Your Pregnancy

18 Early Signs of Pregnancy Before Missed Period To Look Out For

Early symptoms to look out for.
Jenny Wilcockson

If only there were a magic list that defined whether a symptom meant either pregnant or not, during the agonizing two week wait between your attempt to conceive and your period.

Unfortunately, many of the telltale early pregnancy symptoms can also just be associated with the confusing female anatomy and the potentially approaching period.

Put away the magnifying glass!

From personal experience, the best advice I can give would be not to symptom spot – don’t spend the whole two weeks googling every little bodily change.

In fact do the opposite, occupy your mind with hobbies, sports, crafts, trips – anything you can to stop yourself from going crazy wondering.

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Your body WILL trick you.

I will warn that my own body which was like clockwork before trying to conceive, came up with some pretty whacky symptoms that made me believe I was pregnant when I wasn’t .

Twice my period was a week late, I had a maddening twitch under one eye for 2 weeks, and several times I had some of the below symptoms that I didn’t usually get, but it turned out to be nothing.

The big list of symptoms to look out for.

Here is a list of symptoms that CAN mean early pregnancy. These may appear during the two weeks between doing the deed and whenever your period normally shows her face.

I say that they CAN with a huge pinch of salt, because they could also be regular symptoms associated with ovulation and menstruation:

  • Sore boobs – Your boobs might feel heavy, tender, sore, or your nipples might look different. The areolas (areas around your nipples) might look larger and darker.
  • Nausea – The increase in hormones can make you feel sick.
  • Fatigue – Your body is concentrating all of its energy on the newly growing ball of cells so you might feel tired when you normally wouldn’t.
  • Mood swings – As with your menstrual cycle you could find yourself on an emotional rollercoaster.
  • Dizziness – This can happen due to changes in blood pressure. Growing a new human requires a larger supply of blood and diverts some of your supply to the fetus.
  • Shortness of breath – As with the dizziness the diversion of your blood to the fetus can cause less oxygen for your own body.
  • Higher Temperature – Elevated basal body temperature is something all serious ovulation trackers use as a guide to when they are about to ovulate and should do the deed.
  • Cramping – An important one to watch around the day of ovulation, as the ball of cells produced by the fertilised egg tries to burrow into the wall of your uterus.
  • Bloating – Like with a period you can feel tight, gassy, and bloated due to the physical changes in your lower abdominal area.
  • Backache – You could notice some aching in the lower back as the womb starts to gear up for some major growth.
  • Constipation – This can happen due to a surge in the hormone progesterone coming from other areas of the body to aid with preparations for baby. One area the hormone comes from is the intestine meaning there is less movement of waste along to the bowels.
  • Implantation Bleeding – When the cells burrow into the wall of the womb a small amount of spotting can occur, usually brown by the time you see it.
  • Headaches – Again thanks to the increase in hormones and the changes to your blood pressure and supply – the smaller vessels around your head and sinuses are under more strain.
  • Heartburn – Remember the diversion of progesterone from other places to your baby making centre? Another is the sphincter muscle at the top of your stomach that stops acid from escaping up into your throat. The muscle works less and you might start feeling reflux.
  • Drooling/Excess Saliva – An attractive side effect of feeling sick and having acid reflux, you may naturally not swallow as often to avoid these feelings and the result is more saliva in your mouth.
  • Needing to pee – This can be caused by the growing muscles in your uterus as it sits directly on the bladder. The same feeling as being bloated will also contribute to the number of times you need to pee even though your fluid intake is the same.
  • Food Cravings or Aversions – Another round of applause to the hormones. Linked to nausea you might start going off certain foods or smells or you might suddenly be convinced you need something you usually don’t care for.
  • Vaginal Discharge – This is important to know that clear “egg white” discharge is related to ovulation, thicker creamy white discharge closer to the time of your period can be a sign of conception.

Don’t plan your shower just yet.

Appearance of these symptoms even when they are unusual, can be exciting and lead you to take an early pregnancy test. Some tests claim they can tell you up to a week before your period whether you are pregnant.

I once got three positive tests before my period, was over the moon and even booked a doctor’s appointment to confirm. By the time the appointment came around, my period arrived a week late and the tests were no longer positive.

Is it a chemical pregnancy?

A chemical pregnancy (or as my doctor nicely termed it, a threatened abortion) basically means although an egg was fertilised, the clump of cells did not implant successfully, and the hormones triggered by implantation did not stop menstruation from happening.

I was pretty devastated and would advise against testing before the date of your period to avoid the disappointment.

Just remember women decades ago didn’t have the early pregnancy test and they would never have known they were pregnant until after the missed period – this is why the rate of miscarriage is technically higher these days.

Two Big Signs (For Me Anyway)

After 12 months of trying and the abovementioned chemical pregnancy, I finally conceived and had the following symptoms – implantation pain 7 days after ovulation and creamy white discharge starting around 4 days before my period.

