How will I know when I am pregnant?

How do you know when you're pregnant? If you've been trying for a baby, there are a few ways to find out whether you're expecting.

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.

Read more about common early signs of pregnancy.

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.

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 that you have had a positive pregnancy test result as you might need a longer appointment.

Your doctor’s surgery should be able to advise you of their procedure.

Read getting pregnant FAQs here


  1. Macdonald S, Magill-Cuerden J (2012) Mayes’ midwifery, 14th edition, London Balliere Tindall
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Last reviewed on June 13th, 2017. Next review date June 13th, 2020.

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  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 12 Oct 2017 - 11:25

    Me and my partner aren't currently using protection haven't really since the last time in April I was meant to have my next depo pill injection. I'm in my 30's and he's 27. We've spoke about trying to start a family next summer of 2018 but we've also spoke if I have an accidental pregnancy too. I went to the doctors last month due to something else and they took a pregnancy test and it was negative. I have gained a lot of weight from the pill and also my doing of eating bad. But now I'm starting to lose weight again. But my breasts have been the worst they are soooo sore, to touch, to hold and to put a bra on and off! I want sure if it's the bra and the bra fitter said it can't be as iv been messured properly and there isn't anyway my the bra isn't right. My partner checks them nearly twice a month, I cringe doing it myself! Everything is fine too. The only thing is it may aswell be hormones I just need a reasurance and what to do next?? Thank you

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 12 Oct 2017 - 11:45

    Hi, Thank you for your comment.
    Sore breasts can be a sign of pregnancy, so if you have not been using any form of contraception then there may be a possibility of you being pregnant. It would be advisable to wait and see if you miss your period, if you do then take a pregnancy test. Sometimes your natural cycle can cause you to have tender breasts as well but if you still unsure then you can always see your GP for further reassurance. Hope this helps, Take Care, Tommy's Midwives x

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 5 Oct 2017 - 21:11

    Hiya. My boyfriend had the snip about 8year ago but for the past 2 weeks I've started feeling sick and really tired. Every time I try to eat or drink coffee then a feel sick again it's non stop. I belly feels sore and my back and I've been feeling dizzy to. Is this Inpossible

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 6 Oct 2017 - 12:12

    There is a very small chance that pregnancy can still occur if your partner has had 'the snip' however this is very slim and unlikely. If you think however that you maybe pregnant then it is best to do a pregnancy test to rule this out. If this is negative and your symptoms continue then make an appointment to go and see your GP. Tommy's Midwives

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 5 Oct 2017 - 15:54

    Hi I'm Sarah and I'm 22 and I'm feeling tired and very sluggish and haven't been sick or dizzy so does it also come or does skip that part and I'm late for mY period?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 5 Oct 2017 - 16:31

    Hi Sarah. Thank you for your comment. Each woman experiences early pregnancy and related symptoms differently; some have nausea/vomiting from the start, others may experience this later in 1st trimester or not at all. If your period is late then I would advise that you do a pregnancy test to confirm your pregnancy. If its positive then you can start to organise your pregnancy care-it's recommended to book early (between 8-12 weeks) into maternity unit of your choice and having your 1st or dating scan. The attached link has more information for you about antenatal care

    If your pregnancy test is negative and you are still concerned about the symptoms you are having, I would advise you to discuss this with your GP

    Take care
    Tommy's Midwife

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 26 Sep 2017 - 09:57

    Hi, I have had my period as usual but recently noticed the tummy flutters I experienced with my son. I'm also very tired but no other symptoms. Could I be pregnant again?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 26 Sep 2017 - 10:44

    Hi Kirsty, if you have had unprotected sex recently, then it might be sensible to take a pregnancy test. However, if you have recently had your period as usual, then it is unlikely that you are feeling fetal movements as you are unlikely to be very far gone. It could simply be food digesting. Please do take a pregnancy test so that you know one way or another. All the best

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 14 Sep 2017 - 18:03

    Hi, i am 33years old, i and my boyfriend has been trying for a baby for the past one and half years. is there anything i can do to get pregnant fast. although my bf is 47yrs , as i also think if it has anything to do with age. please i need your advice. Thanks

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 18 Sep 2017 - 10:17

    Hi - thank you for message. Each woman's menstrual cycle is different, so getting to know your body better can improve your chances of conception. Have a look at our information pages on getting pregnant, how conception works and you may find our ovulation calculator useful too.
    We also have a section on male fertility which you may find helpful regarding your concerns about your partners age.

