- While a missed period is often the first sign of pregnancy, some women can experience other changes in their bodies very early on.
- From changes in tastes to mood swings, back pain, and hot flashes, pregnancy symptoms can affect almost every area of the body.
- Some women experience a variety of early pregnancy symptoms while other women don't notice any changes.
- If you think you might be pregnant or are concerned about changes in your body, speak to your doctor.
Pregnancy wreaks havoc on a woman's body. And while most pregnancy books will tell you that most of the changes don't start happening until you're at least a few weeks along, anecdotally many women know that’s just not the case.
While a missed period is the first official sign of a possible pregnancy, there are plenty of strange pregnancy symptoms that can be experienced even before a period is due and before it's time to take a home pregnancy test.
From bodily changes to food intolerance, strange happenings in your mouth, and a whole host of things going on in the bathroom, a lot can happen to a newly pregnant woman.
We've asked women far and wide about their unusual pregnancy symptoms and have compiled a list of the common, strange, and sometimes completely bizarre symptoms some women have experienced.
If strange things are going on with you and you suspect you might be pregnant, read through the following list of 30 strange pregnancy symptoms you won't find in a pregnancy book and see how many you can relate to.
But first, a word of caution: every one of the symptoms listed below can be equally attributable to other causes, and many are frustratingly similar to symptoms experienced when you are premenstrual or just starting your period. As always, speak to your doctor if you think you may be pregnant or if any of the symptoms you're experiencing are causing you concern.
With all the changes happening inside your body in early pregnancy, it makes sense that you may feel some slight changes, pinches, or even flutters.
Progesterone, one of the pregnancy hormones, can cause abdominal bloating making you look like you're already a few months along in your pregnancy. In some women, this bloating will last for several months, causing them to switch to maternity clothes much sooner than they ordinarily would have.
Abdominal cramps can be one of the most worrying potential pregnancy symptoms, particularly since they tend to occur at around the same time as your period is scheduled to begin.
Stomach pains are similar to abdominal cramps, but can be localised in the stomach and even stretch down into the groin area. While these types of pains are more common in the second and third trimester, some women report experiencing them in very early pregnancy.
Diarrhoea in early pregnancy can be caused by a change in diet or as a result of picking up a bug thanks to your lowered immunity.
If you've been hoping for a pregnancy and then you notice spotting or blood, your heart can sink – especially if your period is due or late. However, it is thought that as many as two in five pregnant women will experience light bleeding or spotting in very early pregnancy.
Urge to Urinate
Most women who have been pregnant before will remember the frequent need to urinate that often accompanies the later stages of pregnancy. However, this urge to urinate can begin in very early pregnancy as a result of increased blood flow to your kidneys.
Just when you thought you left your spotty complexion behind in your teenage years, along comes the pregnancy hormone progesterone and a fresh new breakout. For some people, this can appear as tiny white bumps, while others will have full-blown acne during pregnancy.
Cold And Flu Symptoms
A blocked or runny nose or other cold and flu-like symptoms can occur in early pregnancy for two reasons. First, pregnancy can lower your immunity, making you more vulnerable to illnesses. Second, the pregnancy hormone oestrogen can cause an increase in the body's production of mucus.
Elevated Body Temperature
If you've ever experimented with taking your body temperature first thing in the morning for some time, you would know that your body temperature rises after ovulation and stays slightly elevated until your next period. If you've been tracking your body temperature and it stays elevated, you could be pregnant.
Feel like you can't make it through the day without having a nap or two? Exhaustion is very common throughout pregnancy and can begin early on. Like many of the other strange pregnancy symptoms, exhaustion is caused by increased levels of the pregnancy hormone progesterone.
Who would have thought strange pregnancy symptoms could involve your toenails? Some women have reported loose toenails or even toenails falling off in early pregnancy.
Some women have reported rashes in the early stages of pregnancy, especially on their legs.
A lot can change in a pregnant woman's breasts during pregnancy, and these changes can begin very early on. You may experience darkened and enlarged areoles, tender nipples, even a tingling feeling. Any changes in your nipples that you don't normally experience during your monthly cycle can be an early symptom of pregnancy.
