8 Early Signs of Pregnancy (Before a Missed Period)

Before a missed period, it’s possible to have a few symptoms that can indicate early pregnancy, such as painful breasts, nausea, cramps or light abdominal pain, and excessive tiredness without an obvious cause. However, these symptoms can easily be mistaken for a period that is on its way.

The best way to confirm whether your symptoms are related to pregnancy, you should see your doctor for a blood test to identify whether you are producing the pregnancy hormone beta-hCG. Learn more about what else can cause a late period and what to do.

Keep in mind that a urine pregnancy test completed before a missed period is usually not accurate, therefore you should wait to complete the urine test after your period is delayed.

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Common signs

Some of the following symptoms may appear before a late period and can be signs of pregnancy:

  1. Breast pain;
  2. Darkening areolas;
  3. Pink vaginal discharge;
  4. Swelling and abdominal pain;
  5. Excessive tiredness for no obvious reason;
  6. Increased need to urinate;
  7. Constipation;
  8. Nausea

These symptoms can also be a sign of your period, therefore they are not definite pregnancy signs. If you are experiencing these symptoms, the best thing to do is to wait for your missed period and then complete a urine pregnancy test.

How to know if you are pregnant 

In order for you to be certain that your symptoms are related to pregnancy, you should be aware of when your ovulation period occurs, as you can then calculate whether the symptoms match up with the conception and fertilization period. Check out the ovulation symptoms that you may experience.

To confirm pregnancy for sure, you should see your doctor to complete bloodwork that tests for the beta-HCG hormone. HCG levels will be higher in pregnancy. Learn more about which tests are best to confirm pregnancy and why.

You can also do a pregnancy test you can buy at a pharmacy which tests for HCG in the urine. Ensure you complete it only after the day of your expected period for accuracy. If the result is negative but you continue to have pregnancy symptoms, we recommend that you do the test again after three and five days, as different pregnancy tests have different levels of sensitivity. Learn more about why false negative pregnancy tests can occur. 

Usually, a doctor will recommend a blood test to confirm a pregnancy, as it can indicate whether the woman is pregnant and approximately how far along she is pregnancy. A blood test can be done 12 days after the fertile period, even before the period comes.

Calculating your fertile period

To find out what your fertile period will occur, and thus know when it is possible to do a blood test, enter your data in the calculator below:


Pregnancy tests

In addition to calculating your fertile period, you can also take a pharmacy pregnancy test, which can be done at home once your period is at least one day late. If the result is negative, you can repeat the test 3 to 5 days after the first one, in order to confirm the result. 

However, the best way to find out if you really are pregnant is to see a doctor, who can order a blood test that detects the presence of the beta-HCG hormone. This hormone increases in concentration during pregnancy.

In addition to confirming pregnancy, this test can also indicate the week of pregnancy according to the concentration of beta-HCG in the blood.

How many days late can be a pregnancy?

For women with a regular menstrual cycle, a delay of more than 5 days from the expected date of menstruation can be considered a sign of pregnancy if the woman has had unprotected sexual contact during the fertile period. 

However, a delay in menstruation is very normal for most women and does not always indicate pregnancy. It can also occur due to stress, polycystic ovaries or thyroid problems, for example. Here are the main causes of delayed periods.