Could I be pregnant or is it just PMS?
I feel… bloated…. emotional…. I missed my period…. my breasts are sore…. Am I pregnant?!? Or is this just PMS? The symptoms of both PMS and pregnancy can be very similar. Both PMS and early pregnancy symptoms will vary from woman to woman and even from one pregnancy to the next. The only way to distinguish between the two is to take a pregnancy test that measures for the pregnancy hormone hCG. If you are more than 6 weeks along in a pregnancy, an ultrasound can also answer the question, but a pregnancy test is usually the first step.
Use the questions below to determine if you’re indeed pregnant or just have PMS symptoms!
How do pregnancy tests work?
The pregnancy hormone hCG can be measured in urine as soon as 4 days before your missed period with some over-the-counter pregnancy tests.22 If you do test your urine before your missed period, and get a negative result, you should test again the day after your period was due just to be sure. Early negative results are not considered accurate.23
If you are getting repeat negative urine test results and still feeling symptoms, your medical provider’s office can arrange a blood test for hCG.
How long can PMS last?
PMS can last for up to two weeks in some women.24
What are the symptoms of early pregnancy?
Some common ones include breast tenderness, fatigue, emotional changes, an aversion to certain smells, a feeling of pelvic fullness/bloating, or feeling the need to pee more often. 24,25 The scientific research includes a list of up to 150 symptoms associated with PMS 26 – no wonder it gets confused with early pregnancy! Check out our pregnancy symptoms blog for more information.
Should I call my doctor?
If your symptoms last more than two weeks, or if your symptoms are affecting your health and daily activities, it is time to call your doctor. 27
Where can I get a pregnancy test?
Urine tests are available in most grocery and drug stores if you want to do your own at home. We offer free urine pregnancy tests at the Community Pregnancy Center and a nurse will be available to answer any questions you may have about the results. Call 337-9292 for an appointment or drop in to our center at 4231 Lake Otis Parkway between 9 and 4 on weekdays.