What Are the Early Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy?

Do You Recognize the 25 Early Signs of Pregnancy?

A young couple reading a pregnancy test.
Photo © Vetta/Getty Images

If you're like everyone else you're trying to figure out what the signs of pregnancy or pregnancy symptoms are and how likely they are to mean that you are pregnant. You can ask other people, you can worry in silence, but the best thing is to read through the categories and add up the signs. The more you have the more likely you are to be pregnant.

On the chart below (scroll down) are 25 of the most common signs of pregnancy and what they mean.

You can also click the sign to get more information on each sign of pregnancy. The three categories of pregnancy signs are: possible, probable and positive. You're also welcome to take this quiz to help you determine your status!

Pregnancy SignCategory
Missed periodPossible
Unusual or abnormal periodPossible
Just "feeling" pregnantPossible
Nausea and VomitingPossible
Changes in libidoPossible
Soreness of the BreastsPossible
Enlargement of the BreastsPossible
Frequent UrinationPossible
Strange CravingsPossible
Montgomery's TuberculesPossible
Skin ChangesPossible
Stretch MarksPossible
Enlarging UterusPossible
Colostrum from BreastsPossible
Enlarged AbdomenProbable
Change in uterine shapeProbable
Braxton Hicks ContractionsProbable
Palpation of the BabyProbable
Positive Pregnancy TestPositive
Fetal Heart TonesPositive
Ultrasound DetectionPositive
X-ray DetectionPositive

Many women have a lot of questions about pregnancy symptoms. That is very normal. Don't panic if you wonder if every little twinge is something wrong or even if you don't have any pregnancy symptoms. These are all variations of normal.

Typically we say that pregnancy symptoms start around the sixth week of pregnancy. This is particularly true of morning sickness. This isn't because of anything strange, it's typically more related to when the hormones really ramp up or get to levels that start to produce symptoms.

Or it is even more likely that the changes are so slight that you completely miss them. Feeling a bit bloated? That's easy enough to think about as normal, since many women experience this around the time of the period. The same goes for things like a backache and even some cramping. Or perhaps you think you have another reason for a symptom. This is particularly true of the tiredness many women experience in the early months. You might blame it on a workout or a rough day at the office, not realizing that it's really pregnancy related.

The worrying part is also normal. You're pregnant and you want to stay that way. Anything that jeopardizes the pregnancy is worrisome. When you're first pregnant, it's had dot tell what you should worry about and what you should ignore. I can remember running to the bathroom on more than one occasion because I was sure I was spotting. This isn't a fun feeling at all, that's for certain.

That doesn't mean it's abnormal. The only real problems with symptoms are when they are so severe that they interfere horribly with daily life or health or if you have symptoms that completely disappear, seemingly overnight.

That said, if you have questions, it's important that you call your doctor or midwife.

Their job is to help calm your fears, even if you don't have an appointment. They understand that pregnant women have a lot of questions and they are willing to give you the answers, but you have to call your doctor! Many practitioners have someone who does nothing but answers questions all day long.

When you call be sure to tell them who you are, how many weeks pregnancy you are, who your practitioner is and what your question is concerning. This will give them more information to give you the best possible answer. This means that they can tell you the answer in relationship to your medical history. This is the best type of answer and something that is hard to come by on the Internet.

When you call you may need to leave a message. This means that someone will get back to you with the answers to your questions. This might be an hour or even by the end of the day. Most call lines are set up to give you that information, so that you have a clear expectation of when you can receive a call back with an answer.

Sometimes answers lead to more questions. If it is appropriate to ask clarifying questions do so. Otherwise, you may need to call back to ask again.

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