The telltale signs of pregnancy in its early stages.

Pregnancy in its early stages can be surprisingly difficult to detect. If you’re taking the pill or have irregular menstruation, the big clue of a missing period can go completely unnoticed.

Other symptoms such as morning sickness – and, don’t let the term trick you, nausea in pregnant women is not restricted to the early hours – breast tenderness, fatigue and cravings will not necessarily manifest in all pregnancies.

The best way to confirm your pregnancy is to take an at-home test and visit a doctor.

However, it might also help to have an understanding of what can occur in those first stages without the added cost and anxiety of a test.

“Pregnancy in its early stages can be surprisingly difficult to detect." via iStock.

The Victorian Government considers the following list symptoms of early pregnancy:

  • Breast tenderness and enlargement,
  • Skipped period,
  • Fatigue,
  • Nausea and vomiting (often called ‘morning’ sickness, but it can occur at any time),
  • Weeing more frequently than usual,
  • Unusual food cravings and even developing a distaste for foods you usually enjoy.

Basically, the textbook symptoms we've grown up hearing about, with a few lesser known signals thrown in for good measure.

(Image: iStock.)

The next list is signs of pregnancy that may also imply other conditions:

  • Backaches,
  • Breathlessness,
  • Itchy skin,
  • Leg cramps,
  • Constipation,
  • Haemorrhoids (piles),
  • Headaches,
  • Heartburn and indigestion,
  • Mood changes (such as unexplained crying),
  • Vaginal discharge,
  • Vaginitis,
  • Tingling and numbness in your hands,
  • Varicose veins and leg oedema (swelling).

Listen: Want to learn more about all things pregnancy? Listen to our brand new podcast, Hello Bump.

Remember: you should not rely on some or all of the above symptoms as evidence of whether or not you're pregnant

The only way to be completely sure of pregnancy is to visit a doctor and undertake the required blood, urine or ultrasound exams. But if you're trying, knowing what to look out for and listening to your body can be a big help.