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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Your stories of planning for pregnancy

  • Couple Amanda and Judd with daughter Shelbie


    I just knew that there were no guarantees for us when trying to conceive

    Amanda, 26, had irregular periods and she knew getting pregnant would be a challenge. She and her husband decided to become healthier when they were planning to have a baby. They now have a daughter called Shelbie.

  • Hayley, Sam and baby Amaryllis


    “One chance for a baby”

    Hayley, 27, and Sam, 28, a barista from Lincolnshire knew their health conditions would make conception a challenge. But they didn’t give up. Following fertility treatment, they now have a daughter, Amaryllis. This is their story.

  • Claire Gale


    “I knew I was ready to try again”

    Claire Gale, 30, and husband Mark, 32, from Bournemouth always wanted a family. Last year and 8 weeks into her pregnancy, Claire miscarried, but she trusted her body to tell her when it was time to try again for a baby.

  • Lauren with her baby Cherry


    Our emotional pregnancy journey

    Lauren, 33, from Essex, and her husband Victor, 33, struggled to conceive and endured a miscarriage and pre-eclampsia before they had their beautiful daughter Cherry.

    Last reviewed on June 13th, 2017. Next review date June 13th, 2020.

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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 Sherrine (not verified) on 16 Jul 2019 - 12:36

      Hey I had my periods last month on the 13th of June and had unprotected sex with my boyfriend on 20th
      And till now have not seen my periods and today is the 16 the of July am really worried can I be preganant

    • By Siona (not verified) on 8 Jul 2019 - 12:05

      Any guidance will help...
      Since 24 May I lastly saw my period and til now is 8 July I not seen my period....but I usually have cram on ND off as if am too see my period but no am confused and don't know if am pregnant because I had sex wit my boyfriend just 3 days after my last period......

    • By Ndidi (not verified) on 20 Aug 2019 - 19:40

      Nice work

    • By stacey ansley (not verified) on 2 Jul 2019 - 17:00

      Hello, I took 2morningpills imediately few hrs after unprotected sex on 22nd June because i was on unsafe days. My breast are paining and have become more big(not much) snce that day till now.Could it be that I'm pregnant?

    • By Reena (not verified) on 2 Jul 2019 - 07:32

      Hi..may 1st I was pregnant I terminated my pregnancy with peaks in Gp..ofter I got periods,this June 30th was my period date,why i didn't

    • By Faiza (not verified) on 30 Jun 2019 - 12:43

      I had sex on the last day of my period which was 14th June 2019 and I feel tired and drink a lot of water foo

    • By Mia (not verified) on 30 Jun 2019 - 11:49

      Hey so my last period started on June 7th which lasted 6 days and I had unprotected sex on June the 21st. I've been having light cramps and a little back pain but no other symptoms. Could I be pregnant?

    • By M.g. (not verified) on 30 Jun 2019 - 10:06

      Ok so ive got 2 kids already. The first found out at 6 weeks high risk very hard pregnancy born premature via emergency csection. Second found out at one month high risk same issue iugr very easy pregnancy elective csection 2 weeks early. My husband was told due to a fever in infancy that he cant have kids. That his chances of viable sperm is low but this was like 25 yrs ago and medicine has advanced a lot. Our kids are by my ex. I've been with my husband since I was 3 mos pregnant with my second. My son os still breastfed hes almost 2 like 22 months. I just this month had a period? That was heavy for a cpl days then almost non existent in also anorexic and struggle with eating properly the ?period? Came 4 days after unprotected sex and was the first time ive bled any in about 3 yrs so what I'm wondering is what are the odds I could be pregnant again ive been tired Moody not much of an appetite but thats not strange for me. I'm actually really unhealthily skinny like 106 pds and I'm 5'7 my periods have always been wonky sometimes 2 a month sometimes they would last 2 weeks but I always tend to ovulate towards the end of the month we had sex on June 3rd my ?period? Came the 8th lasted a cpl days then stopped. Ive also been nauseous and like burpy maybe its indigestion which is weird for me. Becuase I have a pretty good metabolism and dont normally get heartburn or anything like that. Only with my last pregnancy did I have acid reflux issues we really cant afford to add to the mix right now and I dont agree with abortion I'm terrified I'm pregnant again as were just in a really bad situation right now possibly about to be homeless can I test before my next ?period? Or just wait to see if one comes? Its been close to a month since the unprotected sex and only about 3 weeks since my last bleeding

    • By Kaye Ann Edward... (not verified) on 16 Aug 2019 - 04:40

      I have my period the 29 of April and missed my period for May..for June and July I have been spotting when I pee and the color is light pink I see my normal period in March. I have a baby who is just one today. I took a tie off me and my husband have unprotected sex on the 8-to the 12 of April then. My period come the 29 of April but it was light pink that lasted for five days and from that no period in May but I get some spotting in June and also July when I pee and wipe and that is light pink that lasted for two days only

    • By Wilhelmine (not verified) on 13 Jun 2019 - 16:13

      Hey...i had unprotected sex on 4 April..and i got my period the same month. I also got my period in May. But didn't get my period in June yet. It skipped the day i was suppose to get it. I haven't experienced any symptoms of pregnacy at all. Can i be pregnant?

    • By Darlene (not verified) on 2 Jul 2019 - 10:52

      Irs,quiet possibles or it could be. . That your body's saying something else

    • 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

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