Ultimate Guide To The 23 Early Signs of Pregnancy

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Philip Druce

By Philip Druce, Founder of Ovulation Calculator

We are often asked if a certain symptom is a sign of pregnancy so we decided to find out all the common symptoms for you by conducting a thorough survey with women who have recently become pregnant through Ovulation Calculator.

In this article you will learn about the 23 signs of pregnancy, why they occur, how common they are and when they are experienced.

Early signs of pregnancy include:

The signs of pregnancy

1. Tender breasts
2. Missed period
3. Positive pregnancy test
4. Spotting
5. Fatigue
6. Morning sickness
7. Mood swings
8. Cervical mucus
9. Acne
10. Cold & cough
11. Elevated BBT
12. Shortness of breath
13. Headaches
14. Backaches
15. Food cravings
16. Constipation, bloating
17. Change of nipple color
18. Cervix position
19. Changes in vulva color
20. Weight gain
21. Frequent urination
22. Breasts growing
23. Lightheaded, dizzy

 

When does pregnancy actually begin?

This might seem like a simple question, but the answer is much more debated than you might think.

The first week of pregnancy is based on the date of the last period, even though at that stage the egg hasn’t even been fertilized.

Some health professionals will tell you that pregnancy begins when a sperm fertilizes an egg in the fallopian tube; however, most agree that it occurs when a fertilized egg implants into the uterine wall. Even more confusingly, a pregnancy test won’t show positive for another week after implantation.

However, when calculating how many weeks pregnant you are, the first day of your last period counts as day one of your pregnancy. Why? Because most women cannot be a 100% sure when they conceived, so the last period is used instead.

Take a look at the timeline below. It is based on a typical 28-day cycle with a luteal phase of 14 days and implantation occurring nine days past ovulation (DPO). In this diagram you can see that day one of pregnancy is counted as the first day of the last menstrual period (LMP).

First 4 weeks of pregnancy timeline

What’s happening in my body when I fall pregnant?

You can only get pregnant after ovulation.

Ovulation is a phase in your cycle when an egg is released from one of your ovaries. The egg is then swept into your fallopian tube, which leads to your uterus. It is only at this stage, after ovulation, that an egg can be fertilized by sperm. The egg can only survive up to 24 hours after ovulation unless fertilized. Luckily, sperm can survive in the female reproductive tract for up to five days, which is why it’s best to have sex prior to ovulation. Learn more about ovulation here.

Want to know when your fertile window is?

After fertilization the fertilized egg slowly moves down the fallopian tube toward the uterus. While this movement is occurring the egg is also undergoing a series of cell divisions. In the meantime, the hormone progesterone is thickening the lining of the uterus and preparing it for implantation.

Confused about the timeline of events? Check out this easy to understand diagram.

Egg timeline after conception

When will I notice pregnancy symptoms?

We conducted a survey with Ovulation Calculator users who recently reported a pregnancy with us. The survey asked which signs and symptoms of pregnancy they experienced and when.

The participants were split into two groups:

Group 1 - Those that knew when they last ovulated (59.1%); and
Group 2 - Those that were not sure when they ovulated, but did know when their last menstrual period (LMP) was (36.8%).

Pregancy symptoms survey groups

The remainder (4.1%) were excluded from the results as they were not sure when they ovulated or when their last period was.

We found that more than half of the survey participants experienced three or more symptoms (64.5% noticed more than three).

How many pregnancy symptoms did you notice?

While it’s commonly thought the first early sign of pregnancy is a missed period, our survey results show that tender breasts are the earliest sign of pregnancy.

Have a look at the following chart to see the most common first signs of pregnancy from our survey.

What was the first sign of pregnancy you noticed

We found that the majority of women from both groups experienced tender breasts as their first symptom of pregnancy.

The chart below shows the first signs of pregnancy for those who knew when they ovulated (group 1 in orange) and those who knew when their last period was (group 2 in red).

What was the first sign of pregnancy you noticed, groups

Many women experienced signs of being pregnant as early as six days after ovulation day; with the most common sign being tender breasts.

