneys will be working harder to eliminate the waste from your body as well. You may notice this around two to three weeks after conception. As the uterus grows with the pregnancy, this may also cause an increase in pressure on your bladder causing you to urinate more often.


If you experience exhaustion or fatigue in early pregnancy, you should be reassured that this is common. This is most likely attributed to hormone changes and the body preparing for the baby. That feeling of extreme tiredness can happen as soon as one week after conception.


An increase in hormones in your body may cause you to experience nausea in early pregnancy. It is more commonly known as morning sickness and can occur two to eight weeks after conception.

Sensitivity to Smells

Your sense of smell may become heightened during pregnancy and this change could be one of the first signs of pregnancy. This is due to pregnancy hormones once again, specifically estrogen.

Food Aversions or Cravings

Food aversions and cravings are most likely caused by pregnancy hormones and the fact that your sense of smell and taste has become heightened with the pregnancy. This could cause you to have no interest in a food you once enjoyed, to wanting a certain food that was not even on your radar before you were pregnant. These food aversions and cravings can potentially last through the pregnancy.

Dizziness as a Sign of Pregnancy

Dizziness and lightheadness are common in early pregnancy. You may also experience headaches as well. This is due to hormonal changes and blood volume changes in your body from the pregnancy.

Implantation Bleeding

Approximately six to twelve days after conception, the embryo implants in the uterus and you may experience implantation bleeding. This type of bleeding is usually very light or spotty and is considered normal.

Missed Period

A missed period is one of the best indicators for pregnancy since many of the other pregnancy symptoms can also be premenstrual symptoms. However, there are other factors that can cause irregular periods as well. You can take a home pregnancy test anytime after your missed period.

The Number One Sign of Pregnancy

The most important and conclusive sign of pregnancy is the final one: a positive home pregnancy test. Home pregnancy tests are considered fairly accurate, however, you're more likely to get accurate results if you wait until after the first day of your missed period. If you have a negative pregnancy test, but are still experiencing symptoms of pregnancy, repeat the test one week after your missed period.

If Your Test Is Positive

Once you find out you're pregnant, you should contact your doctor immediately in order to begin your prenatal care. While it is important to get early prenatal care, it is just as important to go to every scheduled visit with your doctor over the course of your pregnancy. Getting appropriate prenatal care will help keep you and your baby healthy.

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