5 Signs You May (or May Not) Be Pregnant


Back in my TTC days, (that’s “trying to conceive,” for those of you who may not frequent fertility message boards) I was acutely tuned into my signs of fertility, my menstrual cycle, and particularly any potential early signs of pregnancy. I’m sure I’m not the only person who experienced this heightened level of awareness brought on by a desire to become pregnant, but I always envied those Type B conceivers- you know, those people who said things like, “We’re not trying to get pregnant, but we’re not not trying!” Those laid-back, well-adjusted bastards.

Anyway. I am no longer trying to conceive, but it seems that old habits die hard. Even though I am relatively certain that every 28 days, good old Aunt Flo will be arriving on my doorstep with her shitty mood and suitcase full of junk food, I still manage to convince myself that I simply must  be pregnant.

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Have you ever noticed how similar the early signs of pregnancy are to garden variety PMS? What a joke, especially for those optimistic fertility enthusiasts! Sore breasts? You’re definitely pregnant! Or, you’re about to get your period. You know- one of the two. Back in my days of daily temperature monitoring, I could never tell if my tender boobs were from an actual pregnancy or from me squeezing them every 45 seconds in an effort to determine if they were sore. The old “chicken-or-the-egg” conundrum: pregnancy symptom edition. (Do I keep fondling my boobs because they are sore, or are they sore because I keep touching them?)

It is hard not to fall victim to the pregnancy symptom mirage when you are the type of person who has been religiously monitoring her fertility signs, as I had been doing with each of my pregnancies. I could read my cervix like a psychic reads tea leaves. How could I not notice all these subtle changes happening within my body? Or was it wishful thinking? At any rate, I was certain that when I was no longer trying to get pregnant, I would stop being so preoccupied with potential “early symptoms”. I was wrong.

Here are some of the most vexing “symptoms” that I become aware of on a monthly basis:

1. Nausea. As it turns out, I am vaguely nauseous and slightly hungry a majority of the time. I have forced myself to pay more attention to this condition, and it seems to happen regularly with no rhyme or reason, and during times at which it is physically impossible for me to be pregnant. Maybe I need to have a good colon cleanse or something. Or go gluten-free. Or (shudder) lay off the coffee.

2. Fatigue. Hello? I have two kids, both of whom have the irritating tendency to wake up at dawn. Of course I’m tired. Next!

3. Food/Smell Aversions. I have decided I can attribute this “symptom” to my bothersome and irrational paranoia of food spoilage. Sure, I’ve had food poisoning a few times, but there really is no logical explanation for why I am so vigilant about expiration dates, produce that is disturbingly “flaccid,” and dairy products that smell a bit “off.”

4. Food Cravings. I’m certain that the cause of this condition is my unconscious desire to continue to indulge my thrice weekly post-bedtime cookie ritual.

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5. Mood Swings. Let’s get real- I am always looking for a reasonable explanation for my emotional reactivity, irritability, and weepiness. Pregnancy is just a convenient excuse. (I must be pregnant, or why would I be crying about this horse wearing a jacket? Because you have PMS, idiot.) 

Does anyone else suffer from this monthly lapse of judgment? Surely I am not the only woman who manufactures pregnancy symptoms even when she is trying not to get pregnant! Perhaps I am doomed until I hit menopause, at  which point I will finally stop experiencing these phantom signs of pregnancy. But I fear that even years after my uterus gives up its monthly foray into crying-over-commercials hell, I will still convince myself that those hunger  pangs are really morning sickness.

About the writer


Stephanie Sprenger blogs about the imperfect reality of raising young kids at Mommy, for Real. She’s also the co-founder of The HerStories Project, a writing and publishing community for women. Come waste time with her on Facebook and Twitter.

From Around the Web


Lucy 3 months ago

I have a feeling I’m pregnant, one my period is late and then I have all the symptom’s of pregnancy. It feels like my period is coming kind of but isn’t. We have been trying for along time now. I haven’t took a test yet, can someone please respond back ASAP!!!! My period come’s every34 days on time and I just need advice please and thank you.

Kim 4 months ago

Well i think im pregnant

Kim 4 months ago

I am kinda scared my boyfriend said he did not cumm but i know for a fact he did before we had sex the other day i had not had sex for 2 almost 3 years i am happy if i am prego but it will be my first

Gabs 4 months ago

Thankyou for this! I am in the middle of a scare (want to be, don’t want to be, i don’t know!) and I am seven days away from my period. Lo and Behold! I am slightly crampy, teary, and have broken out…My alcohol aversion has clearly seemed to dissipate (pass more wine) and I happily hoed into a burger and fries today (clearly no food aversion) and all these symptoms are typical PMS….Spending hours on the chat rooms left me in an anxious puddle of confusion (despite 6 negative pregnancy tests) and I was obsessively trying to calculate the last 6 months of my cycle. Yep, I have the propensity for anxiety, and I have noticed that although there were some beautiful stories on the chat boards and there is clearly a presence of supportive, kind women (which was so nice to see) they were not for me. There was an internal niggle that I knew I wasn’t pregnant, but thinking about all the symptoms and hearing the relentless positive “yes! nausea and cramps, I think you’re pregnant!” really, genuinely, made me think I was. I am so intune with my body & have always relied on instinct, but wow, it was so easy to get swept away with what are a handful of normal, explainable symptoms. Thank you for this, I love real talk.

