Missing your period is the classic sign that you might be pregnant, but if you’re trying to conceive (aka TTC), that can sometimes feel like a bit too much waiting around. So, are there early signs of pregnancy before a missed period, and what are they?
Well, we won’t keep you waiting: the answer is yes. There are some early signs to look out for. Of course, the only way to know for certain is to take a test — but these telltale pregnancy symptoms can indicate if it’s time to go and grab one.
So, what are early signs of pregnancy before a missed period? Let’s take a look…
Can you have pregnancy symptoms before a missed period?
You certainly can! If you’re trying to conceive, there are some helpful early signs some women notice early on. Knowing what these are can help add to the excitement of trying for a baby — but be aware: they can also indicate completely unrelated bodily changes.
Here’s what to look for:
- Tender breasts. If you’ve experienced sore breasts during PMS, this will be familiar, as hormonal changes in your body can cause sensitivity. As your estrogen levels rise during early pregnancy, your boobs may feel tingly, sore, full or even painful.
- Bloating. Pregnancy-induced hormone progesterone can slow down your digestive tract, resulting in bloating. If you’re wondering how your lower stomach feels in early pregnancy, this is your answer! You won’t be able to actually feel your baby just yet. However, bloating can also be due to PMS or something you’ve eaten.
- Sensitive smell. Higher estrogen levels can make some women extra sensitive to smells — but again, it could also be PMS…
- Feeling sick. All those hormones can make you feel nauseous early on in your pregnancy, although most women experience morning sickness from around the 6 week mark. Not everyone experiences this, however — and you could have a stomach bug to thank.
- Tiredness. During pregnancy, your body is doing a lot behind the scenes. So, it’s not surprising that a common pregnancy symptom is fatigue or sluggishness. But of course, tiredness has several other likely causes too.
- Darker areolas. This change is more easily attributed to pregnancy. In the first few weeks after conception, some womens’ nipples change: the areolas get darker, grow in diameter, or get goose pimple-like lumps on them.
- Peeing more. Two weeks after conception, your kidneys start preparing to filter out the extra waste in your blood from your baby. Add higher progesterone levels and your growing uterus pushing on your bladder: peeing more is a universal pregnancy symptom. But it can also indicate a host of other things.
- Running hotter. If you’re tracking your temperature, elevated basal body temperature (BBT) for 18 or more consecutive days is a known pregnancy symptom. That’s because pregnancy-induced progesterone will keep your temperature up.
- Cervical mucus. Your first indicator of pregnancy could be in your underwear. If your cervical mucus becomes creamy and stays that way throughout the month, it’s a sign that you may be pregnant.
Early signs of pregnancy before missed period? Your next steps..
How long after I notice pregnancy symptoms can I take a pregnancy test?
Well, it’s not as long as you might think…
Most mamas-to-be get their positive result on a home pregnancy test (HPT) two weeks after their ovulation date. This is because HPTs measure levels of human chorionic gonadotropin, which only shows in urine from around six to 12 days after fertilization, and gets high enough to detect easily after a missed period.
If you can’t wait until then, some home HPTs promise 60% to 75% accuracy four to five days before your period. During a missed period, it becomes 90%; another week and it’s 99%.
It’s comforting for some TTC couples to know that false negatives are more common than false positives. So a negative test doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not pregnant. You can always try again with a new test a few days later, and see if the results have changed.