Prominent Breast Veins
Breasts can be relatively veiny for some women anyway, but these veins can appear more noticeable in the early stages of pregnancy.
Breast changes including pain, tenderness, and heaviness are well-established as potential early signs of pregnancy.
Feeling a bit forgetful or absent-minded lately? Perhaps you put your phone in the fridge or you can't find your glasses, even though they're on top of your head. Forgetfulness can be caused by surging hormones throughout your body.
Early pregnancy brings about hormonal changes, which can dramatically affect your mood swings. You may feel emotional and teary one minute then highly stressed or full of rage the next.
Changing Alcohol Tolerance
Of course, we all know not to drink alcohol when pregnant. However, there is always a chance that you've consumed alcohol before you were even aware you could be pregnant. If you noticed that your alcohol tolerance was different than it normally is, or you felt intoxicated after a relatively small amount of alcohol, this could be the sign of pregnancy.
Does your favourite food suddenly not taste right anymore? Maybe you can't put your finger on it, but a taste you previously enjoyed may suddenly leave you cold. In particular, many women have described a sudden aversion to coffee and caffeinated drinks. Perhaps it's your body's way of asking you to lay off the caffeine for the next nine months.
Unusual cravings for specific foods are generally associated with women in the later stages of pregnancy, but can also occur very early on. If you're finding yourself longing for foods you wouldn't normally go near, or you can't get certain tastes out of your mind, early pregnancy may be the answer. Interestingly, a sudden craving for dirt or potting mix can be a sign of anaemia.
For some women, having a dry mouth is one of the first noticeable signs of a new arrival. When this occurs it can be tempting to drink extra water, but this rarely solves the problem and can leave you feeling bloated.
A metallic taste in your mouth – whether while eating or at other times – is a condition known as dysgeusia and has been described as the taste of having coins in your mouth.
It's certainly unusual, but some women have reported tooth pain or even a sensation that their teeth are going to fall out in early pregnancy.
Pains and Cramps
Back pain is a less common pregnancy symptom, particularly when the pain occurs in your lower back. This can be caused by the softening and stretching of ligaments throughout the body, or as a by-product of another pregnancy symptom - constipation.
Finding yourself reaching for the paracetamol to soothe your aching head? If it's not alcohol-related, it could very well be a pregnancy symptom. Increased headaches can be caused by changes in blood volume and can be alleviated by increasing your water intake.
Heartburn in early pregnancy can be caused by the relaxation of the valve between your oesophagus and your stomach, causing acid from your stomach to leak into your oesophagus.
If you've just found out you're pregnant, it's understandable that you may have a few sleepless nights while you process your enormous news. But what about insomnia before you even know you're pregnant? As it turns out, many women have described experiencing sleeplessness in early pregnancy.
If you experience snoring as an early pregnancy symptom, chances are it's only going to get worse as your pregnancy progresses. As the hormonal Relaxin takes over your body, every part of your body loosens up, making an existing snoring condition even more noticeable.
Some women dream regularly, while others feel that they very rarely dream. However, during pregnancy it is common to dream more regularly and to experience vivid dreams. For some women, this phenomenon can begin in the first week or two after conception.
One element that was repeatedly expressed by women all around the world when asked about their strange pregnancy symptoms was simply a "feeling" of being pregnant.
If you've been trying to fall pregnant, that feeling of being pregnant just before your period is due could, of course, be little more than your desires and wishful thinking coming to the surface.
Perhaps that feeling arises as a result of the other little changes and symptoms happening in your body. Or maybe there really is something to it, and your body is communicating these phenomenal new developments to you.
We've listed a lot of strange pregnancy symptoms here, which may cause you to worry that you're not pregnant simply because you haven't noticed any changes in your body. However, keep in mind that every woman is different, and while some people feel twinges, aches, pains, and a host of other symptoms from very early on, other women can sail through their pregnancies without noticing many symptoms at all.
If you feel that you may be pregnant or you’re concerned about something happening within your body, it's always a good idea to make an appointment to see your doctor. In the meantime, hopefully the above list of unusual pregnancy symptoms has given you something to think about – for even just a good laugh at some of the more obscure ones!