12 Common Early Pregnancy Signs

If you’re trying to get pregnant, the time between ovulation and your first missed period can feel like an eternity. Since about 90 percent of women don’t experience true pregnancy symptoms until eight weeks, how do you know whether you’re pregnant? The truth is that it’s possible to notice symptoms as early as eight to 14 days after ovulation, which is typically when the egg becomes implanted in the wall. You just have to know what to look for. While early pregnancy signs are often vague for most women, a number of common symptoms can point to a bun in the oven. Here are 12 of the most common early pregnancy signs and symptoms.


One of the most common early pregnancy sign is a headache. Your body goes through many hormonal changes during pregnancy and it often shows up in the beginning stages as a headache. Getting a headache during the first trimester happens to a lot of women and can be due to dehydration or caffeine withdrawal.


During the early stages of pregnancy many women can experience dizziness or being light headed. Typically it’s due to low blood sugar or dehydration. It can also be caused from a change in blood pressure due to weight changes, or iron deficiency anemia. Another early pregnancy sign is for a woman to feel woozy when she changes position, for example going from sitting to standing.

Nasal congestion

Nasal congestion is often overlooked as being an early pregnancy sign or symptom. When you are pregnant, your blood supply increases. And this can cause your nasal passages to become swollen, which leads to congestion.


Feeling tired and exhausted is so normal that fatigue is routinely listed as a common early pregnancy sign. The reason is due to rising levels of progesterone in early pregnancy. The American Pregnancy Association says women can feel sluggish and sleepy as early as one week after conception. And it makes sense. During the early phases of pregnancy, blood volume increases for the placenta and to supply nutrients to the fetus which all causes the heart to work harder.   

Breast changes

Your breasts change a lot which can serve as early indicators of pregnancy. Two weeks after conception you may notice that your breasts feel fuller and more sensitive overall. Hormones are to blame here again. Increased blood flow to the area, as well as rising levels of progesterone and estrogen can cause breast tenderness. Plus, the breast tissue increases in preparation for milk production, veins can become more noticeable and your nipples may darken in color.   

Frequent urination

Another common early pregnancy symptom is to have frequent bathroom visits. This is because the kidneys are working extra duty to filter through extra fluids and support a growing fetus. As the baby grows in size, it can also put extra pressure on your bladder causing frequent urination.


Another common sign that you may notice during the early weeks of pregnancy is an increase in bloating. You may not yet be “showing” but your stomach area often feels more full and soft. This is also due to the increased levels of the hormone progesterone.

Cramping or spotting

One early pregnancy sign that is often mistaken for PMS is for a woman to experience cramping. Two weeks after conception, a pregnant woman can experience light spotting accompanied by mild cramping, which makes her think she’s about to start her period. This is actually known as implantation bleeding, which is when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining.

Mood changes

Early pregnancy causes a massive shift in hormones, which can make a woman experience a ton of different mood changes. It’s normal for women to experience emotional sensitivity and fluctuations in mood during this time. She may feel like she’s having PMS symptoms such as increased irritability or weepiness. Instead, the mood changes are another common early pregnancy sign.

Rise in temperature

If you’re a woman who tracks her basal body temperature, during the early weeks of pregnancy it stays elevated. This is due to rising progesterone levels. Pregnancy can also lead to an increased metabolic rate which makes you feel hot on a regular basis. Turns out hot flashes are not just reserved to menopause, but are another common early pregnancy symptom.


Nausea or morning sickness is a common pregnancy symptom that usually shows up in later stages, but can also be considered an early sign. Nausea can begin as early as five weeks into pregnancy, and most women report experiencing it by week eight at the latest.  

Missed period

The most common early pregnancy sign is when a woman misses her period. Often this is the most obvious clue that you may be pregnant. Because implantation bleeding can happen around your typical period time, you can assume that it’s your normal period rather than a pregnancy. That’s why it’s important to take a pregnancy test or check with your doctor soon after your missed period.