I’ve told my birth stories on here before. And in them, I recounted my sudden love affair with tomatoes. In case you’re too busy to go back and read that now, I had always hated raw tomatoes my whole life and suddenly wanted them. Bad! I had to have them.
That was my first tip-off that something unusual was going on. Then there were other signs. With a late period, I got a pregnancy test to confirm what I suspected…I was pregnant.
We hadn’t been trying when we had our first child, but it was a delightful surprise. Our second one was completely planned, but at just three weeks along, I had my suspicions. How did I know?
Part of it, for the second time, was my intuition and knowing what pregnancy felt like. But for my first child, all these oddball clues finally came together once I confirmed my pregnancy with a legitimate test.
Do you think you might be pregnant? If so, you can find out right now if you are for sure; no test is required! Though I will tell you this right now…do not wait and assume you are or aren’t. If anything that follows in this article rings true for you, get a test to confirm it, and then make an appointment at once to see your doctor.
If you’re pregnant, the reasons to see a doctor are obvious, but if it turns out you’re not, you should find out what’s causing you to feel unusual.
Can I Tell if I’m Pregnant without a Test?
Yes! You should look for the following symptoms of early pregnancy. One or two of them might not mean a thing. But if you read this whole list and you’re nodding your head like, “Yup, that’s me right now,” then you should schedule that appointment with your doctor.
The first sign of pregnancy can vary from woman to woman, but this list tackles the typically first signs first.
This is the most noticeable symptom of early pregnancy. In fact, if you’ve ever in your life been late before, it’s a good cause for panic. With my eldest, I noticed I was a few days late, which didn’t concern me too much. I was still getting used to living abroad and a new schedule, and I figured it was that stress.
When it didn’t show up after that, and the other symptoms on this list had been showing all along, I connected the dots. It’s not an automatic indicator you’re pregnant, though. You might be rejoicing you’re finally pregnant when you’re three days late, and suddenly, your monthly visitor arrives all over your new pair of sexy undies.
What you should do if you haven’t gotten your period yet is be on notice and look for the other symptoms. If your period doesn’t arrive, you should take a test to confirm pregnancy. If it turns out negative, you should also see your doctor and find out why you’re not getting your period.
Also, I found it odd that my breasts seemed suddenly larger in my birthing story. I’d put on my sports bra to go jogging just days before, and it was okay. Now it was tight, like I was stuffing my breasts in there. If you’ve had smaller breasts your whole life and suddenly, they feel bigger, you might be pregnant.
Need to pee
I was teaching English abroad when suddenly, during one of my classes, I couldn’t wait another minute before running to the bathroom. I found that odd because I hadn’t drunk more coffee than usual, yet I was unable to wait until I dismissed my students to go. At first, I thought it was a one-off, but I soon began to notice that I had to go more often.
This feeling is very urgent too. You’ll suddenly realize you’ve just got to go right now. Unless you’ve been chugging beer or coffee, it’s a pretty good indicator you’re pregnant. Your hormones increase blood circulation, leading to higher water retention — fun, fun, fun.
Random spotting soon after the last period
Unless you tend to spot on the regular every month,
As a mom, I can tell your kids will bring you into the depths of fatigue for years. That’s why you might want to look into it when you’re newly pregnant for the first time, and you sit down for a moment, then wake up HOURS later.
Unless you pulled an all-nighter, there’s not much reason to be fatigued if you don’t already have another child at home.
Fatigue is a symptom of early pregnancy that goes away for most women in the second trimester. But don’t get too excited. It comes back to drain you in the third trimester.
Basal body temperature
Women actively trying to conceive should be on board the basal temperature trolley. This helps you track when you’re ovulating, increasing your chances of success with getting pregnant. If you notice your basal body temperature is high for two weeks post-ovulation, it is almost always a safe bet to assume you’ve nailed it and you’re pregnant.
I put this one a bit further down on my list, and I’ll tell you why. I’ve always been the sort that has slightly sore breasts around and during my period. So when my breasts felt tender even when I was a few days late, I merely assumed my period would be arriving shortly.
Nausea and/or vomiting
While it’s called morning sickness, it’s a misnomer because it can happen anytime. You should be on high alert if you feel green around the gills or even throw up. I remember being on the subway, smelling the businessmen boarding the train after their drunken dinner meetings, and trying my best not to barf.
