Woman experiencing signs of an early pregnancy

10 Signs and Symptoms of an Early Pregnancy

Date: Friday, Aug 14, 2020

You may have been trying for months, or you might have only started trying for a baby. Pregnancy has its own timetable; it happens when it happens. But common signs of early pregnancy, like nausea and tender breasts, aren’t the only things to look out for. There are a lot more ways to tell if you're pregnant, and some of them are pretty surprising!

Here are 10 symptoms that you might not have known about; look out for them before that pregnancy-test-kit positive result shows up.

Extreme tiredness

Woman experiencing extreme tiredness - first signs of pregnancy

Exhaustion is an early sign of pregnancy; watch if you're suddenly feeling more tired despite no increase in your level of activity. Your body goes through a multitude of changes when you're pregnant, leading to your body feeling run-down. Also, your blood pressure and blood sugar levels tend to be lower when you're pregnant, and these can lead to you feeling more tired.1

A stuffy nose

When you're pregnant, your mucous membrane tends to swell, dry and bleed thanks to an increase in hormones and blood in your body. The mucous membrane coats the inside of your nose and mouth, and is the layer of skin that produces mucus in order to protect these sensitive parts. Therefore, don't be surprised if you find yourself constantly blowing your nose, and if there's more mucus than usual!2

Stomach cramps

Woman experiencing stomach cramps - symptoms of an early pregnancy

This is a tricky one, because you might think you're getting your period when you feel crampy but, instead, it could actually be an early sign of pregnancy! There's an increased blood flow to the uterus during the early stages of pregnancy, so getting cramps in that area of your body is normal.3

Bloody gums

If your gums start to bleed when you brush your teeth, don't book a visit to the dentist just yet because it actually be a sign of pregnancy. The hormonal changes that come with pregnancy make more blood flow to your gums, and this could cause them to swell and become more sensitive, leading to bleeding while brushing or flossing.

Do note that if you have other symptoms such as swollen or painful gums, see your dentist as these are signs of gum disease.

Feeling hot

While the tropical climate in Singapore means we're often struggling with the heat, feeling hotter than you usually do could be an early sign of pregnancy.

Your metabolic rate rises when you're pregnant, and you'll feel it most when you're asleep. So take note if you're feeling hot first thing in the morning – even if you've slept with the aircon on. Also, you might think hot flashes only occur when you're reaching menopause, but you could get them when you're pregnant too, because of the rapid fluctuations in hormones.

Mood swings

You might feel like you're on an emotional rollercoaster, feeling happy one minute then upset the next. The rush of pregnancy hormones might account for these fluctuations in your mood, serving as an early sign of pregnancy.


You'll be forgiven for thinking that the bloated, gassy feeling you're experiencing is part-and-parcel of PMS, but it could be a sign of pregnancy as well. Your hormones, again, are the usual culprit, mainly due to an increased amount of progesterone in your body. This hormone relaxes the muscles in your body, including those in the walls of your intestine. This then leads to the slowing down of your digestive system, leading to that unpleasant bloated feeling.

Loss of appetite

Loss of appetite during the early stages of pregnancy

You'll need to be eating for two soon: ironically, the beginning of your pregnancy usually comes with a loss of appetite. If even your favourite food doesn't seem to get you in the mood, you might be pregnant. During the early stages of pregnancy, it's common for food to taste different; some women also experience a metallic taste in their mouths.


If you're spotting or bleeding slightly, you might think that your period has arrived; on the other hand, it could actually be an early sign of pregnancy. This is known as 'implantation bleeding', and tends to occur between 10 days to two weeks after conception.4


Your body might announce a pregnancy by making you feel dizzy or light-headed. With the rise in hormone levels and the drop in blood pressure that come with pregnancy, this is a common symptom in the early stages.5

According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the beginning of pregnancy leads to a deficiency of Yin levels in the liver, causing an excess of Yang that leads to nausea. One TCM remedy consists of a tea made from dark plums and ginger slices, to be sipped when dizziness hits.6

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