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Early signs and symptoms of pregnancy

When wondering if you might be pregnant, it’s important to note that not everyone will have the same symptoms. If you think you might be pregnant, you should do a home pregnancy test to make sure.

Here are some signs, symptoms and changes that are commonly experienced during early pregnancy. If you’re worried about any of your symptoms, speak to a GP or healthcare professional.


The very first reliable sign of pregnancy, if you have a regular menstrual cycle, is a missed period. You should get your period around four weeks from the start of your last one.

Some pregnancies may begin with implantation bleeding (when the foetus plants itself into the wall of the womb). This can show as a bleed similar to a very light period, with some spotting or only a small amount of blood loss.


It’s common in some pregnancies to feel or be sick, this is known as morning sickness but it can happen at any time of the day or night.

Nausea and sickness symptoms usually begin around 4-6 weeks into a pregnancy, but every pregnancy is different.

If you’re sick often and struggle to keep anything down, see a GP, midwife or call 111. This may be a sign of a potentially serious condition known as hyperemesis.


Hormonal changes in the body during the first trimester of pregnancy can make some people feel tired, emotional and sometimes exhausted.

Changes in your breasts

Breasts can change during pregnancy, they may:

  • grow larger and become more tender, just as they might do before a period
  • feel tingly
  • appear more veiny
  • darken around the nipples, which might also stand out more than usual


Some pregnant women might feel the need to wee more than usual, particularly during the night. They may also notice more vaginal discharge (without soreness or irritation) and feel constipated.

Changes in taste

Some people notice a change in their taste and may notice a:

  • strange, perhaps metallic, taste in the mouth
  • craving for new foods
  • loss of interest in food and drinks that they used to like
  • more sensitive smell than usual

My pregnancy test is positive, what should I do?

Positive results from a home pregnancy test are quite reliable. So once a test comes back positive, you’ll need to get in touch with a midwife. You’ll need to make an appointment within the first eight to ten weeks of your pregnancy. Your GP can help you with this.

Take a look at our advice for after the pregnancy test comes back positive.

Negative pregnancy tests

If you still have symptoms of pregnancy after a negative test, or think that you might be pregnant, wait one week and take another pregnancy test.

If you think that you might be pregnant, or have received a positive test, you should stop smoking, consuming recreational drugs and alcohol.

Read more about foods to avoid during pregnancy here.

Useful links

NHS- Signs and symptoms of pregnancy

Health for Under 5’s- Vomiting and morning sickness

Page last reviewed: 23-02-2022

Next review due: 23-02-2025