AM I PREGNANT?
If you are sexually active, whether using a barrier method of contraception like condoms or a diaphragm or a hormonal/medical form like the pill, patch, shot, or an IUD, there is always a chance you could become pregnant. If your period is late, you might be wondering, ‘Could I be pregnant?’ Let’s talk about early pregnancy symptoms so you know when to explore the possibility. The best way to find out if you’re pregnant and what to do next is to visit your local women’s clinic for a free pregnancy test. They’ll support you and help you figure out your next steps.
Can I Get Pregnant on Birth Control?
No form of birth control is 100% effective and it’s easy to forget to take them every day. In rare cases, pregnancy can occur even with the use of an IUD, patch, or shot. So, even if you are taking a form of birth control, if you’ve missed a period, it’s important to know the early signs of pregnancy.
Early Pregnancy Symptoms
Early Signs of Pregnancy:
The First Two Weeks
How soon can you get symptoms of pregnancy? Most pregnancy symptoms don’t appear for the first few weeks after conception. Signs of pregnancy before a missed period include fatigue, breast tenderness, and cramping within the first week after conception. Don’t expect a visible baby bump just yet, though you may experience brief abdominal pain or feel more bloated than usual. Every woman’s pregnancy journey is unique, so your symptoms might not match someone else’s. In fact, some women show no symptoms of pregnancy before they miss their first period.
Early Signs of Pregnancy:
After Missed Period
The signs of pregnancy tend to become more pronounced following the absence of a menstrual period. Some women notice bloating, fatigue, or cramping. Other early pregnancy symptoms can include light bleeding, headaches, or tender breasts. If you find yourself developing sudden food aversions and occasional bouts of nausea, a.k.a. morning sickness, you’re not alone. Morning sickness gets its name because most experience it in the morning, but you can get sick any time of the day during the early stages of pregnancy. All of these symptoms are common in the first trimester of pregnancy. You might notice changes in your mood as well.
Early Symptoms of Pregnancy:
- Tender Breasts
- Food Aversions
- Nausea (or Morning Sickness)
- Mood Swings
How do you know if you are pregnant?
If you’ve experienced pregnancy symptoms like these, it’s a good idea to take a pregnancy test. There are many different ways to test whether you could be pregnant. The most common is purchasing a pregnancy test kit at your local drugstore. You can take a store-bought pregnancy test before your missed period, but these tests more accurately predict your pregnancy after your missed period.
Pregnancy Test Kit
A pregnancy test kit is 99% accurate when used correctly. A pregnancy test detects the level of hCG in your urine. Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone produced by the placenta when you’re pregnant. Make sure you carefully read and follow the instructions on any pregnancy test kit you purchase and confirm the pregnancy test has not expired.
Pregnancy Blood Test
A pregnancy blood test is the most accurate way to determine if you are pregnant. The pregnancy blood test results can detect a lower level of hCG in the blood than a urine test. Most women’s clinics will perform a blood test to detect pregnancy, along with the urine test.
Why is my period late? Can you miss a period and not be pregnant?
If your period is delayed, it’s possible that you may be pregnant. However, there are numerous factors that can cause a delay or halt in your menstrual cycle besides pregnancy. Other factors like stress, intense exercise, starting new hormonal birth control, or experiencing sudden weight changes can be attributed to a late or missed period. Your local women’s clinic should address other health concerns regarding a late or missed period with you.
What is a False Negative Pregnancy Test?
If you take a pregnancy test less than two weeks before your expected period or within two weeks after conception, there’s a possibility that the test could give a false negative result. A false negative result means that the pregnancy test shows as negative even when you are actually pregnant. This is why it’s essential to visit your local women’s clinic if you continue to experience pregnancy symptoms.
Did you get a positive pregnancy test? If you’ve taken a pregnancy test and the results are positive, don’t panic! Help is here. Visiting a local women’s clinic is the next step to be sure that you are pregnant. Additionally, our online database of resources will help educate you on pregnancy, and the options available to you.