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 14 Sep 2017 - 16:27

    Hi, I'm really worried i came off my period 18th August but was at like rabbits no contraption was used at my most fertil time. I was due on my period today 14th September but Ive had like nothing more like spotting. Could I be pregnant. Help

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 18 Sep 2017 - 10:10

    Hi - Thank you for your message. If you are having unprotected sex, it is possible to become pregnant.
    Traces of hCG can be found in your urine from three to four days after the fertilised egg implants in your womb (uterus) and the amount present builds up each day. A pregnancy test can only detect hCG and give a positive result when there's enough of the hormone to measure. With most tests, this means you can take them from the day you miss your period. If your periods were irregular you might not be sure when this. You can take the test anyway but if it is negative, repeat it after a week to check again.

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 2 Sep 2017 - 07:57

    So i just turned 16 and me and my boyfriend decided to have sex, I'm not on any form of contraception however he did use a condom but he ejaculated inside the condom during ded& I really don't want to be pregnant so I'm extremely paranoid, do you think my paranoia is making me think I'm pregnant? I haven't vomited however I am experiencing back pains and am urinating a lot more frequently but I think maybe it could be a urinary Tract infection as it is uncomfortable to urinate. My next period is due on the 12th of September ( in 10 days). Can you give me advice please on what you think it could be:)

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 4 Sep 2017 - 13:01

    Hello. It is too soon to know if you are pregnant with your period not due for another week. If you are uncomfortable and it is difficult to urinate please try to drink plenty of water and if it continues see your GP. I would also strongly advise you to arrange an appointment with your family planning clinic or your GP to discuss contraception. If this is difficult and you are still at school, you may be able to get advice from the school nurse. Take good care of yourself

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 31 Aug 2017 - 20:29

    Me and my partner are trying for a baby i came off the pill after being on it for only 3 weeks in june. I had a period on the 17th july untill the 21st july however i ovulated late 7th august. I still havent come on my period and i am usually to the day. I have talen several tests all are negative. I am having all the signs am pregnant very tender boobs with itchy nipples, cramping, tierdness, head aches, lower back ache the list goes on. Am i testing to early?? I am really worried the last time i tested was two days ago and still negative. O can feel something is different in my body but worried ots my head playing games because its something we really want. Please help!!


  • By Midwife @Tommys on 4 Sep 2017 - 14:59

    It is possible that it is still too early to test and your cycle may be irregular particularly if you have been on the pill. However, if symptoms persist and tests are still negative please see your GP for advice.

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 20 Aug 2017 - 22:21

    Hi I've been on the contraceptive pill for 8 years and stopped taking a couple of months ago. My first period was regular like normal on the 28 day cycle. The one after that was 16 days late I then can on for 4 days. Then 4 days later had blood when wiping after a wee. I have had unprotected sex within this 2 months. I wondered how long the pill stays in the system for? I've had cramping after my period and have been drinking more fluid Especially through the night .

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 21 Aug 2017 - 16:17

    Hi Don't worry, It can take a while for your cycle to settle down. Take a look at our top tips for conception and ensure you are enjoying a healthy lifestyle. If you are concerned that you are excessively thirsty even at night, you may like to discuss this with your doctor

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 18 Aug 2017 - 17:22

    Hi, myself and my partner have been trying to concive for a while now. I had an eptopic pregnancy in January where lost my left tube. We have started trying again but my cycles are all over the place normally ranging from 33 days to 37 days.
    This cycle my period started on the 11th of July, I have been trying to track my ovulation but the results where difficult to determine when I, or if i ovulated. .I finally got a very strong ovulation lines for 2 days on the 30th day of my cycle the 9th and the 10th of August ( can it be possible to ovulate that late? ) myself and my partner had sex on the 8th and the 10th of August.
    I've been having quite a lot of cramps and my boobs feel funny. .I have been feeling a bit run down. I did a test yesterday and was negative. I know it will be much more difficult for me to get pregnant with only having one tube. It's just getting me down. I'm due to see the hospital next month about secondary infertility. Just wondered if I might of tested to early and there might be a glimmer of hope.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 21 Aug 2017 - 16:02

