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Itchy Breasts and Other Early Signs of Pregnancy

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While trying to get pregnant, I struggled with fertility issues and did extensive reading and research to educate myself. It worked!

It can take two weeks after unprotected sex before you see reliable signs of pregnancy. Wait until after you miss your period to take a pregnancy test.

It can take two weeks after unprotected sex before you see reliable signs of pregnancy. Wait until after you miss your period to take a pregnancy test.

15 Early Symptoms of Pregnancy

When you are enduring that endless two-week wait (the dreaded TWW) between conception and the time of your next period, any little twinge can feel like indisputable proof that you're pregnant!

Feeling pregnant: Is that possible before I missed my period?

Many women do not have any early signs of pregnancy before four to six weeks in, but many others do experience one or more of the symptoms listed below.

  1. Tender or Swollen Breasts
  2. Itchy Nipples in Early Pregnancy
  3. Spotting (Implantation Bleeding)
  4. Higher Basal Body Temperature
  5. Tiredness
  6. Headaches
  7. Nausea
  8. Frequent Urination
  9. Backache
  10. Food Cravings
  11. Food Aversions
  12. Mood Swings
  13. Cramps
  14. Acne or Skin Breakouts
  15. A Missed Period

Several of these symptoms are the same as those felt with PMS or other non-pregnancy-related issues, so don't take any one symptom too seriously.

While many tests can be taken earlier than this, they are less reliable when taken before the time you expect your period. So if you do one and get a negative, you will want to take another one several days later, anyway!

1. Tender or Swollen Breasts

This can be an early (one to two weeks after conception) sign for some women. Your breasts may feel tender, swollen, and somewhat sore. According to Dr. Hanh Cottrell, MD FACOG, an expert on reproductive endocrinology and infertility, "The hormones associated with pregnancy are responsible for these changes: hCG, estrogen, progesterone and prolactin. These hormones then later aid in the process of breast lactation and nursing."

Why are my breasts itchy?

Breasts often itch before or during your period or during pregnancy, since your breasts might swell as a result of the surge of hormones.

But wait! This symptom could also be caused by: PMS.


2. Itchy Nipples in Early Pregnancy

In early pregnancy, your nipples may be itchy, sore, or extra sensitive, and sometimes darken in color.

Why are my nipples itchy?

Pregnancy triggers a surge of hormones that cause an increase of blood flow to the area. Also, as breasts grow, their sensitive skin stretches, which can make it itch. Try applying moisturizer to ease the itchiness.

But wait! This could also be caused by: PMS, a new bra, or that lotion you just started using.

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3. Spotting (Implantation Bleeding)

One of the earliest and lesser-known pregnancy symptoms is a slight bleeding or spotting five to twelve days after conception. When the embryo implants itself into the uterine wall, a little of the uterine lining might be dislodged and show up in your underwear. This is known as "implantation bleeding" and can also be accompanied by some cramping that feels like PMS. Not all women experience implantation bleeding, so it is not considered a reliable pregnancy sign.

But wait! This symptom could also be caused by: the start of your actual period, abrasion from sex, or infection.

4. Higher Basal Body Temperature

Many women take their temperature each morning upon waking as a way to track their ovulation when trying to conceive. Normally, your temperature will spike after ovulation, then slowly decline as your period draws near. But if you are pregnant, your temperature does not drop, and in fact may continue to rise (sometimes called a triphasic pattern). These changes in temperature are small, often only a few tenths of a degree, and must be carefully measured at the same time each day before you have gotten out of bed.

But wait! This symptom could also be caused by: illness or not talking your temperature at the same time each morning.


5. Tiredness

Feeling tired or more easily fatigued can be an early symptom of pregnancy starting as early as a week after conception. Your regular schedule, work, exercise, or errands may suddenly seem exhausting.

But wait! This symptom could also be caused by: stress, especially if you have been on the trying to conceive (TTC) roller coaster for awhile, illness, or depression.

6. Headaches

An increase in headache intensity or frequency can be caused by hormonal swings early in pregnancy.

But wait! This symptom could also be caused by: stress, PMS, allergies, illness, or caffeine withdrawal.

