How Soon Do Pregnancy Symptoms Start?

Early Signs of Pregnancy and When to Expect Them

Your body starts sending out little signals that you're expecting shortly after conception. The difficult part is figuring out if those symptoms are related to pregnancy or your period, because they're very similar. The early pregnancy signs may start around the time your period is due, which adds to the confusion. Figuring out those symptoms and when they happen can help you figure out as soon as possible if it's time to start picking baby names and decorating the nursery.

What You Should Know About Early Pregnancy Symptoms

Pregnant woman resting at home

Signs of Pregnancy the Day After Conception

Learn More

Because many of the early signs can mimic those caused by PMS or your period, it's important to take a pregnancy test if you think you're expecting. A pregnancy test is the only sure way of telling that you're pregnant. Home pregnancy tests usually work about a week after you miss your period.

Another thing to consider is that all women are different when it comes to the symptoms they feel. You may not experience the earliest signs of pregnancy, or they may be so subtle that you don't notice them. You could still be pregnant, even if you don't feel the symptoms.

How Early Symptoms Can Start

Some of the earliest pregnancy symptoms can start around six days after conception. Your body begins preparing for the pregnancy almost immediately after egg fertilization, and some of those changes cause physical symptoms. The increasing hormone levels in the body are often the reason for the symptoms you feel.

The Early Signs of Pregnancy

Pregnant woman resting at home

Signs of Pregnancy a Week After Conception

Learn More

What should you look for in those first few weeks after conception? Many women notice that they feel a little different. You might think the things you feel are from PMS until you realize the symptoms differ from normal this month. The changes are often subtle, but you may start adding it up if you notice more than one of the symptoms.

The following early changes to your body may mean you're pregnant:

  • Spotting and cramping due to implantation bleeding about six to 12 days after conception
  • Breast soreness, tenderness, swelling, tingling or other changes one to two weeks after conception
  • Fatigue about one week after conception
  • Food aversions and nausea starting around two weeks after conception.

Other early signs of pregnancy include:

  • Missed period
  • More trips to the bathroom to pee than normal
  • Constipation
  • Mood swings
  • Bloating
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches.

When You Should Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor as soon as you get confirmation of the pregnancy via a home pregnancy test or if you think you may be pregnant. It's important to start your prenatal care routine early. Your doctor may use a test at the office to confirm your pregnancy. The first appointment is a time for your doctor to gather all of your health history information, and it's a time for you to ask all the questions you're sure to have.