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How soon after sex can you feel pregnancy symptoms

How soon after sex can you feel pregnancy symptoms?

Although certain pregnancy signs begin very early, most women in Australia do not notice anything immediately. Any symptom you note immediately after having sex, such as increased discharge or spotting, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s related to pregnancy.


How long after sex do pregnancy symptoms occur?

Besides the missed periods, most women experience pregnancy symptoms around the fifth or sixth week after conception. A study done in 2018 on over four hundred women revealed that 72% of them were able to detect their pregnancies by the 6th week after the last menstrual period. Most early pregnancy symptoms tend to develop fast during this period.

This occurs around two weeks after missing your period, which is six weeks since the time you last had your period. Some women in Australia report getting some symptoms immediately after missing their periods (at four weeks), but this isn’t very common.

Early Pregnancy Symptoms

No matter your feelings about a possible pregnancy, ascribing any sensations to pregnancy signs can be easy. Remember, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms are similar to early pregnancy symptoms. So when you experience any symptoms a few days after having sex, it doesn’t mean you are pregnant. There are several things you should consider if you want to confirm pregnancy.


Experiencing nausea immediately after having sexual intercourse is something you might question as an early sign of pregnancy. But, the body does not have adequate time to show this symptom if you had intercourse recently and are pregnant.

Many women experience pregnancy-related nausea about 2-8 weeks after conception. Therefore, you probably conceived some weeks earlier if you have pregnancy-related nausea.

Pregnancy test

Taking a pregnancy test is one of the reliable ways to confirm if you got pregnant or not.  However, you cannot take the test right away because the body has not produced enough pregnancy hormones the test needs to detect to tell if you are pregnant.  You will need to wait until you miss the periods to get the most accurate results from your urine test. 

Some pregnancy tests can detect pregnancy a few days before missing the periods, but you will have to test early in the morning using concentrated urine samples.

Generally, you can use a home pregnancy test or visit a midwife, doctor, or other healthcare providers for a blood pregnancy test. A blood test is capable of showing positive results as early as a week after ovulation, but most healthcare providers recommend taking the test two weeks after ovulation.

Basal body temperature (BBT) charting

A basal body temperature chart predicts when you will ovulate. You can only identify or predict ovulation days if you take your basal body temperature days before ovulation. The temperature elevation is usually slight, and it starts one or two days before ovulation and then persists for some days.

Do you feel different as soon as you conceive?
Do you feel different as soon as you conceive?

Why do you feel pregnant?

It is relatively common to experience several physical signs of pregnancy as you enter the 2-week wait period (this is the period between ovulation and the expected period date). Some pregnancy symptoms can start some days after conception, even before taking a pregnancy test. These symptoms may include:

Cramping or spotting

According to experts, cramping and spotting occur about 6 to 12 days after having sexual intercourse, and this is the period when the embryo is getting implanted in the uterine lining. Usually, implantation bleeding appears like a lighter or short period, but all women do not experience it.

Hormonal changes

Once you conceive, your hormones will change, and the increased blood flow may make your breasts feel swollen and tender as early as one to two weeks after you envision. The breast may also appear fuller, larger, and heavier, and their appearance may change as well. 

Increased hormones may also make areolas appear darker, and you may also experience frequent headaches earlier on in the pregnancy. The sudden change of hormones can also disrupt your sleeping patterns during the first weeks of pregnancy, and you may also have food cravings or aversions during these early days of pregnancy. Notice that these changes in food preferences can last throughout pregnancy, and you may have sharp mood swings as early as a few weeks after you conceive.


Since the body is overworking to accommodate the fertilised egg and prepare for the embryo’s growth, you will feel sudden exhaustion through the early days of your pregnancy. The fatigue usually lasts throughout the day and is primarily caused by hormone fluctuations.

Morning sickness

This is probably the most common sign of pregnancy, and it appears between 2 to 8 weeks following conception. Nausea is often accompanied by tiredness and vomiting. This sign isn’t necessarily restricted to the morning hours, and it’s the reason why it’s the most difficult symptom to deal with during pregnancy.

Frequent urination

Once you are pregnant, the kidneys will start producing more fluid. You will have to take more trips to the bathroom between the 4th and 6th week after conception to excrete the fluids.

Although all these symptoms may be a sign of pregnancy, they are likely explained by the hormone fluctuations experienced during a menstrual cycle or other life events. These life events may include stress, illness, too much exercise, or lack of sleep.

Some women even experience premenstrual syndrome symptoms as pregnancy symptoms, while others do not get any symptoms every cycle. It’s easy to assume you are pregnant when you experience a sign that’s not common in your menstrual cycle.

Nonetheless, if you experience these symptoms, take some positive steps to boost your emotional and physical health. For instance, you may start focusing on eating nutritious foods, limiting your alcohol intake, and avoiding smoking. These simple measures will promote your wellness and health whether you are pregnant or not.

5 most common physical signs of pregnancy
Five most common physical signs of pregnancy

When conception is not intentional

Suppose you experience a contraceptive failure or have unprotected sex and think that you could be pregnant. In that case, you may consider taking an emergency contraceptive, commonly known as the morning-after pill. Emergency contraceptives are available over the counter and can help prevent pregnancy when taken within five days after having unprotected sex. However, their effectiveness is determined by time – if you take them sooner after sex, the more effective they will be at preventing unintended pregnancy. Note that emergency contraception doesn’t cause abortion, but it rather prevents conception from happening.


The hopes and fears of getting pregnant may be an emotional rollercoaster. You will not know for sure if you are pregnant until some weeks have passed after conception. It’s important to make sure you take good care of yourself during this waiting period and try not to focus on the early signs of pregnancy.