When did you notice your first sign of pregnancy

Other women noticed signs such as implantation bleeding or fatigue as the first signs of pregnancy. These signs are present in week four of pregnancy. You may think that week four is quite late to start noticing symptoms, but remember pregnancy is counted from the first day of the last menstrual period.

During weeks four to five a whole other myriad of pregnancy symptoms may start appearing such as;

- morning sickness
- bloating
- constipation
- feeling the need to urinate more often.

However, the exact timing of these symptoms will differ from woman to woman.


The early signs of pregnancy can be roughly split up into the following two phases:


The first trimester is when the vast majority of pregnancy signs are noticeable. Detecting them will help you get some kind of indication as to whether you are pregnant or not before using a pregnancy test.

Note: These symptoms and signs can manifest in different ways and at different times from woman to woman. However, it’s still useful to know that the early signs are related to either fertilization and implantation or embryo development.

4-6 weeks: Signs of fertilization & implantation

What is happening?

After the sperm penetrates the egg, the fertilized egg moves slowly down the fallopian tube to the uterus, where it begins to implant into the uterine wall. This is known as implantation. It takes 6-12 days (nine on average) from conception to implantation.

Next, it extends into the deeper layers of the uterine wall and forms the primitive placenta. Once the placenta is formed, it produces a hormone called hCG.

Home pregnancy tests detect a portion of this hormone called beta-hCG in your urine.

HCG is one of the most important hormones of the first trimester, and ultimately is responsible for many of the early signs of pregnancy. It has the same functions as another hormone called Luteinizing Hormone (LH), and causes progesterone levels to increase. The high progesterone is detected by your brain, which then shuts off the normal menstrual cycle.

High progesterone is responsible for most of the early signs of pregnancy that occur between 4-6 weeks after the last period.


The following chart provides a visualization of when most of the women in our survey experienced the main pregnancy signs. Take a look.

Pregnancy symptoms experienced in weeks after last menstrual period

The above chart shows that most women experienced tender breasts 3 weeks after their last period, followed by a missed period 4 weeks after their last period.

Note, many women stop tracking the signs of pregnancy once they have a confirmed pregnancy result from a pregnancy test.

Let’s take a look at what signs you can expect and the mechanisms behind their occurrence.

1. Tender breasts

Our number one early sign of pregnancy is a feeling of tenderness or soreness in the breasts.

Why it happens;

High progesterone, estrogen, growth hormone and prolactin levels in pregnant women promote the development of the breasts. The body is basically attempting to start building the breast machinery needed for breastfeeding after birth. This involves breast tissue and ductal swelling, causing sensitivity and discomfort.

Very early sign of pregnancy, tender breasts

How common is tender breasts?

How common is tender sore sensitive breasts as a sign of pregnancy?

86% of women said they experienced this pregnancy sign. Tender, sore breasts was the first early sign of pregnancy for most women. Most of them experienced this in week three of pregnancy.

Tender breasts noticed after days past ovulation

Tender breasts experienced weeks after last menstrual period

2. Missed period

A missed period is often the first or second and most noticeable sign of early pregnancy. 16.2% of women said this was their first pregnancy symptom.

Although it’s possible to be ‘late’, if menstruation does not occur between 4-6 weeks after your last period, pregnancy is a likely possibility. However, because cycle lengths can differ, it’s better to use ‘days past ovulation’ to track when your period is due. For most women this is 14 days after ovulation.

How many days past ovulation did you notice a missed period

Why it happens;

The development of the placenta causes the release of hCG, a hormone that results in higher progesterone release. The brain interprets high progesterone levels and shuts off the normal menstrual cycle hormones. Without sufficient levels of GnRH, LH and FSH, ovulation and menstruation cannot occur. This allows the body to provide an environment rich in estrogen and progesterone hormones which are crucial for the development of your baby.

Early sign of pregnancy, missed period

How common is a missed period?

How common is missed period as a sign of pregnancy?

Women who have a successful pregnancy and childbirth will not have periods during pregnancy. If the woman breastfeeds their child, menstruation may not even resume again until they stop breastfeeding.

Shutting off the menstrual cycle and therefore, menstruation, is a necessary physiological change that allows the fetus to grow within the uterus.

3. Positive pregnancy test

Home pregnancy tests (over-the-counter pregnancy tests) are often used before confirming pregnancy with a blood test with a Doctor.

