I'm Having Pregnancy Symptoms But...

Answers to All Your Questions on Having (or Not Having) Pregnancy Symptoms

Midsection Of Pregnant Woman Standing At Forest
Having pregnancy symptoms (or not having them!) can't tell you if you're pregnant or not. Only a pregnancy test or ultrasound can confirm whether you're really expecting. Sven Meier / EyeEm / Getty Images

You’re having pregnancy symptoms but... your pregnancy test was negative. Or you got your period. Or you’re spotting. Or maybe you had pregnancy symptoms and they’ve disappeared.

What does it all mean?

When trying to conceive, it’s normal to focus on pregnancy symptoms (or the lack thereof.) You’re not alone in your thought patterns. Just about every trying-to-conceiver can relate.

You can’t really determine whether you’re pregnant based only on how you feel.

The bad news is that this information doesn’t stop anyone from pregnancy-symptom obsession.

For those of you brimming with to-be-or-not-to-be-pregnant worries, here are the answers to your most commonly asked questions.

If I’m Having Many Symptoms, Does This Mean I'm Pregnant?

I'm sorry to say that no, it doesn't. Even if you have every single pregnancy symptom, you still may not be pregnant.

So why do you feel pregnant, if you're not?

Many of the so-called "early symptoms" of pregnancy are caused by the hormones every woman experiences during the two-week wait.

For example, fatigue and headache are pregnancy symptoms, but they are also common premenstrual symptoms.

Can you tell an I'm-getting-my-period headache from an I'm-pregnant headache? Not really.

I’m Having Pregnancy Symptoms But the Test Is Negative

This is one of the most common questions on pregnancy symptoms.

You’re feeling pregnant but the test is negative.

So are you or are you not pregnant?

The answer is it depends.

Feeling pregnant doesn’t mean you are... but a negative pregnancy test can be wrong.

A pregnancy test may be negative if...

  • The test has malfunctioned
  • You’re not pregnant
  • You are pregnant but something is wrong

There are other rare reasons you may get a negative test but actually may be pregnant. You can read about those here:

Aren’t pregnancy tests 99% accurate? Yes, that is how they are advertised. But the truth of that statement is questionable.

I’m Having Pregnancy Symptoms But I Got My Period

It is possible to be pregnant and get your period. This leads some women to hold onto hope that they may still be pregnant, even after Aunt Flo knocks at the door.

Odds are, if you got your period, you’re not pregnant.

Feeling pregnant on your period could happen due to…

  • normal hormonal fluctuations during menstruation
  • the flu or another illness
  • fatigue or queasiness for other non-pregnancy reasons

Just like feeling pregnant before your period doesn’t mean you’re pregnant, feeling pregnant on your period also doesn’t mean you’re expecting.

If your period is very different than your usual, then you may want to take a pregnancy test or call your doctor.

For example, you might want to take a pregnancy test if your period is...

  • abnormally light for you
  • more like spotting than a period
  • much shorter than it usually is

There are, however, non-pregnancy reasons to have an off period.

Anything from stress to illness can cause one irregular menstrual cycle.

An Online Pregnancy Quiz Says I’m Pregnant But...

Online pregnancy quizzes usually ask a series of questions on pregnancy symptoms. Then, based on how many symptoms you answer yes to, they tell you how likely it is that you are pregnant.

Except an online quiz can’t tell you if you’re pregnant.

If you’re already obsessing over how you feel, they are one way to make two-week-wait obsession time more fun. But that's all they can do.

So, if an online pregnancy quiz says your pregnant but...

  • you got your period
  • the test is negative
  • you’re not even capable of getting pregnant (like you're in menopause!)

... it doesn’t mean anything.

I’m Having Pregnancy Symptoms But I’m Spotting

Pregnancy symptoms plus spotting can lead many trying-to-conceive women to worry about early miscarriage.

Spotting is a possible early pregnancy symptom. It’s also possible to spot and have a healthy pregnancy. It doesn’t mean you’re going to have an early miscarriage.

Spotting that occurs about 7 to 10 days post ovulation is sometimes called implantation spotting. (Whether it’s actually caused by an embryo implanting into the uterine lining is questionable.)

Spotting can also be caused by things other than pregnancy.

It’s possible you’re spotting, having “pregnancy symptoms,” but not pregnant.

If I Have No Pregnancy Symptoms, Does This Mean I'm Not Pregnant?

Here's some good news! Not experiencing pregnancy symptoms does not mean you're not pregnant.

In fact, there are some lucky women out there who don't experience morning sickness and other discomforts during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Feeling sick is not a pregnancy requirement.

I Know I'm Pregnant, But My Pregnancy Symptoms Have Disappeared. Is This Bad?

Pregnancy symptoms can come and go from day to day. They can also fluctuate from hour to hour. You may feel really tired and nauseated in the morning but feel pretty alright in the early afternoon.

You may also get used to some of the symptoms, or learn how to handle them better.

Also, as the first trimester ends, some of the early discomforts of pregnancy fade or disappear. Morning sickness, for example, usually ends by the 12th week.

If you have a history of miscarriage and your symptoms suddenly disappear, you may still want to contact your doctor. They may be able to run some tests to reassure you.

If symptoms disappear, and you're spotting or cramping, then you should definitely contact your doctor. 

Before you panic, though, know that this can also turn out to be normal.

More about getting pregnant:

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