When you’re feeling unusually tired or dealing with mood swings, “Am I pregnant?” might not be your first thought. These signs of early pregnancy, and others like them, are easy to confuse with symptoms of stress, illness, and poor health.
So how do you know when to take a pregnancy test?
If you are experiencing a combination of the signs below, we recommend taking a test. Even if the symptoms have another cause, you’ll have a clear answer.
Whether you think you are pregnant or not, read through these early symptoms of pregnancy to know what to look for. You’ll be better equipped to recognize your pregnancy quickly and get the care you deserve.
How do I know if I am pregnant?
1. A missed period
If you have a regular menstrual cycle, a missed period is one of the most reliable signs of early pregnancy. You may want to take a pregnancy test if your period is later than a week.
That said, many women don’t have a regular cycle. Your period might also change suddenly for reasons other than pregnancy. Factors that may affect menstruation include:
- Being over or underweight
- Medical disorders, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Medication, including birth control
- Environmental factors such as smoking and diet
You might also have spotting or light bleeding early in your pregnancy. It’s easy to mistake this bleeding for a period.
Changes in your menstrual cycle don’t always mean you’re pregnant. Still, it doesn’t hurt to take a pregnancy test, especially if you have other symptoms.
Most women feel unusually tired during early pregnancy. You may find it hard to wake up in the morning or feel low on energy throughout the day.
One reason for this fatigue is increased levels of progesterone, a pregnancy hormone.
Other causes may include lower blood pressure and blood sugar. Your body is sharing your food and nutrients now to feed the embryo.
Still, many things can cause fatigue. Whether you’re pregnant or not, make sure you’re getting enough rest and care.
3. Morning Sickness
Nausea is a common, but not universal, sign of early pregnancy. And though it’s called morning sickness, you may feel nauseous at any time of day.
Some women may feel nauseous without a trigger. Others have to avoid certain smells or foods to settle their stomachs.
Thankfully, morning sickness gets better after the first trimester, or around the 14th week of pregnancy.
4. Breast Changes
Breast tenderness is another symptom. Pregnancy hormones can make your breasts sensitive, tingly, or sore. You might also notice that your breasts are swollen. Some women notice that the areola, the area around the nipples, darkens during early pregnancy.
Pregnancy is a big change to your body and may cause some general discomfort early on. Some of the signs to watch out for include:
- Back pain
- Mood swings
- Frequent urination
Many of these symptoms, such as headaches and mood swings, are a normal part of life. Most of the time, they don’t indicate pregnancy.
Is every pregnancy the same? What if I don’t have all these symptoms?
Every pregnancy is different. A woman who has multiple pregnancies may even have different symptoms with each one.
If you’ve noticed any of these signs, especially if you have several, we recommend taking a pregnancy test at home or getting a free test at our clinic. Once you know for sure, we can help you determine the best next steps.
At the same time, you may be experiencing these symptoms for another reason. If you’re unsure, a pregnancy test is always a great place to start. You can then schedule a visit with your doctor if you learn that you aren’t pregnant.
Can you be pregnant and test negative?
First, we’ll give you a no-cost, medical-grade pregnancy test to see if you’re pregnant. We also offer free confirmation ultrasounds to check the health of your pregnancy and how far along you are.
Most importantly, you’ll be able to get all the information and answers you need to make a decision you feel confident about.