Symptoms of Pregnancy – How Early do the Symptoms Start?

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What is pregnancy? 

Pregnancy is a crucial period in a woman’s life. The period during which the fertilisation of the egg by the sperm occurs till the birth of the baby is considered as the pregnancy period.

A pregnant woman carries a growing embryo or foetus inside her body for nine months.

Positive results on an over-the-counter urine test can be a sign of this condition, which can then be confirmed by a blood test, ultrasound, foetal heartbeat detection or X-ray. 

From the date of the woman’s last menstrual period (LMP) to delivery, the average duration of pregnancy lasts approximately 40 weeks or nine months. 

Trimesters are the names given to the three phases of pregnancy. Typically, it is split into three trimesters that last around three months each.

Symptoms of Pregnancy 

Symptoms of pregnancy differ for every woman. Some women experience premenstrual symptoms just a few days after conception, while others experience no symptoms until several weeks after a positive pregnancy test.

Each person experiences a unique set of pregnancy symptoms, and each pregnancy is different.

A missed period 

A missing period is the most frequent and visible indication of pregnancy. The menstrual cycle is part of a woman’s reproductive cycle, where a woman bleeds every month. Every month the body produces fertilised eggs. When the sperm fertilises the egg, the monthly cycle stops.

Once conception occurs, the body begins to produce hormones that prevent ovulation and the uterine lining sheds. This indicates that the menstrual cycle has ceased and that the next period won’t come until the child’s birth.

Image of a girl with missed period

Raised basal body temperature 

During pregnancy, one could experience warmer-than-normal temperatures. An increase in blood flow to the skin and variations in hormone levels are to blame for this.

Basal body temperature is used to predict fertility and can also help with unprotected sex. During the ovulation period, a rise in temperature can be observed, which lasts for about 18 days or even more. This can be an early indicator of pregnancy. Perhaps the person also tends to perspire more. Although not harmful, these alterations could make the individual feel uneasy.

Smell sensitivity 

About two-thirds of pregnant women claim to have hyperosmia, a condition where they are more sensitive to odours, despite no evidence supporting this claim. 

The fluctuating levels of hormones could be one cause of the varying sense of smell during pregnancy. Typically, smells are strongest in the first trimester of pregnancy and lessen as labour approaches. 

Smell aversions are common during pregnancy, and the aversion can differ from one woman to another. Some of the common odours that can be sensitive to pregnant women are synthetic smells, meat, coffee and perfumes.

Image of a pregnant woman with smell sensitivity

There are certain ways to help with smell sensitivity.

  • Eat foods with a smell that kindles your appetite.
  • Avoid strong flavours like deodorants.
  • Cook foods and consume them immediately. Avoid consuming foods that are cooked hours back.
  • Try to sniff good smells and stuff.
  • Wash mattresses, towels and clothes more often than usual. Fabric fresheners can help with smell sensitivity.
  • Surround yourself with pleasant smells like lemon, cinnamon and peppermint.

Breast changes 

During pregnancy, the breasts may become sensitive to touch. The discomfort could be more intense than how the breasts feel before a period. One can also notice the darkening and enlargement of the areolas (the region around the nipple). 

A women’s breast will have small branches of bud-like glands in the breast. When a woman gets pregnant, these little buds can grow out and form tiny sacs and ducts to hold milk. These tiny sacs and ducts are called alveoli. These changes can make your breast feel swollen, heavy and sore, which is common during pregnancy.

Breast changes during pregnancy to prepare for feeding the baby. Change in the breast is caused due to an increase in hormones which can lead to tenderness or change in the sensation of the nipple or breast. The tenderness of nipples can also increase, in such a way, even if you touch they might hurt. However, extreme nipple sensitivity can go away within a few weeks.

Changes in the breast can be noticed as early as during the first trimester. Other changes include a tingling sensation in the breast. 

Once the body adjusts to the increased hormones, this soreness will eventually go away. Pregnant women might also notice that their brasier is tighter than usual and that their breasts have gotten bigger.


During the first trimester of pregnancy, many women experience extreme fatigue. High amounts of the hormone progesterone cause this pregnancy indicator to appear. 

Hormonal changes can make a pregnant woman feel extremely tired, nauseous and emotional. Pregnancy fatigue can make a woman feel she is always tired. For example, if a woman sleeps for 6 hours during pregnancy, the same woman will require double the amount of sleep. This is usually observed during the first few weeks of pregnancy. Additionally, nausea and vomiting can be an energy drain.

The second trimester is when fatigue rises, just like other early pregnancy symptoms (after week 13 of pregnancy). However, for a lot of pregnant women, it does return in the third trimester.

Implantation bleeding 

Pregnancy begins when an egg is fertilised in the fallopian tube and travels to the uterus. The fertilised egg gets attached to the uterine wall once it enters the uterus. 

Women might lightly bleed when this attachment takes place. This bleeding is known as implantation bleeding and is very normal.

Each woman will experience implantation bleeding differently. While some women may not bleed during implantation, others may experience bleeding that is comparable to a light period and lasts for two to three days. 

From no bleeding to bleeding that resembles a light period, anything along that continuum can be regarded as normal.

It can be challenging to distinguish between implantation bleeding and typical menstrual blood since implantation can occur at the same time as a person may be anticipating their period. 

