How to Know if You are Pregnant

Wondering whether or not you are pregnant can bring feelings of excitement, anxiety or dread, depending on whether or not you want to have a baby. If you suspect that you are pregnant, then you should find out as soon as possible so that you can begin taking good care of yourself and making important decisions about your future. You can easily recognize certain physical changes that go along with being pregnant. These signs aren’t perfect indicators, however, so be sure to take a pregnancy test so that you’ll know if you are pregnant for sure.

Recognizing the Signs
Consider your actions. Did you have sex without a condom? Did a condom break? Did you forget to take your birth control pills? If you did things that put you at high risk for pregnancy, that will play a huge role in determining if you are pregnant. However, if you used protection and took other precautions, you probably are not pregnant. The failure rate of most protection options are very low.
Pulling out, however, doesn’t usually work. Don’t consider this a protective method.

Notice when you’ve missed your period. Some females track their cycles, and some don’t, so you may not notice that you haven’t had your period until a little while after you’ve missed it.
Think back to the last time that you had your period. Attach the timing of your period to an event. For example, were you menstruating when you went on a vacation or when you went to a concert? If you haven’t had a period in more than 30 days, and you’re sexually active, then you could be pregnant.

If you have an irregular period, then you should test for pregnancy oftenif you’re sexually active. This is especially important if you drink alcohol regularly, smoke or use recreational drugs so that you don’t harm the fetus during the first trimester.

Look for implantation bleeding. If you had a small amount of bleeding or spotting at the time your period would normally happen or before or after when your period normally happens but your period did not occur at its normal time, you may have experienced what is called implantation bleeding. This is a sign of pregnancy.

Look for changes in your breasts. When you’re pregnant, especially for the first time, breast changes are typically the first sign. Your breasts may feel sore and tender. They will definitely get larger, and your nipples may grow and darken.[1]

Be aware of nausea, vomiting, or other digestive abnormalities. Many females, but not all, experience “morning sickness” when they are in their first trimesters. Often, the sickness is accompanied by a strong aversion to certain smells, like the smell of coffee. Some women start to feel dizzy often. Some women also get constipation.

Pay attention to fatigue. The first trimester is often accompanied by feelings of extreme tiredness. You may find yourself wanting to go to bed early or take naps when you’re not used to needing so much sleep.

Keep an eye out for mood swings. The hormonal changes of pregnancy can affect your moods, causing you to be euphoric one minute and crying the next minute. Sentimental movie scenes or passages in books could cause you to become highly emotional. You may also find yourself completely unable to look at stories in the news or in books about harmful things that happen to children.

Take note of your bathroom needs. A sure sign that you’re pregnant is the need to urinate frequently. Another sign can be constipation. If you notice either of these things, they can be signs of pregnancy.

Watch out for dizziness. This is a common side effect of pregnancy. You may get dizzy very easily when you stand up or you might faint or nearly faint at strange times. If you’ve noticed this, you may be pregnant.

Knowing For Sure
Take a home pregnancy test. You can find these tests at your localdrugstore or at a supermarket, usually next to the feminine products or family planning products.
Take the test first thing in the morning as soon as you realize your period is overdue. Most people urinate when they first get out of bed in the morning. The test will be most accurate at this time.

Follow the directions on the package. Most pregnancy tests are pen-like devices with a test strip that extends out of one end. Place the test strip in your urine stream when you go to the bathroom.

Wait for the results. The package directions will be clear about how totell if the test is positive or negative. Usually, you’ll get the results within moments of urinating on the test strip.

If you test negative but your period still doesn’t come, then take the test again in a few days. You’ll have more pregnancy hormones in your system, which can be better detected by the test.

Get tested at a doctor’s office. You can either take a confidential urine test at a family planning clinic, like Planned Parenthood, or a blood test at your physician or gynecologist’s office. Even if a urine test is positive, your doctor will probably draw blood to confirm that you are pregnant. Although urine tests are highly accurate, they aren’t perfect.

Evaluating Your Options
Consider whether or not you want to be a parent. For some women, pregnancy is one of life’s most exciting events. For others, however, pregnancy can provoke feelings of dread. If you have been trying to get pregnant, or welcome the surprise, continue to How to Have a Healthy Pregnancy. If you’re unsure…

Talk to your partner. If you’re a teenager, no matter how frightened you are, talk to your parents or to another adult that you trust, like a family doctor, a counselor or someone at your church.

Research your options for ending the pregnancy. if you want to end your pregnancy, you will want to know what options are available to you. Some have more side effects than others and you will want to decide what is best for you.
The abortion pill: If you’re in the early stages of pregnancy, then you can take the RU-486 abortion pill. The pill thins out the lining of your uterus so that the fetus doesn’t get enough nourishment to survive.

In-clinic abortion: Before 16 weeks, a doctor will perform a vacuum aspiration that will remove the fetus from your uterus. After 16 weeks, you will have a D&E (dilation and evacuation) that will involve dilating your uterus and surgically removing the fetus.

Know the laws of your state. In some states, you will have to get your parent’s permission if you are under 18 and want to have an abortion.[2]

Research the option of adoption. If you want to have the baby, but you feel that your baby would be better off in another home with another set of parents, then giving your baby up for adoption can be one of the most loving and unselfish decisions that you will ever make.
Talk to the father. In many states, he has to give his consent before the adoption becomes official. If you’re under 18, then you need to talk to your parents before making a decision.

Decide what kind of adoption you want. You can go through an agency, or you can hire a lawyer to arrange an independent adoption outside of an agency. Independent adoption may or may not be legal in your state, so check up on your state laws.

Choose the adoptive parents carefully. Some pregnant women answer personal ads placed by couples who want to adopt, and some work with their lawyer or agency to choose prospective parents. Other couples arrange adoptions through their church, mosque or synagogue.

Know what adoptive parents pay for and what they don’t. In many cases, they will pay for your prenatal care and other medical expenses. Your state probably has strict laws about what adoptive parents can and cannot pay for.

Make a decision that you can live with. Ultimately, it’s your body and your decision.

Make sure the decisions you make are healthy for both you and the baby.

Make sure to get good prenatal care throughout your pregnancy. Also, take a childbirth class if you’ve never given birth before. Some hospitals offer classes on how to take care of a baby including information on breastfeeding, diaper changes and basic baby care. Take advantage of whatever your community has to offer.

Take good care of your baby either it’s sad sick or down tell your babythat you are your little angel.

Make sure you’ve explored your options if you want to parent your baby but feel like you can’t provide the best environment. Talk to friends or family who may be able to help you, or contact Social Services to find out about job training or public assistance programs that will help you to provide a better home environment. Never end your pregnancy or give your baby up for adoption if you want to be a parent but feel that you have too little to offer.

If you’re trying to get pregnant, then track your cycle on a calendar. You can also track your cycle on a smartphone app like Ovulation Calendar or a website like[3] You also need to know when you ovulate so that you can make sure that you’re sexually active when you’re most likely to get pregnant.

Don’t drink or do drugs, just in case.

Don’t feel ashamed to ask questions. It is perfectly fine to get information or help from seasoned parents.

Never smoke. It could harm your lungs or your babies’ lungs.

Be smart if you’re sexually active but don’t want to get pregnant. Use birth control so that you don’t find yourself having to make traumatic decisions about an unwanted pregnancy.

Things You’ll Need
Home pregnancy test

Related wikiHows
How to Decide if You Should Have a Prenatal Test

How to Recognize Implantation Bleeding

How to Know the Earliest Pregnancy Signs

How to Deal With Teen Pregnancy

Sources and Citations
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