11 early signs of pregnancy (before your missed period)

Woman experiencing symptoms of pregnancy before missed period

Pregnancy symptoms before your missed period

Oftentimes, the first indications of pregnancy, signs of pregnancy, or pregnancy symptoms can be noticed before a missed period. Are you wondering if you are pregnant and can’t wait to find out? Check if you have any of the following symptoms. There is no guarantee in knowing for sure before you are holding a positive pregnancy test. But you might be able to notice a few physical changes even beforehand.

Could you be pregnant without any early symptoms? Absolutely yes. However, most of the women experience one or another early sign. Even before their missed period, they can make a good guess.

Typical early signs of pregnancy

  • nausea/morning sickness
  • tiredness/fatigue
  • a feeling of fullness/bloated stomach
  • changes and a feeling of tension in the breasts
  • dizziness/lightheadedness
  • urge to urinate more often than usual
  • cravings or disgust for certain foods
  • increased sensitivity to smell
  • change of temperature
  • vaginal discharge/spotting
  • cramping
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Can you have pregnancy symptoms before a missed period?

Some women notice a pregnancy as soon as the egg has been implanted in the uterus. That happens a few days after fertilization. On the contrary, some women don’t notice anything at all until a few weeks later. There is no way to tell ahead of time which of the two groups of women you belong to.

Even if you don’t experience any of the typical early signs of pregnancy, there is hope! You might still be carrying a little miracle inside of you right now.

How early do signs of pregnancy start?

If unprotected sexual intercourse took place around the time of ovulation (i.e., in the middle of a woman’s cycle), the probability of conception is very high. Although, the moment of conception often doesn’t equal the moment of having intercourse. An egg can be fertilized by the sperm as soon as three minutes after sex or within the next 3-5 days. It depends on the exact time of the ovulation.

After conception, the fertilized egg has to implant in the uterus. Without implantation, there won’t be a pregnancy.

Six to ten days after conception, when implantation has taken place, the embryo starts producing hormones right away. It signals a pregnancy to the mother’s body. At that point, a woman can start noticing the earliest symptoms of pregnancy.

Pregnant woman experiencing early pregnancy signs

11 early pregnancy symptoms before missed period

1) nausea/morning sickness

Nausea is a very common early sign of pregnancy before you miss your period.

Nausea in the context of a pregnancy is also called morning sickness. However, whilst some women experience it more in the morning with vomiting attacks, it can also manifest itself with repeated waves of nausea throughout the day. Or it can even have its climax in the evening.

Some women feel it already before their missed period. For some, it only starts to arise between the 6th to 12th week of pregnancy. That is the time when the hormone levels of HCG are particularly high. Although plenty of women experience nausea during pregnancy, some women feel absolutely none.

However, if you are feeling nauseous during these first weeks of pregnancy, it might be a good sign. Although nausea is a negatively perceived symptom, it can be assessed as positive in connection with early pregnancy. One can assume that the pregnancy will develop normally with a corresponding increase in HCG. It means that your body is optimally preparing to nurture and grow your baby.

The exact reasons for the hormonal changes are not yet scientifically fully researched. According to mayoclinic.org, for most women, morning sickness disappears after the first trimester, while some have it throughout the entire pregnancy.

What can you do against nausea/morning sickness?

You can treat pregnancy sickness yourself. For tips and information check out these pregnancy hacks for nausea.

For pregnancy, it is important to understand that milder cases of nausea are not a disease. They are a pregnancy-specific change. Even if the nausea is uncomfortable, you can cope with it temporarily.

Constant, violent vomiting can occur in the extreme form of pregnancy sickness. This, as well as the low intake of food and liquid, leads to water and weight loss. As a result, a decrease in the general condition of the pregnant woman can occur.

Women who are affected badly, need to see a doctor. Sometimes they must stay at a hospital for an i.v.-treatment.

Contact your health care provider if you are not sure if you need help to deal with pregnancy-related nausea.

2) tiredness/fatigue

Another very common early symptom of pregnancy is extreme tiredness. Fatigue to the point of exhaustion occurs as a result of different reasons.

