Close this search box.

How Soon After Sex Can You Feel Pregnancy Symptoms

Some women claim they can tell they are pregnant as soon as conception occurs. How likely is this to be true? Although certain pregnancy signs begin very early, most women are unlikely to notice any physical changes to their bodies. Any symptom you note immediately after having sex, such as increased discharge or spotting, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s related to pregnancy.

Keen to learn more about the symptoms of pregnancy after sex? Continue reading to better understand the rate at which your body will change.

 Early <yoastmark class=

How Long After Sex Do Pregnancy Symptoms Occur?

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

Some women report experiencing symptoms immediately after missing 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 pregnancy symptoms after sex, it doesn’t automatically mean you are pregnant — there are several other possibilities you should also consider.


Experiencing nausea immediately following sexual intercourse might make you question if you are pregnant. However, the body does not have adequate time to show this symptom — it tends to appear later. Many women experience pregnancy-related nausea about 2-8 weeks after conception.

Pregnancy test

Taking a home hCG test is one of the most reliable ways to confirm pregnancy. However, immediately following conception, your body will not have produced enough hormones for the pregnancy test to detect whether or not you have conceived.

You will need to wait until you miss a period to get truly accurate results from a urine test.

Some pregnancy tests can detect pregnancy a few days before a missing period, but you must test early in the morning using concentrated urine samples.

In addition to using a home pregnancy test, you can visit a midwife, doctor, or another healthcare provider for a blood hCG test. A blood test can show 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 in the days before. The temperature elevation is usually slight, starts one or two days before ovulation and persists for some days.

Do you feel different as soon as you conceive?
Do you feel different as soon as you conceive? Photo by Dainis Graveris on SexualAlpha

Why Do You Feel Pregnant?

It is common to experience several physical signs of conception as you enter the 2-week wait period (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 post-conception. Your breasts may also appear fuller, larger, and heavier, and their appearance can change.

Increased hormones can make areolas appear darker, and you may also experience frequent headaches early in your pregnancy. Disruption of sleeping patterns, food cravings, and sharp mood swings are common symptoms related to changing hormone production.


Since the body is overworking to accommodate the fertilised egg and prepare for the embryo’s growth, you will likely 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

Morning sickness 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, meaning you will likely take more trips to the bathroom between the 4th and 6th week after conception.

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

Some women 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 pregnancy symptoms after sex, take 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 health and well-being whether you are pregnant.

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 you could be pregnant. In that case, you may consider taking an emergency contraceptive, 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, they will be more effective 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 if you are pregnant until some weeks after conception. It’s important to ensure you take good care of yourself during this waiting period and try not to focus on the early signs of conception.

Testing regularly (but not too often) may help put your mind at ease. However, the cost of all these pregnancy tests can quickly add up. Fortunately, Fertility2Family is here to help with our comprehensive range of affordable fertility products. Browse the full range online today, and feel free to contact our team if you have any questions.


Fertility2Family only uses trusted & peer-reviewed sources to ensure our articles’ information is accurate and reliable.

Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care (2022f) Nausea and vomiting, Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care. Available at: (Accessed: 16 October 2023).

BellyBelly – Pregnancy, Birth & Parenting (2023c) When do your breasts stop hurting in pregnancy?, BellyBelly Australia. Available at: (Accessed: 16 October 2023).

Colleen de Bellefonds, C.E. (2023) Fatigue during pregnancy, What to Expect. Available at: (Accessed: 16 October 2023).

Department of Health & Human Services (2004a) Pregnancy – bleeding problems, Better Health Channel. Available at: (Accessed: 16 October 2023).

Healthdirect Australia (2021) Morning sickness, healthdirect. Available at: (Accessed: 16 October 2023).

Healthdirect Australia (2023 Nausea, healthdirect. Available at: (Accessed: 16 October 2023).

Healthdirect Australia (2023) Frequent urination during pregnancy, Pregnancy Birth and Baby. Available at: (Accessed: 16 October 2023).

Healthdirect Australia (2023) Blood tests during pregnancy, Pregnancy, Birth and Baby. Available at: (Accessed: 16 October 2023).

Huggies Australia (2023) Early pregnancy symptoms during your two week wait: Huggies SG, Early Pregnancy Symptoms During Your Two Week Wait. Available at: (Accessed: 20 October 2023).

McCarthy, M. et al. (2018) ‘Predictors of timing of pregnancy discovery’, Contraception, 97(4), pp. 303–308. doi:10.1016/j.contraception.2017.12.001 (Accessed: 20 October 2023).

University of New South Wales Australia Newsroom (2016) Chemical Messengers: How pregnancy hormones affect the body, UNSW Newsroom. Available at: (Accessed: 16 October 2023).

Fertility2Family logo

Evan Kurzyp

Evan is the founder of Fertility2Family and is passionate about fertility education & providing affordable products to help people in their fertility journey. Evan is a qualified Registered Nurse and has expertise in guiding & managing patients through their fertility journeys.

Scroll to Top