I also remember walking by a dumpster and thinking I would explode with vomit. One random moment of nausea isn’t a problem, nor is a one-off vomiting episode. But if this keeps coming up, pardon the pun; you should find out why from your doctor.
Major mood swings
Hey hormones, how you doin’? You might have mood swings throughout the month, but when you’re pregnant, you’ll go from 0 to 60 and spin around on a dime. One minute you’ll be laughing and happy. The next, you’ll be irritable and stabby.
And you know when you’re near your period or on it, and you see a commercial that makes you cry? Yeah, you’re going to be even worse when you’re pregnant.
Definitely gross, but I have to bring this up. Pregnancy hormones do a number on digestion. One thing you may notice is that you’re constipated. This in and of itself is not an indicator of pregnancy, especially if you’ve been slacking on drinking enough water or taking in enough fiber.
You should raise an eyebrow if your poop suddenly changes in ways you can’t explain. Mine would be long and winding, like a giant poop snake in the toilet. In all my life, I’ve never had that happen to me…until I was pregnant (yes, with both kids!).
Cravings and aversions
I was desperate for both mangoes and bananas. And I suddenly craved tomatoes, something I’d despised my entire life. Things that made me cringe were the smell of alcoholic beverages and cigarettes. Some Chinese spices made me gag, too, which I usually had enjoyed before pregnancy.
If you find you’re gobbling up foods you once hated or turning your nose up at things you once liked, it could be a good indicator that you’ve got a bun in your oven.
Stuffy or runny nose
I remember noticing my nose was a little stuffy in the early days of my pregnancy. Why didn’t I think anything of it? Because I taught kids, and kids cough all over you and give you germs. I merely thought I had a cold.
This was one symptom of early pregnancy that, in hindsight, was a vast indicator I was pregnant. Again, it’s caused by your pregnancy hormones affecting the membranes in your nose, which can swell them up and dry them out.
Are you feeling off? Maybe even dizzy? Those pregnancy hormones can do a lot to you, leaving you feeling way off-kilter, like you need to sit down RIGHT NOW. If you’ve been eating correctly, are well-hydrated, and haven’t spent too much time in the sun, it could be that your dizziness is being caused by pregnancy.
Can I Make a Homemade Pregnancy Test?
The early signs I list above are the major ones that tend to sprout up in the very earliest days of pregnancy. If you have ticked all of them off your list, you just might be pregnant.
Can I be pregnant and not have any symptoms at all?
Of course, it’s entirely possible to be pregnant without any symptoms at all. That’s why it’s always essential to have regular physicals, especially if you’re a woman with an irregular period.
Some say you can make your homemade pregnancy test using things around your house, like toothpaste, bleach, or even salt. According to Healthline, none of those tests have any scientific merit. In other words, nothing you create at home can give you accurate results. It’s best to buy a real pregnancy test from the store and get confirmation from your doctor.
When is the Soonest I Can Confirm Pregnancy?
So after reading this, do you think you might be pregnant? If all the signs above are recognizable, it might be in your best interest to have it ultimately confirmed.
The good news is you can get immediate gratification with a legit pregnancy test. Most are reliable on the first day after a missed period. Pregnancy tests check for levels of hCG in your urine. This level rises when you’re pregnant, resulting in a positive test. A pregnancy test strip could sometimes show no lines for some reason.
Relative: What does it mean when a pregnancy test result is blank?
If you have many of these symptoms but get a negative result on your test, you should check again in a few days if you used a test the first day after your period. If you’re still not sure, schedule that appointment with your doctor.
You know yourself best, that’s for sure. So if something about how you feel doesn’t feel normal, you should look into it. Sometimes, it could be stress-related. Other times, it could be an illness. And, of course, it could also be pregnancy.
The only way to know for sure is to take a test to confirm your suspicions about the symptoms mentioned above. Once you know, you and your doctor can work together for the health of your upcoming baby.
Whether pregnant or not, taking good care of yourself is essential. And if you’re trying to get pregnant and are disappointed you’re not, your doctor can help guide you in the right direction to make conception a little easier.
Leslie Berry lives with her husband and two young daughters in Los Altos, California, where she loves helping other moms get comfortable with motherhood and embracing the insanity with facts peppered with laughs.
She loves eating too much sushi, exercising, and jamming out on her Fender. Read more about Leslie here.