Skip to content

Health & Pregnancy

Select An Article

Pregnancy Symptoms

    Font Size

    Are you wondering if you might be pregnant? The only way to know for sure is by taking a pregnancy test. 

    But there are early symptoms of pregnancy that may point to the possibility. Here's what to look for.

    Do All Women Get Early Symptoms of Pregnancy?

    Every woman is different. So are her experiences of pregnancy. Not every woman has the same symptoms or even the same symptoms from one pregnancy to the next.

    Also, because the early symptoms of pregnancy are often like what happens right before and during menstruation, those symptoms aren't always recognized.

    What follows is a description of some of the most common early symptoms of pregnancy. You should know that these symptoms may be caused by other things besides being pregnant. So the fact that you notice some of these symptoms does not necessarily mean you are pregnant. The only way to tell for sure is with a pregnancy test.

    Spotting and Cramping

    A few days after conception, the fertilized egg attaches itself to wall of the uterus. This can cause one of the earliest signs of pregnancy -- spotting and, sometimes, cramping.

    That's called implantation bleeding. It occurs anywhere from six to 12 days after the egg is fertilized.

    The cramps resemble menstrual cramps, so some women mistake them and the bleeding for the start of their period. The bleeding and cramps, however, are slight.

    Besides bleeding, a woman  may notice a white, milky discharge from her vagina. That's related to the thickening of the vagina's walls, which starts almost immediately after conception. The increased growth of cells lining the vagina causes the discharge.

    This discharge, which can continue throughout pregnancy, is typically harmless and doesn't require treatment. But if there is a bad smell related to the discharge or a burning and itching sensation, tell your doctor so they can check on whether you have a yeast or bacterial infection.

    Breast Changes

    Breast changes are another very early sign of pregnancy. A woman's hormone levels rapidly change after conception. Because of the changes, her breasts may become swollen, sore, or tingly a week or two later. Or they may feel heavier or fuller or feel tender to the touch. The area around the nipples, called the areola, may also darken.

    Next Article:

    Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

    Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
    what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

    Today on WebMD

    hand circling date on calendar
    Track your most fertile days.
    woman looking at ultrasound
    Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
     
    Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
    The signs to watch out for.
    pregnant woman in hospital
    Are there ways to do it naturally?
     
    slideshow fetal development
    Slideshow
    pregnancy first trimester warning signs
    Article
     
    What Causes Bipolar
    Video
    Woman trying on dress in store
    Slideshow
     
    pregnant woman
    Article
    Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
    Video
     
    healthtool pregnancy calendar
    Tool
    eddleman prepare your body pregnancy
    Video