1. Prickling, tingling nipples
As pregnancy hormones increase the blood supply to your breasts, you may feel a tingling sensation around your nipples.
This can be one of the earliest symptoms of pregnancy, and is sometimes noticeable within a week or so of conception. Once your body gets used to the hormone surge, this sensation will subside.
2. Spotting and cramping
It’s not uncommon to have some spotting when you’re around six weeks pregnant. You may notice a slight pink or brown-coloured stain in your knickers, or when you wee, or feel slight cramping.
Experts aren’t entirely sure why spotting in very early pregnancy happens. It’s thought to be caused by the developing placenta.
If you have any bleeding that seems unusual, see your doctor to be on the safe side.
3. Feeling sick
If you’re lucky, you’ll escape nausea completely. However, morning sickness is a common symptom of early pregnancy. It often starts when you’re about six weeks pregnant, though it can start as early as four weeks.
You may feel sick and queasy, or even vomit. Despite the name, morning sickness can affect you at any time of the day, or night.
4. Tender, swollen breasts
Once you are about six weeks pregnant, your breasts may become increasingly sensitive. It’s similar to how they feel before you have a period, but more so.
You may notice that your breasts are larger and swollen, with veins visible just below the skin. Tenderness tends to be most common in the first trimester, easing as pregnancy progresses.
5. Feeling tired
Exhausted? You may find yourself diving for your duvet as your body cranks up to support your baby, right from the early stages of pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones in your body are to blame, as these can make you feel tired, upset and emotional.
Though fatigue is not a sure-fire symptom on its own, it’s a common pregnancy one. You may find that tiredness wipes you out the most in your first trimester and third trimester.
6. Needing to wee frequently
From about six weeks of pregnancy, you may notice that you’re weeing more often.
This is down to a combination of pregnancy hormones, a larger volume of blood in your system, and your kidneys working extra hard.
If you feel pain or a burning sensation when you wee, though, you may have a urinary tract infection (UTI). See your doctor if you think you have a UTI.
7. Darker nipples
Skin changes are common during pregnancy. One of the first changes you may notice is the circle of skin round your nipples (areolas) getting darker. This can happen from about eight weeks.
You may also find that the bumps around your nipples become more pronounced, and your nipples more erect. Your vulva and vagina may change to a deeper, purplish red, too, though you probably won’t notice this!
8. Food cravings and altered sense of smell
Food cravings can be a symptom of pregnancy. You’re more likely to go off certain flavours at first, though, possibly even before you’ve missed a period.
You may notice a metallic taste in your mouth, or find that you can’t face your morning coffee or a food you usually like, such as eggs.
Your sense of smell may change as well, and you may become more sensitive to food or cooking smells.
9. A missed period
If you’re usually pretty regular, and your period doesn’t start on time, you’ll probably take a pregnancy test before you notice any other symptoms. A missed period is one of the surest symptoms of pregnancy.
But if your periods are usually irregular, or you lose track of when your next one is due, you may not realise that your period is late. In this case, tender breasts, feeling queasy and making extra trips to the loo may be early clues that you’re pregnant.
10. The proof: a positive home pregnancy test
Most home pregnancy tests will give you a reliable result if you wait until at least the first day of a missed period.