A missed period is one of the biggest clues that a woman is
pregnant. However, there are many reasons a period may be late or
not come at all. These can include changes to your diet, rigorous
exercise, travel, and stress. Some women's periods are so irregular
that they can't predict when the next one will come.
It's also possible for you to think you've had a proper period
when you didn't. When a newly fertilized egg attaches to the wall
of the uterus, sometimes it triggers a little bleeding. This
usually happens a few days before the time you would expect your
period to come if you weren't pregnant. Sometimes the fluctuating
hormone levels in the first week or two after conception may prompt
some bleeding from the lining of the uterus similar to a
So, although a missed period is certainly your best clue to a
possible pregnancy, it's not a definitive sign. Other symptoms of
early pregnancy to look for include:
- Extreme fatigue
- Breast tenderness
- Nausea, with or without vomiting
- Constipation, gas, and/or bloating
- Abdominal cramps
- Frequent urination
- Food cravings or aversion
- Mood swing
- Increased vaginal discharge
Obviously, many of these symptoms may occur for other reasons.
The stress of trying to conceive or worry that your method of
contraception failed, can often make it difficult to tell if you
are pregnant based on symptoms alone.
The easiest way to be sure is to use a home pregnancy test which
you can buy at most chemists. If you think you might be pregnant or
a home test says that you are, it is important to visit a doctor as
soon as possible.
When is my due date?
Your due date is calculated from the first day of your last
period, even though you actually conceive two weeks or so after
this date (depending on the length of your cycle). Your baby is
likely to be born two weeks either side of the due date.