If you’ve had unprotected sex, your chosen method of contraception failed, or you missed taking the pill within the last few weeks, you may be asking yourself ‘am I pregnant?’ Even if you have some early pregnancy symptoms – including a missed period – this doesn’t necessarily mean you are pregnant, and the only way to be sure is to take a pregnancy test. Read on to learn more about the early signs of pregnancy, take our ‘Am I pregnant?’ quiz, find out when you can get pregnant, and much more.
Am I pregnant?
If you had sex around the time you ovulated without any form of contraception, or your method of contraception failed, you might be pregnant. Ovulation usually happens around 14 days before the start of the next cycle, so if you usually have a 30-day cycle, you could expect to ovulate around day 16. The egg can only survive for up to 24 hours after it has been released from your ovary, but sperm can live for up to 5 days inside your body, which means you have a ‘fertile window’ of 6 days, leading up to and including the day of ovulation. In this example, your fertility window would be from around day 10 – 16.1 However, 52% of cycles vary by 5 days or more2, so, even if you have had unprotected sex outside of this time, it’s best to take a pregnancy test as you may not have ovulated when you think you did.
What happens after ovulation and conception?
If a sperm fertilizes an egg, the fertilized egg travels down the fallopian tube (oviduct) to the womb (uterus), while the cells continuously divide to form a cluster, called a blastocyst. Around 9 – 11 days after fertilization, the blastocyst implants into the uterine wall and the embryo begins to develop. After implantation, this is the first time the pregnancy hormone can be detected in the mother’s blood or urine.3
Symptoms of early pregnancy
There are a few symptoms you may experience if you are pregnant, the most common being:
- A missed period. This is often the first sign you may be pregnant, however, there are other reasons you can miss a period when you are not pregnant, like anovulation.
- Morning sickness or nausea. One of the classic clichés in early pregnancy signs, morning sickness, is a common symptom, but despite its name it can strike any time of day, or even all the time. However, not all women feel nauseous or vomit when pregnant.
- Tender and swollen breasts. The hormonal changes in early pregnancy may make your breasts feel swollen or sore.
You can see more early symptoms of pregnancy if you’d like to know more.
What do I need to know about taking a pregnancy test?
The only way to know whether you’re pregnant or not is to take a pregnancy test. If you suspect you’re pregnant, you don’t even need to wait until you miss your period as some tests can be used as early as 6 days before your missed period (5 days before you would expect your period to start).
Is it possible I’m not pregnant?
It is possible for you to have any or all of the symptoms described above and yet not be pregnant. That’s because any early signs of pregnancy are similar to symptoms of PMS, and your missed period could just be due to an irregular cycle that month or other factors like stress. If you are not sure, take a pregnancy test.
Take the ‘Am I pregnant?’ quiz
Not sure if you are pregnant or not? Take our ‘Am I pregnant?’ quiz to see if you have any chances of being pregnant based on your symptoms.
What are the signs of pregnancy?
What are the early signs of pregnancy?
Think you’re pregnant, but you haven’t taken a test yet? See what the early signs of pregnancy are to understand what symptoms you may have.
You may experience some spotting when a fertilised egg implants into the uterine lining, but how can you tell the difference between your period and implantation bleeding? Read on to learn more about implantation bleeding.
What can cause a missed period?
Is your pregnancy test result negative, but your period still hasn’t come? You can miss your period and not be pregnant, so read on to learn about what, other than pregnancy can cause you to miss your period.
When can I get pregnant?
Can I get pregnant on my period?
If you have short menstrual cycles, it may be possible to get pregnant on your period. Learn all about your fertility window and how your cycle length affects your chance of getting pregnant on your period.
Contraception: What if I don’t want to get pregnant?
Looking for contraception?
If you don’t want to get pregnant, it’s important you get the right contraception. There are plenty of options from condoms to the pill, and much more besides, so that you can find the best protection for you.
Morning after pill
But what if you’ve had an accident? Learn more about the morning after pill, its efficacy, and alternative emergency contraception methods.
I’m pregnant: See how far along you are with our Due Date Calculator
If you’ve noticed the symptoms of early pregnancy and suspect you’re pregnant, or you took a test that was positive, you may wonder how far along you are. Check out our Due Date Calculator to get an idea of how far along you may be in your pregnancy.
- Soumpasis, I., Grace, B., & Johnson, S. (2020). Real-life insights on menstrual cycles and ovulation using big data. Human Reproduction Open, 2020(2), hoaa011. https://doi.org/10.1093/hropen/hoaa011