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.

Are you ready to conceive? Try our free healthcheck

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 Blessing imafidon (not verified) on 16 Apr 2020 - 09:34

      On March I saw my period on 12.3.2020, I miss my period April 7.4.2020, but on 14.4.2020 I saw stain of blood in my underwear, the blood lasted for two days and I am still feeling the sign of pregnancy like having headache, back pain, pain understand my lower abdomen and ribs, sour taste in my mouth etc

    • By Vanna (not verified) on 13 Apr 2020 - 21:53

      My period is 9 days late and I'm utterly nausea all the time?

    • By Marry (not verified) on 12 Apr 2020 - 00:33

      I have seen my period this month but is let that show that i have pregnant ?please help me

    • By Anonymous (not verified) on 12 Apr 2020 - 00:28

      Hi i have seen my period this month but is let that show that i have pregnant ? Please help me

    • By Edith (not verified) on 9 Apr 2020 - 15:41

      I haven't had my period for the past 10day after my menstruation time ,I have tested it several times and an still negative what do I do now

    • By Maria Jones (not verified) on 4 Apr 2020 - 04:36

      I had came on for two days i normally stay on for 4 days....I been off for 2 days now but I feel signs of being it possible

    • By Chloe (not verified) on 3 Apr 2020 - 21:37

      I had unprotected sex with my boyfriend on 14th March, I had my period on the 19th but it ended the next day and was very light (unusual for me). I’ve been feeling nauseous, lightheaded and have had cramps for the last 5 days non stop. I took a pregnancy test yesterday which came up negative. Should I rely on the pregnancy test or could I have taken it too early and is there still a chance I could be pregnant? Any advice would be helpful. Thank you in advance x

    • By Sd95 (not verified) on 2 Apr 2020 - 17:35

      I would like some advice on what to do please I am 5 days late on my period which I am never late always on time or early. 2 days ago I was having cramps I thought it was my period but it never arrived I have done 3 test on different days they said negative I don't know what to do as I have never missed my period

    • By Kenita (not verified) on 5 Mar 2020 - 18:12

      I have a 28 day cycle but my period is three days late and I feel cramps and my breast is heavy .should I take a pregnancy test?

    • By Promise (not verified) on 13 Apr 2020 - 10:05

      My own period is 28th then i am meeing my period for 1 day

    • By P*** (not verified) on 7 Feb 2020 - 17:44

      I have missed my period and its been more than 4 days now and am trying to conceive so should i take the test now or wait longer?

    • By Theresa John (not verified) on 23 Mar 2020 - 22:47

      Missed for 14 days

    • By Betty (not verified) on 17 Jan 2020 - 01:23

      I had a sex before 4 days of my period on December 9/2019 and 15 days my period is missed ..I was check for 3 times and still negative result am I pregnant or not.plese help me

    • By Maria (not verified) on 30 Jan 2020 - 01:56

      I missed my period and took lots of test that said negative but i pee like crazy and sleep more.

    • By Kassy (not verified) on 16 Jan 2020 - 22:56

      When should i have my period

    • By Brittany (not verified) on 30 Dec 2019 - 01:21

      Three days before my last sexual incident on (12-04-19)I pregnancy symptoms except sore breast on (12-06-19) I had light bleeding for 4days and then on (12-18-19) I spoted for one day still had some pregnancy symptoms but they have all gone away now except cramping every now and then and tingling in my back my next period is due on (01-04-19) I’ve taken 3 home pregnancy test all negative could I be pregnant or not??

    • By Beauty (not verified) on 29 Dec 2019 - 17:51

      I have not seen my period this month and the month is almost to an end dose that mean am pregnant I just pray so because I need a baby now

    • By Clare (not verified) on 10 Apr 2020 - 02:56

      If u are over a month late its high possibility that u are experiencing a hormonal imbalance...r pregnancy...i am happy with hormones but not my weight but i was 6 n haf stone wen gettin pregnant be4

    • By Nazneena (not verified) on 14 Apr 2020 - 12:35

      Am i pregnent

    • By chy (not verified) on 15 Dec 2019 - 23:41

      I have the implant and I’ve had it for almost a year and I normally have unprotected sex. My period normally comes a week early but it hasn’t and todays the 15th and last time I had it was the 16th of last month. I’m worried I’m pregnant. Last time I had sex was like a month ago. Someone please help

    • By Kj19 (not verified) on 29 Nov 2019 - 19:54

      Can anyone advise please.
      I'm 4 weeks late tomorrow my period are always ok only ever been late few days never this long.
      I've taken tests come back invaild or faint positives and also had negative ones
      I've been to the doctors but he just told me to go back in 4 weeks and to presume I am pregnant but he didn't do a test or book me in for blood test.
      I don't know what could be the latest test I did on Monday was negative.
      What should I do and what could be up if I'm not.
      Thank you

    • By Mira (not verified) on 15 Mar 2020 - 22:07

      I am in the same situation as you mentioned or you gone through, The Doctor given me the same answer as yours. I am waiting for to complete 3 months.
      how you come out from this situation ?
      what is the end result ?
      please suggest me something from your experience what should i do next ?