    Hi, and thanks for your question. Yes it is possible to ovulate as late as that and it accounts for why your periods are so variable at the moment. I would therefore do a pregnancy test after the 24th August which will be 2 weeks after ovulation. In the meantime have a look at our tips for conception and the best ways to get you into prime condition for a pregnancy. Best wishes

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 15 Aug 2017 - 22:57

    Hi I had a period on 21st july 2017 came of on 27th july ovulation happened 2nd August till 8th August period is every 31 days always been same had sex on 3rd and 4th August no contraception used at all when should I test and whats best pregnancy test to use? Feel nauseous all time stomach bloating back pains tired all time not what I get with my periods so could this be sign of pregnancy?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 16 Aug 2017 - 09:07

    Hi there. It is possible that you are pregnant if you had unprotected sex at the start of august. It would be sensible to wait at least another week before testing with a pregnancy test so that the HCG levels have time to build up in your body - this is detected in the urine via a pregnancy test. The best time to take a pregnancy test is first thing in the morning, when the hcg levels are likely to be at their highest at the first void of the day. There are no pregnancy tests "better" than any other. So choose a brand that you are comfortable with using and a cost that feels acceptable to you. Nausea, bloating, back pains and triredness can be symptoms of pregnancy, but they could also be unrelated. If you do not have a positive pregnancy test and these symptoms persist, it might be sensible to go to your GP and discuss your symptoms there. They might find it appropriate to send you for a Gynae review if you are not pregnant. Please do feel free to get in touch if you have any further concerns

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 7 Aug 2017 - 17:47

    I'm late on, was due on 2 days ago. I'm wanting to do a test but scared it will be negative as I've read your period can be up to 6 days late and that be normal. I've been having all tehhe cramps I'd expect just before I'm due on but nothing as of yet?!? What should I do?!?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 8 Aug 2017 - 09:05

    Hi Emilia. It is a little too early to do a pregnancy test just yet, so it would be sensible to wait another week (i know that will feel like a long time) to ensure that a pregnancy test is result is more likely to be an accurate positive or negative result.
    Cramps are common just before and during a menstrual cycle and can be normal in early pregnancy when implantation occurs, so do your best to wait and then test. I hope you get the result that you want!

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 31 Jul 2017 - 12:21


    I came on my pd on the 30th jun and ended on wed 5th July. I then come back on 15th July for 2days then stopped. my period is normally at the end of every month but i have not come on. I took a pregnancy test on 29th but it was negative. Help

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 31 Jul 2017 - 14:30

    It is possible that you may have done the test too soon. If there is a possibility that you could be pregnant I would suggest doing another test in a few days. Or it may be that your periods are a little irregular and you will have a period in the next week or two. If you are wanting to become pregnant remember to start taking folic acid and look at your diet and exercise to optimise your health in preparation for a pregnancy. Good luck x

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 19 Jul 2017 - 23:54

    I started feeling pregnancy symptoms two weeks ago like nausea, dizziness, head ache,swelling of breast,weight gain,craving, high appetite, frequent urination and protruding tommy nd navel
    yet all my urine nd blood test says neg
    ative, but I can feel in me dat am pregnant but y all the negative result
    am xo frustrated, plz help.
    could I be pregnant or not

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 20 Jul 2017 - 11:48

    Hi Grace,
    Sometimes it is very difficult to distinguish between pre period symptoms and early pregnancy symptoms. If you are still having these symptoms as well as a missed period i would advise you to go and see your GP. Also sometimes tests can come back negative if they are done too soon. Please contact us on 0800 0147 800 if you would like to discuss further.
    Best Wishes,
    Tommy's Midwife.