Pregnancy tests measure the beta portion of hCG in your urine. This is a key hormone that is released by the placenta as soon as it is developed.

HCG levels are high enough to be detected in your urine from around two weeks after conception. This time frame can vary based on how sensitive the kit is.

Postive pregnancy test

Blood tests are more sensitive than home pregnancy test kits; meaning, they can detect lower levels of hCG than home tests.

How common is it?

How common is a positive pregnancy test?

For a successful pregnancy, hCG must be at certain levels within the body. Therefore, all pregnant women should get a positive pregnancy test. Of the pregnant women we surveyed 74% said they took a test and saw a positive result.

For most of the women we surveyed, a positive pregnancy test was the third pregnancy sign.

What was the third pregnancy symptom you noticed

Many women saw a positive result 10 days past ovulation (DPO), but most got a positive result 14 DPO.

How many days past ovulation did you get a positive pregnancy test?

Learn when to take a pregnancy test to get an accurate result.

4. Spotting (implantation bleeding)

Spotting is a term used to describe a small amount of blood (less than a usual period) being discharged out of the vagina, as an early sign of pregnancy. This is sometimes accompanied by mild cramping, or a sense of pain in the lower abdominal region. Occurring an average of nine days after ovulation, this can often be very confusing if you’re trying to conceive.

Why it happens;

When the fertilized egg implants into the uterine wall, it must actually destroy part of the uterine wall in order to penetrate through it and form the placenta. This process can cause bleeding and pain. So what should you do? If you experience spotting and you are trying to become pregnant, don’t be discouraged. Look out for other signs of early pregnancy, as it may just be due to implantation bleeding; a sign that implantation is successfully occurring. Take the implantation bleeding or period quiz.

Signs of pregnancy, spotting (implantation bleeding)

How common is spotting?

How common is spotting as a sign of pregnancy?

11% of the pregnant women we surveyed said they experienced implantation bleeding.

5. Fatigue & tiredness

This is another common sign. Cells are constantly dividing and growing. This requires a huge amount of energy, along with the nutrients required for adequate growth.

Hormones such as cortisol and thyroid hormone T3 cause breakdown of your fat, glycogen and protein stores to provide energy to fuel the developing baby's growth. This along with increased cardiovascular and respiratory demand can cause fatigue and an inability to deal with strenuous activities you would normally be able to handle.

Your iron stores will also be used to create the baby’s blood cells. This can cause anemia and fatigue and malaise. Malaise means having a general feeling of being unwell.

Pregnancy sign, fatigue and tirednesse

How common is fatigue?

How common is fatigue as a sign of pregnancy?

Of the pregnant women we surveyed 71.8% said they experienced fatigue. Most women experienced fatigue as their 5th symptom.

Symptoms of pregnancy survey results, fatigue and tiredness

6. Morning sickness, nausea, heightened sense of smell & taste

Nausea and vomiting, especially in the mornings is a stereotypical sign of early pregnancy. It is most common throughout the first trimester and begins to lessen over the course of gestation. It may be first noticed between 4-6 weeks after your last period and continue until the end of the first trimester. The smell or taste of certain foods, drinks or substances can bring on this nausea, or seem unbearable! Many women also find that certain substances smell or taste differently to what they did before they were pregnant.

Sign of being pregnant, morning sickness

Why it happens;

The answer is not definite, but research suggests that morning sickness and its associated nausea and vomiting is the body’s way of getting rid of substances that may be harmful for the baby. These substances could be found in normal foods, vegetables, alcohol, caffeine or medications. The smell or taste of these substances can be enough to trigger this response. Not only does this protect the baby from harmful toxins, but it can also protect the mother from microbes, as pregnancy results in a relative suppression of the normal immune system. It happens especially in the first trimester because this is the embryonic period, where the embryo is most susceptible to toxins that could cause miscarriage or serious deformity.

How common is morning sickness?

How common is morning sickness as a sign of pregnancy?

Morning sickness itself has shown to occur in around 75% of pregnant women. Most of women we surveyed said they experienced morning sickness 5 weeks after their last period.