Lourdes 5 months ago

I am so glad i found this. I am currently going through this right now. I am 24 years old and me and my fiance have been together for 5 years and are ready to have a child. Unfortunately month after month nothing is happening and I am being to feel really discouraged. We are both well established so we just want a little bundle of joy to make us complete. I wake up every morning feeling very very nauseous, my boobs hurt when i touch them, my mood swings are OUT OF THIS WORLD, i have been peeing more than usual and i am so very exuasted. But this has happend before and i dont want to get my hopes up :(. My cyle is due in about 2 days and while I am trying to stay optomistic and believe that this is finally it theres big doubt in the back of my mind. But reading your post did really put a smile on my face so thanks :)

tabby 5 months ago

All. The. Time. Doing it now. Ttcing, and I’m only 6 dpo, been sick two days in a row, MUST be pregnant! Super fatigued! MUST be pregnant! Even though I KNOW nothing should be happening for nearly another week!

Nathalie 7 months ago

I’ve been wondering about that too. Constantly. Like, almost obsessing. What’s making it worse is that, though I can’t rightly remember, I’m pretty sure I got my menses back after 10 months with my first. My second is now almost 13 months, and I’m still period free. My previous pregnancies were both relatively asymptomatic (except for the no period part), so I keep thinking “What if I’m just having a really awesomely easy pregnancy and I don’t know it? There is that one time DH didn’t use any protection, 4 months ago.”
I know it’s irrational, that would make me 18 weeks and not showing (or barely showing) on baby #3. It’s stupid, but I can’t help it :)

Amber 7 months ago

Ok ladies I need some help here.
So last month I had a bladder infection, gross, I know. Well it was so bad that I started bleeding like a period but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a period. Anyways, I got antibiotics but the doctor said my BC will not work will the antibiotics. I started taking the antibiotics and decided to stop taking my birth control cause they weren’t going to work. Dumbest move right?! Anyway! I stopped bleeding January 4th that’s a long time to bleed. I didn’t get back on the pills till about a week to two weeks later my infection was gone and my fiancé and I had sex many times unprotected and he finished inside of me many times. Well now that it’s about that time for my period to come it’s not coming. I am moody like no other. My boobs don’t hurt but my nipples do. I have slight period cramps that come and go all day. I wanna eat EVERYTHING. My skin is breaking out like crazy. I’m so TIRED! I get a slight headache here and there. I have takin two pregnancy tests and they both have said negative. No spotting so I don’t know what’s going on. Help girls!

Austin 8 months ago

My friend had sex with a condom on about a week ago, and the girl he had sex with is saying she might be pregnant and she thinks so because, she has been pregnant before. She says she has symptoms of dizziness and basically a lot of the symptoms of being pregnant

Kathy 8 months ago

I’m trying to get pregnant the last couple of months with no success and i swear that all those times right before my period I kind of feel I was pregnant… Every little thing felt like a pregnancy symptom to me. Lol!! I feel silly specially When I get disappointed each time.

Kate 8 months ago

Yes! Omg I love and needed this. Thank you for making me feel a little more normal and less alone on this..”Because you have PMS,idiot” lmao. I tell myself that all the time. Love this article.

elsa 9 months ago

Hi. I’m Elsa from Philippines. i have this problem of mine. about not so sure of pregnancy. Im 19 and still virgin. YES, definitely still a virgin. This problem of mine start when me and my boyfriend do something, I’m not ready to give up my virginity so as to satisfy him we do this thingy , he ejaculate outside of my V, when I got home I searched to the internet if a person can get pregnant without having sex? :'( then a lot of website saying that Yes a person can be pregnant without having sex. :( (you know what I mean). After reading a lot of stories of people got pregy without having sex got me nervous and lead me to panic. Until now im still nervous and in panic state. :'( I cry after reading …1 day of crying didn’t lose a little panic in my body.
then after that night symptoms of pregnancy hit me. ;( im not really sure if im pregnant . i dont want to be pregnant:'(.. i didn’t try to use a PT because im scared – what if the Pt result is Positive or what if Negative? Im really scared.. What Should I do ma’am?
according to my research high doses of Vitamin C can lead to a miscarriage .. So until now im still drinking 4000 dosage of vitamin C everyday, :'( but the symptoms of pregnancy like burping, blood spot/browny spot, stomach cramp.. headaches and moody sometimes .. my last period is last November 18- and we did that thingy after my menstruation Last nov 22. and im expecting my period discoming dec 18. :'( what should I do? Am i pregnant ? I cant go to hospital because I have no Money my family is poor and im scared that my mom will know and get her disappointed. In my case pregnancy is not allowed in my religion until not yet married. please advise me what should to do just to prevent this… please? :(

karen 10 months ago

Four and a half months ago I had a miscarriage. Ever since my periods have been all over the place. Yesterday we were at a family dinner party and I was so nauseous I ended up in the toilets for half the night. I cant eat any cooked food now and this is not sustainable. I’m so sick of being told this is all in my head. I am not convinced I am pregnant although everyone else is. Is there anything else this could be?

