How to Know If You're Pregnant

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

You will need

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.