When Do Pregnancy Symptoms Start?

While every person is different, here's when you can tentatively expect breast tenderness, nausea, fatigue, frequent urination, and other signs of pregnancy.

Young woman holding home pregnancy test and looking happy in bedroom
Photo: Getty Images

You received a positive pregnancy test, and now you're waiting for the telltale signs you're expecting. So when do you start having pregnancy symptoms like nausea, vomiting, bloating, constipation, and fatigue?

As it turns out, every person is different, says Marra Francis, M.D., an OB-GYN in Woodlands, Texas, and an author of the Mommy MD Guides. Some never experience the typical early signs of pregnancy, while others feel immediate changes in their body. And you can't use previous pregnancies as a guide either; symptoms might appear at different points in every gestation, adds Dr. Francis.

To give you a basic guideline, we rounded up nine common early pregnancy symptoms and their typical start time. Remember to take this estimated schedule with a grain of salt, though, and ask your doctor about any concerns.

Breast Tenderness

Thanks to an increase in estrogen and progesterone, your breasts may feel sore, sensitive, and tender in early pregnancy. This symptom usually starts about one or two weeks after conception—even before you miss your period!

Spotting and Cramping

Some people experience twinging cramps when the fertilized egg implants into the lining of the uterus. You might also notice light pink or brown spotting that lasts a day or so. These signs of implantation appear six to 12 days after conception, and many people mistake them for PMS.


Rising levels of the hormone progesterone, as well as your body's effort to support the pregnancy, may result in fatigue. Loss of energy appears as early as one week after conception. It often goes away in the second trimester but rears its head again as you approach delivery.

Mood Swings

Fatigue might partially contribute to another annoying pregnancy symptom: mood swings that start around week five. Unfortunately for many expectant parents, unstable emotions usually last through the first trimester.


Do your pants feel tighter than normal? Blame pregnancy hormones for this abdominal bloating, which often appears soon after conception. Early pregnancy bloating often reminds people of PMS.

Morning Sickness

Up to 85% of pregnant people deal with the nausea and vomiting associated with morning sickness. Food aversions and heightened sense of smell may exacerbate symptoms, but eating small meals and other home remedies can help. Morning sickness starts between six and eight weeks into pregnancy. It peaks around week eight or nine, and it usually disappears by week 16.

Frequent Urination

Around four to six weeks after conception, some people feel a strong, frequent urge to urinate. Blame the pregnancy hormone hCG, your growing uterus, and extra blood flow. This symptom often reappears in the third trimester when your baby presses on your uterus.


Increased blood volume might cause crippling tension headaches during pregnancy. Staying hydrated can keep this head-pounding symptom at bay.


Pregnancy hormones slow down your digestive tract, triggering constipation around the second to third month of gestation. Control constipation by staying hydrated, incorporating fiber into your diet, and exercising regularly.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles