When Do Pregnancy Symptoms Start?

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Pregnancy is unique each time, even if you have multiple children. Each woman experiences pregnancy and symptoms differently. Some women have symptoms soon after discovering they are pregnant. Other women are lucky enough to stroll through pregnancy with little signs. If you are wondering when do pregnancy symptoms start, there is a lot to consider.

One thing you should know is that there is a huge range of normal. You might feel as if you are experiencing every single symptom in the book, and it is considering normal. You might feel giddy, happy and able to run a marathon. You are normal as well. Doctors don’t know why some women experience pregnancy differently than others, but there are some things we do know.

  • Over half of pregnant women will experience at least one symptom of pregnancy by the time they are five weeks pregnant.
  • Closer to 75% of pregnant women have a symptom by six weeks.
  • Over 90% of pregnant women will have symptoms by eight weeks.

The symptoms that you may experience starts with a missed period. At this time, women take their first pregnancy test. However, if you were trying to conceive and are in tune with your body, you might notice signs before missing your period. Some women experience implantation bleeding. Some have light cramps during this time frame as well.

Common Pregnancy Symptoms

There are a lot of symptoms you may experience, and each pregnancy is different. You may be extremely nauseous with one pregnancy and feel fantastic the next time! Here are some common signs.

  • Spotting or Implantation Bleeding: The first sign that you are pregnant may be spotting. 6 to 12 days post ovulation, the fertilized egg implants into your thickened uterine walls. Some women will have very light spotting during this time, along with cramps. However, if you are trying to get pregnant and don’t experience implantation bleeding, don’t freak out! Most women will not have this sign. In fact, I’ve yet to have implantation bleeding in all four of my pregnancies!
  • Raised Basal Body Temperature: If you are tracking your cycle, you might think you are pregnant before you take a test because of your higher temperature. When you ovulate, your body’s core temperature increases. As your next period approaches, your temperature typically drops in preparation. With pregnancy, your temperature will continue to grow higher and stay higher for the duration.
  • Missed Period: So, the clearest sign that you are pregnant is a missed period accompanied by a positive pregnancy test. 14 days, give or take, after you ovulate, you can expect your cycle to appear. Many people wonder if they can be pregnant and still bleed. It is possible to confuse implantation bleeding with a period. Some women also bleed for other reasons such as sexual intercourse irritating your cervix. However, you cannot have an actual period and be pregnant at the same time. So, if your period has yet to show, it is time to test!
  • Nausea or Morning Sickness: If there is one sign that everyone imagines with pregnancy, it is morning sickness. It is the second most common sign of pregnancy, especially in the early weeks. When it shows its ugly head differs from each woman. You don’t have to vomit to experience morning sickness. With my first child, I was sick and vomited frequently. With the following three pregnancies, I experienced daily nausea. Whoever named this sign morning sickness was lucky. They never experienced nausea that lasts from sun up to sun down. Even though it feels like misery, it is very normal.
  • Fatigue: The first trimester is weeks of feeling exhausted, even when you did nothing for the day. Growing a tiny human is exhausting work on your body. Progesterone steadily rises throughout the early weeks of pregnancy, causing you to feel sleepy. You may not take naps on a regular basis, but pregnancy changes everything. Tiredness is a common, early sign for many women, myself included. During my fourth pregnancy, I napped for the first few weeks as often as possible.
  • Food Aversions: If you are nauseous, you may notice a lot of food aversions happening. One day, you love a chicken salad. The next day, the simple thought of a chicken salad makes you nauseous. It makes figuring out what to eat each day rather difficult.
  • Tender or Swollen Breasts: You might not notice at first, but tender or swollen breasts can start rather quickly after conception. In fact, some women notice this around the same time as their missed period. As this sign continues, it is a good idea to go ahead and purchase a maternity bra. You might think it is too soon, but it’ll provide you with more support.
  • Darkening of the Areolas: Your breasts are in for some serious changes besides just feeling tender or swollen. Your areolas may also darken and widen. The areola is the area around your nipple. Some women wake up one morning to discover this sign, or it could be a gradual process.
  • Cramping or Round Ligament Pains: Is this your second or third child? If so, you may notice more cramping or round ligament pains than before. Your body tends to remember what is happening, and the process of your uterus stretching starts sooner. Light cramping is very normal. My second, third and fourth pregnancy brought cramping throughout my entire 4th and 5th weeks. So long as the cramping is normal and not accompanied by bleeding, you are just experiencing a normal sign of pregnancy.
  • Bloating: You might feel like you look pregnant immediately because of bloating. Bloating is a common sign of a menstrual period that is due to hormone changes that slow down your digestive system. As a result, you might be constipated, which also increases bloating as well. Expect your pants to feel snug!
  • Headaches: The sudden rise of hormones can lead you to experience headaches. Also, the increased amount of blood flowing through your body causes headaches in many pregnant women. It is another early, common sign of pregnancy.
  • Frequent Urination: You might think that you won’t experience this sign until later in pregnancy. You would be wrong. Around 6 to 8 weeks, frequent urination starts to happen. It is because of the rising amount of hormones throughout your body, as well as the 50% increased blood flow. Later in pregnancy, frequent urination is caused by the body pressing on your bladder.
  • Smell Sensitivity: Does your husband’s cologne suddenly smell utterly disgusting, even though you were the one who purchased it? You are pregnant! Scents you once enjoyed will turn your stomach, just continuing that wonderful cycle of nausea. Smell sensitivity can make cooking dinner or be in a restaurant rather difficult.
  • Mood Swings: Do you suddenly feel like you need to cry for no reason? Is your husband making you feel enraged for no real reason? The hormonal changes taking place in your body affects the neurotransmitters in your brain. You are likely to cycle through highs and lows. Pregnancy brings out a lot of emotions without the hormones. You may feel like a ticking time bomb, and it is normal.
  • Heartburn: One of my first signs of pregnancy is heartburn. I swear that it starts before I even know I am pregnant! Hormones cause the valve between your stomach and esophagus to relax. Heartburn and acid reflux are common throughout your entire pregnancy.
  • Acne: Suddenly, you are brought back to your high school years when your face was full of acne. Don’t worry; you won’t stay at this sign forever. As the hormones level out, your skin is likely to gain that anticipated glow.

Pregnancy Symptoms at 4 Weeks

At four weeks pregnant, you are just getting your first positive tests! The signs you might feel are:

  • Tender or swollen breasts
  • Tiredness
  • Frequent urination
  • Nausea
  • Cramping
  • Raised basal body temperature

Pregnancy Symptoms at 5 Weeks

Your baby is rapidly growing, and signs might start popping up more obviously.

  • Tiredness
  • Tender or swollen breasts
  • Frequent urination
  • Nausea
  • Cramping
  • Food aversions

Pregnancy Symptoms at 6 to 8 Weeks Pregnant

For most women, 6 to 8 weeks is the key time for most signs to start. It is the most common time for morning sickness to begin. There are some other things you might experience at this time.

  • Mood swings
  • Tiredness
  • Tender or swollen breasts
  • Food aversions
  • Smell sensitivities
  • Spotting
  • Bloating or tightening waistband
  • Frequent urination


Pregnancy symptoms start whenever your body wants them to start! Most likely, you will have some sign by the time you reach 6 to 8 weeks pregnant. If you make it to 9 weeks pregnant without morning sickness, you may be one of those lucky women who never experience nausea or food aversions! If you aren’t experiencing any signs, don’t worry. You cannot compare pregnancies either! The signs (or lack thereof) will start when it is time. Until then, enjoy the period you have left to feel normal. You might not feel like yourself until the beloved second trimester starts!

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