What are the signs and symptoms of an early pregnancy?

Written by: Dr Amelia Davison
Edited by: Conor Lynch

In this article, Dr Amelia Davison, a highly esteemed and accomplished London-based consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, reveals the most common signs and symptoms of early pregnancy that women should watch out for, and if there are any unusual signs that women may not expect when it comes to a potentially early pregnancy.

What are the signs and symptoms of an early pregnancy?

The most common symptom of an early pregnancy is a missed period. Other early signs to look out for include tender and swollen breasts, fatigue, and feeling bloated. Women also may have some light bleeding and mild period-like cramps as the pregnancy implants.


Are there any unusual signs that people may not expect?

Women experiencing bleeding or pain with a positive pregnancy test should seek medical help and an ultrasound scan.


How soon can you feel early pregnancy?

Some women report feeling pregnant immediately, whilst others don’t feel pregnant until much later on in the pregnancy. Women should not worry if they don’t feel pregnant during the early stages.  


What should people do once they know they’re pregnant?

Once women know they are pregnant, they should start taking folic acid and should arrange to be seen for an ultrasound scan to check the health and date of their pregnancy.


They should also stop drinking alcohol and caffeine, stop smoking, and try to eat as healthily as possible. There are a number of foods women should avoid in pregnancy, including pate, raw or undercooked meat, eggs, and fish. Continuing with your normal exercise regime is also advisable.


How are people experiencing early pregnancy supported medically?

During early pregnancy, women may seek medical advice for an ultrasound scan. This is particularly important if they have had a previous miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. They may also want to see a specialist for general advice and support, as well as an explanation of what to expect during the rest of the pregnancy.


If you have had a previous miscarriage, it is important to be seen by a specialist, as progesterone (one of the pregnancy hormones), may be offered to help support the ongoing pregnancy.


Book an appointment with Dr Amelia Davison today via her Top Doctors profile if you are experiencing unusual signs of early pregnancy and would like to get them checked out and to either rule out or confirm pregnancy.

By Dr Amelia Davison
Obstetrics & gynaecology

Dr Amelia Davison is a highly-trained and skilled consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist based in London. She specialises in problems of early pregnancy in addition to providing general gynaecology care, including menstrual problems, contraception and menopause. In addition she is skilled in hysteroscopy and open and laparoscopic (key hole) surgery. She is able to offer one-stop services, which include seeing, scanning and managing patients in one appointment. What's more, Dr Davison has a passion for delivering babies. She finds it a true privilege to journey with a patient from the early stages of pregnancy through to delivery.

Dr Davison is highly qualified, with an MBChB (Hons) from the University of Leeds. Following her degree, she completed her specialist obstetrics and gynaecology training in the Yorkshire deanery. She undertook additional specialist training as a research fellow in early pregnancy and gynaecology ultrasound at King's College Hospital.

Her work has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and she has delivered national and international oral presentations in problems of early pregnancy. She regularly manages patients with recurrent miscarriage and early pregnancy complications. She was appointed a substantive consultant at Homerton University Hospital in 2014 where she is currently lead for early pregnancy.

Dr Davison is also an experienced clinical educator. She is the regional lead trainer for hysteroscopy and is course orgsaniser for the combined Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (RCOG) and British Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy (BSGE) hysteroscopy course. 

Dr Davison is dedicated to providing the optimum care for her patients and she holds two clinical excellence awards. She prides herself in empathising with the complexities of obstetrics and gynaecology treatment for her patients. She offers a unique, personal and supportive service, ensuring they receive the best-possible individualised care.

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