The "am I pregnant?" conundrum seems unique when you're going through it. However, considering 50 percent of pregnancies are unplanned (according to the CDC), it's a question many of us have faced at one point or another. But the confusion is really not our fault — our bodies are complicated, and it's easy to get the "pregnant" and "not pregnant" signals mixed up.
A missed period is usually the first indication that you might be pregnant — but being that PMS symptoms can look a whole lot like the early signs of pregnancy, it's easy to write off a period that's never coming as just a late — or light — cycle.
So the million dollar question is: How soon can you find out you’re pregnant?
Most of us are familiar with the fact that a typical pregnancy is 40 weeks. And as the American Pregnancy Association explains it, the first two weeks of your pregnancy don’t even count because you technically aren’t pregnant yet. Weeks one and two of a pregnancy (or pre-pregnancy) include menstruation, followed by preparation for ovulation.
During the third week, the body will ovulate and conceive. It isn’t until the fourth week that a very early pregnancy can be confirmed, though a negative pregnancy test is still possible at this time. In weeks four through seven, most women learn they are pregnant, usually after experiencing a few pregnancy symptoms.
If it’s not time to test yet and you simply must know whether or not you have a baby on board, these early pregnancy signs could clue you in. While many of them point to a possible pregnancy, it’s still important to visit your doctor for an official blood test:
Here’s a fun one to kick off a potential pregnancy — you might have a bun in the oven, or it could be something you ate. Feeling gassy is a possible sign of pregnancy, according to Sherry Ross, M.D., OB-GYN and women's health expert at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California. “Very early in pregnancy, complete chaos with bowel function occurs. Hormonal changes and prenatal vitamins create bowel pandemonium, causing bloating, gas and constipation,” says Ross.
Next Up: Changes in urination
Originally published March 2011. Updated December 2016.
And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .
SheKnows is making some changes!