Early pregnancy indications

Missing a period

One of the earliest indications that a woman is pregnant is missing a period. However, there could be other reasons for menstruation to be delayed, such as stress, illness, excessive weight gain or anorexia, or coming off of an oral contraception pill. In some women polycystic ovarian syndrome can be a condition that causes irregular periods and sometimes very infrequent periods.

Breast tenderness

Some women, especially multi-gravidas, know that they are pregnant just by the give away sign of breast tenderness. As early as a few days after conception the breasts begin to enlarge in order to get ready for breastfeeding. They feel heavier and sore, especially on touch. There is sometimes a tingling sensation and this disappears several weeks later.

Morning sickness, nausea and vomiting

Feeling nauseous is a quite common complaint in early pregnancy and is experienced by the majority of women in early pregnancy, especially around five to six weeks. For most women this symptom disappears at around 14 to 16 weeks of pregnancy. However, there are a small number of women who have hyperemesis throughout the pregnancy.


Many women feel very tired during pregnancy, especially at the beginning. They find that they need much more rest and they need to take a nap several times during the day. However, the frequency of napping lessens after 14 weeks.

Changes in taste and smell

Certain foods can cause sudden queasiness or you may start to crave particular foods. Sometimes women may have a metallic taste in their mouths.


Constipation is a common symptom in early pregnancy. However, this can be a continuing symptom throughout the pregnancy. This is caused by the high levels of progesterone which relaxes the bowel and slows the digestion.

Mood swings

Pregnant women can be overtly emotional. This is a secondary effect from a flood of pregnancy hormones.

Frequent urination

Early in the pregnancy there is pressure from the enlarging uterus onto the bladder and this is literally reducing the capacity of the woman’s bladder. At about 14 weeks the uterus rises up into the abdomen and most women start having the urge to urinate frequently which can be annoying. This is a very good time for you to start doing your pelvic floor exercises if you haven’t already started.