7. Nausea

Morning sickness doesn't always happen in the morning—nausea at any time of day can be an early pregnancy symptom, and often shows up between two and eight weeks after conception, although not for all women. If you experience nausea or vomiting, try eating bland, small meals more frequently throughout the day. Many women report that their nausea disappears like clockwork at the start of the second trimester, though others do experience it throughout their entire pregnancy.

How does your stomach feel during pregnancy?

Many women report conflicting feelings of nausea and hunger when they first become pregnant.

But wait! This symptom could also be caused by: stress (again!) or an upset stomach from illness or food poisoning.


8. Frequent Urination

About six to eight weeks after conception, some women notice they are making more frequent trips to the bathroom, both during the day and at night. This will probably only get worse as the pregnancy progresses and the growing baby competes with your bladder for space!

But wait! This symptom could also be caused by: drinking a lot of liquid, diabetes, or a urinary tract infection.

9. Backache

Some women experience a dull ache in their lower back, sometimes even before the baby has grown large enough to cause weight gain or spinal imbalance. Later in the pregnancy, many women have back pain because they are compensating for the weight of the baby with altered posture both while awake and while sleeping. But you might also feel it earlier, when pregnancy hormones trigger a series of changes in your ligaments.

Is back pain a sign of pregnancy?

It might be, but it is certainly not proof that you are pregnant.

But wait! This symptom could also be caused by: PMS, improper or excessive exercise, stress, or poor posture.

10. Food Cravings

Some women experience aversion to certain foods or a heightened sense of smell. Pickles and ice cream are famous pregnancy cravings, but the array of food and drinks that appeal to pregnant women is as varied as can be!

But wait! This symptom could also be caused by: PMS or a nutrient-poor diet.

If you have a sudden craving for pickles—or if you suddenly can't stomach them!—it could be a symptom of pregnancy.

If you have a sudden craving for pickles—or if you suddenly can't stomach them!—it could be a symptom of pregnancy.

11. Food Aversions

Equally common as cravings, strong aversions to particular tastes (spicy foods, coffee, alcohol) and a heightened sensitivity to certain aromas (food, gasoline, cigarette smoke, perfume, cleaning supplies, anything!). A good prenatal supplement can sometimes ease some of these symptoms.

But wait! This symptom could also be caused by: PMS, a cold, or the flu.

12. Mood Swings

Many women experience mood swings during pregnancy and surprise themselves with surprisingly strong emotional reactions to situations that might not normally upset them. Changes in the hormones estrogen and progesterone influence neurotransmitters, the brain chemicals that regulate mood.

But wait! This symptom could also be caused by: PMS, stress, lack of sleep, or legitimate emotional triggers.

13. Cramps

Many women report feeling achy and crampy when the embryo implants in the uterine wall. As mentioned earlier, they might also notice spotting or drops of blood when the embryo dislodges some of the uterine lining.

Is lower abdominal pain a sign of pregnancy?

If you notice a twinge of pain or pain that feels somewhat like the onset of menstruation, there's a chance this might be caused by the implantation of the embryo. If you stomach feels hard or swollen, this is unlikely a sign of early pregnancy, since it's too early. Your abdomen isn't likely to look or feel any different until later.

But wait! This symptom could also be caused by: PMS or stomach issues.

Acne is a common early symptom of pregnancy, but it's also a common with PMS.

Acne is a common early symptom of pregnancy, but it's also a common with PMS.

14. Acne or Skin Breakouts

Many women—more than half—develop acne during early pregnancy. For some it's just one pimple, but for others, it can be severe. Hormone surges in the first trimester are to blame.

But wait! This symptom could also be caused by: PMS, stress, or clogged pores.

15. A Missed Period

A missed period is the most important symptom on this list, and it's the first thing your doctor will ask you about. Usually, a woman gets her period around the same time every month, anywhere from 21 to 35 days apart, although many women have irregular cycles. A menstrual period is considered late when it has not started for five or more days after it was expected.

Although pregnancy is the most common reason for a missed period, there are many other causes of menstrual irregularities: Stress, strenuous exercise, weight loss or gain, hormonal imbalances, menopause, or other medical conditions.

But How Can I Know If I'm Pregnant?

You can drive yourself nuts watching for the signs and symptoms of early pregnancy—of which you may experience only a few, or none! If you can make it through your two-week wait, from ovulation to missed period, a pregnancy test is the best and most straightforward proof that you are indeed pregnant.