Things you can do to increase your chances and decrease your stress level:

  • Track your ovulation – Use tests (I used the ones from the dollar store and they worked great). Pin pointing the date you ovulate helps you know when you need to do the deed.
  • Use an app – To track symptoms, ovulation, periods, tests – I used Ovia Fertility but there are a multitude of free apps out there. I was trying to conceive for 12 months and only used the app for 2 months before I succeeded.
  • Remember that sperm can survive for an average 4 days – and you release 1 egg on the day that you ovulate. The egg only lives 24 hours so there has to be alive sperm already in the fallopian tube. Sperm takes a day to travel to the tube. So do the deed as much as you can in the 4-5 days before ovulation and the 1-2 days after.
  • Stay away from Google – Once you have the basic information from this blog you will not gain any extra knowledge or peace of mind.
  • Join a birth community such as BabyCenter – the forums allow you to chat with women in exactly the same scenario as you and it’s great to have support and someone to talk with. It can also distract you during the two week wait and remind you at times that there is always someone worse off than you are.

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16 Comments

  • Leigh
    May 13, 2017

    Hey, my name is Leigh. I’m 18 years old and I’m trying to conceive. April 14 2017 was the first day of my last period and it ended on the 19th. I had sex the 30th of april and may1st is there anyway i could have conceived?

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  • Angela
    June 14, 2017

    Hi my name is Angela and i had my last period May 29th 2017 and the last day was June 2nd and then i had sex the next day. My stomach is bloating a little and i had my lower back ache but we dont know for sure if i am. Just email me at adamsashley269@gmail.com

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  • kirti
    July 7, 2017

    hi Leigh, this is Kirti. first of all you need to know the days of your cycle, which may vary from 28 to 32, this is considered to be normal cycle. for example you have cycle of 28 days, you will ovulate on 14th day(that is 14 days before you menstruate). egg stays fertile for 24 hrs, so its best to have sex on 13th and 15th day, this increase the chances. I hope you are conceived by the time you read my reply. the best way to track ovulation is to use LH strips. they are very accurate.
    let me know if you have any questions.

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  • Chantalle
    August 14, 2017

    Hi…. im 25 yrs old am trying to conceived for the longest time now, but this time i think i am pregnant. I have a regular period cycle but last month my period came 2 times, on the 4th of july and finish on the 8th of july
    Then on the 30th of august and finish on the 2nd of august. Anyways, im having some terrible symptoms my back hurts my lower belly cramps like my period whitish discarge tender breast vomiting like crazy and crave for the wierdest things. Im scared to do the hpt cause i want to see it has a positive reuslt. Should i do the test or wait to see my period?

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    • Chantalle
      August 14, 2017

      **That should be 30th july and finish on the 2nd of august…

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  • Andrew
    September 25, 2017

    Hi, i had a question about an ex girlfriend. We were fooling around about 10 days ago, We didnt have intercourse, but got really close and sperm got around her Vagina. She was on her period so was bleeding. Well today she asked me when it was because she was having hot flashes, is it possible she could be pregnant?

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  • Sharnetta Scott
    November 28, 2017

    Hi my name is sharnetta Day of cycle 30 days I came on on the 8th and went off on the 13th and I had sex one night before OVULATING an after ovulation can I BE pregnant

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  • Happiness
    December 18, 2017

    Hi my name is Happiness am 22, am new here.. Pls can u help me out i have been trying to conceive
    Last month i saw my period on 6/11/2017 and ovulates on 20th, a week to my period i started seeing creamy discharge, and i missed my period on 6/12/2017 and 10 days later i started bleeding little bit heavy with just small clots.. Could it be implantation bleeding am confuse clear me out pls

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  • Elena Dcruzz
    February 16, 2018

    I had headaches with my first and took tylenol (well percosset actually). Then with my second, a friend told me that her midwife recommended drinking electrolyte water as a potential mitigator. I have no idea whether there is evidenced-based research to support that as a solution, or whether it was a placebo effect, but it totally worked and I only got one or two headaches the whole pregnancy and no percosset. Now with my third, 13 weeks in and no headaches… ?

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  • Lucy
    March 17, 2018

    Thanks So much, This is really helpful

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  • Annie
    March 20, 2018

    Hii…i am ANNIE &I’M 23 years old..i had my periods on 25th of feb and HAd been having sex since 1st of march…i mean even DURING my PERIODS and also had sex DURING the days”5th march to 14th march”…so have i conceived???

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  • Ada
    March 23, 2018

    HI am ada , I trying not to get pregnant my PERIOd lasts for 5 days and I HAd sex on the 2Nd day after my period thru the 4Th day thinking its my free day but b4 my ovulation date I had white discharge, feeling neauseous, gassy, bloaty I need to knw if there is any chance I could end up pregnant.

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  • Dadugobo Hannah
    March 27, 2018

    Hi am Hannah, my cycle is 28days and I had sex on the 13th day, do I have a chance to conceive?

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  • koketso
    May 6, 2018

    Hy my name is koketso am 20years am worried that I may be pregnant am always tired and my mood swings are high

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  • Vida nimo
    September 22, 2018

    Hi my name is Vida and I have 28 days cycle. I have my menses on 22 Aug and ended on 26 Aug. On 12sep I saw blood again which means 22 days interval can it be implantation bleeding or am pregnant?

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  • Tonya
    November 18, 2018

    So I started reading these posts as I have freaked myself out. I had a tubal 15 years ago! In the last two weeks I’ve developed low blood pressure, missed period, cramping in the ovary area bilaterally, leg cramps, and tender breast’s. I’m too chicken to take a home test. I’m 40! Any ideas? Is this even possible?

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