    • By Kayla (not verified) on 22 Nov 2019 - 06:46

      I have had most of the symptoms for pregnancy and I had unprotected sex 3 days before my period and it’s been a week since I was supposed to start my period, I took test but they all said negative.... am I pregnant?

    • By MacPherson (not verified) on 2 Jan 2020 - 09:08

      yes and no,it depends on ur menstrual cycle

    • By kiri (not verified) on 21 Nov 2019 - 14:32

      Hi I have a question, I'm a mother of 4 and have been on the injection to which I have stopped about 3 months ago. I had intimacy with my partner last month, 6 days before my fertile time and then when I was supposed to be on my fertile time I started spotting for 2 days before I bled lightly for 3 days. Since then I haven't had a period and have had lower back pain on and off as well as cramps. I have been tired and not had much motivation lately

    • By michelle saunders (not verified) on 21 Nov 2019 - 11:10

      thank you

    • By martha (not verified) on 20 Nov 2019 - 10:11

      Had my period last on 20th sept, had unprotected sex tro out my fertile periods, started feeling cramps headache nuseas,sharp stomach ache at times aft my ovulation period, had 3days delay, jux nw am having light bleeding..wit cramps.. Is it possible I can be preg and still menstrate.. Pls help am confused

    • By Anonymous (not verified) on 17 Nov 2019 - 00:14

      I want to do a pregnant test right now

    • By okezie victoria (not verified) on 3 Dec 2019 - 11:46

      I missed my period since november till daye

    • By Zeeyoooo (not verified) on 15 Nov 2019 - 06:55

      Hi there.... I'm Zee originally from Durban SA.

      Okay I have a problem here I haven't being seeing my periods for a while but now I've got cramps and I want to conceive. Is it possible if I do sex now and I conceive b4 my periods thou I haven't been seeing my periods for long?

      I really want to be pregnant


    • By Shado (not verified) on 12 Nov 2019 - 21:06

      Good day guys.. so had unprotected sex during ovulation.. My period is currently 12days late. But saw a little trace of blood while using the bathroom. Have had tummy cramps and sensitive breasts a few days now.... Any thoughts? Also how do you know if you've had a miscarriage and not your period?

    • By Stephanie (not verified) on 27 Oct 2019 - 04:39

      I was supposed to start my period Oct 6th and it's been 3 weeks and still haven't had my period I took a test 2 weeks after I had my period and it came up negative but iv been feeling sick and having back pain and headaches certain foods make my stomach turn and I'm having abdominal pain..... what's going on with me please help me understand

    • By Bella (not verified) on 10 Oct 2019 - 05:53

      I’m currently 7 days late for my period though I toke a test when I was 5 days late but it came out negative and it’s already day 7 no period but I feel weak inside of me and stomach cramps is also there is a possibility that I might be pregnant

    • By Sarah dunyo (not verified) on 16 Oct 2019 - 19:01

      Please give yourself time additional 7 days will do . After the days you can try testing yourself again

    • By Chloe (not verified) on 8 Oct 2019 - 00:03

      Right 3 weeks before my period I had sex a few times a day every day up intill 16 Yh of September I was 6 days late and then only bled for 2 days very lightly, I am tired feeling sick when pouring Guinness at work and potentially “morning sickness “ sore larger breasts and mood swings are all over the place, taken a home pregnancy test but came back negative what the hell is going on ...

    • By QueenBee (not verified) on 7 Oct 2019 - 15:47

      Saw my men strap cycle on the 28th of August and it lasted for about 5days. Please when is my next period?

    • By Bimpe (not verified) on 23 Sep 2019 - 18:06

      I saw my period last month For 4days on August 11th and still bled lightly for another 2 days on 28th of August and now I just started having another light bleeding today which is September 21. I have been sexually active with no protection, can I be pregnant?
      I really want it to be positive....