Pregnancy tests work best when taken at or after the time you expect your period. If the pregnancy test result is negative and you still haven't gotten your period, try another one in a few days to be sure.

Frequently Asked Questions

If my breasts itch, I'm exhausted, and the smell of coffee makes me gag, does that mean I'm pregnant?

There are many possible reasons for your symptoms. The only way to know for sure if you're pregnant is to take the pregnancy test at the proper time.

If I have ALL of these symptoms, does that mean I'm DEFINITELY pregnant?

No, it does not. This is just a list of common symptoms you may or may not be feeling. A woman who has none of these symptoms might be pregnant. The only way to know for sure is to take the test properly.

It's not "morning sickness" if it happens later in the day, right? I felt sick and queasy after I ate lunch.

The term "morning sickness" is confusing since the nausea caused by hormone surges during pregnancy can happen at any time of day. In fact, only 2% of pregnant women experience morning-only food aversions, nausea, and vomiting. It could be called “morning, afternoon, and night sickness” or simply “constant nausea.”

How does your stomach feel in early pregnancy?

Inside, you may experience bloating and nausea. To the touch, you're unlikely to feel any different. In other words, the implanted embryo in your uterus is so tiny that you won't be able to feel any difference with your hands or see it with your eyes.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Jennifer on July 23, 2020:

I am happy I came across this article. I said I was not going to symptom spot but here I am looking for any sign that what I am feeling is a sure sign knowing full well that only time will give me my answer. The way this article is written kind of snapped me back to where I planned to be during this tww.... Not googling for signs! I had a chemical last month so between that and this, I am going to chill out and wait calmly until my missed period. Hopefully I actually do that. Thanks!

Sharon on March 22, 2020:

I have checked for pregnancy tests and I have got negative but my boobs have got some pain what could be the problem.

Rose on September 02, 2019:

I stop using the deprova shot on August 20 my doc told to use condoms for 2weeks I did told I was planning to have another baby . My breast has been getting very sensitive itchy and tender to touch . I did 3 o 4 test all came back negative . Is their a chance that I can get pregnant again

Nde Rimamtari on January 10, 2019:

i see my period on 26 Dec 2018 and than January 7 I see spotting can it be possible I'm pregnant

Amarachi on December 30, 2018:

Please after taking some pills for abortion i have not been able to conceive. But when i went to the hospital for test my womb and everything was okay.. What could be the reason have not conceive

proud mommy of 6 on December 22, 2018:

Well on the 12-15-18 I got a BFP on an test then the 12-18-18 I started light spotting/ light bleeding which stop on 12-19-18. then I toke a test on 12/20/18 and it was a BFN. but in all this I still feel pregnant I have to sore breast and nipple and getting sick I need help

Ruby T (author) from Los Angeles, CA on December 06, 2018:

Thanks for your comments everyone! I'm glad the article is helping so may people.

For those of you with specific questions - I'm sorry, but I'm not a doctor and I can't give medical advice over the internet...

Whether you want to get pregnant, or you don't, I hope these tips help you get your desired outcome!

Molly on August 09, 2018:

I had light period less then free days and mild cramp for couple of hours for first day and nausea and heartburn 3 days after took pregnancy test and it said negative and alway need to pee and hungry in very confused

Rubi on July 30, 2018:

Hi I wish you all luck with TTC!!

Oneke on July 25, 2018:

Hello am really confuse here i give birth to a premature baby on 24 june sad he died and me and my husband plan on trying again to get pregnant so after i start bleeding a day after we had sex then and few days after i start having high body tempeture and a week after i got tender brest with pink discharge mix white milky discharge but its a week since am having the pink discharge mix with the white milky discharge could i be pregnant??

Junior on July 19, 2018:

I, m pregnant 4 months now my baby is not moving is it normal

Augustaj on July 13, 2018:

I usualy have five days serious period. But for this month my period started in the evening of the due date an rushed till the end of the second day, but nothing came out the third day n on the fourth day it droped very little. But i have been having pains on my breast which is strange. Am i pregnant?

NF on July 03, 2018:

I have an abdomen pain n headech n breast pain no more eating beef stews. What sign can be? Help me.

