Period or Pregnant?

by Nativity Lennon

Period or pregnant? It’s one of the most common questions women ask when they feel the symptoms of an oncoming period but their period hasn’t arrived yet. If your period is a few days late but you’re starting to cramp, you’re moody, and you’re craving strange foods, you may start to wonder if you’re preggers. For women who are trying to conceive, this is probably an exciting time, but for women who are using birth control, it can be a worrisome experience.

The signs and symptoms of early pregnancy are usually easy to spot but since they tend to be similar to the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, telling the difference between period or pregnant can sometimes be difficult. This is especially true for women who experience implantation bleeding.

Implantation bleeding is one of the earliest pregnancy symptoms and it happens when the embryo plants itself on the uterine wall 6-12 days following conception. As a result, some women experience spotting and cramping. Many women who are actually pregnant mistakenly believe that they are having their period when they experience implantation bleeding. Below are some other symptoms that periods and pregnancy have in common:

Swollen, tender breasts

Fatigue/tiredness

Nausea

Food cravings

Mood swings

Constipation

Libido changes

Bloating

Headache

Considering how many symptoms pregnancy and menstruation share, it’s not surprising that many women have trouble distinguishing whether it’s “period or pregnant” they’re dealing with. If you’re not sure whether you’re about to get your period or you’re pregnant, wait till the first day of your missed period before taking a pregnancy test. If you get a negative result, wait a week before you taking the test again.

Home pregnancy tests are about 97% accurate. If you see your doctor, you can take a blood test earlier than a home pregnancy test and find out for sure whether you’re pregnant. The downside is that it will take longer for you to get the results.

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