    • By Sunshine (not verified) on 23 Sep 2019 - 06:22

      I had sex on 15 of July and I had sex on the unprotected 22 of the same month and in August I saw my period on 7 and later saw it again on 26 of August also but I have been having back pain, bloating and others
      And I have done test d result came out negative pls what is going on thanks

    • By Anonymous (not verified) on 18 Sep 2019 - 16:56

      Had sore boobs I'm 22 days late negative test belly swollen no sickness had headace as well what can this be?? Had bloods done all ok.

    • By KDee (not verified) on 13 Sep 2019 - 06:35

      I'm not sure if i had my period last month. But thinking over and over again i knew that i had my period but in other side i was thinking that i almost 1 month no period. I have irregular period no specific date when my period comes. After a days of my period, Me and my partner had make out last month. It was 13 days as of september and I was thinking im delayed for 1month and 13 days. This past few weeks i feel easily tired,hot headed,I have this cravings looking for somwthing to eat sweets sometimes sour and spicy. I feel headaches like my surroundings are twirling most of the time in the morning. I don't have the vomitting in the morning of "morning sickness". I am bloated cause of constipation. Lack of exercise that's why im fat. But my concern why my stomach is not that big but not normal like before. I didn't take the test until now. The partner i was mentioning is not official were not legal. I'm so problematic of what i've been through. Need help! I have many sleepless nights because of this. It's hard for me i can't bear or never be preggy cause i had my head operation conneting the tube from head through stomach to down there. I need help!! What should i do?

    • By Ashley (not verified) on 4 Sep 2019 - 23:25

      My last heavy period was july3. I had very light pink on july 24 lasted 3days-usual cycle but no clots or heavy cramps.also again on August 18 light pink with clear jelly mixed in after sex. Am I crazy or pregnant? I am hungry for bacon and pork products and I don't like.also I want pineapple and used to love peanuts butter and now the thought makes me nauseated. I'm nauses but not throwing up unless I brush my teeth and tongue

    • By Ashley (not verified) on 4 Sep 2019 - 23:16

      So I'm in my ovulation time and we always have unprotected sex. He came in me but 5 minutes later he took paper towel and wiped dry. Could I still get pregnant? I'm really emotional and tired and light cramping

    • By Stacy (not verified) on 23 Aug 2019 - 15:35

      My period is six days late , I been having unprotected sex and 2 days now I been having lower belly cramps and my boobs are sore .could you help me please ?

    • By Rachel (not verified) on 6 Oct 2019 - 21:18

      Hey im in almost the SAME situation . Aprox 5 days late and i run a fairly normal cycle 28 days if anything I get my period a day or two early. Def late now and have some cramping fatigue and my boobs seem little fuller. Im thinking that I ovulated late and conceived closer to my expected period on 10/2 had unprotected sex on 9/24 and 9/26 . Maybe explaining why the home test are not yet detecting enough hormone. Making myself crazy. I have TWO children so I'm familiar w pregnancy . Think im second guessing myself due to the tests. However I always got positive right near period guess i should be counting days from unprotected sex if late ovulation was the cause. So did you end of pregnant? Hope all is well. Just curious.

    • By Dior (not verified) on 13 Aug 2019 - 12:01

      Ist day of my last period was June 22nd. Had sex with husband from July 1st to 7th. Haven't seen my period since then. Been taking pregnacare plus that comes with omega 3 capsules. Been having mild abdominal cramps occasionally. Had 2 home urine tests that were negative. I'm 25days late now. I have stopped the vitamins yesterday. Took them for only 14 days. So am I pregnant ?

    • By nwosu assumpta (not verified) on 4 Aug 2019 - 19:49

      I saw my period on month of june 26th 2019 and i have sex with my husbad on 5th to 11th of july and i missed my period on july and i feel am pregnant i checked pregnancy text on August 4th is negative but am fat and my tummy is bitting me a lot and i am spitting a lot am i really pregnant

    • By eunice (not verified) on 14 Sep 2019 - 19:56

      am I pregnant cause I have take pregnant test but it's negative

    • By Elbrika Long (not verified) on 18 Jan 2020 - 13:10

      7 days late 3 negative pregnancy test

    • By Anonymous (not verified) on 24 Jul 2019 - 22:11

      I had unprotected sex, period six days late. I’ve been having some pregnancy symptoms. I’ve been taking online pregnancy quizzes and came back all the same may be pregnant.

    • By teja (not verified) on 23 Jul 2019 - 12:22

      i had sexually interacted while 4th day of periods ,last 4 days till upto now iam facing lower back pain , stomach pain ,vomting sensation ,very illness, im totally confused am i pregnant ,these problems not seen while before periods or during periods please conclude my problem

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