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Signs of pregnancy

Here is a list of common pregnancy symptoms. You will need to do a pregnancy test to be sure.

Missed period

Missing a period is often the first sign of pregnancy women notice. Sometimes women who are pregnant have a small bleed in early pregnancy (known as an implantation bleed). This is like a light period.

Morning sickness

Feeling sick or vomiting is a classic symptom. The term 'morning sickness' is misleading. It can happen at any time of the day and may last all day. Morning sickness is thought to be due to the hormonal changes of pregnancy. It usually settles by 20 weeks.

Heightened sense of smell

Some pregnant women have a heightened sense of smell. Smells such as smoke or cooking may make you feel sick.

Tender or swollen breasts

Your pregnancy hormones may make your breasts swollen or sore. Your nipples, or the area around your nipples, may become darker in colour and you may notice more prominent veins in your breasts.

Extreme tiredness (fatigue)

Your pregnancy hormones can make you extremely tired.

More frequent urination

You may notice that you need to pass urine (pee) more often. This is caused by hormonal changes, increased fluid levels and added pressure from the growing baby on your bladder.

Vaginal discharge

Your normal vaginal discharge may change when you become pregnant.

Pregnancy tests

If you think you're pregnant you can confirm your pregnancy with a pregnancy test. Tests are available from pharmacies. You could also go to a GP or family planning clinic for a test. You may have to pay a consultation fee if you do not have a medical card.

How a pregnancy test works

Pregnancy tests work by detecting pregnancy hormones in your urine. For the most reliable results use one week or more after you miss a period.

The test kit result will show up after about 2 minutes. Results are fairly accurate, but if you have a negative test result and are still experiencing pregnancy symptoms (such as missed periods) you may need to take a second test or talk to your GP.

Free pregnancy testing is available from:

If you think you might be pregnant, take a test as soon as possible, ideally one week after your missed period. Don't wait and see. Once you confirm your pregnancy, you can get the medical care and emotional support you need.