Pregnancy symptoms: what are the first symptoms?

Pregnancy is a unique experience for each woman, many have all the symptoms considered common, in a milder or more intense way.

However, there are women who will not even notice the beginning of the gestational period, as they did not show any evidence. Often, even, these women associate the signs with the beginning of the menstrual cycle, due to the similarity of some symptoms.

So, how do you know if the symptoms really indicate the beginning of a pregnancy? The Healthy Minute tells you below:


What are the most common pregnancy symptoms?

Many of the symptoms seen in early pregnancy are similar to what a woman feels at the beginning of the menstrual cycle.

The most common symptoms in early pregnancy are cramps , nausea , nausea (with or without vomiting), breast tenderness, tiredness , drowsiness, mood swings and the most indicative of all: menstrual delay.

However, it is important to note that there is no rule regarding the presence of these specific symptoms, that is, there are women who can present all of them, but there are others who do not.

To get an idea, not even the symptom considered the greatest evidence of pregnancy (menstrual delay) occurs with all women, as there is the possibility of the woman having small bleeds that, in general, can be confused with the beginning of the menstrual cycle.

However, this small bleeding at the beginning of a pregnancy should not be considered normal, since it is something that happens in rare cases, which may be due to the implantation of the embryo in the uterus or to more serious problems.

So that there is no doubt, the woman can perform a pharmacy test that allows you to know if you are pregnant or not more quickly. And if confirmed, a gynecologist should be consulted to perform the blood test in a clinical laboratory to certify definitively the management and start prenatal care.

In general, the most common symptoms of pregnancy occur due to hormonal variations and mechanical changes that occur in the body in order to promote the development of the fertilized egg. Check out some of them:


Cramps are common to many women during the premenstrual period, however, they can also be one of the first symptoms that appear at the beginning of pregnancy.

This is due to the expansion movement of the uterus so that it is able to accommodate the fertilized egg.

To identify whether it is a common premenstrual or pregnancy colic, it is necessary for the woman to pay attention to the intensity with which it manifests.

Colic classified as a symptom of pregnancy is usually more peaceful and does not cause much discomfort, unlike what occurs before menstruation.

Another way to recognize gestational colic is to observe the duration, because when it comes to pregnancy, it usually persists even after menstrual delay, unlike colic that occurs before the beginning of the menstrual cycle, which usually lasts only a few days.

Nausea and nausea

Nausea and nausea, especially at dawn, are very popular symptoms of pregnancy and usually occur between the 2nd and 8th week after conception.

Although they are very common, they do not bother all pregnant women in the same way, and it is possible for some to have mild or severe nausea (even causing vomiting), which happen only in the morning or throughout the day.

Also, during this phase, the woman is more sensitive to some odors and may have more difficulty in recognizing the true flavors of food.

In general, morning sickness and nausea disappear after the 8th week. However, there are women who continue to show these symptoms until the third trimester of pregnancy.

Vaginal discharge

Due to the increase in the hormone estrogen in the woman’s body, it is common for a small vaginal discharge with a moss-like appearance to occur, with a light or whitish color and no smell at the beginning of pregnancy.

So, vaginal discharge is not considered a cause for concern for the pregnant woman.

But if the discharge presents another appearance and, together, the woman feels pain in the vagina, you must consult a doctor, as it may be a case of bacterial or fungal infection – such as candidiasis , gonorrhea , bacterial vaginosis, among other changes.

Breast tenderness

During the first weeks of pregnancy, the woman may notice that her breasts are swollen, painful and sensitive to touch, which is due to the increase in hormones ( progesterone and prolactin) that stimulate the growth of the mammary glands.

In addition, there may be a darkening of the areolas, due to the blood flow in the region, which is greater.

Tiredness and drowsiness

The feeling of tiredness and excessive sleep are symptoms that can occur at the beginning of pregnancy. They are caused by the increase in progesterone, a hormone responsible for taking care of the metabolism until the placenta is completely formed.

Progesterone performs several activities in the woman’s body during the first stage of pregnancy, which requires a lot of metabolic energy and, consequently, can cause this exhaustion in pregnant women.

It is expected that after the formation of the placenta (occurs at the beginning of the second trimester of pregnancy), these symptoms will disappear. However, they usually return when the woman reaches the third trimester, that is, the final stage of pregnancy.

In this case, this is due to the excess weight that the woman has to carry daily, since the amniotic fluid (6 to 8 kilos), the placenta and the uterus together (2 kilos) and, of course, the baby (3 kilos) weigh around 13 kilos.

Mood swings

Mood swings, which affect many women during premenstrual tension (PMS), are also a common symptom of pregnancy.

Those responsible for this oscillation are the hormones progesterone and estrogen, which during this period are very high in the body.

However, in addition to hormonal changes, other factors can generate “disorder” in emotions. For example, pain caused in regions of the body (breasts, abdomen, head, etc.) due to physical changes.

In addition, psychological pressure due to the new life to be generated and changes in the new mother’s interpersonal relationships are also reasons for mood swings.

