Early Signs of Pregnancy – Ultimate Guide

I’ll let you into a little secret…. Now and again I forget to take my contraceptive pill, and all hell breaks loose. Suddenly I’m back Googling early signs of pregnancy like it’s 2014. Only this time it’s with a mild panic.

Don’t get me wrong, if we had an accidental pregnancy I’m sure we would welcome it with open arms. (Unexpected second child, if you’re reading this, Mummy and Daddy think you’re amazing! Thanks for rocking up.)

It’s just that I’m forty this year, it took us a very long time to have a successful pregnancy, and realistically my body doesn’t have a great track record at staying pregnant (you can read more about that here).

So I think it’s fair to say baby number two is not on the master plan. We are eternally grateful for the crazy little man we have, and everything feels beautifully complete. (Am I tempting fate here..!)

Counting your chickens - your complete guide to the early signs of pregnancy.
Counting your chickens. Err, how many..?

Early Signs of Pregnancy? I’m the Oracle!

Anyway, Googling early signs of pregnancy again is surreal, let me tell you. I don’t even know why I do it, as I know them off by heart. Having spent three years trying for child number one, and having been pregnant four times during that period, I am pretty much the oracle on those early signs.

Maybe not so much oracle as complete, obsessive weirdo. I know faaaar too much.

That being the case, I think it’s only fair that I share the knowledge, so those women still trying to conceive (or perhaps those who are kind of hoping not to – give me a holler in the comments box below if I’m not alone in sticking at one. Seems like I might be…)

Early Signs of Pregnancy – The Gold Dust

For my readers who are done with pregnancy, you are going to relish this little meander down memory lane. And please do add your own signs, or any early pregnancy signs I’ve missed, in the comments box. Your wisdom is gold dust for those still hoping.

For you ladies still waiting for it to happen, I feel your pain. I felt it monthly for too many years.

Cycle after cycle of trying to read your body and all of its tiny signals like a complex book. Of convincing yourself that every little thing means you absolutely must be pregnant. Need a wee in the night? Must be a sign. Feel a bit queasy this morning? This is surely it!

Then your period arrives. Urgh. But hang on – could it be implantation spotting? How much is there? Can I measure it?

Giving you hope - a complete guide to the early signs of pregnancy.
Sending you warm hugs and hope

Obsessing Over Early Signs of Pregnancy? I’ve Been There Too…

It feels like madness, but I’ve been there too. Each month you feel a little more unhinged and a lot more disappointed.

And the cruellest trick of nature is that the early signs of pregnancy can be much the same as the early signs that your period is in the pipeline. Your hormones are doing similar things and so the result could go either way.

How mean is that.

And also, every woman is different, and in my experience, every pregnancy is different too. I had different signs for each, so it’s never easy to work out what is going on, if anything.

But my best advice? Just keep believing. And keep going. It happened for me when I thought it never would. And I feel like I have read an entire internet load of similar tales. Most women get there in the end, and I truly hope you do too.

But while you’re waiting, let me give you everything I know about the signs you may see before you’re able to take that pregnancy test. We’ll wait it out together.

Good luck, sister.

Warning – some of this is a bit gross! TMI alert. Ooh, and here’s your:

Early Signs of Pregnancy – GLOSSARY OF TERMS:

AF – Aunt Flo (or period, menstruation)

TTC – Trying to conceive 

TMI – Too much information

BFP – Big fat positive (a positive pregnancy test)

Queasiness – One of the Best Known Early Signs of Pregnancy!

Morning sickness can present itself at any time of day or night, with or without vomiting. I often felt nauseous, but I was never physically sick. You may not start feeling this until you’re 4 – 6 weeks pregnant, or may avoid it entirely. But some women do get it as an early sign.

Blue Vagina

Say what?! Yes, it’s true – this really can be one of those early signs of pregnancy. Your lady parts can take on a blue or purple hue as early as 4 weeks in, owing to increased blood flow to the area. Yep, I’ve seen in with my own eyes. Kinda cool.

Shooting Pains in Vagina

OK, whilst we’re on this topic, we may as well cover this weird one too. This is more colloquially known as “lightning crotch” or (oh god, can I bring myself to type this…) “fanny daggers”. It feels like electric shocks or lightning bolts shooting down your lady passage, from somewhere within.

It can be a common thing throughout pregnancy, but I have absolutely had this as a very early pregnancy sign. (I also had it on a few cycles when I didn’t end up pregnant, so I guess it’s just hormonal).

