How do I know if I’m pregnant?

Think you might be pregnant? Follow this guide to find out the early signs of pregnancy, how to know for sure and how to calculate your baby’s due date.

What are the first signs of pregnancy?

For most women, the first sign of pregnancy is when your periods stop. This can be caused by many things. But if, in addition, your breasts feel swollen or tender and you feel nauseous – especially in the morning – it is likely that you are pregnant.

How can I confirm that I’m pregnant?

The normal way to test for pregnancy is with a home pregnancy test. Buy one over the counter at the chemist. Alternatively, a GP or a Family Planning Clinic can do a pregnancy test.

How soon can I do a pregnancy test?

You can take a pregnancy test just a few days after your missed period.

How do I calculate when the baby will be born?

Conception takes place around the time of ovulation, when an egg is released from your ovary. Ovulation takes place midway through the menstrual cycle, on about the 14th day, if the first day of your period is taken as day one.

The beginning of a pregnancy is calculated from the first day of your last period. Normally, a pregnancy lasts 40 weeks in total, so it’s not too difficult to estimate the date on which you can expect to give birth.

For an easy way to work it out, follow these rules: if, for example, the first day of your last period was April 1st, add one week – April 8th. Then add nine months to find the date of the birth. In this case it will be January 8th the following year.

But for an accurate prediction, the period must have occurred regularly, with approximately four weeks between the last two periods.

What if I have just come off the Pill?

If you become pregnant within a couple of months of coming off the pill, you may experience irregular ovulation, irregular periods or even no periods at all.

Under these circumstances, it’s difficult to estimate the baby’s due date reliably. But, an ultrasound will establish the correct due date.

An ultrasound scan performed in the first half of your pregnancy gives the most reliable and accurate estimate of when the baby is due by working out the size of the foetus. Every maternity hospital provides this as a routine service to pregnant women.

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