Early signs of pregnancy
For women who have a regular monthly menstrual cycle, the earliest and most reliable sign of pregnancy is a missed period.
Women who are pregnant sometimes have a bleed similar to a very light period, with some spotting or only losing a little blood. This is called implantation bleeding.
Some of the other early pregnancy signs and symptoms are listed below.
Every woman is different and not all women will notice all of these symptoms.
Feeling sick during pregnancy
You may feel sick (nauseous) or be sick (vomit). This is commonly known as morning sickness, but it can happen at any time of the day or night.
For most women who have morning sickness, the symptoms start when they’re around 4 to 6 weeks pregnant.
Find out how to cope with feeling sick and morning sickness in pregnancy
If you’re being sick all the time and cannot keep anything down, see a GP.
You may have hyperemesis gravidarum, a serious condition in pregnancy that causes severe vomiting and needs treatment.
Feeling tired is common in pregnancy
It’s common to feel tired, or even exhausted, during pregnancy, especially during the first 12 weeks or so.
Hormonal changes in your body at this time can make you feel tired, sick, emotional and upset.
Find out more about tiredness in pregnancy
Sore breasts in early pregnancy
Your breasts may become larger and feel tender, just as they might do before your period. They may also tingle.
The veins may be more visible, and the nipples may darken and stand out.
Peeing more often suggests pregnancy
You may feel the need to pee more often than usual, including during the night.
Other signs of pregnancy you may notice are:
- more vaginal discharge (without any soreness or irritation)
Strange tastes, smells and cravings
During early pregnancy, you may find you no longer like some foods or drinks you used to enjoy.
You might notice:
- a strange taste in your mouth, which many women describe as metallic
- you crave new foods
- you lose interest in certain foods or drinks you used to enjoy, such as tea, coffee or fatty food
- you lose interest in smoking
- you have a more sensitive sense of smell than usual – for example, the smell of food or cooking
If you’re worried about symptoms
If you have any symptoms you’re worried about, talk to a GP or your midwife.
Find out about:
- bleeding in pregnancy
- stomach pain in pregnancy
- being sick (vomiting) in pregnancy
If your pregnancy test is negative
A positive test result is almost certainly correct, as long as you have followed the instructions correctly.
A negative result is less reliable. If you get a negative result and still think you may be pregnant, wait a week and try again.
Find out about taking a pregnancy test
If you’re pregnant, use the pregnancy due date calculator to work out when your baby’s due.
Find maternity services near you
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You can find pregnancy and baby apps and tools in the NHS Apps Library.
Media last reviewed: 20 March 2017
Media review due: 20 March 2020
Page last reviewed: 8 October 2019
Next review due: 8 October 2022