How to know when you are pregnant

How do you know whether you're pregnant or not? If you've been trying to get pregnant, there are a few ways to find out whether you're pregnant.

Early pregnancy symptoms

If you notice one or more of these symptoms, it might be an early sign of pregnancy and a good idea to take a pregnancy test.

•      Late period
•      Extreme tiredness
•      Need to wee more often
•      Nausea
•      A metallic taste in your mouth
•      Sensitivity to smells
•      Tender or sore breasts.

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How do pregnancy tests work?

Pregnancy tests work by detecting one of the key early signs of pregnancy: a hormone called human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG). This hormone is only made when a woman is pregnant.

Traces of hCG can be found in the urine from three to four days after implantation, but the concentration needs to continue to build up to a level at which the test can detect it and give a positive result. The best time to take a pregnancy test is from the day that the period is missed. 

Where can I get a pregnancy test?

GP pregnancy test

These tests are either free or a small fee is charged.

You’ll need to take a sample of your urine in a clean container (you can get sample pots from your GP’s surgery). The best time to collect a urine sample is first thing in the morning. This is because levels of hCG will have built up overnight.

If the urine sample is tested on the spot, you probably will be given the result after just a few minutes. You may have to wait up to a few days for the pregnancy test results though.

Home pregnancy test

These tests are available to buy from chemists or supermarkets and enable you to find out if you are pregnant in private after a few minutes.

The tests are considered to be quite accurate, although it is essential that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Choose a kit that you think will be easy for you to use and make sure that you understand what mark or symbol will appear if the test is positive.

Find out more about taking a pregnancy test.

How accurate is the pregnancy test?

It is important to know that whilst a positive result is likely to be accurate, a negative result may be misleading. Some women have a negative result and test again a week later to find that it is positive.

This is due to the levels of pregnancy hormone gradually building up to a level at which they can be detected. If you test yourself very early on and you have a negative result, you should carry out another test in 2-3 days’ time if you have still not had a period.

If you continue to get negative results and still no period, you should consult your doctor.

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What should I do if I am pregnant?

Once you get a positive pregnancy test, make an appointment to see your doctor or a midwife.

Tell the doctor’s surgery when you are making the appointment that you have had a positive pregnancy test result as you might need a longer appointment.


  1. Macdonald S, Magill-Cuerden J (2012) Mayes’ midwifery, 14th edition, London Balliere Tindall
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    Please note that these comments are monitored but not answered by Tommy’s. Please call your GP or maternity unit if you have concerns about your health or your baby’s health.
    • By Z (not verified) on 7 Jun 2019 - 13:25

      I’ve been spotting for a month and a half but I’ve had sex for the past 3 weeks and got came into 16 times and then I messed up my birth control multiple times and now my period has stopped cause I stopped it for 5 days then started it again but for the past like week and half I’ve been feeling tired and being and bloated to where I can’t even wear jeans and I’ve been feeling nauseous and eating everything could I be pregnant

    • By Bujji (not verified) on 2 May 2019 - 09:10

      i was plan for kids, 1 month late negative test result i have symptoms of stomach bloating gas back pain, and morning time painful urination, body temperature rise, urine urgency, i feel i am pregnant, please help me what happen in my stomach

    • By Marjorie Gatrell (not verified) on 5 Jun 2019 - 12:22

      I feel tied tired hungry had cramps 2th of June with a small pink bleed next day had a burning sensation tingling cramp got a negative test I haven't missed my pmt yet

    • By Wumi (not verified) on 1 May 2019 - 17:47

      Please advice me on dis issue ooo...i did blood test two weeks ago d test is positive ...i did another test is negative...and i see my period but it not flowing well....can i be pregnant or not am totally confuse

    • By Ariana Totty (not verified) on 28 Apr 2019 - 18:33

      hey, i had my period like 3 weeks and I think i'm pregnant because I've been throwing up every morning and lower back pain and stomach hurting and won't eat because everything looks grows and smells. I've took a pregnancy test and it came back negative Could I be pregnant?

    • By sharion (not verified) on 28 Apr 2019 - 15:08

      Hi, so I have abnormal period, (irregular) period.. It hasn't come for 6-7months I last saw it in Oct...I had unprotected sex on 19th of this month he came in me now 9 days after I'm seeing blood but it looks like period but it isn't that heavy like normal but still kind of looking like period, my nipples are tender, cramps, had pain in lower back yesterday ,feeling tired for the past days and seeing a lil mucus in the blood.. Hasn't take a PT yet cause I think it might be my period. Do you think I'm pregnant??? I need answers

    • By Heather (not verified) on 21 May 2019 - 16:43

      Take a pregnancy test- they have cheap ones at dollar store for $1. Pretty accurate.

