Return to Ask The Midwife

Am I Pregnant?


Hi, lately I've been feeling unusual, unlike myself. The past two to three weeks I have been constantly feeling very bloated, quite nauseous, gassy, and constipated (on and off). I've been having backaches, headaches and have been feeling incredibly drained. As well as that my stomach has been feeling strange in general, gurgling and making sounds all the time despite whether or not I'm hungry or thirsty. I also noticed changes in my breasts (fuller, slightly heavier, nipples look a little larger and have more bumps/creases in them), but the changes seemed so subtle that I dismissed them before giving it any thought. I take birth control, and initially brushed off these symptoms as hormonal imbalances as I took my birth control pills 12 hours late on three separate occasions during the first two weeks of active pills (not in a row, June 12th to about the 22nd). When mentioning nausea to my boyfriend, he was concerned that it may be morning sickness (on and off throughout the day, especially before/after meals). I dismissed the idea as it seemed a little far fetched at first, as I felt if I'd gotten pregnant due to my irregular pill consumption that it would be too soon to be experiencing all these things as it means I would only be a few weeks along. I also got my period last month (June) and it was regular in every way. But looking through my period calendar I saw that my period in May (10th-13th) was incredibly light and very short, lasting only three days and ending early. It was also a light brownish color the entire time. I had sex (birth control, no condom) multiple times (a few times a day) the week of my ovulation (April 21st-27th), and if I am pregnant, I'm thinking it's on April 26th that I may have conceived. I'm still a little skeptical as the chances seem so slim, but I want to play it safe. I've heard on many occasions of women getting a regular period (or a few) during their pregnancies, and am wondering if I may be in the same position. If I am pregnant, my calculations would have me at around eight weeks, which is the appropriate amount of time for the symptoms I've been having to occur. I'm expecting my period any day now (July). The average length of my cycle is 33.18 days and my luteal phase length is 14 days. I'm only nineteen, so I guess I am more fertile at this age and the chances are heightened slightly I suppose. Please get back to me as soon as possible. Thank you. -Celeste R. 

Dear friend! It sounds like things are feeling super overwhelming right now. Don't worry -- we can help clear everything up for you pretty easily. It's great that you're so in tune with your body, but the absolute best way to know if you're pregnant or not is to take a pregnancy test.

Which pregnancy test should I buy? All pregnancy tests have more or less the same efficacy, even the ones you pick up at the drug store. If it makes you feel safer, you can pick up a few from different companies.

When should I use it? Pregnancy tests will show positive by 2 weeks after you've conceived or around the same time that you miss your period. If you take one and it comes back negative but you're pretty sure you're pregnant (or you just want to be sure), take another one 1 week later.

How do I use it? Always read the instructions. Some want you to pee directly on the stick, others want you to pee in a cup and use the handily supplied dropper to drop urine onto it. The best time to take it is in the morning the first time you pee that day.

Are there other options? Yes, you can go to your local Planned Parenthood or other reproductive health clinic and ask to take either a urine or blood test there. Many places will offer free pregnancy tests.

After you know for sure if you are pregnant or not, you can start making decisions about what you'd like to happen next. Good luck!

Answered by Chloe Lubell, CNM, MSN, WHNP
07.16.15


Disclaimer: Ask a Midwife does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, or treatment. The information provided by Ask a Midwife is for educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation, or the advice of your midwife or other health care provider. If you believe you have a medical emergency, you should immediately call 911 or your health care provider.

space