First Signs And Symptoms Of Pregnancy

It can be torture to have to wait several days before you can take a pregnancy test after having unprotected sex. That being said, there are several subtle signs of pregnancy to tune into that your body will give you. Understanding these signs can be helpful while you are agonizing over that future pregnancy test.

Below lists the most common signs of early pregnancy before a missed period:

Breast changes

One of the very first symptoms of early pregnancy is sore breasts, as well as sore nipples. I’ve had patients tell me that their breasts and nipples were the most sore ever when they were in the earliest stages of pregnancy, and was also their only symptom. I’ve also had patients tell me that their nipples took on a puckered, scrunched up look at all times – think about how your nipples look when you are very cold.


This is likely mostly due to the rise of the hormone progesterone, which can cause the breasts to feel more tender and full. Note that this also may happen before you are getting your period, so it is certainly not a clear-cut sign of pregnancy.


Spotting a few days before you are supposed to get your period is classic sign of pregnancy. That being said, it is not a super common sign, statistics estimate anywhere from 3% to 20% of women have this spotting, but it does happen. The spotting is likely to be more of a rusty or brown color rather than bright red blood as with a period.


Implantation of the fertilized egg is thought to be the cause of the small amount of spotting. The embryo usually implants in the uterine lining day 6 to day 12 from conception.


Feeling like cramping in the pelvic area is a symptom of early pregnancy and often accompanies implantation spotting.


This is likely due to implantation of the embryo into the wall of the uterus, and also. due to a rise in hormones that happen with pregnancy.

Increased fatigue

Feeling more tired and having low energy are early symptoms of pregnancy. This is a very subtle sign and may be hard to attribute to pregnancy because so many things can cause this as well.


This is likely due to an increase in progesterone hormone which can make you feel a little sleepy.

Increased temperature

Your core temperature will rise slightly after conception. Well, unless you have been tracking your temperature daily and accurately, it is unlikely that you will be able to tell because temperature typically only rises a half a degree or so.


An increased temperature is due to rising hormones, most notably progesterone.


Feeling sick at any point during the day can be a symptom of early pregnancy. Nausea is experienced at some point in pregnancy by majority of women, and it can happen in the very earliest stages.


This is likely due to elevated estrogen and progesterone levels.


Decrease in bowel movements is an early sign of pregnancy, as well as a very uncomfortable symptom. Increase the fiber in your diet, exercise, and drink more water to help ease and prevent constipation.


This is due to increasing levels of progesterone which can slow food moving through your digestive system.

Note: I have had patients who complained of the opposite – having diarrhea rather than constipation. So basically anything to do with a change in your bowel movements, along with other symptoms discussed here, could be a sign of pregnancy.

Main take aways…

You may have noticed that the most common signs and symptoms of early pregnancy are very similar to the signs and symptoms you get before you get your period. Take notice of your symptoms but the number one sign of pregnancy is going to be a missed period and then a positive pregnancy test.



About the author: Sarah-Kate Rems is an Ivy-league trained Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner licensed in California with an expertise in women’s health and preventative healthcare. She considers nutrition and exercise to be the basis of well-being and is a strong advocate for daily physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet. Sarah-Kate is also a co-founder of The Mindful Tech Lab

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