Pregnancy symptoms and signs

 pregnancy test

Could you be pregnant?
 Some women are so attuned to their body's rhythms that they suspect they're pregnant very quickly; other women don't have any pregnancy symptoms for weeks and may only realise they could be pregnant when they start to have some of the following. 

Pregnancy symptoms

  • Late or missed period
  • Sore or swollen breasts and darker nipples
  • Feeling sick
  • Needing to wee a lot
  • Going off previously enjoyable food or drink eg fatty foods or coffee
  • A metallic taste 
  • A heightened sense of smell eg to cigarette smoke or cooking smells
  • Feeling emotional and crying more easily than usual
  • Feeling very tired, despite enough sleep

tired headache

The first signs of pregnancy (sore breasts, feeling a bit irritable) are easy to confuse with PMT or an impending period. So if you're desperate to get pregnant it can raise your hopes (sometimes cruelly) and if you're not it means you can end up ignoring the signs until they're pretty unmistakable.

Missed period

Missing a period is the clearest sign for many women that they could be pregnant. But there are causes other than pregnancy for your period not arriving on time, such as stress, being too thin, taking certain medicines, eg the Pill, and breastfeeding.

Sometimes, women who are pregnant still have a very light period. But if your period is definitely late or much lighter than usual and you've had sex since your last period, you need to do a pregnancy test.

Implantation cramps and bleeding

Another symptom some women have is poking feelings in their abdomen, or slight bleeding. This is implantation cramping and bleeding caused by the egg burrowing into the womb lining.

This Mumsnetter explains: "I got what seemed like the tail end of a period - brown blood - which had a few red speckles and went on for five days, but the fact that it didn't come on properly led me to do a pregnancy test the next day."

Other pregnancy symptoms

For some women none of the above applies and their first pregnancy 'symptom' may be that they just feel off-colour, as if they're coming down with a virus or bug. Other women feel lightheaded or dizzy, while some get wretched headaches.  

How Mumsnetters describe their pregnancy symptoms

  • "Period-like cramps, ironically. I was down in the dumps because I thought my period was on the way. But it never surfaced and I did a pregnancy test instead."
  • "So tired I kept falling asleep during the day."
  • "Needing to pee, all the time."
  • "Horrible taste in my mouth, I couldn't eat garlic or drink coke."
  • "Went off my wine. VERY unusual."
  • "Burping and feeling generally washed out."
  • "Murderous, splitting headache about 10 days after ovulation."
  • "Everything smelled strange, then cigarettes became the work of the devil."
  • "Nipples darker and a bit bumpy."
  • "A vivid red, sore and itchy rash on my arms and legs, which I put down to putting on sun cream too soon after shaving my legs, but my GP spotted as an oestrogen surge."
  • "Late period followed by a positive pregnancy test. Mine's not very original, is it?"

So, are you up the duff? For advice, information and guidance through the next 40 weeks, download the Mumsnet Pregnancy Tracker app for free on the App Store.

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Last updated: about 2 months ago