How To Know If You Missed Your Period

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How To Know If You Missed Your Period

Pregnancy symptoms are really similar to PMS on paper, but there are some clues your body gives you if you listen.

Reasons For Missed Periods: 7 Reasons Why Your Periods Are Missing And You Are Not Pregnant

Jessica is a writer on the Wellness team with a focus on health news. Previously, she worked in local journalism covering public health, business and music issues.

Your menstrual cycle is your body’s way of preparing a nurturing environment for pregnancy by building the lining of the uterus. So you won’t get a period (lose your uterine lining) if you get pregnant. This is true even if you take birth control pills that stop ovulation and mimic a natural menstrual cycle with monthly bleeding.

But while missing a period is many people’s first sign that they’re pregnant, it’s often not the first clue your body gives you.

In the first week of pregnancy (which technically begins the week of your last menstrual cycle, before you ovulate and before fertilization), the body begins to produce.

Am I Pregnant?

Hormones that can affect you physically and mentally. In addition to steadily increasing production of progesterone and estrogen, your body begins to produce new hormones, including human placental lactogen (a.k.a. hPL) and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG — hormones detected by home pregnancy tests).

As your body goes into hormonal overdrive during early pregnancy, you may experience some (often not so pleasant) side effects. But if hormones are to blame, how do you know if it’s PMS, ovulation symptoms, or something else entirely? Below, we outline some of the signals you can notice from your body during early pregnancy, before you take a pregnancy test.

“Implantation bleeding” usually doesn’t last more than a few days, and it’s much lighter than most people’s periods (not enough blood to fill a tampon or pad). Image Siriporn Kaenseeya/EyeEm/Getty

Rising hormone levels in early pregnancy can cause your breasts to feel heavy or sore, and this can happen as early as a week or two after you conceive, or during the third and fourth weeks of pregnancy, according to Healthline. For most people, this is one of the first pregnancy symptoms you will experience.

I’m Not Pregnant, So Why Is My Period Late?

If you have breasts, you’re probably no stranger to the occasional aches and pains that sometimes come with them, especially the pain that comes with premenstrual syndrome, which can also cause tender breasts when hormone levels change. Some people report breast pain during pregnancy as feeling more “full”, however, or more sensitivity in their nipples.

A pregnancy test is the surest way to determine if you are pregnant, but other signals can alert you. PeopleImages/Getty Images

Unexpected or unexplained anger, sadness, irritability, paranoia, guilt, joy and other emotions form a common early pregnancy symptom: mood swings.

“Estrogen and progesterone increase early in your pregnancy,” Dr. Lucy Puryear, psychiatrist and author of Understanding Your Moods When You’re Expecting,

Reasons For A Missed Period And Negative Pregnancy Test Result

Tell parents “The change has a big effect on your mood. You can be crying one minute and happy the next.”

Although there are many factors that can affect your mood, a sudden change can be a clue if you think there is a chance of pregnancy.

Some people experience some light pink or dark brown spotting around 10-14 days after conception during what is called “implantation bleeding.” This light bleeding (barely enough to fill a tampon or pad) usually lasts only a few hours or up to two days, and it is thought to occur when the embryo attaches to the uterine wall. (However, not all researchers agree that this is the cause of this early pregnancy bleeding.)

Implantation bleeding stops on its own and does not require treatment, according to the Mayo Clinic, but because it occurs around the time you might expect a period, some people may mistake it for a very light period.

Pms Vs. Pregnancy Symptoms: How They’re Different

Discharge is normal, but you may notice more when you’re pregnant, even early on. This increase in healthy discharge or “leukorrhea” helps prevent bacteria or infections from spreading from your vagina into your uterus. Pregnancy shouldn’t change the color or smell of your discharge, so watch out for infection.

