These early signs might mean you’re expecting

Quick notes

  • While every woman will experience pregnancy differently, there are a few ways you may be able to tell that you’re expecting before you see your doctor.

  • Your body may show pregnancy symptoms as early as the first couple of weeks.

  • If you’ve missed your period and you get a positive pregnancy test, it’s a good time to call your doctor to come in and confirm the pregnancy.

Finding out there you’re pregnant can be an exciting and nerve-wracking time. While you anxiously await the results of a pregnancy test or blood test, your body may show pregnancy signs as early as the first couple of weeks.

While every woman will experience pregnancy differently, there are a few ways you may be able to tell that you’re expecting before you see your doctor.

From morning sickness to tender breasts, here are a few of the first symptoms you may feel in those early weeks of pregnancy.

You miss your period

If you’re trying to conceive, one of the first signs of pregnancy you may notice is that you miss your period. If you have a regular cycle or know when you typically ovulate, you can generally know when to expect your period.

Most women have cycles that are between 28 and 30 days. If you have been trying to conceive by having sex on the days you may be ovulating, missing a period can be one of the first signs of pregnancy.

If you’re more than seven days late, you can usually take a home pregnancy at this point to determine whether or not you may be pregnant.

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Breast tenderness

Pregnant women often say that once they find out they are expecting, they recall having tender or sore breasts a few days or weeks before they tested positive for pregnancy.

Due to the hormonal and physical changes your body goes through during pregnancy, a woman’s breasts may start to feel sore and tender within days of conception. This is one of the many times over the course of a pregnancy that you’ll feel changes in your breasts.

As you near delivery, your breasts will change even more as your body begins the process of producing milk.

You don’t feel well

When you first find out you’re pregnant you may not notice any signs of morning sickness. Morning sickness, which can really be all-day sickness, might not appear until you’re six weeks pregnant.

In the first few days and weeks of early pregnancy, you may just feel generally unwell. From nausea to fatigue, not feeling well can be early pregnancy symptoms to watch out for.

Morning sickness will peak around ten to twelve weeks and it usually subsides by the fourth month of pregnancy. In some cases, women will experience morning sickness throughout the pregnancy.

You get a positive pregnancy test

The biggest indicator that you may be pregnant is a positive pregnancy test. It’s usually very unlikely that you can have a false positive on a pregnancy test.

A home pregnancy test will measure the levels of the pregnancy hormone, HGC in your body. If you aren’t pregnant, this hormone, can’t usually be picked up by a home pregnancy test.

The ideal time to take a home pregnancy test is a couple of days after you’ve missed your period. You want to make sure there is enough of the pregnancy hormone in your body to get a positive result. The farther along you are, the more HGC will be present.

If you’ve missed your period and you get a positive pregnancy test, it’s a good time to call your doctor to come in and confirm the pregnancy.

A deeper dive — Related reading from the 101:

What nobody tells you about pregnancy | Living 101

While there are some lesser-known effects of pregnancy, many are commonly known.

The true amount of time women need to recover after giving birth | Living 101

Pregnancy is a magical and beautiful process. However, there’s no denying the physical toll it has on the body.