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 21 Jul 2017 - 17:24

    my periods are normal,and yes am still having those symptoms, its xo frustrating to see those negative results yet feel pregnancy symptoms
    my dizziness is now often coupled with nausea and the most frustrating of all is dat I just treated malaria, xo it really cnt be malaria
    nd besides I have also noticed my frequent vaginal discharge nd abdominal pain
    xo what's all this?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 24 Jul 2017 - 12:49

    Hi. If you are getting repeated negative pregnancy tests it is unlikely that you are pregnant. I would suggest that you make an appointment to see your doctor to discuss your symptoms.

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 18 Jul 2017 - 13:14

    Hi I need to wee again n again n didnt get my periods so far n im feeling bloated n sometimes I feel nauseas.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 18 Jul 2017 - 13:45

    Hi, Thank you for your comment. You may be showing signs of being pregnant or you may have a urine infection which is causing the nausea and wanting to pass urine often. If you have been having unprotected sex and your period is late then there may be a possibility of being pregnant. What you need to do next is take a pregnancy test and see if it is positive. If you are pregnant then we would advice that you see your GP so that they can advice you further on what happens next. If you aren't pregnant it would still be advisable to see your GP just to rule out any urine infection. Hope this helps. Tommy's Midwives x

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 7 Jul 2017 - 12:02

    I've been on the pill that stops my period however the last months I've been forgetting to take them. I missed two days then took on ethe missed another two days, then started again. I have unprotected sex during these times. Recently I've been feeling sick especially in the morning, I've been sick and at night I've been having cramps, my breasts are sore and tender, ive been going to the toilet quite frequently and I've been eating a lot more then I normally do. I took a test on Monday after however it can up negative, I took another one on Tuesday morning first thing and it still came up negative. Is it took early for me to find out if I'm pregnant

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 7 Jul 2017 - 15:10

    Hi, It is difficult to really advise you as you have not given any dates at all but sometimes it can be too early for a pregnancy test to be able to pick up on hormone changes. If you wait a week and then try a test again, alternatively you could see your GP for a blood test as they are more sensitive than a urine home test. If you think you maybe pregnant then it would be advised to also take a folic acid supplement too. Tommy's midwives.

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 28 Jun 2017 - 14:16

    Hi can I be pregnant because I need to go to the toilet a lot for a wee nd i get stomach pains at the bottom of my stomach my period is not regular so I can not tell I am taking tablet for my period but not had them since 15 June 2017 I hav had a baby before but I did not now or had any symptoms of pregnancy until I went in to labour so I'm abit scared nd I feel tired nd sleepy nd jus don't want to do anything nd my mood jus changes can I be pregnant plz help

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 29 Jun 2017 - 14:16

    Hi, Thank you for your comment. You could be showing signs of being pregnant or you may have a urine infection which is causing the stomach cramps and wanting to pass urine often. If you have been having unprotected sex and your period is late then there may be a possibility of being pregnant. What you need to do next is take a pregnancy test and see if it is positive. If you are pregnant then we would advice that you see your GP so that they can advice you further on what happens next. If you aren't pregnant it would still be advisable to see your GP just to rule out any urine infection. Hope this helps. Tommy's Midwives x

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 21 Jun 2017 - 16:14

    I had my period on June 4th and have unprotected sex on jun14th IS it possible to be pregnant? Thanks

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 21 Jun 2017 - 16:36

    Hi Jamal
    Yes, it is possible for you to be pregnant. If you had unprotected sex following your menstrual period, then it is possible for you to have conceived in that time. I would be sensible to do a pregnancy test within the next 1-2 weeks. Please take good care of yourself.

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 16 Jun 2017 - 14:25

    Hi, I've always been irregular but it's always a Friday I have been (on) I can never be certain of the time I will be on as usually I can miss a month then be on again. So it's not really an issue I'd be worried.
    However I have been irregular latelY as usual and can't actually pin point last time I was on.
    Lately Im tired and have hell of mood swings. My temperament is highetend and when I wake I do feel a sense of sickNess, but haven't - apart from today.

    I was pregnant before around 17yrs old. Still irregular and one morning I woke and I just knew, went and got a test and It was positive.

