Want to know if you're pregnant without taking a pregnancy test? Though you won't know for sure without one, look out for these 34 early signs of pregnancy...
Even if it's too soon to take a pregnancy test, your body can start showing early signs and symptoms that it's growing a baby as early as two weeks after conception.
After conception, fertilisation and implantation, your body goes into overdrive and the hormones of pregnancy help kickstart the process you are about to follow for the next nine months. You might recognise the more obvious signs like a missed period, breast tenderness or nausea/morning sickness but there are subtle changes in your body and mind which might surprise you...
Here are the main tell-tale of pregnancy, (plus science-backed theories to make sense of it all!)
34 early symptoms of pregnancy:
This might sound strange and is another one that can be confused with a period, but around a third of women experience some sort of implantation bleeding
. Implantation bleeding is when the foetus implants into the lining of your uterus and causes a small amount of blood. This usually happens 6 to 12 days after you've concieved.
Spotting in early pregnancy can also be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy,
so it's important to talk to a healthcare professional if you're experiencing unforseen bleeding.
ectopic pregnancy- earlier diagnosis can save lives and fertility.
Although your baby won't be pressing on your bladder just yet (a common side effect you'll experience later in your pregnancy
), the hormone changes, plus a greater blood volume and your kidneys working harder could mean you find yourself rushing to the toilet more often right now.
If you've noticed blood when brushing your teeth, it could be that progesterone is to blame. This pregnancy hormone increases the flow of blood to gums, increasing sensitivity and causing them to bleed more easily.
gum disease has been associated with increased risk of preterm birth
Bleeding gums can be an indicator of gum disease, which has been associated with risk of preterm birth, so always see your healthcare professional if symptoms persist.
A slightly odd sounding symptom, but some women experience changes in facial skin colour during pregnancy. This is medically referred to as melasma
, chloasma or 'mask of pregnancy' and is caused by a temporary increase in pigmentation.
Dr Helena Watson reminds us that you may indeed be pregnant with no symptoms at all.
"It's important to emphasise that most women have no symptoms whatsoever in early pregnancy," says Dr Helena Watson, Clinical Researcher at Kings College London. "A lot of pregnancy symptoms are possible but are also possible in non-pregnant women. Some (bloating, constipation, libido change, shortness of breath) are much common later in pregnancy when the progesterone levels are higher and are less likely to be present in the first few weeks. "
Whether you’ve got one, a few, or lots of these signs of pregnancy, the best way to find out for sure is a simple pregnancy test. They’re so advanced these days that you can take an early pregnancy test 6 days before your period is due and expect a result that’s around 99% accurate.
This article was checked and verified by Dr Helena Watson on 29/07/19
If you want to proceed with the pregnancy, it's time to start planning. Work out when your baby should arrive by using our due date calculator and learn more about what to expect by reading through our pregnancy week by week guides.
Meet the expert: Dr Helena Watson is an obstetrics and gynaecology registrar in South London, working on labour ward, antenatal clinics and gynaecology services. She is also currently undertaking a PhD in Women’s Health Research at King’s College London. Links to her publications can be found here