Firstly, there is an increase in the hormone called progesterone. It has a sedating effect on the whole body of a pregnant woman. The so-called maternal progesterone is produced up to the 10th or 11th week of pregnancy. It protects the pregnancy from an early abortion.

Secondly, a pregnant woman’s body now produces more blood to support the growing baby and requires an increase in the need for nutrients.

If you had a good night’s sleep and you still feel like you could sleep all day, there is a big likelihood of you being pregnant. Try to rest as much as you can, drink lots of water and treat yourself to a nutrient-rich diet.

3) a feeling of fullness/bloated stomach

Due to all the hormonal changes taking place, many pregnant women start to feel full and bloated in their stomach within the days and weeks after conception.

Sometimes this typical sign of pregnancy occurs already before a missed period. Sometimes it occurs a bit later. Some women (especially if it is not the first child) even start to show a small belly just a few weeks into the pregnancy, especially in the evenings.

4) changes and breast tenderness

In the first few weeks of pregnancy, some women experience tender breasts and a feeling of tension. Heavily feeling and swollen breasts can be an early sign of pregnancy. This symptom often occurs before a period as well and can therefore be confused with PMS.

However, if you are pregnant, you might also notice the circles of pigmented skin surrounding the nipples (called areolas) become darker and a little bigger than usual. That might be a good early sign of pregnancy before your missing period.

5) dizziness/lightheadedness

Another typical early sign of pregnancy is dizziness or lightheadedness. The body tries to adjust to the increased blood volume, and the blood pressure drops a bit due to dilated blood vessels. Also, the red blood cells for oxygen supply are not yet sufficiently formed.

Standing in warm rooms for long periods of time, e.g., waiting in line at the bakery, can lead to circulatory difficulties. If you are aware of that problem, you can try to prevent it. Take little steps on the spot. That way, you improve your peripheral blood flow.

Also, make sure to eat small portions throughout the day to prevent sudden blood sugar drops.

Circulatory problems are not fun for the mother but harmless to the baby. Exercise, take alternating showers and try brush massages to increase your overall blood flow.

6) urge to urinate more often than usual

Frequent urination as a symptom of early pregnancy oftentimes starts before a missed period.

Naturally, the baby is too small at that stage to be pressing on the bladder of the mom. But due to hormonal changes, the kidney starts working harder, filtering the increased blood flow. That leads to the urge to urinate more often than before.

7) cravings or disgust for certain foods

Everyone knows the cliche of food cravings for pickles alternating with huge amounts of ice cream during pregnancy. There is definitely some truth in it for some women. Sometimes pregnancy can cause new cravings and food aversions within the first few weeks after conception.

The exact explanation behind it has not yet been clarified though. Scientists again have concluded a context with the pregnancy hormone HCG.

8) increased sensitivity to smell

For many women, one of the earliest pregnancy symptoms is an increased sensitivity to smell. Coffee, cigarette smoke, or other strong smells can easily cause nausea during pregnancy. The women affected often cannot smell fatty, sour, or spicy foods, and meat, fish, or eggs.

Sometimes, simply thinking of certain food can be enough to trigger nausea. It is also caused by pregnancy hormones. These affect the perception of taste and smell.

9) change of temperature

In contrary to a normal monthly cycle, an elevated basal body temperature staying on a higher level can be a sign of conception. Normally after ovulation, the temperature drops slightly around the days of your expected period.

If you have been tracking your cycles and observing your usual temperature curves, you might be able to tell if you are shortly before your period or if it looks like a pregnancy more so.

If you want to know more about tracking your monthly cycles and start observing your temperature in more detail, you can find more information about it here.

10) vaginal discharge/spotting/implantation bleeding

Hormonal changes after conception may also lead to a change in cervical mucus. Many women experience increased vaginal discharge. It is usually colorless or white and odorless.

Besides, despite the pregnancy, slight bleeding or spotting can still occur around one week before up until the usual time of the menstrual period. The reason for that is usually the implantation of the fertilized egg. Therefore, it is also called implantation bleeding. Not all pregnant women experience or even notice it, but if you do, it could be an early sign of pregnancy.