lorie 10 months ago

my gf went to the health dept last monday oct 27th 2014 an took 3 tests all positive so on tues, wed, an thurs she took one each day all negative now today a week later nov 3rd 2014 she has her period a little confused both of us is she not pregnant since aunt flow came to visit an her at home tests were negative?

rachel 10 months ago

Im frightened, since May my period has only come once. Which was in July, I honesty don’t know what to do. I’ve taken pregnacy tests and they all come out negative my breasts hurt at random times. I don’t have the fund’s to go see a doctor and wish not to burden the hospital with something so small as a miss period. I say my stomach has been bothering me at times and dismissed it. Please do not judge because you don’t know what I have been through but I really need advice im only 20

Natacha 11 months ago

Omg! I love it. I wasnt exactly but than I guess i was trying to get pregnant. Well truth be told I have five children the youngest three being 4 1/2, 3 and 2. See they were all pretty much back to back so you could see my paranoia in why im not pregnant again. Fyi…NEVER EVER use protection. But now i got my period but still have nausea, food aversions, headaches, backaches,heartburn,acne. These things are all new to me considering i dont ever have pms symptoms except for sever cramping first day of cycle. So im obssed and will continue to be obssesed checking to see if im pregnant.

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Ellen 12 months ago

I am currently going through that now. A few months ago I had a lapse in judgment. I know I am not the only one and now 2 months later, almost 3 months later I am scaring myself into thinking I am pregnant. I have been playing with the boobs not sure if they are sore from pregnancy or from my squeezing them to see if they are sore. I think I see vains through my boobs a sign. I have gained some weight and I have been sucking in my stomach which has now currently made my stomach muscles hurt. I can’t de stress. I have two already. One is on the spectrum and I have a tough time with him and I don’t need another child. I had my period recently but I worried it was implantation bleeding. I am afraid to take a test for fear I am pregnant. We are always so good with BC but our last vacation in June we almost slipped up completely. I need to calm down because it will be what it will be. Just praying for a different outcome. I did this to myself a few years ago. I loved your post. I smiled at all the similarities in my life!!!!!! THANK YOU! Can someone please make me feel better. I have no symptoms. =)

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pheona32 1 year ago

Well I’m having slight cramping and I got nauseous today for the first time in a while my boobs are tender last week they were itchy. I’m confused because my boobs get tender before I stay my period but never itchy and I’m never nauseous having lots of gas also I normally don’t have it’s the 18th of August my menstrual isn’t due till the 23rd so I guess I’ll wait it out I’ve also be r n urinating more then often wish me luck ladies!!!

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Hi steph! Glad to read this blog. I kept having negative in my pt for the past days but i can’t get away from food cravings and getting hungry almost every hour. My period is 16 days due already. Instead of a period, i had this 2 weeks of brown discharge and lower back pain and sometimes cramping. And last 2 days ago, i thought i’ll be having my period because there was a drop of blood and that’s it.
I had my blood tested 1wk after my period was due and negative.
I also did pt last night and still negative.
I had u/a and cbc and got no infection.
Can anyone help explain to me what i’m going through right now? Please.
If ever i’ll be, this will be my first.
All i have is brown discharge for almost 3 weeks now, food cravings, hunger, fart always and constipation, feeling sleepy and tired. Am i pregnant?
The dr said i’m not b/c of the lab results.

Thoko 1 year ago

Sjoe!!!! I am a mother of two teenagers my husband has twoo as well but we are trying to get one. He always predict that I am pregnant and will also get the signs but damn Aunt Flo pop up and I will be very upset

Saniya 1 year ago

Hi, meine i.pill 72 hour k andar le li the.last month 15 june,bt meri period abhi tk ni aai. M’i pragnent.

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Ashley 1 year ago

I think what is worse is when you are trying to get pregnant for the first time. I have no idea what it is like to be pregnant and so I am always wondering every month if I am truly pregnant. I get myself worked up trying to convince myself and I will even take the test but it ends up negative. It would be nice to finally have a positive test but I know everything will happen in it’s own time.

Oni 1 year ago

i married my gf 2 month ago….every time i used condoms!but suddenly my wife told me that she hadn’t period last 3 months rightfully…sometimes it happens,sometime not….but when we did first time sex since then her period is permanently stop…is she become pregnant?

