Pregnant or Period? Spot the Signs You’re Expecting
If your period is late and you’re sexually active, you might wonder if you are pregnant. Depending on your wants and needs, you might feel a pang of excitement or fear.
Before you get worked up, it’s important to compare pregnancy and period symptoms to identify if you could be expecting.
Common Pregnancy and Period Symptoms
While pregnancy has different symptoms compared to premenstrual syndrome (PMS), there will be some crossover, which could make you wonder if you could be pregnant.
Common symptoms include:
- Breast tenderness
- Mood changes
- Fatigue (common during the first trimester)
- Cramping (pregnancy cramps will likely be in the lower back or lower stomach)
Common Pregnancy Symptoms
Despite sharing many of the same symptoms of PMS, there are other signs to look for that could indicate you’re expecting a baby.
In addition to the above symptoms, you might experience:
- Nausea (morning sickness can happen at any point in the day)
- Food aversions or cravings
- Bleeding – spotting and vaginal bleeding is common 10 to 14 days after conception (if you’re pregnant, contact your midwife if you’re concerned)
- Frequent urination
- Vaginal discharge
- Darkening of the areola
If you have missed your period and/or suspect you could be pregnant, take a pregnancy test to confirm if you’re pregnant or not. If you are expecting, the sooner you read a positive test, the sooner you will be able to receive the right care for you and your baby, such as attending your first midwife appointment.
Pregnant women also should never ignore bleeding or cramping. Always contact your midwife if you experience any of the above signs for advice and support.
If you’re not expecting and continue to experience a late period each month, visit your GP as soon as possible. You could have a hormonal imbalance or another health condition.
The Two-Week Wait for a Pregnancy Test
It is important to note that not all pregnancy tests might test positive during the very early stages of pregnancy. The 2-week wait is essential to avoid a false negative. The term is used to relate to the interval between ovulation and implantation. After this time, a pregnancy test could lead to a positive test, which could be before your next period.