Saying that, I never had it outside of the Trying to Conceive (TTC) years, so maybe it is a sign your body is trying to do something…

Needing to Pee More

I always found this tricky to gauge, as I wee frequently anyway. If you’re like me, you may notice this more at night. This was once a pre-pregnancy test sign for me, as I never used to need the loo during sleeping hours.

In later pregnancy you need to urinate more owing to your bladder feeling squished. But it can also be a very early sign, as the increase in the pregnancy hormone hCG sends more blood to your pelvic area.

Your ultimate guide to the early pregnancy signs - eg frequent urination.
Oops, I’m peeing again…

Swollen Breasts

On my first pregnancy, this was my first, very obvious sign. My boobs were huge and painful a good week before it was possible to take a pregnancy test. With my subsequent pregnancies, this sign didn’t come on until more like the six week mark.

You see how each pregnancy can have its own rhythms? This was one of the things I used to obsess about, thinking this may be a sign of whether my pregnancy was “strong”/not “strong”. But honestly, it didn’t matter.

Slight Cramping

You may have some cramping as one of your early signs of pregnancy, although of course, these may be period pains.

With my fourth pregnancy, which was the successful one, I had lots of cramps, back pains, shooting pains and burrowing pains for the first few weeks.

I have consulted my (vast!) pregnancy diaries to write this post so I can give you everything I know, and I wrote that they were “twinges” and “they don’t feel like a period”.

Oh, and if you want a laugh, I also wrote “my lower back pains were shooting into my bum and thighs, and my uterus felt like it was wired up to an electric fence.” Must turn all of this into blog posts one day!

Implantation Pains

As mentioned above, these are like “burrowing” pains, where an embryo is trying to implant. I had these as early signs in some of my pregnancies, but also convinced myself I was having them on months when I didn’t fall pregnant.

With my fourth pregnancy I had left side back throbs and pinching on the left side top of my uterus before my BFP.

Successful boy child came from my left ovary. (Obsessive TTC gang – you will understand this complete fixated knowledge of the exact workings of your body, tuning in to every minute detail. The medical staff were often surprised I could tell which ovary my pregnancies came from before any scan.)

Implantation Bleed

This is not a myth! It really can be one of the early signs of pregnancy.

I only had this once, on my fourth, successful pregnancy. Of course at first, I thought it was the onset of my period, and I was devastated – I’d felt so sure this was my month (again). But more so, this time.

For those of you who are obsessing like I did (and I know you girls won’t mind the TMI, because you need to know), my diary tells me on day 11 of my cycle I had a few slightly off colour wipes when I went to the loo in the morning, a small gush of fluids which were sort of milky cappuccino colour, throughout the day it petered out, then in the evening I had a few light pinkish wipes. It didn’t turn to dark blood and no more spotting on day 12.

Hope that helps!

Food Aversions

With any queasiness may come food aversions. You probably won’t get cravings until later on, but you may go off the smell or taste of certain foods as one of the early signs of pregnancy. I went right off my husband’s signature pasta dish. Bleurgh. Couldn’t stand the smell…

Your ultimate guide to the early signs of pregnancy - eg food aversions.
Eggs? Urgh. Where did that pink toilet go..?

Aversions to Smells

Err, like the time my friend came into the office wearing her new expensive perfume, and I pulled a face and complained that the cleaners must have used something extra stinky to clean our desks. Yes, that happened. Oops.

Bloating/Windy Bum

The increase in progesterone may cause you to feel bloated and windy as one of the very early signs of pregnancy. I’ve definitely been there! Pooooof.

Emotional/Mood Swings

Moody? Who, me?!

Of course this can also be a sign of AF, but the increased oestrogen and progesterone in your body when you fall pregnant may cause this too. And it only gets worse!

Constipation or Diarrhoea

There’s that progesterone at play again! Urgh, hormones. They can be a tad embarrassing…

Basal Temperature Increase

The hardcore amongst you may be into this.

If you have been charting your temperature throughout your cycles, your temperature will continue to rise if you are pregnant, rather than drop off. (I never managed to chart successfully, as insomnia got in the way!) Grr.


The increase in progesterone certainly made me toddle off to bed an hour earlier, exhausted, as a very early sign.

Funny Taste in your Mouth

You may get a strange, metallic taste in your mouth (from increased hormones). You may notice this most when you first wake up. A bit like you’ve been sucking on a bag of coins – and not those yummy chocolate ones.

Extra Saliva

I remember dribbling a lot during one pregnancy, although this wasn’t until a bit later on. Had to remind myself to keep my mouth closed. A bit of an odd one.

