Pregnancy Symptoms: 7 Early Signs You May Be Pregnant

According to the NHS, most couples will conceive within a year of regularly having unprotected sex

Pregnancy is a different experience for every woman, and many factors can affect a couple’s chances of conceiving.

Some women get pregnant very quickly, while others may take longer, but this is normal.

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If you’re planning to get pregnant, here’s what you need to know about the length of a pregnancy, common early symptoms, and the right test.

Pregnancy can cause a range of symptoms and vary from person to person (Composite: Mark Hall/NationalWorld)

How long does it take to get pregnant?

According to the NHS, the majority of couples (about 84 out of 100) will get pregnant within a year if they have regular sex and don’t use birth control.

One study found that in couples who have unprotected sex regularly (every two to three days of the month):

  • 92% of 19-26 year olds get pregnant after one year and 98% after two years
  • 82% of 35-39 year olds get pregnant after one year and 90% after two years

However, several factors can affect the likelihood of conception, including age, general health, reproductive health, and how often couples have sex.

Fertility problems affect one in seven couples in the UK and around 40% of infertile couples have a problem with both the husband and wife.

A lack of ovulation is the most common cause of infertility next to sperm disorders, but many factors can cause problems. This can include:

  • hormonal disorders and problems with the thyroid or pituitary gland
  • physical disorders such as obesity, anorexia nervosa or excessive physical activity
  • Reproductive system disorders, such as infections, blocked fallopian tubes, endometriosis, or a low sperm count

In 25% of couples, fertility problems cannot be explained. The NHS recommends contacting a GP for advice if you’ve been trying for a year or two with no success.

What are the symptoms of pregnancy?

Pregnancy can cause a range of symptoms and will likely vary from person to person. But there are several general signs that might indicate you are pregnant. These include:

vomiting and nausea

Nausea and vomiting, also known as morning sickness, is very common in pregnancy, especially in the early stages.

Morning sickness usually starts when you’re about four to six weeks pregnant and, despite the name, can affect you at any time of the day or night.

Symptoms usually subside by 16 to 20 weeks of pregnancy and do not put your baby at increased risk.

feeling tired

Fatigue and fatigue are very common during pregnancy, especially in the first 12 weeks.

The hormonal changes in your body at this point can leave you feeling tired, sick, emotional, and upset.

sore breasts

It’s common for your breasts to get larger and feel tender or tingly during pregnancy, just like they did before your period.

The veins in your breasts may also become more visible, and the nipples may darken and protrude.

have to pee

When you’re pregnant, you may need to pee more often than usual, including at night.

This usually starts early in pregnancy and can sometimes continue until the baby is born.

Skipping drinks later in the evening can help you avoid using the bathroom at night and drink plenty of soft, caffeine-free beverages throughout the day to stay hydrated.


Hormonal changes in your body can lead to constipation very early in pregnancy.

This can be prevented by eating plenty of fiber-rich foods such as whole grain breads and muesli, fruits and vegetables, and legumes such as beans and lentils.

Exercise can also help, along with drinking plenty of water.

More vaginal discharge

It’s normal to have some vaginal discharge from puberty until after menopause, but you may notice more than usual when you’re pregnant.

Discharge helps prevent infection from traveling from the vagina to the uterus, and towards the end of pregnancy the amount will continue to increase.

Healthy vaginal discharge is usually thin, clear, or milky white, and should not smell bad.

Unusual tastes, smells and cravings

It is common for you to experience cravings for certain foods or drinks during early pregnancy, and you may no longer like some of the things you used to enjoy.

When you are pregnant you may notice:

  • an odd taste in the mouth that some describe as metallic
  • They crave new foods
  • You lose interest in certain foods or drinks that you used to enjoy, such as tea, coffee, or fatty foods
  • You lose interest in smoking
  • You have a more sensitive sense of smell than usual, e.g. B. the smell of food or cooking

When should I take a pregnancy test?

Most pregnancy tests can be done from the first day of a missed period. If you are not sure when your next period is due, wait at least 21 days after you last had unprotected sex to take the test.

Tests are available in pharmacies and some supermarkets and can be taken at any time of the day.

Free pregnancy tests are also available sexual health services, Brook centered if you are under 25 and from some youth services by calling the National Sexual Health Service on 0300 123 7123 for details.

It may also be possible to get a free pregnancy test from your GP.

A positive test result is almost certainly correct, but a negative test result is less reliable and may be due to the test being taken too soon or the instructions not being followed properly. Some medicines can also affect results.

If you get a negative result and still think you are pregnant, you should wait a few days and try again.

If you are pregnant and wish to continue the pregnancy, you should consult your GP or midwife to begin prenatal care. Pregnancy Symptoms: 7 Early Signs You May Be Pregnant


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