Am I Pregnant?

So, you’re wondering if you might be pregnant. This could be one of the biggest questions you ever find yourself asking, and when you’re dealing with the signs and symptoms of a possible unexpected pregnancy it’s normal to feel apprehensive.

We know this isn’t what you want to hear, but you cannot find out whether or not you’re pregnant online. The best way to find out quickly is by taking a pregnancy test. Even the most accurate “Am I Pregnant?” quiz available online can only take you through some of the symptoms. We cannot definitively tell you whether or not you are pregnant, but we’re right here with you to talk about what those signs and symptoms you’re experiencing could mean.

Pregnancy symptoms or PMS?

Some of the symptoms that you might associate with pregnancy could be caused by other things. Cramping, breast tenderness, mood swings, and headaches can be both premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms brought on by your period AND pregnancy symptoms, which can be slightly confusing because of how they start around the same time. There are a few pregnancy symptoms that are not as closely associated with menstruation, however, including:

  • Light spotting
    Light spotting in place of a regular period could be a sign that you are pregnant. Any significant changes to what you usually experience at the start of your period are worth questioning.
  • Increasing fatigue
    While fatigue is associated with PMS, it is usually less severe than what some experience in the first trimester of pregnancy and doesn’t last as long.
  • Nausea
    It’s possible to experience nausea before or during your period, but it is much less common. It is much more common to experience nausea during pregnancy, particularly in the first trimester.

"Feeling pregnant"

You may have heard someone say that when they were pregnant they just knew. But is  what you’re experiencing also you just knowing? Maybe, but it’s also important to be objective and not just assume that you are pregnant. Taking a pregnancy test will give you a much clearer picture of what your feelings could mean.

Some other less straightforward symptoms that might make you wonder if you’re pregnant include feeling like your lower stomach is hard, which can be caused by something as simple as constipation, or you might feel “movement” or a “heartbeat” in your stomach. It’s normal to start feeling movement around 16-20 weeks into a pregnancy, so if your period has been regular in the months right before this, it’s unlikely. You could be feeling gas or movement in your digestive system, or you could be really focusing in on your own pulse if you’re already feeling worried about the possibility that you’re pregnant. Stressing about whether or not you’re pregnant can really enhance any little sensation that you might attribute to pregnancy symptoms, so it’s important to take a few deep breaths, and try to keep a clear head.

Pregnancy symptoms during your period

It is possible to find yourself throwing up while on your period. It’s normal to feel a little more tired than usual while on your period. It’s normal for the timing, duration, and symptoms of your period to vary slightly. 

You cannot get your actual period and still be pregnant – in short, your uterine lining sheds during menstruation and you would not be able to stay pregnant – but there are other types of bleeding that can happen during pregnancy. For instance, subchorionic hematoma (which is when blood gathers underneath the membrane surrounding the embryo) can cause vaginal bleeding and is one of the most common causes of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy. This type of bleeding can be light and brief, or last for a few days, be heavy and contain clots, leading some to think that they are experiencing a regular period. A subchorionic hematoma isn’t always harmful to a pregnancy but if you are experiencing symptoms that are worrying to you, please speak to your GP.

Can I get pregnant after taking the morning after pill?

The morning after pill works by delaying ovulation, so if you have had unprotected sex and then also ovulated in the past 24 hours, the morning after pill will not be able to help you to avoid pregnancy. The morning after pill can also delay your period, but only by up to 7 days. 

While your ovulatory cycle can vary from cycle to cycle, it can help to try and be aware of when you’re most likely to ovulate. In a typical 28 day cycle, ovulation would occur 2 weeks after the start of your last period, and 2 weeks before the start of the next.

It is also possible to experience bleeding after taking the morning after pill and still be pregnant if you took it within 24 hours of ovulation. Spotting early in pregnancy does happen, and is often known as “implantation bleeding”. As previously mentioned, there are types of bleeding known to be caused by pregnancy.

How can I know for sure?

As we said before, the best way to know quickly if you’re pregnant is to take a pregnancy test. If you are pregnant, your body will be producing human gonadotropin hormone (hCG) and a pregnancy test will pick up on the hCG present in your urine and give you an answer within a few minutes.

If you are experiencing stomach issues, you have a 1-day period, you’re experiencing more bleeding than usual, or anything else particularly out of the ordinary that has no explanation, please consult your GP or pharmacist, whether you have a positive or negative pregnancy test result. 

If you’re trying to avoid an unwanted pregnancy but have had unprotected sex within the last 120 hours, ellaOne® can help you get the reassurance you need. ellaOne® is effective for up to 5 days following unprotected sex and is available at your local pharmacy, or you can get it delivered straight to you from ellaOneDirect.

ellaOne® 30mg film-coated tablet contains ulipristal acetate and is indicated for emergency contraception within 120 hours (5 days) of unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. Always read the label.