Sasha on June 23, 2018:

Hey just wanna know if I'm pregnant

I've missed my perido been having big headache breast is tender I took a pregnancy test and it went negative I realize it's been a month since I had my perido I'm trynah have a baby thanks

No name on June 01, 2018:

So, I'm 16 for the first time , I had sex without a condom. But everything has been fine so far . I already took a pregnancy test it came out negative but my breast are pretty huge and I'm discharging alot .

Mums on May 05, 2018:

Hey I took home pregnancy test first t was - but after 1 day , I did t again n t came + with faint color . I went twice Dan normal , I have white stuff coming out of my nipples n my have pimples of which it not my thing could I be ?

Miss P on April 30, 2018:

@derby Andrew's...

My advice for you is to see a gynaecologist.

Courtney on April 18, 2018:

So me and my husband are trying to have a baby and I timed it right with the fertility stuff... And I need advice... I'm bleeding or spotting or it implantation bleeding I would only b like 1-4 weeks if I am.. my breast hurt bad.. I've have taken a pregnancy test but the doc said it's probably from stress just need advice...

marquia hall on April 07, 2018:

im ready for this to be over with i cant take this pain in my belly

Ruby T (author) from Los Angeles, CA on April 06, 2018:

Hi everyone, thanks for the comments! I can't tell if you're pregnant via the internet, so please see your doctors or wait a bit longer (i know it's hard!) and get a pregnancy test! Good luck to everyone - i hope you're pregnant if you want to be, and not pregnant if you don't want to be! :)

LEXI on March 21, 2018:

Can i be pregnant if I have the inplant I do feel weird I have back pain my Breast hurts I feel tried all the time and I gotten two periods in one month

Debbie Andrews on March 08, 2018:

What if I haven't had a period in over 8,yrs, I had a 2day abotion when I was 25yrs old and I was 5mths gone in my pregnancy and since then I've never had a miscarriage or been pregnant.

What shall I do?

Lulu on March 08, 2018:

Hi I was on fertomid and I was ovulating on 3,4 & 5 this month and on 7 I have cramps like I'm going to have periods and now I have headache and back pain what might be that?

Totoo on February 25, 2018:

I haven't received my periods for two months now and I am irregular person now my breast are really painful and itching ,am I pregnant?

Janelle on January 22, 2018:

got a question i just had a pre period starting Saturday and sunday. It was very heavy and monday came the actual cycle day it was very light and only when i wipe and pee but nun on my pads. And couple hours later went to use the bathroom again and it completely stop nun but light brown when i wipe. I never had this happen to me im i pregnant?

Britney on January 22, 2018:

Well i been dealing with sore tender heavy breast alot of lower back pain during the day and the night i took pregnancy test and it came back negative. That was bout two weeks ago when i took it so im going to take another one n see if its says the same thing or something different

alyssa on January 15, 2018:

I have been pregnant before miscarriage 5 months i know how it feels but I got a implant last year and I think I might be pregnant my boobs are swollen and nipple tender hurts when I wear a push up bra, but i took two pregnancy test one negative one positive?! What does it mean i have a chance of being pregnant and its a tubal pregnancy. Need advice please!!

Nunya on January 15, 2018:

I had unprotected sex in December. My boobs itch, they are sore, I'm always tired even with a decent amount of sleep. I'm scared that I might be pregnant, is it a possibility?

Lana on January 08, 2018:

I had 2 days period and 3 days spotting could i be pregnant ?

Lauren on January 04, 2018:

You can just go to the dollar store and buy a test to find out and save yourself all of the anxiety and frustration. That's what responsible people do. I missed my period, got the test, found out I'm pregnant, and hubby and I are thrilled. It's really that simple. I wish all of you the best.

Leah on December 27, 2017:


Barbiez on December 27, 2017:

I'm so confused.... I'm not trying to rush it but this waiting sucks. I have had all then signs. So still it just may be my period.....

Tori on December 26, 2017:

I was on the pill and missed quiet a few pills during to stress. I can to the end of my packet and expected a period and did not get one 2weeks later I am still waiting for my period and now am experiencing very sore nipples. I have done 2pregnancy tests when my period was a week late and both said negative. Does anyone have any ideas ?