How to deal with morning sickness

Eat small, frequent meals or snacks - As soon as you wake up in the morning, try having some crackers before you get out of bed. In fact, keep some easy-to-digest snacks by your bedside and munch on them if you wake up at night to use the bathroom. Plan to eat small meals throughout the day to ward off hunger. You can prepare small snacks and keep them handy so you can easily grab them when that feeling of hunger starts to creep in. Spicy, fatty and oily foods can make symptoms worse so always opt for food that will be gentle on your digestive system.

Keep a good scent handy - When pregnant, scents can become amplified. Things that used to smell amazing to you may seem repulsive, and vice versa. Be prepared by keeping a stash of something fresh you can use to block out the smell. Try carrying a bottle of lemon or peppermint extract or a sprig of rosemary.

Stay hydrated - Staying hydrated may not keep you from having morning sickness, but it will keep you out of the hospital. If you are vomiting regularly and not replenishing fluids, you can easily become dehydrated, which is not only dangerous for you and your baby, but can also further aggravate the nausea. While drinking large amounts of water at once may not be possible, try to keep a water bottle handy at all times, and take sips throughout the day. Chilled water is often easier to drink. Alternatively, try drinking hot water with a squeeze of lemon, or foods with high water content such as grapes, watermelon, apples and celery.

Extreme morning sickness must be professionally treated, so be sure to keep an open dialogue with your doctor about your symptoms. If your morning sickness is standing in the way of your ability to function, your doctor may prescribe medication to help reduce your symptoms. If you are not able to keep down water or food, you may have to be admitted to a hospital to receive these intravenously.

7. Mood swings

Rapid shifts of mood, more intense emotions and irritability can often occur during pregnancy. This is especially noticeable in early pregnancy due to the sudden change in hormonal state.

Pregnancy sign, mood swings

Why it happens;

The endocrine system undergoes a huge transformation during pregnancy, resulting in intense fluxes of hormones. These hormones can either directly or indirectly alter chemical activity in the brain, resulting in mood swings.

How common is mood swings?

How common is mood swings as a sign of pregnancy?

Although mood swings are common, more severe emotional and psychological states can also be present during pregnancy. Around 10-20% of women are estimated to have clinical depression during pregnancy.

Note: Some of these signs may continue beyond six weeks, but are especially common in this initial period.

8. Cervical mucus changes

Many women experience a white milky type of cervical mucus known as ‘leukorrhea’ throughout pregnancy.

Why it happens;

This is due to an increase of the hormone estrogen. Estrogen causes glands in the cervix to produce cervical mucus which also forms a mucus plug that plugs the cervix during pregnancy. The mucus is also due to an increase in blood flow to the vagina. The mucus is made up of substances from the the cervix and the vaginal walls. The amount of this mucus will vary from woman to woman and can continue throughout pregnancy.

Pregnancy symptom, cervical mucus

How common is it?

How common is cervical mucus as a sign of pregnancy?

Of the women we surveyed, 17.3% said they noticed this symptom of pregnancy.

The following chart shows that most women noticed leukorrhea 2 weeks after ovulation.

Symptoms of pregnancy survey results, cervical mucus change

9. Acne

Some women experience an acne breakout during early pregnancy.

Early sign of pregnancy, backaches

Why it happens;

Again, an increase in hormones is responsible for this pregnancy symptom. The skin produces more oils which can cause your pores to become blocked from the combination of dead skin cells and more oils, causing bacteria.

How common is acne?

10. Cold & cough symptoms

This one can be easy to ignore as a pregnancy symptom, but if you have cold like symptoms just after you missed a period, it could be a sign that you’re pregnant.

Why it happens;

After conception, your immune system becomes suppressed to prevent it from attacking the fetus as a foreign object. This makes you more susceptible to infections including the flu, coughs and the common cold.

Pregnancy symptom, cold and cough symptoms

How common is it?

How common is cold and cough symptoms as a sign of pregnancy?

It’s hard to know how many women notice this as a sign of pregnancy as it’s often ignored as a symptom. But the chance of catching a cold during pregnancy is high.

11. Elevated basal body temperature

This can be a harder sign to notice and requires you to be tracking your basal body temperature (BBT). If you have been charting your BBT you will have noticed that you will have higher temperatures after ovulation.

