Symptoms of pregnancy: What happens first

Do you know the early symptoms of pregnancy? From nausea to fatigue, know what to expect.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Could you be pregnant? The proof is in the pregnancy test. But even before you miss a period, you might suspect — or hope — that you're pregnant. Know the first signs of pregnancy and why they occur.

Classic pregnancy signs and symptoms

The most common early signs and symptoms of pregnancy might include:

  • Missed period. If you're in your childbearing years and a week or more has passed without the start of an expected menstrual cycle, you might be pregnant. However, this symptom can be misleading if you have an irregular menstrual cycle.
  • Tender, swollen breasts. Early in pregnancy hormonal changes might make your breasts sensitive and sore. The discomfort will likely decrease after a few weeks as your body adjusts to hormonal changes.
  • Nausea with or without vomiting. Morning sickness, which can strike at any time of the day or night, often begins one month after you become pregnant. However, some women feel nausea earlier and some never experience it. While the cause of nausea during pregnancy isn't clear, pregnancy hormones likely play a role.
  • Increased urination. You might find yourself urinating more often than usual. The amount of blood in your body increases during pregnancy, causing your kidneys to process extra fluid that ends up in your bladder.
  • Fatigue. Fatigue also ranks high among early symptoms of pregnancy. During early pregnancy, levels of the hormone progesterone soar — which might make you feel sleepy.
June 16, 2016 See more In-depth