11) cramping

Another pregnancy symptom before a missed period can be cramping.

If you feel like experiencing PMS or even regular period cramping, it might actually be an early sign of pregnancy instead of your monthly aches. Usually, cramping in context with pregnancy is quite mild compared to period cramps. The reason behind it is the increased blood flow in the uterus.

So, if you experience cramps and typical PMS symptoms, don’t give up hope yet. You might actually be pregnant!

Pregnancy test to find out if you are pregnant before your missed period

Be prepared and know what to do if you are really pregnant: Get your free printable first trimester checklist here:


Best pregnancy test for early detection before missed period

As early as six to nine days after fertilization, the doctor can use pregnancy tests to detect the pregnancy-maintaining hormone HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) in the woman’s blood.

About a week later, HCG also appears in a pregnant woman’s urine. Home pregnancy tests measure that. Therefore, at this point, you can check yourself with a pregnancy test from the pharmacy or drugstore.

Read more about how a pregnancy test works here.

If you test too early though, the test may be negative because the detection limit of the pregnancy hormone in the urine has not yet been reached. If the test is negative, you may still be pregnant.

It is best, you test from concentrated morning urine. It has the highest HCG concentration.Personally, I have used and recommend the Clearblue digital pregnancy test. Its sensitivity is so high, that you can test up to 5 days before your expected/ missed period. In my opinion, it is the best pregnancy test for early detection before a missed period.

The display shows the result within 3 minutes.

If the test is positive, it can be confirmed via a blood test by your ob-gyn. And no later than six weeks after the 1st day of your last menstruation, pregnancy can also be confirmed by an ultrasound examination.

Get your Clearblue digital pregnancy test here and find out if you are pregnant before your missed period!

Reasons for a missed period other than pregnancy

If the day comes and you are actually missing your period most likely you are pregnant. It is no guarantee though, there are a few other reasons for a missed period.

For example, a change in time zone due to a trip that brings the body out of its usual rhythm, hormonal disorders, serious illnesses, or physical and mental stress. Even the months after stop taking the anti-baby-pill, after surgery, or in the event of a severe reduction in body weight (diet, illness), the period might be missed or occur at irregular timing.

Pregnancy symptoms before missed period

Now you are well aware of early signs of pregnancy. You might be able to make a good guess before you miss your period and know if you are pregnant or not.

I know the days of guessing and waiting can seem long. If you are impatient like me, get a Clearblue pregnancy test. Take it 5 days before your period is due and you might find out right there and then!

All the best to you on your journey of becoming a mommy!

Read more about all the pregnancy essentials you will need as a mommy to be here.

11 early signs of pregnancy before your missed period - pregnancy symptoms - signs of pregnancy
Oftentimes the first indications of pregnancy, signs of pregnancy, or pregnancy symptoms can be noticed before a missed period. Are you wondering if you are pregnant and can't wait to find out? Check if you have any of the following symptoms. There is no guarantee in knowing for sure before you are holding a positive pregnancy test. But you might be able to notice a few physical changes even beforehand. Nausea, tiredness, breast changes, spotting and cramping are just a few early signs.

8 thoughts on “11 early signs of pregnancy (before your missed period)”

  1. I had many of those early symptoms. The most telling was my sense of smell–I hated to drive behind other cars, because the exhaust made me sick.

  2. I had a weird symptom with both of my pregnancies, “a constant need to burp.” It was only like something is tucked in my throat. or I need to burp but I can’t. It was not gas.
    But I had this with 2 pregnancies and this symptom started right after the day of my ovulation. Maybe I’m soooo connected with my body to feel this so early.

  3. I knew the day before I missed my period because I usually have symptoms like these prior to a period but I didn’t have them. I got them 2 weeks after I took my test and had a positive!

  4. Fatigue and bloating were definitely one of my early symptoms with my daughter! I had felt “off” the day I took a test, and sure enough, it was positive 🙂

  5. I had some of these with all my pregnancies! Definitely fatigue and spotting that were just “different” to normal so I suspected before I took a test. Great piece 🙂

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