Every woman’s situation is unique, so it can be challenging to know when to be concerned. Some women experience slight cramping or nausea during implantation, in addition to light bleeding. Since implantation occurs so early in pregnancy, it can be hard to tell if the symptoms are from implantation or a person’s regular monthly menstrual cycle.


Early in pregnancy, headaches, lightheadedness and dizziness are frequent. This occurs due to the body’s changing hormonal levels and increasing blood volume.

Headaches can improve as the pregnancy goes on. Pregnancy headaches will not harm your baby. However, they can be a major discomfort for a pregnant woman.

In some cases, headaches can be a symptom of pre-eclampsia. These medical conditions should be treated immediately. If left untreated can lead to major consequences.

Do not try to treat headaches by taking over-the-counter drugs. When you are pregnant, these drugs can affect your baby. Consult your doctor if headaches become a major discomfort.

Shortness of breath 

The uterus exerts pressure on the diaphragm between the 31st and 34th week of pregnancy (the flat muscle that moves up and down while breathing).

The lungs may struggle to expand fully as a result of these changes. One might experience more shallow breathing as a result, and the person might be out of breath.

Shortness of breath is a common symptom of pregnancy, and breathing can get affected due to hormonal changes.

If shortness of breath affects you and does not reduce when you change position or is accompanied by symptoms like pain, consult your doctor. The doctor will help identify if shortness of breath is caused due to pregnancy or due to other underlying health conditions.


Nosebleeds can be frightening and not only a symptom of pregnancy. People who are pregnant are more likely to get nosebleeds because the pressure of the new blood flowing through their bodies causes the blood vessels in their noses to swell. 

Pregnancy causes the blood supply to rise by as much as 50%. The nose’s blood vessels are extremely brittle and prone to breaking, which causes the nose to bleed.

Image of pregnant women with nose bleeds.

Nosebleeds can also indicate that you are dehydrated. And dehydration is common and easy during pregnancy as there is a major change in hormonal levels. Dehydration during pregnancy can affect the baby, too, so remember to hydrate well.

Chest pain 

Pressure on nearby organs, such as the stomach and the lungs, rises as the foetus and the uterus grow. Typically, during the second and third trimesters, this pressure can cause discomfort and chest pain. 

A woman may also experience faster feelings of fullness after eating due to increased pressure in the chest cavity.

Chest pain is a common symptom during pregnancy and is usually harmless. Chest pain can be caused due to heartburn, or when the foetus grows, it pushes against the organs in the chest cavity.

Visual problems 

Pregnant women frequently retain fluids. The cornea’s thickness and shape can alter as a result of this typical side effect. Vision may become distorted as a result. Usually, these modifications disappear after delivery or after the woman stops breastfeeding.


Dizziness is a common symptom during pregnancy, and pregnant women can often feel light-headed. Dizziness can be caused due to two reasons during pregnancy. When blood pressure is low, dizziness can occur. 

The other reason for dizziness is when the uterus enlarges and obstructs the big vein that supplies blood to the heart, which can lower the brain’s blood flow. This can also lead to dizziness. 

Low iron and blood sugar in the body can also play a role. Dizziness can occasionally be brought on by just standing up too suddenly after sitting down. 


Many of the above symptoms and indicators are not specific to pregnancy. Some can signal the beginning of the menstrual period or that a person is getting unwell. Similarly, one can be pregnant without displaying a lot of these signs.

Taking home a pregnancy test or visiting a doctor is advisable on noticing any of the aforementioned symptoms after missing a period. Schedule a consultation with a healthcare professional if the at-home pregnancy test results are positive. An individual can start prenatal care as so

How early do pregnancy symptoms start? 

One of the early indicators of pregnancy may be light spotting. It happens around 10 to 14 days after conception when the fertilised egg adheres to the lining of the uterus and is known as implantation bleeding. 
Implantation bleeding typically happens around the time that a person anticipates their menstrual cycle.

Can you feel a pregnancy after 2 days? 

The first symptoms may appear in some women a week or two after conception, while others may not feel anything for months. 
Within two to three weeks of conception, many women can tell if they are pregnant, and some people can even tell within a few days.

How do I prepare for breastfeeding? 

 Preparing for breastfeeding requires consultation from a gynaecologist or a lactation counsellor. Planning for skin-to-skin contact immediately post-delivery helps establish the mother-baby bond. Breastfeeding classes are available these days. Mental preparation is necessary before anything.

How does your lower stomach feel in early pregnancy? 

The most typical time for lower abdomen pain to occur during pregnancy is between 18 and 24 weeks. The uterus is expanding, which strains the muscles that hold it up. 
Pregnant women can experience severe pains or only a slight pulling feeling. It frequently happens during intercourse, when a person coughs, sneezes, stands up, sits down or rolls over.

When should I call my doctor about a new pregnancy? 

Calling a doctor for an initial appointment is necessary if one hasn’t had their period in a while and has a positive pregnancy test. Prenatal vitamins are crucial in the early stages of pregnancy since they aid in the neural tube development of the unborn child.
An individual with Diabetes, high blood pressure, lupus or other medical disorders, or if a person takes medication for a chronic illness, they should schedule a preconception appointment at once.
The doctor will review any ongoing medical issues and general health before becoming pregnant during the hospital visit.



The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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