Jennie 1 year ago

You know… I don’t have any close girlfriends but, do want to be mine ? I go through this EVERY MONTH. I always feel and look at my stomach. Like somehow that is an indication of early pregnancy. Yesterday my stomach felt really hard. Turns out I just have gas TMI. But after that trailer for the last Twilight movie I kept thinking I’ll have a baby bump instantly.

When I was in my teens I somehow convinced myself I had become pregnant through other means and missed my period that whole month.

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Well, I ended up taking 3 home pregnancy tests…all positive. So, looks like I’m starting over for another 18 years at least. lol

Olivia 1 year ago

Me too I don’t know what to do about it and it’s worrying me immensely. Help!!!

Julie Boyer 1 year ago

I have a very irregular cycle. I am not trying to get pregnant. I’m 40 years old! However, over the last year, at least 2 weeks prior to Aunt Flo coming to visit, my nipples get really sore, I get nausea, and have food cravings. Never fails!

sweetiepie 2 years ago

I’m 34and my cycle went off January 31 and I got inseminated February 5 to the 9 but its now February the 22 my cycle is due the 26 or the 28 I have no sign of pms and I test and it was negative I had a urinary tract infection is their a chance I could still be pregnant please help.

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makayla 2 years ago

for the past 3 months my period has been over 2 weeks late, this month i only had my period for 3 days. both of these are very un usual for me.ive been getting symptoms like sore boobs,food cravings,mood swings,frequent urination, fatigue, senstive smelling. id eventually thought that i could be pregnant because i dont know any other reason why this could all be happening . however out of the 8 pregnancy tests i did only one was postive and that was the 5th one i took but the 3 after that that i took was negative.

can anyone suggest why else this could be happening to me???????????????????????

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Russell Lildoppercash 2 years ago

I have taken t hpt it said (positive) I am hurting in my lower stomach like I’m on my period. My breast hurt I look bigger and I have been hurting a lot.

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i had a stillborn in June but i want to try again I’m spotting in between my mental and i still have my period could anybody help me with this issue

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I got my last periods in December, around month end there.
Was waiting for January, which would have taken place around 25th there.
But had unprotected sex on the 18, 19 and took a morning after pill on the 20th at around 9pm. Its now the 3 February I took
a pregnancy test and it showed positive could I be pregnant for real ???

Tara 2 years ago

I’m a 32 yr old and ttc for the first time. you have just described my life in this blog. the anticipation followed by heart ache and depression month after month …never knew or thought trying for a baby could be such an emotional rollarcoster

marlise1991 2 years ago

I know you feel im trying aswell to have a baby

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hi I was on the injection for almost 3 years and went off it about 10 months ago after that I had my period on and of for about 3 weeks now its totally gone its a month now I don’t know what it is I took a lot of preg tests and all show negative but keep on gaining waight and have mood swings could this mean something I don’t know please help

andrea1975 2 years ago

Not wanting to get pregnant at all. I have four Children. This month I
was late for my bleed. This never has happened before without me being
pregnant. I had all the symptoms of my bleed been due only two weeks
before it actually arrived. Normally these symptoms would only be a day
or two before. Sore boobs, and cramps ( the mood is a good week before)
In my quest to try and explain the reasons why this has happened, I
have convinced myself I’m pregnant. Even though I have taken about 15
negative pregnancy tests. I almost did not take the morning after pill,
after another hiccup (dodgy batch of condoms) as I have convinced myself
I’m already pregnant. Even looked up the hook effect ( where woman
don’t test positive, due to too higher concentration of hormone) ( The
down side of the internet. Little knowledge and all that) Today I even
diluted my urine just to see. Seriously getting on my own nerves now.
Still got sore boobs, and feel sick and dizzy. But there is a virus
floating round our house. Kids have all been off it. My logical side,
says don’t be so silly. So why do I continue with this escapade? Who
knows? But I just wanted to illustrate, if you want to be pregnant or
not how swept away with all this we can get. Paranoia or wishful
thinking can play some silly cruel tricks.

Andrea Hoare 2 years ago

Not wanting to get pregnant at all. I have four Children. This month I was late for my bleed. This never has happened before without me being pregnant. I had all the symptoms of my bleed been due only two weeks before it actually arrived. Normally these symptoms would only be a day or two before. Sore boobs, and cramps ( the mood is a good week before) In my quest to try and explain the reasons why this has happened, I have convinced myself I’m pregnant. Even though I have taken about 15 negative pregnancy tests. I almost did not take the morning after pill, after another hiccup (dodgy batch of condoms) as I have convinced myself I’m already pregnant. Even looked up the hook effect ( where woman don’t test positive, due to too higher concentration of hormone) ( The down side of the internet. Little knowledge and all that) Today I even diluted my urine just to see. Seriously getting on my own nerves now. Still got sore boobs, and feel sick and dizzy. But there is a virus floating round our house. Kids have all been off it. My logical side, says don’t be so silly. So why do I continue with this escapade? Who knows? But I just wanted to illustrate, if you want to be pregnant or not how swept away with all this we can get. Paranoia or wishful thinking can play some silly cruel tricks.

sammiches 2 years ago

i am 29 no kids! ya never know what the signs mean they are all the same seems like! smh! what ever will we do :(

latoya 2 years ago

No period symptoms breast are swollen mom noticed what do you think?

