If you have missed your period, gained weight, been having cravings, noticed your breasts are bigger, or been having morning sickness, you are probably wondering if you are pregnant. You may be thinking you need to take a pregnancy test. Figuring out pregnancy symptoms can be difficult, and everyone feels different when they are pregnant. All of this can lead you to ask:
What are the signs of pregnancy?
The medical community groups pregnancy symptoms into three categories: presumptive signs, probable signs, and positive signs of pregnancy.
Presumptive signs*: (What you may feel)
- Missed period
- Nausea and vomiting
- Breast enlargement or tenderness
- Urinary frequency
- Skin changes
- PMS symptoms with no period
*not a comprehensive list
Probable signs: (What your healthcare provider will see with an exam or bloodwork)
- Positive pregnancy test
- Feeling fetal movement
- Abdomen getting bigger
- Producing breast milk
- Hegar’s sign (softening of lower portion of uterus)
- Goodell’s sign (softening of cervix)
- Chadwick’s sign (bluish color of cervix)
Positive signs: (Confirms pregnancy)
- Fetal heart activity seen on ultrasound
- Ultrasound showing evidence of pregnancy
The only way to know for sure if you are pregnant is to verify the pregnancy with an ultrasound. There are lots of reasons that you could be having pregnancy symptoms. A good rule of thumb is to get a medically verified pregnancy test if you have missed your period or are having pregnancy-like symptoms.
Keely Darnell, RN, MSN, WHNP-BC
Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
King, T. L., Brucker, M. C., Fahey, J., Kriebs, J. M., Gegor, C. L., Varney, H., & Varney, H. (2015). Prenatal Care. Varneys midwifery (5th ed., pp. 661). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning
This post is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. If you have any concerns, please speak with a healthcare provider.