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Early signs of pregnancy before your missed period

While an at-home test can detect pregnancy as early as 2 weeks, there are other signs to look out for that may indicate you’re pregnant.

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How early can you feel pregnancy symptoms?

Pregnancy symptoms can start as early as 1-2 weeks after conception. Everybody is different, so what you’re experiencing may not follow the same timeline or specific symptoms someone else has. Below, you can read about individual symptoms you may experience early in pregnancy and when they might start to appear. 

Symptoms of pregnancy before missed period

Symptoms vary from person to person, and most symptoms of pregnancy emerge after a missed period. However, you know your body best and if you notice any of the following are abnormal for you, it might be worth taking a pregnancy test to gather more information. Some common early signs of pregnancy include:


Some people experience implantation bleeding around conception, which is when the pregnancy implants into the uterus. People may mistake this for a period or spotting, so it often goes unnoticed. 

You can use panty liners, as bleeding should be very light. If your bleeding comes with pelvic pain, it should be evaluated by a medical professional. 

Nausea and vomiting

While often referred to as morning sickness, nausea and vomiting can happen at any time of day throughout a pregnancy. It’s a common symptom that about 70% of people experience while pregnant. Nausea tends to be worse during the first trimester of pregnancy and gets better around the second trimester. 

Many pregnant people find relief from nausea by:

  • Medications like ondansetron (Zofran) or unisom and vitamin B6 (Diclegis)
  • Drinking ginger tea or ginger ale
  • Eating smaller and more frequent meals 
  • Snacking on saltines
  • Getting some fresh air
  • Wearing acupressure bands for motion sickness 
  • Receiving acupuncture treatments

Increase in basal body temperature (BBT)

Basal body temperature, or your body temperature when you’re resting, is measured with a special basal body thermometer which shows temperature to the second decimal place for a more accurate reading. If your BBT is elevated for 18 or more days, it may be a sign of early pregnancy.It’s often used to track ovulation and when practicing the natural family planning method of birth control. 

It requires you know what your normal temperature is when not pregnant so that you can compare results. If you aren’t regularly checking your basal temperature, this may not be the best indicator of pregnancy.


Abdominal cramps can occur as your body changes to accommodate a growing pregnancy. They can range in pain levels and frequency depending on the person. You can also experience early pregnancy cramps around your pelvis or lower back. 

While mild cramping can be normal, severe cramps can be a sign of pregnancy growing outside of the uterus known as an ectopic pregnancy- which can be life threatening. You should seek in-person emergency care if you are experiencing severe one-sided belly pain or shoulder pain, and feeling lightheaded or dizzy.

Mood swings

Changes to your mood can be tied to fluctuations in your hormones during early pregnancy. The range of emotions is different for every person, as is the intensity of them. 

If you’re experiencing mood swings, or have a history of pregnancy related mood disorders,  you can talk through your feelings with a close friend or partner, or reach out to a provider for help.


Feeling tired is often one of the first signs of pregnancy. It is typically caused by hormonal changes and the additional effort your body is putting in to produce more blood to support the placenta and fetus.  

Fatigue is a signal that your body needs to rest—take breaks where you can and talk to a provider if it starts to interfere with your day-to-day activities.

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Breast changes

Breast tenderness or enlargement can occur early in and throughout pregnancy, similar to what some people experience before menstruating. Breast tenderness alone doesn’t mean you are pregnant, but in combination with other symptoms it may help you decide whether you want to take a pregnancy test. In the short term, taking ibuprofen or using a warm compress can help reduce soreness.

Constipation and bloating

Elevated progestin hormone levels can cause constipation and bloating during pregnancy, but typically not during early pregnancy when those hormonal changes are still minimal. The body slows down the digestion and absorption process so that you can have more time to absorb the nutrients you are eating—and pass them on to your growing pregnancy.

Always (but especially during pregnancy) try to make sure you are drinking enough water, eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and moving your body! All these things can help with constipation and bloating. Some people find that having a warm beverage can also help get things moving. 

Frequent urination

Hormonal changes early in pregnancy can increase how often you need to pee. It can also be a symptom of a UTI or other infection, so it’s important to seek medical care ASAP if it’s not because of pregnancy.

Heightened sense of smell and food aversion

Hormones can impact so many things—and that includes your sense of smell. During pregnancy you may develop a distaste for certain foods or scents that can result in nausea and vomiting. On the flip side, many people develop strong cravings for certain foods. It really just depends on the person.

How do I confirm if I’m pregnant?

If you’re unsure about your symptoms, or just want some clarity, one of the most accurate ways to confirm if you’re pregnant is to take an at-home pregnancy test.

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