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revised Wednesday April 22 2009
healthy sexuality

Pregnancy Symptoms

Think you might be pregnant?

If you’re having sexual intercourse, the possibility of getting pregnant always exists, even if you’re using birth control.

Signs You Might Be Pregnant

Most women experience at least two or three of the following symptoms in the early stages of pregnancy. But having one or more of these symptoms doesn’t automatically mean that you’re pregnant.

Many of these symptoms can also be caused by a hormonal imbalance, stress or illness. A pregnancy test is the only way to know for sure.

A Missed Period

A missed period is usually the first indication of a pregnancy. However, there are other reasons for missing your period, such as stress, illness, or strenuous exercise.

An Unusual or Irregular Period

If you’re young your periods might not be regular.

You can be pregnant and still have a period. But it might be an “unusual period” - one that’s earlier or later, or lighter than usual.

Nausea & Vomiting

While nausea is more common in the morning, it can happen at any time during the day. You might feel nauseous before or after your expected period.


More Frequent Urination

Many women feel an urgent need to urinate frequently during the early weeks of pregnancy, but often in only small amounts.

Enlarged or Tender Breasts

You might experience enlarged or tender breasts, tingling around the nipple and nipple tenderness as early as 2 weeks after conception.

Fatigue or Increased Tiredness

You may feel more tired than usual in the early stages of pregnancy.

Aches & Pains

Sometimes you may have more headaches or backaches than usual. You might also experience heartburn (a burning pain in the middle of your chest).


Pregnancy Tests

A pregnancy test is the only way to know for sure that you are pregnant.

While you might be tempted to buy a home pregnancy testing kit, don’t. Your results might be false if you do the test too soon or you don’t follow the directions precisely. Bleeding and other vaginal secretions can also affect home pregnancy test results.

There are two types of tests: a urine test and a blood test.

Urine Tests

Urine tests are done after you’ve missed your period or you’ve had an unusual or irregular period.

If the test is done too soon the result may not be accurate.

You can get a urine test at:

Blood Tests

A blood test for pregnancy:

  • Will give you an accurate result by 2 weeks after conception or about when your last period is due.
  • Can indicate how long you’ve been pregnant
  • Is ordered by a doctor and done in a clinic
  • Is covered by OHIP.

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Revised: Wednesday April 22 2009

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