Missed or late period? What else to look out for.
There are various symptoms that can indicate you might be pregnant. They differ from woman to woman, and from pregnancy to pregnancy. If you are pregnant, you may notice one or more of these symptoms. Don't worry, you are unlikely to get them all at once. Equally, you shouldn't worry if you don't experience any of them. It's perfectly possible to be pregnant without noticing any of these signs of pregnancy.
If you have a regular menstrual cycle, this is often the earliest physical sign. Bear in mind that you can get a little light bleeding or spotting around the time of your period even if you are pregnant, and when the fertilised egg implants in your womb.
If your cycles aren't regular you may notice other pregnancy symptoms before you notice a missed period.
You are likely to feel unusually tired in the first few weeks of pregnancy. This could be due to the rising levels of progesterone in your body as it maintains the lining of your womb to help support the pregnancy.
Feeling sick/Morning sickness
You could start feeling sick, and even vomit, between the 2nd to the 8th week of pregnancy. This usually passes by the 16th week. Although this is often called 'morning sickness' it can happen at any time of the day or night – and can even affect you all the time.
Around one in 200 pregnant women could suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum. Normally continuing well past the first trimester (12 to 13 weeks), hyperemesis gravidarum causes vomiting so often and severe that no food or liquid can be kept down. Usually, the condition can be treated and only in very rare cases will cause complications for the pregnancy, but please seek doctor advice if you are suffering from severe sickness.
Changes in your breasts
Your breasts might grow larger and feel tender or highly sensitive. The veins on your breasts may become more noticeable and your areola (nipples) may darken.
Going to the toilet more often
About 6 to 8 weeks after conception you may need to urinate more frequently. This is due to your uterus (the medical term for your womb) growing larger and pressing on your bladder. At the end of the first trimester your uterus rises up into your abdomen which will takes some of this pressure off your bladder.
Your changing hormones may cause some mood swings in the early stages of pregnancy – you could even find yourself crying without really knowing why.
Changing tastes in food (cravings) and sensitivity to smells
You may go off certain things like tea, coffee or fatty food and might start to crave things you don't normally like. You might feel queasy when you smell certain things too – like coffee, meat or alcohol.
You may get cramps in your legs or feet in the first trimester, and sometimes later in your pregnancy. This is due to changes in the way your body processes calcium.
Whether you get any of these symptoms or none of them at all, the only way to find out for sure whether or not you are pregnant is to take a pregnancy test. All Clearblue pregnancy tests are over 99% acccurate from the day your period is due. They are reliable, fast and easy to use. And Clearblue tests are so sensitive they can even be used up to 4 days before your period is due.
If you have already taken a test, it could be you’ve found out you are pregnant and this was not the desired result. In which case it's important that you are aware of the options available to you. Remember that you are not alone – everyday hundreds of women find themselves facing the same situation and, armed with the right advice and support, can make a decision about the most suitable course of action.
You should talk to a healthcare professional as soon as possible. Think about making an appointment with your doctor, visiting your local family planning clinic.
Answers from our Experts
Read a Q&A with Caroline Overton