    • By Faiza (not verified) on 6 Jun 2019 - 18:59

      then u need to run a test

    • By Worried (not verified) on 26 Apr 2019 - 16:13

      Hi everyone, last time I had my periods was in March they started from 2 then ended on the 6th, expected periods IN April 2nd did not get them, then on the 16th of April I took pregnancy test and was negative. MY WORRY is that I get headache, sore breasts, tummy changes as it becomes round, frequent urinate,hungrier, will eat now few minutes I feel like eating again... What could be the problem ☹️worried sick

    • By Anonymous (not verified) on 11 Apr 2019 - 07:08

      I had my last cycle march 23- 27. I ovulated on april 6, 2019. Me and my fiancee had unprotected intercourse the day of and the day before. My breast has been tender. I have slight cramping in the stomach and back that comes and goes. I was wondering could i be pregnant or is it to soon to tell

    • By Anonymous (not verified) on 4 Apr 2019 - 20:19

      I’m confused if I’m not mistaken I used to have all my eggs in a bag in my vagina but the egg is released and the bag is completely gone. I’m hopping it means that my egg is fertile and that I’m pregnant

    • By Skye (not verified) on 19 Dec 2019 - 14:02

      I have my period 8 December I keep being sick In morning and night to I don’t. Know if I am pregnant or not

    • By E (not verified) on 3 Apr 2019 - 15:18

      I was a week late on my period. I had a faint positive test. I ended up having heaving bleeding for 3 days. But im having symptoms. Tiredness and frequent urine use. Could i be pregnant?

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 4 Apr 2019 - 15:55

      Hi - If you have had a positive pregnancy test, please contact your GP/Midwife for antenatal care and advice.

    • By Olatunji (not verified) on 11 Apr 2019 - 11:52


    • By Skyler (not verified) on 3 Apr 2019 - 02:27

      Ok so this would be my first pregnancy if I am prego. But I'm 2 weeks and 3 days late on my period. I dnt really have any symptoms other than I'm very tired all the time I do get emotional at times and my nipples aren't sore but they feel kinda tingly if their touched. I'm scared to take a test because I might get a nega5and my feelings are going to be so hurt. Any suggestions anyone???

    • By Onabanjo Victoria (not verified) on 2 Apr 2019 - 22:59

      Pls MA, am a new Mummy, I saw my period last month immediately my baby was 1month 2days and hv been expecting it this month have not seen it please is it normal or am pregnant?

    • By Bambi (not verified) on 2 Apr 2019 - 21:12

      The first day of my last period is march 4, 2019 and lasted on march 8, 2019. I was rushed to the emergency room yesterday because of pain in my lower abdomen like menstrual cramping. All test for urinalysis and cbc were negative but my doctor tested me for urine pregnancy test and that was positive. Are we now sure that I am pregnant? Or would there be a way that it is false positive. Thank you!

    • By Lux (not verified) on 31 Mar 2019 - 07:12

      Hi, I would like to know, if I get pregnant? In general, I have 5days of my period every months and it always regular period. Only this month, I had 3days. It is possible that I can get pregnant. Please I need your advise.
      Thank you so much for your advise.

    • By Ajok (not verified) on 8 May 2019 - 19:14

      I want to confirm my pregnancy

    • By Gift (not verified) on 22 Sep 2019 - 17:30

      I had my period 20th August to 25August and had sex 27 to 16 September so i went for blood pregnancy test which was negative now am suppose to have my period now and it's not coming could it be that am pregnant

    • By Roz (not verified) on 30 Mar 2019 - 19:51

      Hey guys.
      i missed my period 16 days today. i did pregnancy test the result was positive but i did scan as well the doctor said i see only the pregnancy sac not baby yet!!! i don’t understand why

    • By Ali (not verified) on 28 Mar 2019 - 14:59

      I had sex with my new partner on Monday and he came inside me , on Tuesday I went and had sex with my ex and he also came inside me my period should have came Thursday and it didn't , am worried I night be pregnant and don't know who is the father

    • By JamieB (not verified) on 28 Mar 2019 - 14:55

      The first day of my last period was February 24th, my periods last 5 days and then its over. I had unprotected sex March 12, 13, and on the 20th. My period didn't come on the expected day this month. It was supposed to come March 24th and it didn't. It was just discharge, and so for 4 days i didn't get my period. It's now the 28th and i started bleeding a little bit around 1:30 in the morning, i had a pad on because i was waiting for it to come, but when i went to wee, there was just small drops of blood on the pad. My cramps aren't intense as they usually are when I have my period, and its definitely not heavy. I never miss my period, it always comes on time, too.

