How early can pregnancy symptoms start?

The onset and degree of pregnancy symptoms will vary within women. Many women experience them within days of conception, others take a few weeks before pregnancy symptoms kick in and a lucky few feel no discomfort at all. The early pregnancy symptoms listed on this page generally can be felt once implantation occurs (8-10 days from ovulation) and will lessen after the first trimester.

It is frustrating to realize that many pregnancy symptoms are very similar to those that occur right before menstruating. However, combined with high temperatures and a longer luteal phase -- they are key indications that you have achieved pregnancy success!

Nausea and vomiting: They may start as early as a week into the pregnancy. Many women experience illness in the morning (morning sickness); some experience this in the afternoon or evening; and others feel feel nausea throughout the entire day. There is no explanation as to why pregnant women feel this, or even a solution as to how to prevent it. However, eating small frequent meals, and snacking on saltine crackers, seems to give some kind of relief. Eating a protein/carbohydrate at bedtime (try an apple and a glass of milk) tends to lessen the nausea that occurs in the morning.

Swollen breasts: Your breasts may be very tender, swollen and start to enlarge. Many times the veins within the breast will become more visible. Your nipples may start to darken in color, become more erect and be extremely sensitive. These symptoms are due to increasing amount of HCG hormone that begins at implantation.

Swollen uterus: Pregnancy causes the uterus to swell and it will start to enlarge for the growing fetus immediately. The uterus puts pressure on your bladder, making you feel the need for more frequent urination. Many women start to feel this symptom within a week or two after pregnancy has occurred.

Feeling sluggish: When pregnant, your body is going through some major hormonal changes. HCG levels alone go from 0-250,000 mIU/ml in just 12 weeks. Your temperature is also higher, due to the amount progesterone circulating through your body -- this will also make you feel a little sluggish.

Light bleeding (spotting): This may occur approximately 8-10 days from ovulation. It usually happens around the same time you would have gotten your menstrual period. Some women assume they have started their period when in fact they are pregnant. The spotting is caused from implantation, which is when the fertilized egg burrows into the endometrial lining.

Dizziness and/or fainting: When standing in one place, you may feel dizzy or even faint. The growing uterus compresses major arteries in your legs, which causes your blood pressure to drop and make you extremely light-headed. Skipping meals or going too long without eating may cause you to feel dizzy or faint. When not eating frequently enough, it causes low blood sugar. Blood sugar is the primary source of food for your baby, so it will be depleted much more quickly.

Constipation: Pregnancy hormones will slow down bowel functions to give maximum absorption time of vitamins and nutrients. Unfortunately, this symptom usually only gets worse as the pregnancy progresses.

Irritability: Raging hormones are the cause of this... along with having to put up with all the other symptoms. This symptom should decrease soon into the second trimester but until then, a healthy diet, moderate exercise and plenty of sleep should help the crabbiness somewhat.

Heartburn: The uterus is very swollen and starts to push upward as it grows. The increasing levels of HCG will also slow down digestion making your stomach not empty as fast; this increases the stomach acid.

Uncomfortable - But Well Worth It!

After your precious baby arrives, you will soon forget the bouts of nausea and the discomfort you are now experiencing.

Here are some testimonials from Wiki s contributors:

  • I was late by one day and my breasts were so sore I couldn't even sleep on them or touch them. Then two days later I got a pregnancy test and sure enough it was positive.
  • A week and a half after unprotected sex my breasts began to hurt. I went to the doctor and sure enough I was pregnant. I guess it varies for women, but typically it's a month after conception.
  • You really can't tell until you are at least a month. It takes time for your hormones to build up.
  • I would say it's possible to have pregnancy symptoms prior to a missed period, I know personally I did: sore breasts, headaches and feeling sickly. Although I have read and am told by many health care professionals that it isn't possible until after a missed period in order for the hormones to build up and cause the symptoms. From my personal experience I would say it IS possible but there is evidence to suggest otherwise. Sometimes I think it makes sense to trust your own instincts and your bodies signs and take it from there.
  • The experts say that hcg is not produced till implantation so symptoms wouldn't show till then - but I, and other women, have proved the experts wrong! My symptoms were sore breasts for all three of my children, and nausea also for the last two.
  • With my last pregnancy my stomach hurt and my breasts were sore and tender a week before I missed my period. I'm on my second pregnancy and my breasts are sore and my stomach's sensitive and this started a week and 1/2 before my period is supposed to come.
  • My friend started being really clumsy before she even knew by period that she was pregnant.
  • Usually you get morning sickness at around six weeks.
  • The first sign of pregnancy is a missed period, and almost immediately you may feel some changes but they vary a lot between people and even between pregnancies in the same person. I had far fewer early symptoms with my second pregnancy than I did with my first although I knew was looking out for them, had an earlier positive test and it was a twin pregnancy.
  • It is different in every woman. Some experience symptoms two weeks after having sex and some don't have any symptoms till they're two months along.
  • I conceived on the 18th of December 2003, and by Christmas eve, I was experiencing flu like symptoms, breast tenderness, as well as mood swings, and fatigue. This I experienced only seven days after conception, but each woman is unique to themselves.
  • I read an article that said pregnancy hormones kick in about 10 days after conception. It is these hormones that cause the symptoms and become worse as the hormone increases. These hormones are needed to detect pregnancy on a test and the reason we can't detect these hormones by blood or urine until about a week before your period is scheduled to begin.
  • I started to feel symptoms after about 2 weeks. I had frequent urination and I couldn't eat throughout the day. But not everyone has the same symptoms.
  • Pregnancy symptoms usually start as soon as the embryo implants in the uterus and starts releasing HCG. Which is around day 7-8 of having sex.
  • If you are very slim you will start showing at about 3 months. Alot of people experience morning sickness which would be an early sign. There's not many others till you get on further. You might get tired then, Problems eating and so on
  • 2 weeks after conception
  • Some women seem to know they are pregnant from the moment of conception; others have very early signs that tip them off. As hormone levels increase rapidly during very early pregnancy your body will start to go through a lot of changes. Some women start to feel symptoms as early as implantation when the embryo attaches itself to the uterus (6-12 days after ovulation). Others will begin to feel symptoms around when they period is due (12-14 days past ovulation).
  • Well, I experienced sore breasts & enlarged breasts about 7dpo. Also an increase in cervical mucus of a yellowish creamy color. I also had just a "feeling" that i was pregnant but nothing until about 7 dpo.
  • I had tender breasts, tiredness, period like cramping about 5-6dpo. Felt different from normal, had a feeling i was pregnant.0
  • Women usually show signs of pregnancy once the Embryo has implanted in the Uterus and started releasing HCG. This occurs around 8-12 days after sex. During this time women also experience implantation bleeding.
  • Late bloomers experience symptoms later in pregnancy. Usually after they've missed a period.