Skip to main content

Signs and symptoms of pregnancy

Early signs of pregnancy

If you have a regular monthly menstrual cycle, the earliest and most reliable sign of pregnancy is a missed period.

In the first few weeks of pregnancy you may have a bleed similar to a very light period, with some spotting or only losing a little blood. This is called implantation bleeding.

Every pregnancy is different and not everyone will notice all of these symptoms.

Feeling sick during pregnancy

You may feel sick or be sick. This is commonly known as morning sickness, but it can happen at any time of the day or night.

Morning sickness symptoms usually start when you’re around 4-6 weeks pregnant

If you're being sick all the time and cannot keep anything down, see a GP.

You may have hyperemesis gravidarum, a serious condition in pregnancy that causes severe vomiting and needs treatment.

Feeling tired is common in pregnancy

It's common to feel tired, or even exhausted, during pregnancy, especially during the first 12 weeks or so.

Hormonal changes in your body at this time can make you feel tired, sick, emotional and upset.

Sore breasts in early pregnancy

Your breasts may become larger and feel tender, just as they might do before your period. They may also tingle.

The veins may be more visible, and the nipples may darken and stand out.

Peeing more often suggests pregnancy

You may feel the need to pee more often than usual, including during the night.

Other signs of pregnancy you may notice are:

Strange tastes, smells and cravings

During early pregnancy, you may find you no longer like some foods or drinks you used to enjoy.

You might notice:

  • a strange taste in your mouth, which some describe as metallic
  • you crave new foods
  • you lose interest in certain foods or drinks you used to enjoy, such as tea, coffee or fatty food
  • you lose interest in smoking
  • you have a more sensitive sense of smell than usual – for example, the smell of food or cooking

If you're worried about any symptoms you're having, talk to a GP or your midwife.

If your pregnancy test is negative

A positive test result is almost certainly correct, as long as you have followed the instructions correctly.

A negative result is less reliable. If you get a negative result and still think you may be pregnant, wait a week and try again.

If you're pregnant, use the pregnancy due date calculator to work out when your baby's due.

Find maternity services near you

Get Start4Life pregnancy emails

Sign up for Start4Life's weekly emails for expert advice, videos and tips on pregnancy, birth and beyond.

You can find pregnancy and baby apps and tools in the NHS Apps Library.

Video: what pregnancy symptoms are normal?

In this video, a midwife describes which symptoms during pregnancy are normal.

Media last reviewed: 20 March 2020
Media review due: 20 March 2023

Page last reviewed: 8 October 2019
Next review due: 8 October 2022