    • By Promise (not verified) on 28 Mar 2019 - 08:10

      Good morning plsss I need help I have unprotected sex with my France on March 18 I don't see my period which I later see it on the 19, BT it don't come out well I finish it the second day have gone for pregnant text 3time BT is nt show and on the 21 and 22 and 23 I have unprotected sex with him is there any possible that I will be pregnant or am pregnant

    • By Nicola (not verified) on 27 Mar 2019 - 10:00

      Hi, any guidance would be appreciated, after a really short period (1 day long) I did a pregnancy test which came back a faint positive, clear blue said 1-2 week. This was a week ago, during the past week I have had some more spotting and a bit of bleeding. Did another pregnancy test today and it came back a faint positive, clear blue said 1-2 weeks. I suspect I have had a chemical pregnancy, any idea how long it will take for the pregnancy tests to become negative? Thanks

    • By Kasey (not verified) on 26 Mar 2019 - 23:04

      Well i had protected sex o 26th of Feb and again 1st March, the condom split on 1st March. I wad due pn my period a week later. I didnt come on and was spotting very light pink but only when i wiped, slight cramps too.That lasted only few hours then i bled slightly for 2 days not enough to cover a tampom or a pad. No pain over those 2 days. My periods are always on time and very heavy and painful. Anyways since then ive done 4 tests all negative although one looked very faint possitive but could of been an evap line. Since then nothing. Today slight cramps and did an ovulation test as i wad curious and it is such a strong positive but if the 2 days i bled was my period as i tracked it like it was im not due to ovulate for at least 2 weeks. Im just confused as to whats going on. Any advice would be great

    • By Jessy (not verified) on 26 Mar 2019 - 03:17

      Hello. I need. Some. Advice. I got. A. Chemical , On feb 14 , Then on March the 14. I was. Supposed to get my period. But I didnt. Till the 16 I started with a. Light spotting and keep on spotting. Till today March the 25 ,I only had 1 day of heavy. Bleeding with a few cloth . I don’t knw what. To think. Could. I be pregnant?

    • By Lizzy (not verified) on 25 Mar 2019 - 07:22

      Hi. I usually have irregular menstruation. I have not seen it since January. Now in March I had unprotected sex. Can I get pregnant.

    • By Danicah (not verified) on 24 Mar 2019 - 13:02

      Hi. My concerned is I'm not that sure if I am pregnant right now coz I just had my delivery last December 23, 2018 and my regular period returned last January 2019. By the month of February, I had my period twice, on the first week and the last week of the month. Last menstruation period was on the 26th of February, and I had unprotected sex with my partner when I was on my period on the 3rd day until the day of my period was gone. And now, I am confused either I am pregnant or not coz my due supposedly is on the first week of this month, but now its already in the 4th week still I don't have my period yet. What should I do? Please help. I'm not yet ready to have another child at this early. My first baby just turned 3months yesterday and my baby is breastfeed, but there are times she's in the bottlefeed everytime I have to go somewhere important. I need an advice. Please help.

    • By Nana Akua (not verified) on 22 Mar 2019 - 15:16

      I have missed my period march 14 and I had unprotected sex on 26 February I had pregnancy test it was positive ,and only my breast is paining me I'm I pregnant and I had my period on February 16 thanks

    • By Brenda (not verified) on 21 Mar 2019 - 23:45

      I’ve had my tubes cut and burned about 6 almost 7 years ago, but My period is very late this month. It’s been since February 13 since my last period. I have had bloating, constipation, tiredness, and acute cramping. Should I take a pregnancy test?

    • By Me (not verified) on 29 Mar 2019 - 09:05

      Me too my tommy was confusing its bigger lika 3 to 4 months my period last December regular when January only few hours spotting on feb i missed my period

    • By phumy (not verified) on 21 Mar 2019 - 21:00

      hi i'm phumy i was 14 days late i hv a 32 day cycle bt this month it was 46 i hv never been this late before what can it be.can it be possible that i'm pregnant cz i was 2weeks late

      thank u

    • By Trixia66 (not verified) on 21 Mar 2019 - 05:05

      I'm two weeks delay now. I had my period on Feb 6-10 it was so light. We had protected sex. Did pregnancy test 3x It was negative. And still don't have period. I have white discharge and been bloated last week.

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 21 Mar 2019 - 16:54

      Hi - Thank you for your message.
      If your period is now delayed for 2 weeks and you the pregnancy tests are negative, please visit your doctor for advice and checks.

