Signs and symptoms of pregnancy
Early signs of pregnancy
If you have a regular monthly menstral cycle, the earliest and most reliable sign of pregnancy is a missed period. Women who are pregnant sometimes have a very light period, losing only a little blood.
Other signs are:
- Morning sickness
- Feeling tired
- Sore breasts
- Peeing more often
- Strange tastes, smells and cravings
When can you do a pregnancy test
You can carry out most pregnancy tests from the first day of a missed period. If you don’t know when your next period is due, do the test at least 21 days after you last had unprotected sex.
Some very sensitive pregnancy tests can be used even before you miss a period, from as early as eight days after conception.
You can do a pregnancy test on a sample of urine collected at any time of the day. It doesn’t have to be in the morning.
How does a pregnancy test work?
All pregnancy tests detect the hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), which starts to be produced around six days after fertilisation.
Most pregnancy tests come in a box that contains one or two long sticks. You pee on the stick and the result appears on the stick after a few minutes. All tests are slightly different, so always check the instructions.
Pregnancy test results
A positive test result is almost certainly correct. A negative result is less reliable. If you get a negative result and still think you’re pregnant, wait a few days and try again. Speak to your GP if you get a negative result after a second test but your period hasn’t arrived.