Constant Hunger

I got this A LOT, through most pregnancies, even early on. Although it can also be a normal sign of your monthly cycle. Grr. Pregnancy hunger can end up going to a whole new level though. Nom nom. Get your snack drawer ready.

Waking up Hot and Sweaty

Those hormonal pregnancy night sweats can be something else. You may see a bit of this as an early sign, as your progesterone levels begin to rise. And freaky dreams too.

Feeling Light-Headed

An increase in hormones and/or low blood sugar levels may make you feel a bit dizzy, even early on. So watch your step, girlfriend.


Um, slightly weird, but those extra hormones could make you a bit of a bogey monster too. I told you this list was thorough! I have indeed obsessed about the green stuff in more desperate times.


Guess what – those hormones again! As if they haven’t caused you enough problems, they may make you feel muggy headed too.

Did I mention early pregnancy is a bit like a hangover, without all the drunk bits?

Read this ULTIMATE guide to the early signs of pregnancy. No holds barred - we're even talking underwear.
Hold tight – we’re about to talk knickers…

Milky Discharge

If you haven’t yet freaked out from the TMI going on here, we may as well discuss the underwear situation.

Your discharge may go thin and milky-coloured early on. This is called leukorrhea (you can also have this during your cycle if you’re not pregnant, just to be unhelpful!).

You may not notice much increase in this until about week eight. It is what eventually builds up in your cervix to become the mucus plug, if you are pregnant.

But if you don’t get that, don’t worry – you’re not out of the game. Instead you may get…

Watery Discharge

I know, make your mind up, body. It’s all a bit confusing.


I only really get these when I’m pregnant or when I’ve got a cold coming. So if you don’t usually suffer with these complaints when not pregnant, maybe there’s something brewing.

Late Period

Of course! And if this is the case, it may well be time to get the tests out, if you feel ready for some answers. Because a BFP is surely the queen of the early signs of pregnancy.

Pregnancy Test!

OK girls, if your period is late and you’re feeling brave, it may be time to get peeing on those sticks. I used to stock up on the cheap ones, but after they once told me I wasn’t pregnant when I knew I was, I spent the extra on those early response versions. So much better!

Here is the version I used for my BFP:

(Please note as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This is at no extra cost to you, my lovely reader.)

Anyway, sending you lots of luck, whatever you’re hoping for. Keep me posted…xx

I Need You!

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this. Women who have been there – please be a darling and scroll to the comments box and add your own early signs of pregnancy to help our “ladies in waiting”.

If you are still searching for those signs, please let me know if this has been of use.

And of course – share it with your friends, and sign up to my blog for more free stuff! I’d hate for you to miss out.

Give Me More!

Ooh, you’re still keen. You’re my kind of lady!

If you want to continue the fun, why not check out the one where I confess even more things about myself, if you’re into all this TMI.

Or if you’re gearing up for that BFP, maybe you want to know more about that first week of motherhood...enjoy! xx

Photo Credits

Featured Image – Buns – Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Chicks – Photo by Fancycrave.com from Pexels

Hope – Photo by Lynnelle Richardson from Pexels

Pink toilet – Photo by Curology on Unsplash

Eggs – Photo by wenping wang on Unsplash

Underwear – Photo by 🐴chuanyu2015 from Pexels


43 Replies to “Early Signs of Pregnancy – Ultimate Guide”

  1. When I was pregnant with Robin I had missed a period but I have pcos so I often miss a period. My breasts were stupidly tender and huge, we were driving up to see my sister in Scotland and had to stop several times to buy a bigger bra and then another bigger bra. I was also really tierd – literally not lasting a day without a two hour nap. When I was brave enough to do a pregnancy test it came back negative – I did three and they were all negative. Put other down to my pcos. Then week or so later I collapsed as if had a cyst burst, trip to the hospital and found out I was pregnant, they thought it was a eptopic but couple of days wait then I scan and our Bean was in the right place.

    Sorry I have babbled. Basically I had sore boobs, extremely tierd and no periods. This was until 6 weeks the other had extremely fatigue (signed off work) and strong nausea but not actually sick. Tended boobs all the way through and peeing like a trooper.

    Will stop babbling.
    Tigz xx

    1. I love your babbling! It’s the best, and so helpful to the other women out there looking for clues.

      Wow, I can’t believe you were literally outgrowing your bras by the hour! Amazing. So glad your story ended well. No doubt it was an anxious wait for the scan. Robin is the cutest. Xx

    1. Aha, those hormones messing with you. Who needs a pregnancy test, hey! Thanks for adding your thoughts. Xx

  2. My pregnancy was a complete surprise. My periods were irregular, we weren’t trying and all the symptoms you described I was having but put down to my late period.