    I can't be sure now because, in a sense I just think I'm Ill constantly, I've been underweight but since this has started. I was 8 stone and now weigh 8.5 stone just within 2 weeks.
    I can hardly eat, I feel dizzy and
    have been known to drop to the floor passing out with high and low temperatures. Cold/hot soaked in sweat. have to weigh my head down to the floor till it eventually passes. I've scared a few people in my presence if it had been in a car I'd have to stop and get the air and just simply fall out in weakness, Or in the bathroom where I can't be moved on the floor. I can't speak nor do I have the power to get up. *(bit never feel sick while the occures)*
    This was before I belive I may or may not be pregnant so you can see why I generally just don't know, If it's my eating or generally feel weak or IllNess.

    Been doctors got blood test - nothing. I know when the faintING spells come on because I have at least 2 minutes feeling of warning, when I know it's gonna happen.
    -- Haven't had one recently apart from withdrawing weakness and sickness feeling and only today I have been sick.

    But if it's not pregnancy for my recent symotons and the GP don't know by my blood results. Then it's something I'd have to wait till it passes.

    I have a boyfriend of 7 years so if I fell pregnant, it would not be a surprise and tbh would be quite happy.

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 9 Jun 2017 - 19:16

    Hi I had my last period on the 28th April and haven't been on since it would be 6 weeks today. I am usually on time and for the last 4 days have felt sick and been sick once would it be too early too know?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 12 Jun 2017 - 09:34

    Hello. It is not too early to do a pregnancy test if there is a possibility that you could be pregnant. If the test is positive you should make an appointment to see your GP. Best wishes

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 20 May 2017 - 13:08

    I had my last period on 13.05.2017 and it's 7 days late. Today I had 1 glass of water at 2.15 am and did test by using ican by 4 am. But it came negative. Is it possible that after negative result it can be positive. I need some suggestions. Thanks

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 22 May 2017 - 09:46

    If your last period was 13/5/17 it is not really possible that you are pregnant. A period that is a few days late is not unusual and not something to worry about. Best wishes x

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 22 Apr 2017 - 13:52

    Hi I have had mild cramps for the past week after ovulation with flu symptoms back ache. In the mornings I feel empty and have more saliva then normal. I am 6dpo I had unprotected sex on 16th and my period due 30th

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 24 Apr 2017 - 10:04

    If you think you think you maybe pregnant it would be sensible to carry out a pregnancy test around the time your period is due. Some mild cramping around ovulation can be related to either ovulation or implantation is not uncommon but its hard to determine at this stage which this is. If you continue to feel unwell please contact your GP for advice and support.

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 20 Apr 2017 - 10:58

    Hello. I had sex on the 9th of April. The sperm went inside me. The next day I started my period. Ever since that day I've been feeling nausea and tiredness. So I took a pregnancy test and it came out negative. Could I be pregnant?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 20 Apr 2017 - 11:59

    Hello. Based on the information you have given here, it is extremely unlikely that you are pregnant. It is more likely that the nausea and fatigue are linked to some other cause. Try to ensure that you are eating well and maintaining a sensible lifestyle. If your symptoms don't improve then I would suggest that you see your doctor. Best wishes

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 18 Apr 2017 - 19:08

    i had sex on 11th Feb when I was fertile, I then had sex on 23rd Feb and got period on 24th Feb! I'm now 20 days late my march period never came. I've took 3 tests all negative. I feel nauseas and I have to pee all the time. Could I still be pregnant

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 19 Apr 2017 - 09:32

    Hi Kimbo.
    Using your first day of your last menstrual period of the 24th Feb 2017, and presuming that you have a regular 28 days cycle, you would currently be 7 weeks pregnant. This would certainly show up on a home pregnancy test.
    If you have not already done so, I would suggest that you make an appointment with your GP who can do another pregnancy test, perhaps a blood test and refer you onto a gynae clinic if you are not pregnant, and have missed a period for unkown reason. Please take good care of yourself.

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 11 May 2017 - 10:01

    We have been trying for a baby my last period was 8th April I was due period on 6th May but haven't had one I'm 5 days late but feeling sickasick and tired could I be pregnant I've done tests but saying negative

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