BBT pattern when not pregnant

Why it happens;

A hormone known as progesterone is released around the time of ovulation. If implantation occurs, progesterone will remain high causing your BBT to also remain high. If you are not pregnant your BBT will drop to the normal level and you will get your period.

BBT pattern when pregnant

How common is it?

How common is missed period as a sign of pregnancy?

Theoretically, every pregnant woman should have an increase in BBT due to the high progesterone release. However, BBT is a tricky thing to measure and may not always give you the best indication.

Consider it more of a tool to use alongside other signs of pregnancy. Only 8% of women we surveyed were tracking their BBT and noticed this pregnancy symptom.

6-12 weeks: signs of a developing embryo

12. Shortness of breath

It is common to feel out of breath during early pregnancy. You may notice feeling more out of breath than usual when performing even basic activities like walking up stairs.

Why it happens;

This is because you’ve started breathing for two! Your body knows that your baby will need oxygen to grow, so several changes occur to accommodate this need. The hormone progesterone both acts on the respiratory centre in your brain to stimulate breathing as well as acting directly on the lungs. This causes you to breathe in and out more air with each breath. Later in the pregnancy this may be even more noticeable as the baby presses on the diaphragm (the muscle that causes the lungs to move).

Signs of pregnancy, shortness of breath

How common is it?

How common is shortness of breath as a sign of pregnancy?

Shortness of breath (or dyspnea in the medical world), is a very common symptom. It is experienced by around 65% of pregnant women during gestation.

It tends to be more noticeable the larger the baby gets, as it requires more and more oxygen to grow and maintain its energy demands.

13. Headaches

Headaches have a long list of possible causes, and there is still a lot that remains unknown about their occurrence. However, where pregnancy is concerned, some women can have more headaches while pregnant, while others may actually have fewer headaches. Women with pre-existing migraines often are relieved of them during pregnancy.

Pregnancy sign, headaches

Why it happens;

Progesterone has many individual functions, but many can be grouped under its ability to relax smooth muscle. Smooth muscle is a type of muscle you generally don’t have voluntary control over, such as some layers of muscle in blood vessels, the uterus and the intestines. When blood vessels relax in the brain, this can be perceived as a painful stimulus and cause pain. Additionally, pre-eclampsia is a condition characterised by high blood pressure, which can irritate blood vessels in the brain and again cause pain. Migraines on the other hand, are complex. It is thought that they are often relieved during pregnancy due to less fluctuation of estrogen and progesterone compared to the normal menstrual cycle.

How common is it?

How common is headaches as a sign of pregnancy?

Of the women we surveyed 22.6% said they suffered headaches after getting pregnant. Pre-eclampsia occurs in around 5-10% of pregnancies.

14. Backaches

Back pain can be pre-existing due to a previous injury or can be directly caused by your pregnancy and is known as Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP). If you have had back pain before becoming pregnant you may find it becoming worse at the end of the day when your muscles are tired from having to support a growing baby.

Why it happens;

Early sign of pregnancy, backaches

The exact cause of PGP is unknown. It may feel like hip pain, general lower back pain or even shooting pains in the buttocks. Some sources suggest progesterone plays a role in relaxing ligaments, which can cause back and joint pain.

How common is it?

How common is backache as a sign of pregnancy?

Back pain is felt by as many as 75% of pregnant women.

15. Food cravings

It's not fully understood why you experience cravings during pregnancy although it is thought that it is due to the body wanting certain vitamins and minerals that it might not have enough of.

Pregnancy symptom, cravings

How common is pregnancy food cravings?

How common is food cravings as a sign of pregnancy?

Of the women we surveyed, 17.1% said they had food cravings during early pregnancy. Most of them said they experienced food cravings 6+ weeks after their last menstrual period.

16. Constipation, bloating & wind

This symptom can also be attributed to hormone changes. While increased hormones will make your intestines more relaxed creating more room for your growing baby, the downside is that it can also make you constipated.

If the intestines are relaxed the muscles are no longer able to effectively squeeze food along the digestive tract making it become static. This is the main reason, however, constipation can also occur due to decreased food and water consumption especially in women who have been experiencing morning sickness. Many women will feel particularly constipated and bloated around week 11.

