Pregnancy symptoms? What are the signs that a woman is pregnant?

When a woman becomes pregnant, certain manifestations may appear sooner or later after the date of conception. Whether the pregnancy is planned or not, pregnant women are able to perceive the first changes and adaptations of their body to welcome and make the future baby grow inside them.

These physical and psychological indices are numerous and vary according to the women, and do not always appear at the same time for each one. Let’s take stock of the signs that can suggest the onset of pregnancy.

When do the first signs of pregnancy begin?

Fertilization takes place when a paternal spermatozoon meets the maternal egg, around the 14th day of the menstrual cycle in one of the mother’s uterine tubes (as a reminder, the different phases of the menstrual cycle are counted from the 1st day of menstruation, and ovulation occurs around the 14th day). However, this estimated duration of 14 days is very variable depending on each woman.

The fertilized egg, which is called a blastocyst, takes about a week to travel through the fallopian tubes, down to the uterus and implant there. Moreover, some women may experience “implantation pain” or “implantation pain”, comparable to menstrual pain, which may even be accompanied by very light bleeding. This first sign of pregnancy is not present in all women, it is sometimes necessary to wait to feel more suggestive signals to suspect an early pregnancy and do a test to confirm the diagnosis.

What are the physical manifestations of a pregnant woman?

The late period

This is most often the sign that puts the flea in the ear. Indeed, the periods are in fact the elimination of the blood stored in the uterus to accommodate an embryo. If there has been no fertilization, the blood is then eliminated: these are the periods. If your period is late in starting, this may be a sign that the blastocyst is installed, the uterus thus retains the blood in its wall to allow the growth of the embryo. 

Pregnancy tests sold in pharmacies, depending on their sensitivity, can confirm or invalidate the onset of pregnancy from the first day of late menstruation. They measure the level of beta hCG, or chorionic gonadotropic hormone (also called chorionic gonadotrophic hormone), which is a hormone secreted by the placenta very early, 6 days after fertilization. 

A test taken too early can give a “false negative” because the hormone level is not yet high enough to be detected. It is therefore preferable to wait for the expected date of the period to take the test, by performing it in the morning when you wake up, which is when the urine is most concentrated in beta hCG. In the event of a positive result, a blood test will confirm the diagnosis of pregnancy.

However, a late period is not always a sign of pregnancy: a change in lifestyle or irregular periods can be misleading. In addition, some women may have light bleeding, or even “anniversary periods” which are false periods that occur in early pregnancy. This is particularly the case in women with denial of pregnancy.

Tender and tender breasts

Another common manifestation in early pregnancy is the change in the breasts: they become full of blood, and take on volume under the effect of the increase in progesterone and estrogen levels. The breasts are then tense and painful: women can then feel it in their underwear, by touch or even feel discomfort in their movements or when lying on their side! The areolas also change in appearance to gradually become larger and darker.


This is another sign of a pregnant woman commonly encountered in early pregnancy. Nausea is caused by increased hormone levels in the blood, increased sensitivity to odors and a change in the appearance of the stomach: the sphincter located between the lower end of the esophagus and the upper the stomach, called “cardia”, tends to relax and therefore to let gastric contents rise, causing acidity and discomfort. 

A greater sensitivity to odors and flavors is also quite common: what pregnant woman has not forcefully rejected a dish or a perfume that was previously appreciated, or on the contrary has not had a sudden craving for a food that is not popular or even hated in normal times?

A significant tiredness

Fatigue is a sign of pregnancy that can appear very early, and is also linked to the secretion of hormones, in particular progesterone, which has a relaxing and sedative action, and can therefore induce a greater need for sleep in the future mother, whether at night or during the day, resulting in longer nights with an early bedtime, and daytime naps.

Estrogens are not to be outdone: these hormones have the effect, among other things, of increasing the heart rate as well as the blood volume: the pregnant woman can then feel out of breath and more tired than usual.

Finally, the modification of carbohydrate metabolism, by an increase in insulin secretion by the pancreas, can cause hypoglycaemia, which is recognized by a feeling of fatigue and hunger. In addition, fasting blood sugar will be monitored regularly during pregnancy to prevent and treat potential gestational diabetes.

Vaginal discharge

Vaginal secretions (called leucorrhoea) are present in women from puberty until menopause. They are usually clear, thin and odorless, and provide permanent lubrication and cleaning of the vagina as well as the elimination of dead cells. Their increase is one of the possible signs of the pregnant woman. Indeed, at the start of pregnancy, cell renewal accelerates, as well as blood circulation in the area concerned, which increases vaginal secretions, but this acceleration of cell renewal does not change their color, texture or appearance. odour.

