8 Early Signs of Pregnancy (Before a Missed Period)

Medical review: Dr. Sheila Sedicias
March 2022

Before a missed period, it’s possible to have a few symptoms that can indicate early pregnancy, such as painful breasts, nausea, cramps or light abdominal pain, and excessive tiredness without an obvious cause. However, these symptoms can easily be mistaken for a period that is on its way.

The best way to confirm whether your symptoms are related to pregnancy, you should see your doctor for a blood test to identify whether you are producing the pregnancy hormone beta-hCG.

Keep in mind that a urine test completed before a missed period is usually not accurate. 

Some of the following symptoms may appear before a late period and can be signs of pregnancy:

  1. Breast pain;
  2. Darkening areolas;
  3. Pink vaginal discharge;
  4. Swelling and abdominal pain;
  5. Excessive tiredness for no obvious reason;
  6. Increased need to urinate;
  7. Constipation;
  8. Nausea

These symptoms can also be a sign of your period, therefore they are not definite pregnancy signs. If you are experiencing these symptoms, the best thing to do is to wait for your missed period and then complete a urine pregnancy test.

How to know if you are pregnant 

In order for you to be certain that your symptoms are related to pregnancy, you should be aware of when your ovulation period occurs, as you can then calculate whether the symptoms match up with the conception and fertilization period. 

To confirm pregnancy for sure, you should see your doctor to complete bloodwork that tests for the beta-HCG hormone. HCG levels will be higher in pregnancy. Learn more about which tests are best to confirm pregnancy and why.

You can also do a pregnancy test you can buy at a pharmacy which tests for HCG in the urine. Ensure you complete it only after the day of your expected period for accuracy. If the result is negative but you continue to have pregnancy symptoms, we recommend that you do the test again after three and five days, as different pregnancy tests have different levels of sensitivity. Learn more about why false negative pregnancy tests can occur. 

Usually, a doctor will recommend a blood test to confirm a pregnancy, as it can indicate whether the woman is pregnant and approximately how far along she is pregnancy. A blood test can be done 12 days after the fertile period, even before the period comes.

To find out what the fertile period is, and thus know when it is possible to do a blood test, enter your data in the calculator below:


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Atualizado por Tua Saude editing team, em March de 2022. Medical review por Dr. Sheila Sedicias - Gynecologist, em November de 2020.
Medical review:
Dr. Sheila Sedicias
Physician graduated in Mastology and Gynecology by UFPE in 2008 and member no. 17459 of CRM-PE, Brazil.