What the hell 2 years ago

Actually I swore this could be so right if I didn’t have unprotected sex with my partner. I just stopped nursing two months ago. I took my ring(nuvo) out for my cycle. At the same time my insurance died. Lucky me:( so ok the stuff stayed up there for days I swear until my two fertilest days! By day nine first it was my boobs, day ten morning sickness in full swing. Two times I barf one when I’m nervous two I’m pregnant. Now it’s the 14 days now barfing after every bloody meal. I believe the 9 month sickness has hit me hard. I can feel the milk filling up in my breast. Damn it!

jamie lim 2 years ago

can I ask something, Im delayed with my menstruation. and how woULd I know if Im pregnant or not without using the pregnancy test?

Emma Louise 2 years ago

I am Exactky the same, no children yet, 26 years old. I want a baby so so much I convince myself every single month I’m pregnant, even if impossible! :(

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Hey, I have a query regarding dropping the pregnancy through pills (mifepristone and misoprostol). My friend can’t go with the baby so she took the pills within 5 weeks of pregnancy. But now she is worried whether the pill has worked or not, whether she is still pregnant or not? Kindly tell me what she should do and what are the symptoms like after dropping?

Kathleen Girard 2 years ago

Preaching to the choir. I swear I am single handedly keeping ept in business! Well actually know I know they have your support as well lol

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I do this every month now since my daughter was born. I have the Mirena IUD and my periods have been almost completely non existent since it was placed (I’ve had 3 periods this year). My last period was in August and I had some spotting a couple of weeks after that I thought could be late implantation bleeding. Then last week I bleed for like 2 hours at night (Ironically being if I was pregnant based off the August period I would be 8 weeks at that point and at 8 weeks I bled like that when I was pregnant with my daughter so that freaked me out). I have a constant fear that my Mirena has fell out and that I’m pregnant because I have never had PMS in my life but now I have constant PMS/Pregnancy symptoms. It’s driving me off the wall crazy.

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What’s worse? I miscarried at seven weeks last summer. As my HcG levels tapered off after the miscarriage, I had all of the typical pregnancy symptoms. That’s when I decided that Mother Nature officially has it out for me.

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This article made me laugh! Our second year of marriage I read the book and kept the charts, temps, all that to keep from getting pregnant and convinced myself a hand-full of times that I had gotten pregnant because I was so hungry! or tired! or crying over commercials! Nope, never was. Finally I stopped stressing about it but sometimes I would love to be able to use pregnancy as an excuse…and I mean everything…speeding tickets, rainy weather, misbehaving cats…everything.

Suzanne Schott McElhaney 2 years ago

Yup. Good friend of mine had been trying to conceive for YEARS. She was one day late, but had usual PMS symptoms so didn't get her hopes up. Preggo test was positive! I, however, am trying actively to NOT get pregnant, and use very reliable methods correctly, but every month I'm pretty sure I'm pregnant.

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lol. im on freaking mirena and yet I still manage to scare myself witless every few months into thinking that these wacko symptoms Im still getting must mean Im pregnant. smh. glad to know Im not the only one.

Steph 2 years ago

YES!!! Every freakin’ month! I thought I was the only one who did this and that it was because of our infertility issues. We had to do IVF to achieve both of our pregnancy’s, only one of which was viable, but every month I somehow convince myself that the miracle sperm has arrived and made it to the non existent egg! So glad to know I am not alone in this weird phobia/obsession/compulsion.

JenKehl 2 years ago

And this is when I say, Thank God For Infertility! Woo hoo!!! Of course I have often said to my husband “I will not be one of those 40 something’s with the miracle baby!” so hands off!

Rachel 2 years ago

Funny how much symptoms of pregnancy are also just side effects of being a mom! I hadn’t thought about that before. I particularly liked the food aversions one. I am constantly worried that I’m giving my daughter food borne illness!

heather 2 years ago

lol yes! that is totally me!! even though i have my tubes tied, AND my partner has had a vasectomy!! but still every month that she is even 1 day late, im freaking out!

Rabia @TheLiebers 2 years ago

I hear you! This happens to me all the time. My cycles have never been regular and seem to be very susceptible to the other women I am around. Well, this summer, I haven’t been around all the students I usually work with, so things have been off. Next month, they come back and the roller coater starts again!