Mood disorders

Going from laughter to tears in no time, feeling more irritable or anxious, or on the contrary more calm and serene than usual… Unsurprisingly, hormones also disrupt positive and negative moods and emotions, which can be more vivid from the first trimester and constitute an evocative signal, even without the pregnant woman still being aware of her pregnancy. These changes observable by yourself and those around you are likely to be a sign of pregnancy.

A frequent urge to urinate

Repeated trips to the bathroom to urinate are also an early sign of pregnancy. This frequent urge to urinate is caused by new physiological parameters that we have already mentioned above.

First, the blood circulation in the pelvic region increases and causes an oversensitive bladder, which can lead to more urination during the day and night, and make you think that you may be to be pregnant.

The work of the kidneys also increases to filter the blood which, remember, circulates in greater quantity in the body of the pregnant woman. This increase in filtration generates a larger urinary volume, and consequently a need for more regular elimination.

A troubled sleep

This pregnancy signal is actually the manifestation of the physiological and psychological changes mentioned above. Morning sickness can wake up the pregnant woman earlier. In addition, they can also appear in the evening and disturb sleep. With nocturnal awakenings linked to the urge to urinate, mood swings with possible anxiety, the thought of being pregnant can rightly appear… 

How do you know if you are pregnant a week after intercourse?

The very first signs of pregnancy can appear very early, even before you notice a late period. Nausea and tension in the breasts, which become tense, heavy and swell, are the first visible physical manifestations.

If a woman is planning to be pregnant, her psychology must also be taken into account: these different signs can be false signs of pregnancy, artificially created by the psyche because the desire to have a child is so strong. Caution and patience are therefore required: one week after the report, it is difficult to make a clear diagnosis because the hormonal level of beta hCG is not yet high enough to be detected, despite the signs felt. Better to wait a few more days to notice a delay in menstruation.

Do all women have signs of pregnancy in the first days?

No, not all women experience signs of pregnancy immediately. It is often the delay in menstruation and nausea that questions women and encourages them to take a pregnancy test, between 15 days and 1 month of pregnancy. Sometimes it takes longer to realize that you are pregnant, especially if the menstrual cycle is not regular, or if you are on contraception and therefore a priori not affected by the onset of pregnancy. .

What are the manifestations of a month pregnant woman?

After 4 weeks of pregnancy, i.e. 6 weeks of amenorrhea (absence of menstruation), the various signs mentioned may be present, all or in part, but of different frequency and intensity for each pregnant woman. 

These signals depend on many factors: whether the woman has already been pregnant and whether she knows the reactions of her own body when she is pregnant or whether it is a first pregnancy, the hormonal impregnation and the physiological responses that result (each woman has a personal sensitivity to these changes, tiny at first), listening to her own body and her ability to recognize the signs of pregnancy, not to mention the psychological factors that can “block” or on the contrary exacerbate physical and psychic sensations…

How do you know if you are pregnant by touch?

Some women experience ligament strain early on and the lower abdomen may feel harder than usual. However, these elements do not constitute irrefutable proof of an early pregnancy: intestinal congestion can cause the same effects!

During an appointment with your gynecologist, he may be required to perform a vaginal examination and observe the cervix, which will then be soft and larger if you are indeed pregnant. An ultrasound can also be performed very early to confirm the onset of pregnancy.

I want to have a baby: what nutritional precautions should I take?

In anticipation of a pregnancy, expectant mothers are advised to adopt a diet rich in folate (natural vitamin B9). It is found in dark green leafy vegetables, cabbage, legumes, oilseeds, starchy fruits (such as chestnuts, chestnuts or bananas…), in liver, offal and yeast.

Very often, the doctor prescribes folic acid (vitamin B9 in the form of medicine) before conception and during the 1st trimester. Indeed, folic acid supplementation increases maternal folate status. There are also food supplements offering vitamin B9 in natural form.

Omega-3 intakes are also very important, especially docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), because this fatty acid contributes to the normal development of the brain and eyes of the fetus and the breastfed child. 

Omega-3s are present in the form of DHA in fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines), and in the form of ALA (alpha linolenic acid) in nuts, rapeseed, walnut or flaxseed oil. . It is important to consume them regularly because these fatty acids cannot be synthesized by our body.

To conclude, let’s remember that each woman is unique and can react physically and psychologically differently to pregnancy, although certain signals are most often common. If this is your project, a healthy lifestyle and listening to your body will allow you to live this period in the most serene way possible.