Pregnancy symptom, bloating and constipation

How common is it?

How common is bloating and constipation as a sign of pregnancy?

About 40% of women will experience constipation throughout pregnancy, although it will first become noticeable in the first trimester.

Most of the women we surveyed said bloating and constipation was the 5th symptom they experienced.

17. Darkening of skin around nipples

Not only do your breasts become fuller but the nipples and surrounding skin will change. From approximately week 11 the nipples will protrude more, the skin around the nipple (known as the areola) will become darker and may appear spotted and may develop little bumps known as Montgomery tubercles.

Pregnancy sign, color of nipples changes

These changes are only temporary and your breasts will return to normal in the months following birth.

Why it happens;

This is still relatively unknown, but it is thought that estrogen and progesterone can stimulate pigment-producing cells called melanocytes. Also, a hormone called CRH is often necessary to provide the baby with enough nutrients as it grows. As the body produces CRH, it also produces more MSH, a hormone that increases pigmentation of the skin.

How common is it?

How common is nipple color as a sign of pregnancy?

Whilst only 8.6% of the women we surveyed noticed this as an early sign of pregnancy, most women will notice this as the pregnancy progresses.

18. Cervix changes

Early on in pregnancy, the cervix stays soft and is positioned high in the vagina. Additionally, cervical mucus thickens to form a mucus plug.

Pregnancy symptom, cervix changes

The mucus plug blocks the cervix, and acts as a barrier to prevent anything foreign accessing the uterus where the baby is growing.

How common is it?

How common is cervcix changes as a sign of pregnancy?

Only 8.3% of our survey participants said they noticed this. Learn how to observe your cervix position in our guide.

19. Changes in vagina - vulva color

This is probably the symptom that you are least likely to notice. Your vulva may appear blue or purple in color.

Signs of pregnancy, vulva color changes

Why it happens;

Changes in color are due to the extra blood that is being supplied to the pelvic region.

Less than 2% of the women we surveyed said they noticed this as a symptom. But remember that most women stop tracking symptoms once they get a confirmed pregnancy test result.

20. Weight gain

You may have gained a couple of pounds early on in the pregnancy, however, towards the end of the first trimester weight gain becomes more rapid as the baby starts to grow quickly.

Signs of pregnancy, weight gain

You will start to feel the need to eat more to ensure that your baby is receiving all the nutrients and energy it needs to thrive in your womb. Metabolic hormones also ensure your body is able to store enough energy as fat for your baby. Additionally, the physical weight of a baby, the placenta and all the extra blood and fluid in your body will contribute to weight gain.

21. Going to the toilet…a lot!

Around week 6-8 you may find yourself rushing off to the bathroom more frequently.

Why it happens;

Signs of pregnancy, toilet visits (frequent urination)

This is another symptom that’s due to the hormone hCG. HCG causes increased blood supply around the uterus and in the pelvic area. As a result the bladder becomes irritated and you release small amounts of urine when you go to the bathroom. You may also start waking up during the night to urinate. This symptom usually lasts for the first trimester and will recur in the last trimester when your baby starts to push against your bladder.

How common is it?

How common is frquent urination as a sign of pregnancy?

Around 50% of pregnant women experience this pregnancy symptom.

22. My breasts seem to be growing already!

Around weeks 6-8 you will start to notice your breasts getting bigger.

Why it happens;

The is because there is increased fat build up, increased blood flow and more milk ducts are grown so you can be ready to feed your baby when it's born. It's normal to go up 1-2 cup sizes during the course of the pregnancy. Some women may find that their breasts grow intermittently whilst others notice theirs growing gradually over the course of the pregnancy.

Pregnancy sign, breasts growing

23. Lightheaded, dizzy, fainting

You may find yourself feeling lightheaded or dizzy in the first trimester of your pregnancy.

Why it happens;

This is because as progesterone makes the smooth muscle in blood vessels in your body dilate, your blood pressure drops. With lower blood pressure at certain times, such as during standing up too quickly, there may not be enough blood supply to your brain causing you to feel like you could faint. Early on in pregnancy this can also be because of lower blood sugar levels as your baby uses up a lot of your energy too. Staying well hydrated can help to manage this.