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Vicky 2 years ago

Just this last month I had the “I’m sure I’m pregnant” vibe. My husband had a vasectomy 4+ years ago and I make him go in for a recheck every year. If anyone is NOT pregnant, it’s me. In fact when I told Hubs a few weeks back that I thought I was pregnant he said, “Wow, we have a lot of false babies hanging out somewhere.” He totally doesn’t get me. So glad you do;)

Teresa 2 years ago

…and then you’ll hit perimenopause with all of its weird symptoms like moodiness, weight gain, lack of period, and still be wondering if you’re pregnant or if it’s just menopause!

Katia 2 years ago

I loved your list and YES to #1. Since being pregnant twice I’ve noticed I get nauseous all the time. Sometimes it’s almost like my body gets nostalgic when we drive past somewhere I got nauseous when I was pregnant. Fun times.

Laurie 2 years ago

The sore boobs is the one that gets me every time. I’ve never really had sore boobs as a PMS symptom but right before I found out I was pregnant, yeesh! It was terrible! So now whenever they get at all sore I am immediately like, “awwww shit!” Also, I’m on Mirena so I never actually get my period, which makes me extra paranoid. What if I was and I didn’t know it because I’m not getting my period which lets me know that everything is a-ok!!

Sandy 2 years ago

It took me years before I stopped thinking of a number when someone asked what day it was (ex: day 14 versus July 25).

Considerer 2 years ago

Ha! Well done Stephanie – excellent post and summing up of the ‘chicken and the egg’ conundrum. I often have this :)

Katie Throckmorton 2 years ago

Haha, yes! This has been me almost every month for the last several. I can't even tell how much money I've wasted on home tests because I was SURE I was pregnant.

Dani Ryan 2 years ago

My cycle is NEVER the same length month after month, and when it goes past 33 days, I always find myself debating if I should buy a pregnancy test. My husband always asks if I am secretly hoping I’m pregnant, and I always tell him I just want to make sure it’s safe to drink that night. :)

Stephanie (www.whencrazymeetsexhaustion.com) 2 years ago

Bloating. Oh, the bloating. Sometimes I lie and say I’m pregnant just to make myself feel better.

MaGie926 2 years ago

Yep, 100% true. I know women who do this AFTER their husbands have had vasectomies. The wonder of “what if” never fades. I think it’s just part of the female experience. I did this for 3.5 years while desperately trying to conceive our first. Ironically, it was the one cycle I lost track of that was the winner. It wasn’t until I was keenly aware of EVERY smell in the house and -ohmygosh – I had never been so tired in my life that I finally thought to check my Natural Family Planning chart. Sure as shootin’…preggers.

jeannine 2 years ago

I did this for 2 years after my husbands snip-snip because I wasn’t sure it worked. Now its been 7years and if one of those symptoms is especially strong, or period is a day late, I still convince myself I’m pregnant.

Shelayne Loeppky 2 years ago

This actually almost made me cry (maybe it's the pregnancy hormones.. or maybe I'm just pms)… :).. I so understand this. I don't want to be trying anymore – well I don't want to be trying but I don't want to prevent.. I don't want to think about it. See in my world if you aren't preventing you are trying.. because if I didn't want kids I'd be on birth control.. and I'm not on Birth control. After 7 years of trying you would think that I could stop thinking about it. I have 2 'mostly' wonderful children (their entering the teenage years so what can I say) They keep me busy, but I just yearn for one more, and for no apparent reason it just hasn't happened. I've never felt 'done' so I don't know how to turn it all off.

Jean 2 years ago

YES TO ALL OF IT! My husband has even started playing the game with me. I went crazy playing “find the smell” in the kitchen a few months ago and he started organizing our finances thinking it meant another one was on the way!

Mercy 2 years ago

This is so accurate. Even though I can’t get pregnant again, there have been times when I was tempted to wonder. PMS symptoms are so annoying now.

Deb @ Urban Moo Cow 2 years ago

Ha! I’m totally with you on ALL of those. It’s like med students who think they have every disease… when you look for something, you find it. Good post Steph!

Ray AndBrandi Mangham 2 years ago

I was very much like that until I got my tubes tied–which I just done recently…but even now, because I know quite a few people that still got pregnant after having the same procedure, I still "feel" like I am preganant every month lol.

Taunya Hernandez 2 years ago

I just went through this whole process earlier in the week. All the symptoms of being pregnant and I was convinced I was late even though started only one day later than usual. I have two boys, ages 2 and 4, and have the same mood swings, fatigue and overall "lost my mind" feeling. We are not in the market for another baby! I recently miscarried what would have been our third and feel like everything worked out as it should have, even though it was a very emotional experience. Since then every month I get all worked up that I am pregnant, take a test, convince myself it is a false-negative, wait a couple days, agonize over how to tell the hubby and then – BAM – Aunt Flo shows up, laughing all the way…. Glad to see I am not the only one having a freak out every 28 months!

hikrmom 2 years ago

I am 49, I have one ovary, fibroids, DH had a vasectomy 18 years ago and I’m on the pill. I still worry.

