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Early pregnancy symptoms

There are several symptoms that can indicate a pregnancy, however, the earliest and most reliable sign of pregnancy is a missed period (or a positive pregnancy test). Every pregnancy is different, and not everyone will experience the same symptoms, but here are some of the most common pregnancy symptoms: 


  • Fatigue
    It’s common to feel tired, especially in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Hormonal changes, like rising progesterone levels, can make you feel tired, emotional and/or sick.
  • Changes of appetite
    You may find you no longer like some foods and drinks you used to; you might experience new cravings or even have a more sensitive sense of smell than usual.
  • Nausea
    Nausea or sickness during pregnancy can happen as early as 4–6 weeks. Despite being (inaccurately) dubbed “morning sickness”, nausea can happen at any time of the day, and in fact, women frequently wake up at night with nausea as well.
  • Breast tenderness
    Your breasts may become sore, tender or increase in size. The veins in your breasts may also become more visible and your nipples may change colour – don’t panic, this is normal during pregnancy.
  • Frequent urination
    You might feel the need to pee more often, even during the night. You might also experience increased vaginal discharge.
  • Constipation
    This is very common in early pregnancy and is usually related to the hormonal shifts happening which can slow down the activity of the bowel. There are lots of things that can help to tackle this, including staying hydrated, maintaining fibre in the diet and moving your body enough during the day. 


Additional information

Frustratingly, many of the above symptoms are similar to those you experience when your period is about to start. Some people even experience spotting – which could be the result of an implantation bleed or the start of a period. If you’re worried about any symptoms you’re having, talk to your GP or your midwife.