Pregnancy sign, lightheaded and dizzy

The early signs of pregnancy survey results

The following chart and table shows how common each pregnancy symptom is, by symptom order (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th symptom).

Signs of pregnancy ranked


And here's a table view of the above chart.

Symptom
  1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th

Tender Breasts

22.5%

15.8%

12.6%

12.2%

8.3%

14.0%

Missed Period

16.2%

10.8%

10.4%

5.6%

3.3%

4.7%

Positive Pregnancy Test

13.4%

14.4%

19.3%

5.6%

6.7%

14.0%

Morning Sickness, Nausea

7.0%

5.8%

11.9%

14.4%

13.3%

9.3%

Other

6.3%

5.0%

5.9%

2.2%

3.3%

0.0%

Fatigue

6.3%

12.2%

13.3%

12.2%

18.3%

9.3%

Mood Swings

5.6%

6.5%

3.0%

3.3%

3.3%

2.3%

Bloating & Constipation

4.2%

3.6%

3.7%

7.8%

10.0%

9.3%

Backaches

2.8%

3.6%

0.0%

2.2%

3.3%

2.3%

Cervical Mucus Change

2.8%

1.4%

0.0%

4.4%

1.7%

7.0%

Shortness of Breath

2.8%

1.4%

2.2%

2.2%

5.0%

4.7%

Headaches

2.8%

4.3%

5.9%

5.6%

1.7%

2.3%

Frequent Urination

2.1%

8.6%

6.7%

7.8%

6.7%

14.0%

Darkening Around Nipples

1.4%

0.7%

1.5%

3.3%

1.7%

0.0%

Spotting (Implantation Bleeding)

1.4%

2.2%

0.0%

1.1%

1.7%

4.7%

Food Cravings

1.4%

1.4%

1.5%

7.8%

5.0%

0.0%

Elevated BBT

0.7%

1.4%

0.7%

1.1%

1.7%

2.3%

Cervix Position Change

0.0%

0.7%

1.5%

1.1%

5.0%

0.0%

 

The next chart shows when each of the pregnancy signs were experienced.

Pregnancy symptoms experienced, days past ovulation


Tap one of the buttons below to read more.
Conclusion
  • Here’s what we learnt from the survey:
  • The first sign of pregnancy for most women is tender breasts.
  • Most of them noticed this three weeks after their last period.
  • 96% experienced three signs of pregnancy, with 65% experiencing four.
  • 10% noticed signs as early as six days past ovulation.
  • Most women got a positive pregnancy test 14 days after ovulation.
  • Fatigue, although noticed by most as a later symptom, was experienced more than morning sickness.

Infographic

And finally, here's a visual infographic of our early signs of pregnancy survey results, feel free to share it.

Early signs of pregnancy infographic

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New Join the Discussion!