Amanda 2 years ago

Uteruses are just not nice when they should be! Many moons ago when I got off birth control after being on it for years, I freaked out when I ovulated for the first time because I hurt so bad I thought I had appendicitis!

Mary 2 years ago

I’ve always found that constipation was my first pregnancy symptom followed by cervical cramping (feels different that regular cramps). Usually these symptoms show up within three weeks of conception.
Since I’ve had breast reduction surgery breast tenderness was never a symptom and I was lucky I was never nauseous.

Elizabeth @ Rocks, No Salt Mommy 2 years ago

Ha! This is so true! My best friend is convinced that she is pregnant every month! And I’ve definitely been known to take a pregnancy test unnecessarily in the past year! I love the chicken/egg simile! That is too funny. Great post! Congrats on Scary Mommy!

Ganzii 2 years ago

I’ve had this happen working both ways. There were a few times in my life that I thought “oh shit, I am totally pregnant” (when I didn’t want to be), and I never was. Then a few years ago, I had myself completely convinced that my period would start “any day now”, and kept saying there was just no way I could be pregnant. I had all of the PMS symptoms and was in complete denial, until I was 2 weeks late. The positive test sent me into my first ever panic attack. (All turned out for the best, I was just SHOCKED.)

I also convinced myself a few weeks ago that I was pregnant! I wasn’t late, but I was dizzy, emotional, all of that. I was obsessively trying to calculate when I might have ovulated and what the odds were, and worked myself into a frenzy…. then got my period a few days later.

The female body is tricky and usually a jerk.

Kathy Radigan 2 years ago

I am 47, had my tubes tied and use an IUD because of bleeding (sorry TMI!) yet I still have thought, could I be? Lol! Great post!

Raising Wild Things 2 years ago

Oh my goodness, this is so me. LOVED this!

Tanya 2 years ago

I was one of those “we are not, not trying” types :) I got pregnant on the first month all three times of not not trying. Pretty crazy and quick!!

Kenya G. Johnson 2 years ago

Wow!!! This “attitude” is going around. I am so glad to read the comments and know I am not alone. I know in my heart “of course you’re not pregnant.” I learned how to not get pregnant when I was trying forever to get pregnant. I’m certain I earned a percentage of a PhD degree in Gynecology. Yet and still… I need proof every month… At 42 I don’t cry so much, I’m just more pissed off than anything.

Ariana 2 years ago

Holy cow, I thought I was the only one with the “touch my boobs every 45 seconds to make sure they still hurt” fixation. Fortunately at 48 and a “fixed” spouse, I’m no longer have that paranoia. I can only imagine how many times people saw me surreptitiously touching myself…omg…

thedoseofreality 2 years ago

Okay, so since I love you Stephanie and totally feel like I know you, I am going to admit something embarrassing. My hubby had the big snip-snip a few years ago. I got so convinced last month that I was pregnant that I totally made him stop at the store and buy me a pregnancy test. Which, of course, was negative. Turns out my overwhelming exhaustion and hormonal rages were just because I was about to have my period. This is a GREAT post!-Ashley

Amberia 2 years ago

That’s basically the story of the first year of my sex life. Apparently it’s not entirely unusual when you first start having sex for your body to have weird hormonal fluctuations that cause your period to be delayed.

I was typically about 10 days late every month, which was scary because you could set a watch by my cycle. Panic! Panic! Panic!

I wish someone had told me sooner.

Dana 2 years ago

Once measures were taken to prevent any more pregnancies (by choice!) – my body and mind amazingly relaxed and exhibited no more maybe-pregnant symptoms. Except for the food cravings – I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of those. Great post Stephanie!

Sarah Almond 2 years ago

I can soooooo relate! Since my period is more elusive than a ninja most months, it’s always a fun game to play. Oh crap, did I somehow get pregnant? Because I think I kind of feel a little bit pregnant. ANd since my PMS symptoms LOVE to stretch out into weeks, it makes it doubly fun. Damn body, decide what the hell you’re doing!

Outsmarted Mommy 2 years ago

I am laughing so hard because I do this almost EVERY MONTH! In fact I am doing it right now. Am I crampy because I’m getting my period or because a baby is trying to nestle into my uterus? Am I on edge because of PMS or early pregnancy hormones. I think it will go away…after menopause. :) Great post!

Rose 2 years ago

Yes! This is so me and that’s exactly what happened last month. I took a test before my husband got home, just to tell myself my period was coming and when it turned positive, I was in absolute shock!!

Brit 2 years ago

I’m still nursing, haven’t gotten my period back yet, and am taking measures to prevent pregnancy. Still it is constantly on my mind. I’m always wondering “What if I somehow got pregnant right before my period started and so I just didn’t have a period and now I’m pregnant and I don’t even know it?!” It’s pretty unlikely but my baby will be a year old next week and not having a period for almost 2 years, while nice, is starting to freak me out a little.

Jen 2 years ago

Yes, yes and yes!!!!

