How to Know If You're Pregnant

There are signs you're having a baby even before you miss a period.


Up next in How to Get Pregnant (9 videos)

Trying to get pregnant? Learn how to increase your fertility and/or overcome infertility with this Howcast video series. Advice includes how to know when you're ovulating; how to increase sperm count; how to boost your odds of conceiving twins; how to practice natural family planning, and much more.

You Will Need

  • A knowledge of physical symptoms
  • A home pregnancy kit
  • Access to a clinic or doctor's office


  1. Step 1

    Look for physical signs

    Pay attention to your body. Symptoms like fatigue, swollen or tender breasts, and nausea can show up as early as two weeks after conception. Headaches and lower back pain are also early signs.

  2. Step 2

    Know the emotional signs

    Consider whether you've been more emotional lately. Some women find that pregnancy makes them moodier, weepier, or more irritable than usual thanks to the hormonal surge that occurs after conception.

  3. Stress can cause hormones to mimic pregnancy signs like nausea; it can even cause you to miss a period.

  4. Step 3

    Take a test

    Take a home pregnancy test; it can sometimes detect pregnancy even before you've missed your first period. Be aware, however, that taking it early may cause a false negative result.

  5. For the most accurate results, take the test in the morning, when pregnancy hormone levels in urine are highest.

  6. Step 4

    Double check

    If the home test is positive, see your doctor right away. If it's negative and your period still doesn't start, then repeat the test in a few days. False negatives are more common than false positives.

  7. Step 5

    Don't assume you've started your period

    If you get your period, don't assume you're not pregnant. If it's unusually light, it may be what's known as "implantation bleeding," which happens when the embryo attaches to the uterus.

  8. Step 6

    Get a blood test

    To be absolutely sure, go to your doctor for a blood test. Because pregnancy hormones are easier to detect in blood than urine, blood tests are more accurate than home kits.

  9. Did you know? The most common oddball food combination craved during pregnancy is pickles and peanut butter, followed by Marmite and ice cream, and tuna and bananas, according to an online poll.