“Should I Take a Pregnancy Test?” Signs You May Be Pregnant

Earlier this year, TODAY Parents wrote a story on the best time to take a pregnancy test and what pregnancy symptoms to look for. We agree with the author, Lexi Dwyer, and we’re sure many women trying to conceive can relate when she says “the days leading up to getting your period can feel like an emotional rollercoaster.” Women who are trying to get pregnant become very aware of every ache, craving, pain or twitch. What are some signs you may be pregnant?

Implantation bleeding is a telltale symptom of pregnancy. It occurs about six to 12 days after fertilization when the embryo makes its way to the uterus. As a symptom of pregnancy, it can happen before you test positive on a pregnancy test, so it may be difficult to determine whether this is an early sign of pregnancy or just your period. According to Dr. Mary Jane Minkin from Yale University, interviewed in the TODAY Parents’article, “Unfortunately there is no definitive test of implantation bleeding, it’s sort of a diagnosis of exclusion.” If the bleeding happens more than two weeks after intercourse, then it’s likely to be your period and not implantation bleeding. Implantation bleeding can happen about 7-10 days before your expected period, if your cycle is regular.

Of course, implantation bleeding comes with other symptoms, too – breast tenderness, increased sensitivity to smell, nausea and vomiting. The American Pregnancy Association took a poll to find out the most commonly noticed first symptoms of pregnancy, according to women surveyed:

  • 29 percent said missed period
  • 25 percent said nausea
  • 15 percent said a change in their breasts

The American Pregnancy Association also noted that while implantation bleeding is considered the first pregnancy symptom, only 3 percent of women said that it was their first sign of pregnancy.

If you think you might be pregnant, it never hurts to take a home pregnancy test, though false negative results (along with less-common false positive results) can happen. If you want to confirm whether you are pregnant or not, your healthcare provider can order a blood test to confirm your pregnancy.

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