    Then I took a test and it was positive, that night I was in agony, utterly convinced I was miscarrying. Thankfully not.

    My second pregnancy I knew instantly, I was falling asleep every time I sat down for more than a few minutes, I had that metallic taste, achy boobs, discharge and then the cramps. Sadly the pains were me having an early miscarriage.

    But it’s amazing how you just know a second time round x

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your stories. So sorry to hear about your loss. I hope you’re ok with things now. Xx

    1. Ooh, good instincts. I like to think I knew too, but then I was also “sure” on many months when I wasn’t! Thanks for reading. XX

  3. The only early pregnancy symptoms I ever got with my two were sore boobs. Like you say though nature is so cruel that the early pregnancy symptoms are so similar to those when your period is due too.

    1. Hmm, sneaky mother nature was maybe trying to warn you off! Hope it doesn’t cause too much panic when the symptom occurs again…😆 xx

  4. I think I drew the short straw with my pregnancy (I say this definitely tongue in cheek) as I didn’t have any early symptoms other that the missed period and a test. Both my pregnancies were fairly uneventful. I was looking forward to strange cravings and the like but no.

    1. Strange cravings are the most fascinating, although these usually pop up later on, if at all. I’ve heard of people wanting to eat glass, and all sorts! I think you were better off without them. 😂 xx

  5. It’s been so long since I was pregnant but I remember some of these so well! The funny taste in my mouth was yuck and breast tenderness was something I had early on in all my pregnancies. Great to have all the signs in one post, I’m sure that will be very helpful!

  6. I have had 5 pregnancies, 6 babies…out of which 1 was stillborn and the other was a miscarried twin….the other twin is lovely and almost 18 now…. So I am the proud (mostly) current owner of 3 boys and a girl….I can’t remember any early signs but with an 8 yr old girl a 6week old baby I can quite clearly remember arguing with the Dr that I wasn’t pregnant and it must be pregnancy hormones accidentally left behind by my 6week old baby …. Oh how he laughed……. That was almost 18yrs ago and as it happens that Dr knew more than I did …..I would have had 3 babies under 10 months and I would be writing this from my padded cell !!!!

    1. So sorry about the darling ones you lost. You must have had some tough old times. Glad you’re still fighting fit with all those children to keep in order. Pregnant again with a six week old – eek! Thanks for reading and joining in the chat, my lovely. Xx

    1. I remember finding lots of smaller lists, so I really wanted to bring everything I knew together in one huge, crazy guide! Thanks so much for reading. Xx

    1. Ooh, this implantation bleed seems to be coming out as a more common one than I expected. Thanks for sharing. Xx

  7. I had no noticeable symptoms with either of mine. On both occasions I found out I was pregnant by taking a “just in case” test because we were going out drinking (husband’s birthday with our first, my birthday with our second). I definitely think I’m unusual….. 😂

    1. Wow, two little birthday surprises. That’s amazing! And unusual is the very best thing to be. Xx

  8. I did not experience all of this when I was pregnant to my eldest. That’s why it is a big surprise for me that I am pregnant.

  9. Great list of signs. I had many, many of them in my pregnancies and I found every single pregnancy completely different from the others. I think the tiredness was the worst for my pregnancy, and for all the other ones, I was so sick I don’t think I spotted much else.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. It does seem like each one has its special patterns. Xx

  10. I am sat here laughing at “fanny daggers” and my husband is looking at me strangely lol. This is a great post and I am sure it will be helpful to others and give that bit of encouragement that some may need in not giving up x

    1. Who makes these terms up, hey! Your husband is better off not knowing… Thank you so much for reading. Xx

  11. Ahh so many of these resonate with me! I had extra saliva and a funny taste in my mouth. I was tired all the time, I was falling asleep at 9pm! I didn’t have food aversions but food like crisps tasted funny to me. I had implantation cramps about 2 weeks before I was due on then a missed period.

    1. Yes, 9pm was my cut off time too! Although I’m not much better now. Thanks for getting involved, my lovely. Xx

  12. I had almost all of the above…but another one that I realised when I was pregnant with my second child, because I remembered it from my first was a certain type of smell down below…I don’t mean a bad smell, just different and it was only ever like that during pregnancy…my friend told me she had similar and said her bodily fluids always smelt like sugar puffs when expecting!

    1. Ha ha, those hormones! Love your honesty. I definitely get sugar puff scented wee sometimes, but think that’s just when I have a huge sugar binge! Thanks for joining in. Xx

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