Another symptom of the funny “am I pregnant or is it PMS?” the game is cramped. During early pregnancy, increased blood flow to the uterus can cause pelvic pressure as your body prepares for the long journey of pregnancy and childbirth. Your uterus, even if you haven’t “showed” it yet, is also starting to stretch and expand to accommodate the increased blood flow and growing pregnancy. This can cause a “pulling” feeling in your stomach, according to Healthline, and can mimic the cramps you experience before or during your period.

If your cramps are very painful or are on one side of your body, however, this may indicate an ectopic pregnancy (when the embryo attaches outside the uterus, usually to the fallopian tubes), which is a life-threatening condition for pregnant women. and requires emergency treatment, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Feeling very tired is common during pregnancy, but you may notice it before your period due to high levels of progesterone, according to the Cleveland Clinic. You may feel more energetic during the second trimesterĀ or feel like your symptoms have subsided completely as your hormones begin to balance during what some call the “golden period.”

Fast Facts: Nine Things You Didn’t Know About Menstruation

Many of us have seen a movie or some kind of GIF where a pregnant person rushes to the bathroom as the weight of their growing belly presses against their bladder. But frequent urination is also an early pregnancy symptom, as the increased blood supply creates more work and waste for your kidneys, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

This waste leaves the body as urine, so if you haven’t missed your period yet but notice you’re making more unexplained trips to the bathroom, that’s a sign you might be pregnant.

Your increasing blood supply or rising hormone levels can be the cause of another unpleasant pregnancy sign, dizziness and headaches. Widening blood vessels can also cause migraines in some pregnant people, according to Stanford Children’s Health.

Also, hunger and low blood sugar levels can trigger headaches, and some pregnant people can experience sinus pressure due to increased congestion, which is the next early pregnancy symptom on this list.

Why Is My Period Late And Top Period Questions

Postnasal drip during pregnancy, or the buildup of mucus in the back of your throat, is called pregnancy rhinitis. In addition to producing more hormones, more blood, and more discharge during the early stages of pregnancy, your body also produces more mucus that can cause sinus pressure, congestion, or other ear, nose, and throat symptoms. Your body is now a powerhouse of bodily fluids.

You can thank your hormones again for giving you a keen sense of smell or an aversion to certain smells, including food. According to research reported by Medical News Today, the majority of pregnant women experience an increased sense of smell during the first trimester. You may notice these changes in your nose before you miss your period.

“Morning sickness,” or daytime pain for some people, usually starts around the 6th to 8th week of pregnancy, which is when most people will notice that their period is missing. But some may experience nausea earlier, according to Parents.

Again, hormonal changes are thought to be the cause of morning sickness, according to the Mayo Clinic. Sometimes, morning sickness and vomiting can be so severe that it causes dehydration or requires medical attention; this condition is referred to as hyperemesis gravidarum.

Pregnancy Symptoms: 15 Early Signs Of Pregnancy

Home pregnancy tests can be very accurate (and they’re usually inexpensive), especially if you wait to test until after your period is officially late. Some tests claim to accurately detect pregnancy up to a week before you miss your period, so if you experience any pregnancy symptoms and are not satisfied, go for it.

You’re more likely to get accurate test results if you wait until your period is late, according to the Mayo Clinic. That’s because the hormone detected in home pregnancy tests, hCG, doubles every two or three days after the embryo attaches to your uterus, meaning there’s more to detect in your urine if you wait a few days.

Because these hormones sometimes take some time to build up, false negative results are not uncommon in early pregnancy. It is much more rare to get a false positive. If you get a positive test result, you are most likely pregnant or have experienced a recent pregnancy, and can confirm the pregnancy with a blood test or ultrasound.

No, say experts. Some people may experience bleeding or spotting, but this is a different pattern of bleeding than the menstrual cycle your body experiences without pregnancy.

Why Is My Period Late: 5 Reasons You’re Late, Other Than Pregnancy

Dr. Michele Hakakha, OB-GYN and author of Expecting 411: Clear Answers and Smart Tips for Your Pregnancy, tells Parents that people can definitely experience vaginal bleeding during pregnancy, but

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