Aversion to strong smells and changes in taste

It is normal that at the beginning of pregnancy the woman feels repulsion when she smells (even if pleasant) perfumes, foods or products that did not bother her before pregnancy.

In addition, changes may occur in the new mom’s palate, causing her to not recognize the taste of food or associate a different taste than it really is.

But it is worth mentioning that these changes in smell and taste are common due to hormonal oscillation, which is on the rise during this period in the female body.

Menstrual delay

Menstruation delay is considered the most significant symptom at the beginning of pregnancy, as the menstrual cycle is immediately interrupted when the body identifies the presence of a fertilized egg.

Therefore, when the menstrual cycle is delayed by more than 5 days (even 1 week), there is a high chance of the woman being pregnant.

However, in some cases the menstrual delay does not happen and the woman may have a little bleeding, which occurs due to the implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus ( nesting ).

When this occurs, it is common for this small bleeding to be confused with the onset of menstruation, which leads the woman to suspect a pregnancy later than usual (especially when she does not show any other symptoms of pregnancy).

Although this situation seems harmless, discovering a pregnancy late affects all gynecological and obstetric procedures that must be done during pregnancy, which can cause complications to the health of the woman and the fetus.

Is it possible to be pregnant and have no symptoms?

It is an exception among most cases, but the woman may indeed be pregnant and not experience any initial symptoms of pregnancy.

Although it is not common, it is possible to be pregnant and not experience any of the conventional symptoms at the beginning of pregnancy.

This is due to the woman’s sensitivity to pregnancy hormones, especially HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), which is usually responsible for most symptoms.

Thus, the more vulnerable the woman’s organism is to the action of hormones, the more susceptible she is to the common symptoms of pregnancy.

Another situation that can occur is that the woman does not notice the symptoms, since they are very similar to those that occur during premenstrual tension.

In case of suspicion, it is recommended to carry out a pregnancy test , initially being able to do a pharmacy test. However, consultation with a gynecologist is essential, even when the test already indicates positive for pregnancy.

Thereafter, new tests will be requested and prenatal care should start.

What do you feel in your belly in early pregnancy?

In early pregnancy, it is common for women to experience swelling in the lower abdomen and discomfort similar to colic.

This discomfort may be due to an increase in blood and hormonal flow at the site, or due to the various changes that are taking place so that the egg is implanted in the uterus.

Another common cause of bloating and discomfort is constipation, common in pregnancy.

Constipation can occur due to the accumulation of gases and feces in the intestine, since during this period the woman’s body may have more difficulty digesting some foods, causing her to be unable to evacuate properly.

This pain in the abdominal area is usually mild, but it can persist for a few days (being a way to differentiate the symptom from menstrual cramps).

However, colic in early pregnancy can indicate the presence of other problems, such as tubal pregnancy, which is when the fertilized egg fails to reach the uterus and remains in the uterine tubes (causing pain).

In that case, if the problem is not diagnosed in time, it can lead to a hemorrhagic crisis and, consequently, to a miscarriage.

Therefore, to avoid complications that endanger the health of the mother and baby, it is very important to visit the gynecologist as soon as this discomfort arises.

When do the first symptoms of pregnancy appear?

The first symptoms of pregnancy usually appear after implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus, since from there the level of hormones (progesterone, estrogen, HCG, prolactin, testosterone) in the woman’s body begins to increase.

Usually, the implantation (called the nesting phase) occurs between the end of the 3rd week and the beginning of the 4th week of gestation. So, it is from this period that the symptoms usually start.

But it is not a rule, as there are women who may feel the changes sooner or later and others who may not have any symptoms.

Can I have symptoms of pregnancy in the first days of fertilization?

There are some factors that justify the appearance of pregnancy symptoms later, such as the sperm taking up to five days to find the egg and fertilize it.

Usually, it is not common to have symptoms of pregnancy in the first days of fertilization, since the symptoms usually appear after 2 or 3 weeks of sexual intercourse that generated the fertilized egg.

What justifies this is that fertilization is not instantaneous, that is, in most cases the sperm (male sex cell) will take from 1 to 3 days (up to 5) to find the egg and fertilize it.

When this finally occurs, what will appear are characteristic symptoms of ovulation: sensitive breasts, pain in the pelvic region (similar to colic), small bleeding, among others.

But they are not indications of fertilization itself, since it is considered a silent process and does not cause any significant changes.

Another factor that explains the absence of symptoms in the first days is that they, in general, only appear after implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus. Event that happens only after 1 or 2 weeks of fertilization.

So, until this whole process (egg implanted in the womb) is completed, the woman will probably have no symptoms.

To ensure a healthy pregnancy for the mother and baby, in addition to identifying the symptoms that indicate a pregnancy early on, it is important to seek a gynecologist as soon as possible and perform all the necessary procedures.

If you want to know more about the subject, the Healthy Minute also tells you what happens each week of pregnancy !