Pregnancy Symptoms

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.

View the Early Pregnancy Symptoms Slideshow
pregnant women picture

7 Embarrassing Pregnancy Symptoms

Pregnancy changes your life -- and your body.

You knew that your belly would expand, you'd feel more tired than usual, and you might throw up a few times as your pregnancy developed. But you may not have expected some of the other physical changes.

"So many things happen to a woman's body when she becomes pregnant, and most are shocking: hair growth on your belly, belching and constipation, increased vaginal discharge , and hemorrhoids, to name a few," says ob-gyn Michele M. Hakakha, MD, author of Expecting 411: Clear Answers & Smart Advice for Your Pregnancy.

Quick GuideStages of Pregnancy: See the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Trimesters of Mom & Baby

Stages of Pregnancy: See the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Trimesters of Mom & Baby

Pregnancy symptoms facts

  • Not all women experience the same symptoms of pregnancy, and symptoms vary in severity.
  • A woman will not necessarily experience the same symptoms in the same way in subsequent pregnancies as with her first pregnancy.
  • Certain symptoms, like absence of menstruation and weight gain, are common to all pregnancies.
  • Other possible symptoms of early pregnancy include
    • mood changes,
    • ncreased urination,
    • headaches,
    • low backache,
    • breast tenderness,
    • darkened areolas,
    • fatigue,
    • nausea, and
    • implantation bleeding.
  • Symptoms of late pregnancy can include
  • Braxton-Hicks contractions are non-labor contractions of the uterus that occur in late pregnancy. Unlike true labor, these contractions do not increase in intensity and are irregular.
  • Many medications are safe for pregnant women.
  • Home remedies and self-care strategies can bring relief for many pregnancy symptoms.

Are pregnancy symptoms the same for every woman?

Symptoms of pregnancy can vary among different women. They may vary in quality or severity, and even the same woman may not experience the same symptoms in every pregnancy. Pregnancy symptoms may also be noticed or begin at different points in the pregnancy. Some women may experience symptoms within the first weeks of pregnancy in the first trimester, while others may develop symptoms later on in the pregnancy. Symptoms of early pregnancy can also be similar to symptoms experienced prior to the menstrual period, so a woman may not recognize the symptoms as related to pregnancy.

This article describes the most common symptoms of pregnancy in its early and later stages.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/18/2016

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