Am I pregnant? Subtle early symptoms of pregnancy

Think you might be pregnant? Before you buy the test, here's a few subtle signs you might be expecting a baby...


by Kayleigh Dray |
Published on

Every woman has a completely different pregnancy experience. Some women suffer from every single symptom, whereas others can go through the majority of their pregnancy without any physical changes happening to their bodies.

But according to medical experts, these are the earliest - and most subtle - symptoms of pregancy.

Am I pregnant?

There are various symptoms that let us know when we are expecting. Although you don't need to be pregnant to experience these, if you have three or more it may be worth taking a pregnancy test.



High levels of the hormone progesterone can make you constipated and, surprise surprise, this is likely to happen when you're pregnant. Drink water, exercise and eat a high-fibre diet to help battle this.

Darkened nipples


Pregnancy hormones, as we've discovered, do some pretty crazy things to your body, but darkened nipples is perhaps one of the most unexpected. It's all down to the fact that your skin cells are producing more pigment, causing the area around your nipples (the areolas) to become darker and grown larger. You may also notice that this area looks bumpier than usual, which is down to the fact that small glands (called Montgomery's tubercles), which will eventually secrete an oily substance to protect your nipples from becoming dry and cracked during breastfeeding, are being produced.


The word 'discharge' never sums up a great image, but it's perfectly normal for women during their pregnancy. Look for a milky-white discharge; this is related to the thickening of your vagina's walls and is completely harmless! However, if the discharge is accompanied by a strong smell or itching sensation, it's best to get it checked by your doctor immediately.

Dizziness and fainting


Dilating blood vessels, lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar - whatever it's related to, pregnancy can cause you to feel a little light headed. Try to take care of yourself, keep yourself hydrated and have a handy healthy snack to hand for low sugar moments.

Frequent urination

For most, this starts somewhere around the sixth or eighth week of conception and, yup, it's all down to your changing hormones. Keep yourself hydrated and speak with your doctor if concerned, as it could also be a symptom of diabetes or a urinary tract infection.

Swollen and sore breasts


Hormone levels change rapidly during pregnancy, so your breasts (as you may or may not have noticed during your periods) can become swollen, sore or tingly to the touch a week or two after conception. You may also find that they feel heavier, fuller or more tender.

Nausea / morning sickness

Ah, morning sickness; not every woman is affected, but, for most pregnant women, their hormones can slow the emptying of the stomach, leading to feelings of nausea. And, while it's called morning sickness, it can strike at any time of the day, so don't dismiss it if you feel sick in the evenings instead.

Food cravings / aversions


Some pregnant women can't stand, or crave, certain foods - also down to those pesky hormones! Your favourite food can become your worst enemy, your worst food can become your best thing ever; inexplicable, and very annoying.

Headaches and back pain

Pregnant women often complain of mild headaches and lower back pain, similar to those you get during your period.

Spotting and cramping


After the fertilised egg attaches itself to the wall of the uterus, a woman can experience cramps and something called implantation bleeding (6 to 12 days after the egg is fertilised). Many will dismiss this as the start of their period, but will be far lighter and often (TMI alert) 'clottier' than usual.

Mood swings

Just as you may experience mood swings during your period, you may find yourself more emotional during the first trimester of your period.


Feeling VERY tired (think dog tired) is normal in pregnancy, especially early on. That's thanks to an increase in the hormone progesterone, although low blood pressure and low levels of blood sugar can also contribute. Munch on high-protein food and take some iron supplements, stat, and check in with your doctor.


Did you experience any of these symptoms while you were pregnant? Let us know via Facebook or Twitter (@CloserOnline)


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