Am I Pregnant? 12 Early Pregnancy Symptoms
(Week by Week)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
- Am I pregnant?
- Pregnancy facts
- What are the most common pregnancy symptoms?
- Missed period
- Breast swelling, tenderness, and pain
- Abdominal cramps and bloating
- Food cravings
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Elevated basal body temperature
- Nausea and vomiting
- Frequent urination
- Changes in nipple color
- Melasma (darkening of the skin)
- Mood swings and stress
- Pictures of Early Pregnancy Symptoms - Slideshow
- Pictures of Fetal Development - Slideshow
- Take the Early Pregnancy Symptoms Quiz
- Early Pregnancy Symptoms FAQs
- Patient Comments: Pregnancy Symptoms - Food Cravings
- Patient Comments: Pregnancy Symptoms - Experience
- Find a local Obstetrician-Gynecologist in your town
Am I pregnant?
Most women become suspicious that they are pregnant when they miss a menstrual period. While absence of menstruation is a hallmark symptom of pregnancy, other symptoms and signs also are frequently experienced by many women in the early stages of pregnancy. It's important to remember that not all women will experience each of these symptoms or have the symptoms to the same degree.
Ectopic pregnancy symptoms, or tubal pregnancy symptoms, are very similar to normal pregnancy symptoms at the outset and can include many of the symptoms described below. However, with a tubal or other type of ectopic pregnancy, other symptoms, such as abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding, develop over time, usually 6 to 8 weeks after a missed menstrual period.
- A missed menstrual period is most often the first sign of pregnancy and is a common first trimester symptom.
- Not all women will experience the same symptoms in early pregnancy or experience these symptoms to the same degree.
- Feelings of breast swelling, tenderness, or pain are also commonly associated with early pregnancy.
- There is usually only a small amount of weight gain in the first trimester of pregnancy. In this early stage of pregnancy a weight gain of about one pound per month is typical.
- Many women report cravings for certain foods during the early stages of pregnancy.
- A persistently elevated basal body temperature (the oral temperature measured first thing in the morning, upon arising from sleep) is another characteristic sign of early pregnancy.
- Nausea and vomiting, sometimes known as "morning sickness" typically begins in the 2nd to 8th week of pregnancy.
- Other possible early pregnancy symptoms are mood swings, fatigue, changes in skin pigmentation, frequent urination, and headache.
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