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Ask the Expert

Q: When do pregnancy symptoms start?

Symptoms of pregnancy can vary for every woman. There is no fixed timing for when these symptoms can start. If you have regular periods, then a missed or late period (usually 4+ weeks from your last one) may be your first sign. However, if your periods are irregular it may be hard to tell. Common symptoms of pregnancy such as nausea, vomiting (“morning sickness”), fatigue, breast tenderness, cramping, and irregular bleeding can also vary in timing from woman to woman and may happen after 4-6 weeks or longer. Some women may not really have any symptoms at all until later. That’s why paying attention to your body and keeping track of your patterns is so important. Make sure you are using effective contraception and take a pregnancy test if you have any reason to think you might be pregnant.

For more information, check out Planned Parenthood. If you need help finding out where to get a pregnancy test and contraception, use the Searchable Directory at

Dr. Diane Straub, Chief, Division of Adolescent Medicine & Professor of Pediatrics, USF Health and Medical Director, Ybor Youth Clinic

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