    • By courtney (not verified) on 20 Mar 2019 - 19:29

      I had my last period on feb. 1 on feb. on feb. 18-20 my husband and I went on a trip and I forgot to take my diaphragm with me. we had sex on both of those nights that my husband and I were gone . I haven't had a period since feb. I could I possibility be pregnant.

    • By beauty (not verified) on 20 Mar 2019 - 06:23

      I gave birth on 18th October 2018... my first period came out December 1st... my next period started on 19th January and it was quiet heavy, it flew till 26th and stopped for a day, then it started again but this time it was very heavy, I get soaked within minutes. it finally stopped on 5th February. I have not seen my period till today being 2oth march, am I pregnant or is it normal?

    • By ng (not verified) on 19 Mar 2019 - 08:55

      my last period came out on 23 of February and I had sex with my husband on 1st and 6th of march on that same 6th of march I started feeling dizzy, weak, pains, breast pain and so
      on. I went for test on 15th march and it read positive now my period is out on 19th march which is the day to my next circle does it mean that I am pregnant

    • By nyarie (not verified) on 19 Mar 2019 - 07:44

      Hi i had my last period on the 21 of February 2019, then had unprotected sex the 7th of March on my day of ovulation, i was tracking my ovulation well. on the 12th of March i had a brown small spot in the morning and then nothing the whole day. the next day started bleeding light through passing out clots and tissues now im it the second week still bleeding heavily was supposed to be on my period on the 21st of March 29. im confused what's happening in my body im i miscarriage or is it my period that came a bit earlier. please help me understand

    • By Rita (not verified) on 18 Mar 2019 - 13:37

      hello i hav sex 22-25 of dec. we do withdrawal period would be on dec. 26 but it came on dec. 31 and last jan. 2 my next period start at feb 8 it lasted for about 3-4 days i test with pt but it shows negative...could i be pregnant? ...pls i need an answer...

    • By Krissy (not verified) on 18 Mar 2019 - 12:43

      Please help I had my last period 8th feb and I bled for 3 weeks I had unprotected sex on the 25th of feb and I am going on 2 weeks late for my period this month but getting negative pregnancy tests I’ve been getting really bad pounding headaches mood swings I’m tired all the time have tender breasts feeling spaced out and have white discharge I don’t understand what is going on is there a chance that I could be pregnant and it is just not coming up on the tests or is it because I bled for 3 weeks last month so I haven’t come on this month?

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 20 Mar 2019 - 15:24

      Hi Krissy
      You should go to your GP if you feel that you are pregnant but the tests are not coming back as positive. Please be aware that any unprotected sex and can cause pregnancy. All the best, Tommy's Midwife

    • By Kim Wilson (not verified) on 17 Mar 2019 - 19:52

      Hi so I've been having unprotected sex wit my boyfriend ..started February 12 my period was to come on on the 7th but I was just spotting really light for about 4 days then it stopped I was cramping and my boobs have been sore and I have been really dehydrated could I be pregnant?

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 20 Mar 2019 - 15:22

      Hi Kim
      Any unprotected sex and lead to pregnancy, so it is possible.
      The best time to do a pregnancy test, is when you are 7 days late for a period, and doing a test with your first wee of the day for the most accurate result- whether that is positive or negative as the pregnancy hormone Hcg is highest in the first wee of the day. Take care, Tommy's Midwife

    • By Lisa mcveigh (not verified) on 14 Mar 2019 - 22:39

      Lmp 2/1/19 No period since bled 10/2/19 1 day nothing since started spotting only when I wipe yesterday very bloated sore boobs blue veins all over and sickness tested negative what shall I do

    • By Shannon (not verified) on 14 Mar 2019 - 14:51

      I have my periods every month around the 21st/22nd....I had one on the 21st of December then didn't have one atall for January but took a test and was a light period the 5th of February..then so far 10 days late this month?

    • By Yulissa (not verified) on 13 Mar 2019 - 13:09

      Hi , I had unprotected sex the 16th of February which was my highest chance of getting pregnant, my period should have started the 3rd of January but didn’t and now am 10 days late on my period, i took a pregnancy test last Friday and the results came out negative..

      What should i do ?

    • By Ellie (not verified) on 12 Mar 2019 - 21:59

      My period was due today but hasn't come yet. I did have intercorse on fertile days and around the days where I ovulated (26/2/19). Is it too soon to test for pregnancy?

    • By Sis k (not verified) on 9 Mar 2019 - 18:22

      I last saw my normal periods on 26 january 2019,on da 9 of feb i saw small brownish blood for one day.i did not see my periods for february,on da 4th of march i saw light red blood for 2 days i took 3 pt but they are all negative.but i feel tired,bloated and my breast are tender.

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