Abena on December 16, 2017:

Am having a painful breast and also coughing does it means that am pregnant

Nash on December 12, 2017:

I was on injection( Depo), and the date I was supposed to go again was the 26th October and after I had unprotected sex for almost weeks, and now I had itchy and painful nipples feel tired and at times had nausea is it possible that I'm pregnant and if so how long does it takes for injection to come out of women's system

Brianna on December 11, 2017:

I had sex maybe about 2-4 weeks ago and since then, my nipples have been really sore... I’m afraid that I man pregnant... am I?

Zee on December 02, 2017:

I had my implant out on the 17th November so it’s been 2weeks 1day I had my period before I had it out had sex with my husband 5 days prior to having the implant and up to the day I had it out and we have sex when the implant got token out aswell loads of times as we r planning for a baby I know it’s early days but I’ve been more tired than normal had headaches mood swings and also feel sick sometimes in the morning and my breast and nipple r really itchy and been having cramps in my stomach and lower back pains need some advice please x

Christina brown on November 28, 2017:

Me and my boy had sex ??and we does not use any condom ??i have haedach back pain and not eating and defferently my center part of my belly is very tender ??and my nable root has well ;;am i pregnant or not i just want to know

POplar on November 25, 2017:

Last month me and my hubby we having sex before I finish my periods actually it was my last day of periods and now I'm feeling different my breast became big and feeling pain in my back and womb ,can be symptoms of pregnant

Ann on November 16, 2017:

Me and my boyfriend had unprotected sex, but i had my 2nd day period and he doesn't cum inside me. I'm very curious because after 2weeks i had experience sore breast and now nausea. I'm pregnant or not?

Heather_baber6@gmail. com on November 05, 2017:

I'm on birthconlrow but I ended up having sex ill i was on my period and than my period have stopped and start having really bad lower abdomen pain and headaches and lower back pain and really bad cramping and white discharge and no period now. when i did have my period it only lasts 12 days and stopped. does this mean mine pregnant.

Meme on November 03, 2017:

So I had surgery oct 12. Got my period on the 19 and it ended on the 23. We had unprotected sex on the 25 not sure if he released himself inside of me. On oct 30 I woke up feeling nauseous on and off all day. I didn’t think any thing of it until he said something to me. Then since the 31st I’ve been feeling nauseous as well as tired. Wednesday I started to have some cramping in my lower abdomen and yesterday I had a little bit of a very very light pink/brownish discharge when I wiped.. idk what to think and I don’t want to say anything to him until I know for sure..

merriam on October 31, 2017:

I have wird feeling I feel like vomiting and I am allways. Tired

Angela Cameron on October 08, 2017:

I went through horrible nausea. I put ice cubes in my mouth and I wanted to puke… I put water in my mouth, I wanted to puke again… Crackers didn’t work for me either. No to morning sickness tea, however, helped to soothe me from that horrible nausea!!

Affricka on September 24, 2017:

Hi am 5days late for my period but am having breast pain for the pass week now nipple's really I use to ave irregular periods but from the year start I'm having a regular period up until now I miss my period, wel having sex with my hubby last night I feel pain belly pain even now, wat could cause that and it neva happen before could I be pregnant

Megan on September 24, 2017:

my boyfriend came inside me days before i start my period, i had spotting for 5 days very light and bownish and bright when i peed only then the next week light cramping for 2 days, i feel bloated, moody and tired, i took a test but negative. i still have 2 weeks before my next period, could i be pregnant?

Nicolene on September 07, 2017:

I always get my period in the beginning of the or the end.It has been 2months ever since i dont got my period.I usually have a anger pain in my lower stomach and my lover back always hurt.Can this be a sign of me being pregnant or just an false alarm?

krystal on August 26, 2017:

I ovulate on the ten of august an i have sex two day before i ovulate now am having lower back pain an cramps an having stuff nose at nite an sholud pain an my period due the 25of august an its two day late

Chazzy on August 21, 2017:

My usual date of period is 26th of month but this its takes too early istead of 26th i had my period last aug 7th and end around 18th and now aug 22 theres no sign of pms on me now .. Now iam kinda confuse is the last period that came is that implantation bleeding ? Does my period just went early ? Or am i pregnant ?

mary Abban on July 25, 2017:

Last month I had my menses on 13th june and I had sex on the 23rd june. I had my menses this month on the 12th of this month but my breast has become tender. Am I pregnant??