10 Ways To Tell If It’s Your Period or Pregnancy 

Oh, the monthly anxiety of wondering if those mood swings, breast tenderness, and light spotting are all signs of an upcoming period or early symptoms of pregnancy. Trust, we’ve all been there.

Mother nature must have a sense of humor because ironically, getting your period and getting pregnant have nearly the same symptoms to a certain degree. Seriously, it’s a game trying to navigate this on a monthly basis. Because a missed period will have virgins thinking they’re pregnant.

Whether you’re planning for a baby or not, it’s important to know the clear signs of regular period symptoms compared to early pregnancy.

Here, we listed the 10 signs to look out for if you’re unsure about what exactly is going on in your uterus.


1. Missed Period

Yes, this may sound like a no-brainer, but to be quite frank – a missed period doesn’t always mean you’re pregnant. Women miss their periods for various reasons including stress, diet, hormones, and honestly even the moon (click here for more clarity on this).

However, a series of missed periods is the easiest and earliest sign of pregnancy. If you’ve missed more than two cycles and are sexually active then it’s def. time to get a pregnancy test.

2. Spotting

Spotting normally means your period is about to start or end, but in the case of where you’re concerned about pregnancy – this could be a major early sign.

Why? Because it’s not actually “spotting” it’s implantation bleeding. This occurs when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterine lining. This specific type of bleeding usually happens between 10-14 after conception which just so happens to be when your period is supposed to start. So, yeah, it’s easy to confuse the too.

4. Nasal Congestion

This may sound like a super random symptom, but yes, a runny or stuffy nose is a subtle sign of pregnancy.

Because the mucous membranes in the nose are affected by the surge of hormones and increased blood flow throughout the body, this causes the vessels to swell which results in a stuffy nose or ongoing sneezing.

5. Nausea

Feeling queasy or nauseous is another well-known symptom of early pregnancy. Morning sickness, which really is “all-day sickness,” can start a few weeks into conception. Which correlates perfectly with that missed period you’re looking for.

But, don’t make this the tell-tale sign to look out for, some women don’t experience this symptom at all. So always look for other signs to determine if you should be buying period products or a pregnancy test.

6. Chronic Fatigue

If you can’t keep your eyes open and are literally tired from being tired, then this is a good indication that this is pregnancy fatigue. This usually happens a week after conception and can last the whole first trimester. The quick change in hormone levels, especially progesterone, is the main cause of this major fatigue.

This shouldn’t be confused with the lack of energy your regular period brings, though. It’s a different type of tired and it will hit you like a ton of bricks. You’ll be dozing off in meetings and waking up from your naps lethargic, the snooze button is permanently on here.

7. Cravings or Aversions

Period cravings and pregnancy cravings are similar in that you’re ready to binge everything in sight. However, the key difference about pregnancy cravings is that you’ll be craving things you’ve never had, rarely want, or haven’t had in a long time.

However, if you happen to be having the complete opposite – aversions to specific foods that you usually enjoy eating, then this can also be a clear sign of early pregnancy.

8. Mood Swings

Nothing quite affects your mood like a period mood swing – now, imagine that on steroids. Yup, that’s a pregnancy mood swing. The first trimester tends to be the most emotional part of pregnancy due to the major surge in hormones.

The thing about period mood swings is that it typically happens a few days prior and then you get your period and fully understand why you’ve been super emotional. But, with pregnancy mood swings your emotions are all over the place and they last a few months as opposed to a week.

9. Swollen and Tender Breast

“Period boobs” are totally a thing, and may just be the one thing worth looking forward to when your period does come. It’s the temporary change in hormones that causes your breast to swell up and be a bit more tender than normal.

Now, pregnancy does the same exact thing. However, it’s much more intense, and it’s not going away anytime soon. Not only are your hormones taking complete control of your body and changing things around, but your body is preparing to start making breastmilk for that new bundle of joy you probably don’t even know you’re carrying.

10. Darker Nipples

Speaking of breasts, one thing that doesn’t typically happen during your period which happens during pregnancy, is the darkening of your nipples.

When you’re pregnant your nipples are becoming fully functional in preparing to be your child’s main source of food (if you’re breastfeeding). Because of this, the areolas become larger and darker so that your newborn baby can easily locate them once they’re born.


Getting your period happens to have some super similar symptoms as early signs of pregnancy do. But if you know exactly what to look for you’ll know whether that quick trip to the store will have you leaving with period products or a pregnancy test.

Destinee A. Hughes


Destinee A. Hughes is the Editor-in-Chief of 3-Hues.com where she discovers the best beauty products, wellness treatments, and sex & relationship topics.

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