The Earliest Signs of Pregnancy

The Earliest Signs of Pregnancy

When sperm fertilizes one of your eggs, this microscopic process initiates rather large changes in your body. These changes may be subtle, at first, which is why many women are unaware that they’re pregnant in the earliest stages. 

That said, there are some key indicators that you should be on the lookout for.

To help you detect the changes that may occur in early pregnancy, board-certified OB/GYN  David Foulk, MD, and our team here at Marion Ob/Gyn thought we’d provide you with the following list. In addition to this list, we also provide some information about your next steps.

Missed periods

Far and away, the biggest indicator of pregnancy is a missed period. When you become pregnant, your body discontinues releasing eggs for the duration of the pregnancy, which means you don’t go through your menstrual cycles during this time.

If you have irregular periods, this easily identifiable sign of early pregnancy may not grab your notice, which is why you should acquaint yourself with some of the side effects below.

Spotting and cramping

Making matters a little more complicated, when the embryo implants on the wall of your uterus, you may develop some light spotting, which is perfectly normal. This spotting can lead you to believe that you’re not pregnant, but the bleeding is different from your regular periods in that it’s lighter and lasts anywhere from a few minutes to 2-3 days.

In addition to the spotting, you may also experience some light cramping, which is usually less than during your regular menstrual cycles.

Nausea and morning sickness

These symptoms typically develop during the first trimester of a pregnancy and are a result of the shift in your hormones.


When you become pregnant, your levels of progesterone rise, which can lead to fatigue.


Your gastrointestinal system may slow down during pregnancy, which can lead to bloating. Constipation is also fairly common, which can exacerbate the bloating.

Changes in your breasts

As your pregnancy hormones begin to flow, you may experience changes in your breasts. For example, they may tingle or ache or become tender. At about week 11, your breasts may begin to grow and your nipples become larger.

Next steps

If you’re experiencing any combination of the above signs of early pregnancy, you should test for pregnancy. While at-home pregnancy kits are highly effective, you can skip this step and come directly to see us for testing. 

Not only is our testing more definitive, if we find that you’re pregnant, we can get you started on excellent prenatal care right away.

If you suspect you’re pregnant or you have more questions, please contact our office in Marion, Ohio, to set up an appointment.

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