Couple with two dogs sitting in the window
Scientifically Reviewed
Home/Cycle Matters / Plan Pregnancy

7 Signs of Early Pregnancy

It can be hard to tell at the start of any pregnancy if anything has changed in our bodies. The fact that many early pregnancy signs are similar to the symptoms of PMS can also make things more complicated. However, in this post, we’re going to take a look at the symptoms of early pregnancy some women do experience. We’ll also unpack how fertility monitoring can make you more aware of the subtle changes happening in your body.

1. Your period is late

A missed period is the first indication of pregnancy for many women, and it’s really normal to not experience any other symptoms for the first weeks of pregnancy. If you think you might be pregnant, take a test on the day your period would normally arrive.

Keep in mind that there are a number of things that can also cause your period to be late. A change to your routine, diet or increased exercise can delay your period, and stress is also known to have an effect on the menstrual cycle

2. You experience light bleeding

Interestingly, just as a missed period is a sign of early pregnancy, light bleeding or spotting in the days before your period is due can also be an indication that you might be pregnant. This is called implantation bleeding. It’s not very common, but just as with spotting around ovulation, some women will experience this light bleeding as the fertilized egg cell attaches to the uterine wall. 

It may be too early to take a pregnancy test if you think you’re experiencing implantation bleeding. We recommend you wait and take a pregnancy test on the first day of your missed period to get a more accurate result.

3. You feel nauseous 

In early pregnancy, some women feel nauseous and may even throw up. This nausea is commonly called morning sickness, but in reality, it can happen at any time of the day. This early pregnancy symptom can happen around 4-6 weeks into your pregnancy and is likely to disappear by week 16-20. 

In some cases, some women may suffer from an extreme form of nausea during pregnancy. If you have concerns with any pregnancy symptoms you should consult with your healthcare professional.

4. You’re craving some specific foods

Can’t get that jar of pickles at the back of the fridge off your mind? You’re not alone because as far as early pregnancy signs go, food cravings are fairly common. They can start as early as five weeks into pregnancy and may get stronger in the second trimester before eventually disappearing altogether.

You might find yourself craving food you didn’t like before you were pregnant. It’s also normal to be completely turned off from other types of food entirely. While cravings can be very unique, if you’re craving inedible things such as toothpaste, coal, or soil you should speak to your doctor or midwife as these types of cravings can point to a lack of vitamins or minerals in your diet.

5. You always seem to need to pee

A frequent need to urinate is a common pregnancy symptom. Even in early pregnancy, there’s growing pressure on your bladder. You might notice you’re making more trips to the bathroom than usual, or getting up to pee during the night. 

Some women also report experiencing constipation during their pregnancy. Again, if you notice any changes in your body that are causing you concern, you can speak to your midwife or doctor to get advice.

6. You have sore breasts

Since this is a common PMS symptom, you might not think breast tenderness is unusual if you’re expecting your period. However, painful or sensitive breasts are also a common sign of early pregnancy too.

You might also notice a visible change to your breasts. They may get larger with more noticeable veins, while the nipples may also become darker and stand out more. Remember, it’s important to carry out a regular self-breast exam so you notice any unusual changes to your breasts.

7. You’re always tired

You might be expecting an energetic glow during pregnancy. However, lethargy and tiredness are more common signs of early pregnancy. This energy dip is caused by the lack of estrogen and high levels of progesterone, the same hormone that makes us feel sluggish in the days before our periods arrive. 

Feeling tired during early pregnancy is extremely common, especially for the first twelve weeks. However, if you feel unwell or find the lack of energy is interfering with your everyday life, you should consult with your midwife or doctor.

How early can you tell if you are pregnant?

That’s it! You’ve now covered our seven signs of early pregnancy! Remember, every woman is different so it will vary how soon you can tell if you are pregnant. You’ll really only be able to tell if you are pregnant with a positive pregnancy test, which is most accurate from the first day of your missed period. In the meantime, why not check out our list of 5 Things to Know Before You Get Pregnant

Why temperature tracking holds the key to your fertility

Did you know you’re only actually fertile for six days in any cycle? The Natural Cycles app uses temperature data to help find and predict your ovulation day so you know your fertile window. This is empowering information for women who either want to prevent without hormones or want to plan a pregnancy. Are you ready to take the next step on your fertility journey with us?

Did you enjoy reading this article?

Discover Natural Cycles° today

Jen on the roof terrace at Natural Cycles headquarters.

Written By

Jennifer Gray

Jennifer Gray is an award-winning writer with more than five years’ experience covering reproductive topics ranging from birth control to planning pregnancy. She is passionate about providing women with accurate information grounded in science they can use to take charge of their own health - while also dispelling myths that exist within the field of women’s health. She holds a Master of Science from the University of Edinburgh and currently lives in Ireland.

Jack in a suit and tie holding a microphone and giving a presentation.

Scientifically Reviewed

Jack Pearson

Dr. Jack Pearson is a previously HCPC registered Embryologist with a PhD in reproductive medicine. Prior to joining Natural Cycles leading Medical Affairs, he worked for more than 10 years in a clinical setting working at some of the busiest fertility clinics in the UK. Today he spends most of his time working with experts at the world’s leading institutions to carry out important research with the vision to further the field of female health. He earned his PhD from the University of Sheffield specializing in Sperm Metabolism and currently lives in London.

Featured Posts

Birth Control

A Birth Control App, not a Period Tracker

4 min read

Birth Control

12 Non-Hormonal Birth Control Methods and How They Work

13 min read

Birth Control

Switching Birth Control Methods: How Do I Change?

9 min read

Want to learn more about a hormone-free future?

Subscribe to our newsletter for access to our latest articles, exclusive promotions and more.

Keep reading...

Plan Pregnancy

What causes morning sickness?

Feeling nauseous during early pregnancy is very common, but have you ever wondered what causes morning sickness and why it affects some of us more than others? In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at pregnancy nausea, as well as some tips for relieving discomfort. Read on to find out more…

4 min read

Plan Pregnancy

What is IVF?

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a term that describes a number of techniques that can be used to help people that are struggling to conceive. Having previously worked as an Embryologist in one of the UK's largest IVF clinics, today I'm honored to be sharing my knowledge about IVF with you. Read on to learn all about IVF from what it stands for to the process itself, success rates, and more….

9 min read

Plan Pregnancy

How to Get Pregnant Faster

Are you thinking "I need to get pregnant this month"? Or do you wonder how long it will take to get pregnant when you do start trying? We know that this can be an anxious time for some of us, and playing the waiting game isn’t fun. However, we know a thing or two about female health - we've even published research on how long it takes to get pregnant. So whether you want to get pregnant straight away or sometime in the future, we’re on hand to share knowledge about how to get pregnant faster.

6 min read