  1. Shortanee Nov 15, 2016
    Praying I get all signs of pregnancy. Yesterday was my ovulation day.
    1. Ebony: Sending baby dust your way. My ovulation day was November 21st. Now the 2 week wait!! Praying for the both of us, love. - (Nov 22, 2016)
    Reply
  2. Kiran Nov 16, 2016
    Indeed, a very helpful article. Thank you so much for sharing.
    Reply
  3. Elizabeth Nov 16, 2016
    Thank you OC team. Very helpful!
    Reply
  4. Fiona Nov 16, 2016
    Great article. I have a question. What are my chances of conceiving if I keep ovulating from my tubeless side? I started ovulating 2 days ago, but this morning, I felt a cramp on my left pelvic side (similar to the last couple of months around the same time) which I'm assuming is ovulating pain.
    1. Emma: I believe there's a 30% chance of getting pregnant after you ovulate from your tubeless side. I am also in the same boat. I've ovulated from that side this month and am now on a two week wait! Good luck xx - (Nov 30, 2016)
    Reply
  5. Otina Nov 16, 2016
    5 more days till my test day. I am praying
    1. Ebony: Did you test? What were your results? - (Nov 22, 2016)
    Reply
  6. Martina Nov 17, 2016
    A good read, thanks OC team!
    Reply
  7. Winifred Nov 18, 2016
    Thanks for the article. It is so helpful. I have been experiencing some of the early pregnancy signs, such as tender breasts, a missed period and a slight headache, but little did I know that I am pregnant already. Maybe because I have taken off from my curiosity about becoming pregnant. Thanks for educating me. Always grateful.
    Reply
  8. Lilian Nov 18, 2016
    Very helpful. I pray this month will not pass me by.
    Reply
  9. Shaquan Nov 20, 2016
    A few days ago, I started spotting and cramping. My period isn't due till Nov 28th. Keeping my fingers crossed.
    1. Joan: Wow, congrats honey, in advance. Can see that bump already! - (Nov 27, 2016)
    Reply
  10. Mrs Nov 20, 2016
    Very informative, thank you.
    Reply
  11. Amina Nov 20, 2016
    Whoa, every woman's prayer. Nice read.
    Reply
  12. Linda Nov 23, 2016
    Two days to my testing day. My breasts are tender. Praying to God for a miracle.
    Reply
  13. Abby Nov 26, 2016
    Praying for all of you ladies! May God grant you the desires of your hearts!
    Reply
  14. Joan Nov 27, 2016
    8 days to go before testing. I'm hoping God hears my plea
    Reply
  15. Ebony Nov 27, 2016
    8 more days for me to test as well. Hope this our month, ladies!!
    Reply
  16. James Nov 27, 2016
    Praying that my little one is forming as we speak. Test date soon.
    Reply
  17. Michele Nov 28, 2016
    I'm starting my 2ww today. I'm really hoping this month is it! Good luck everyone!
    Reply
  18. Janet Nov 30, 2016
    Ok, on Nov 12th, I believe I ovulated! On Nov 20th, I started having a little cramping and lower back pain! I thought I was gong to have AF, but it wnt on like that all week and no AF showed up! Then I was to test on the 26th, but it was a BFN, so then the 27th is when AF was to start, but no AF and still having lower back pains closer to the night! Then on the 28th, still no AF and I still have lower back pains, but I also started to see my temperature go up and my breasts became tender! Now today, still no AF and I tested again and it's still saying BFN. Also on the 26th, I found myself having to go to the bathroom a lot in the middle night. I have to get up! So I'm confused on why it's saying BFN if I haven't had AF. Could I be pregnant?
    Reply
  19. Aminat Dec 01, 2016
    Is it possible to be pregnant and still see your period?
    Reply
  20. Joy Dec 02, 2016
    Yesterday, I was ovulating and had sex, but the next day, I was cramping. Is that a pregnancy sign?
    1. Christina (OC Team): Cramping at this time in your cycle is likely related to ovulation and not implantation. - (Dec 03, 2016)
    Reply
  21. Kayla Dec 05, 2016
    My last period was on the 16th of November 2016. I usually have a normal 28-29 day cycle, meaning I would have ovulated about the 30th November 2016. I had unprotected sex on the 30th. Is it possible to have conceived?
    Reply
  22. Adekemi Dec 06, 2016
    I took a pregnancy test 5 days before the day I was supposed to check and it was positive. How true is it, or can it change before that day?
    Reply
  23. Winnie Dec 07, 2016
    I pray and hope that I get that one thing I have prayed for always.







    Reply
  24. Bibitayo Dec 07, 2016
    My last period was on the 17th of November, 2016. I usually have my normal 24-25 day cycle, and I noticed that my ovulation day falls on the 28th.
    Reply
  25. Obi Dec 07, 2016
    Very informative. Although, I'm just recovering from malaria, but the headache is not going away. I'm still dizzy, tired and have a high temp. I don't know if it means a BFP. My last period was very short, and I ovulated on Dec 3rd. Well that's my wish. Baby dust to u all.
    Reply
  26. Krystle Dec 08, 2016
    I'm 5 weeks pregnant and my tummy feels sore. It's a dull ache. I didn't read anything above to say this is normal? Or should I be concerned? Thank you.
    Reply
  27. Lizzy Dec 08, 2016
    I had a delayed period for 3 days only for it to come on the fourth (4th) day. What could be responsible for this?
    Reply

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