Pregnant With No Pregnancy Symptoms?

Photo illustration of pregnant woman

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Morning sickness, heartburn, food cravings, and breast tenderness are iconic pregnancy symptoms, but they're not the only ones. Pregnancy symptoms vary in presence, duration, and severity from one person to the next. Symptoms can even be different from one pregnancy to the next in the same person.

While many pregnant people experience these and other common symptoms, it's also possible to go through pregnancy without having them. Here's what you need to know about whether experiencing "typical" pregnancy symptoms is a sign of a healthy pregnancy and whether you should worry if you don't feel symptoms.

Onset, Frequency, and Severity of Symptoms

The first trimester of pregnancy (up to 13 weeks) is when most people experience common symptoms like fatigue, morning sickness, sensitivity to smells, and breast soreness. In general, early pregnancy symptoms show up around five to six weeks after the first day of your last menstrual period.

Breast tenderness can begin within one or two weeks of conception. You also might notice changes in your weight (some people gain weight earlier in their pregnancies than others). Most of the more intense symptoms of pregnancy (like morning sickness) typically begin to subside by the second trimester.

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It's Different for Everyone

Just as the symptoms of pregnancy vary from one person to the next, so can the frequency and duration of symptoms. As the days and weeks go by, what you experience will frequently change as your body changes. On some days, you might have cramping or frequent urination. On others, you might be constipated or have mood swings. There may be days when you feel no pregnancy symptoms at all.

There is no single definition of "normal" when discussing the presence, type, and severity of pregnancy symptoms.

Complete Absence of Pregnancy Symptoms

Some people who are pregnant are relieved to have few or no symptoms, but others worry that a lack of symptoms is a sign that their pregnancy is not healthy or that it could end in miscarriage. If you don't have any pregnancy symptoms at all, rest assured that while it isn't common, it's not impossible.

Studies have indicated that around 1 in 475 women reach the 5-month (20-week) mark before realizing that they are pregnant. "Cryptic" or "denied" pregnancies can occur for many reasons, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome. Sometimes, it's as simple as someone not looking or feeling pregnant until they are nearly halfway through their pregnancy.

Changes or Loss of Pregnancy Symptoms

If you are worried about any pregnancy symptoms (or lack thereof), it's always reasonable to bring your concerns to your doctor or midwife. In particular, there are two situations that could be a cause for concern: Changes in how much fetal movement you feel, or pregnancy symptoms that suddenly go away.

Changes in Fetal Movement

While some symptoms tend to decrease as pregnancy progresses, the movement of your baby should not lessen. There will be days when your baby is quieter, but if movement suddenly stops, or shifts from a lot of activity to a little, it could be a sign of a problem.

Most people start to feel their baby moving in the womb (quickening) at around 16 weeks of pregnancy. Keep in mind that when you feel fetal movement for the first time can depend on whether you've been pregnant before (you're more likely to recognize it the second time around).

Let your doctor or midwife know if you haven't felt any fetal movement at all by 20 weeks.

Later in your pregnancy (from about 28 weeks on), daily fetal kick counts may be advised. Take note if your baby isn't moving as much or the movements seem diminished. While it does not always indicate a problem, it is something you should tell your doctor or midwife.

In some cases, decreased or diminished fetal movement has a clear explanation and is not a cause for concern. It may be that the fetus is on a "sleep cycle" that accounts for intermittent bouts of less movement. Or your placenta may be on the front uterine wall (anterior position), which can cushion the sensation of fetal movement.

While it's less common, fetal movement can also decrease when the umbilical cord is being compressed. One example is when the cord becomes wrapped around the neck of the fetus (nuchal cord). Your doctor or midwife can check the umbilical cord using fetal monitoring or an ultrasound.

Disappearing Symptoms

The sudden disappearance of symptoms while you are pregnant (especially when it happens during the first trimester) can also be cause for concern. In this scenario, some women report that they "just don't feel pregnant anymore."

If this happens, tell your doctor or midwife right away. Pregnancy symptoms that abruptly stop could indicate miscarriage, even in the absence of common signs of early pregnancy loss such as bleeding or cramping.

A Word From Verywell

For some people, the typical symptoms of pregnancy (such as morning sickness and fatigue) can be a challenge. For others, concerns arise when they have few, or none of, the most common symptoms of pregnancy. Pregnancy is different for every person, and every pregnancy can be different even in the same person.

Don't hesitate to talk to your doctor or midwife if you are worried about symptoms that you are (or are not) having at any point in your pregnancy. The reassurance they can provide will reduce your stress, keeping your pregnancy healthy and enjoyable.

5 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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Additional Reading

By Robin Elise Weiss, PhD, MPH
Robin Elise Weiss, PhD, MPH is a professor, author, childbirth and postpartum educator, certified doula, and lactation counselor.