Pam 2 years ago

This is awesome. You forgot bloating and constipation however. It’s embarrassing how many pregnancy tests I have taken for those “symptoms.” Which I have been experiencing on and off since I was like 10.

Melissa 2 years ago

#5 made me laugh SO hard! I too fall victim to this month after month. Until you’ve been pregnant, you just can’t know how similar the symptoms are. I buy bulk pregnacy tests on eBay (the same as in the Drs office) and use approx 5 per month awaiting my regularly-irregular period.

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Oh my goodness! I laughed so hard while reading this that I actually sprayed spit all over the laptop monitor. The bit about flaccid produce caught me off guard.

Yana 2 years ago

OMG! were you writing about me? I have all of the above symptoms every friggin month! And it’s so hard since we are trying to conceive..I am happy and upset every month these days:( This is unbelievable… Thank you for this post, I am so happy I am not alone in this:)

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

At his point, I think I would literally pass out if I really thought I was pregnant. However, I definitely experience the cravings, mood swings, and fatigue every month!

Katie 2 years ago

OMG!!! I check when I pee, too! Gross, I know…but it’s part of the obsession! It takes you over!!!!!!! Gah!

Danielle Hawthorne 2 years ago

You mean it's not just me? I'm not alone!

Athena 2 years ago

Same thing for me for years – stress over whather I was/wasn’t pregnant delaying my period. I’d keep a stock of pregnancy tests just so I could make my period hurry up when it was late (it would almost always start a few hours after I took the test). It worked like a charm until last January when I did my usual hurry up test and found out I was actually pregnant. I think I sat there stunned for about 5 minutes after the results popped up. Not excited or worried, just stunned because I was so used to having convinced myself I was pregnant and then getting a negative.

Katie VanderWal 2 years ago

This article could not have come at a better time in my life. We have been trying to conceive for over 5 months to no avail. It's the same story every freaking month…cramps, nausea, food aversions, moodiness…I Google every symptom and then systematically become disappointed when the damn test turns out to be a big fat negative…I drive myself (and my husband) bonkers every month. And every time I get my period, I tell myself: "Myself, this month we are not going to obsess over it." And just like that, once the 2 week wait commences, I obsess over it! Thanks for the read! Made my day. Now to go Google: "Pinches and pokes in uterus at 13 dpo." :-)

Hillary 2 years ago

I find myself in the same boat! I would love to add another baby to the mix but my husband doesn’t feel the same way. So, until he gets the big V, I’ll keep hoping that that pre-period boob tenderness is heralding the arrival of something other than a period.

Shelley @ThatGirlShelley 2 years ago

Yes! I am definitely out of TTC mode but I still have some of those signs from time to time.

Karen Blair 2 years ago

Oh Lord, right on the money, although I hate to admit I'm one of those "I'm not trying, but I'm not not trying" fertile turtles. Pregnancy tests are bought every single month (THANK the Lord for the 88 cent ones at WalMart) until DH decides to get that vasectomy he's been promising since my youngest was born, he's almost two. What a shocker this month when, SURPRISE! number three is on it's way. Needless to say DH finally went into the doctor's three days after a positive test.

Jessica Smock 2 years ago

I had sort of the opposite problem, Steph, when we were deciding to get pregnant. I had gone for my entire life without one pregnancy scare so I was convinced that I might not be able to get pregnant. Even after I missed my period and took a pregnancy test (positive), I was still in denial. When I went to the doctor to confirm the pregnancy, she laughed at me when I kept saying things like, “Well, if I am pregnant…” I started feeling nauseous and tired all the time, and I STILL kept thinking to myself that it might not be true.

Meredith 2 years ago

I do this all the time and PANIC! Call me next time and we can freak out together 😉

Emily 2 years ago

These “phantom” pregnancy symptoms are all so true! I had another one too for a few years…I could swear I felt kicking in my abdomen!! I know, that’s weird, but after carrying 3 little kickers 3 separate times over the course of 6 years, it was a symptom that stayed with me for a while….great post!

Anita @ Losing Austin 2 years ago

I go through the same thing! We aren’t planning to have any more, have good BC, and yet I still get that *uh oh* feeling quite often. While we were trying, I’d had that so often that I finally took the successful pregnancy test in a gas station bathroom, because I’d finally accepted that I wasn’t really experiencing pregnancy symptoms, and it turns out I was. So I’ll forever remember that gas station bathroom!

Kristi Campbell 2 years ago

This is great and congratulations for being over here on SM! So cool. Hilarious post and you are not alone. I, too, seem to suffer from being “vaguely nauseous and slightly hungry” ALL OF THE TIME. What’s up with that anyway? Ugh. There was one month when I thought we were “trying but not trying.” I thought I was hoping that I’d “accidentally” become pregnant. When I thought I actually might be? TOTAL panic, friend. Total. Panic. Whew. That was like being 17 all over again – embracing the period!

Jenn @ Mommy Needs A Martini 2 years ago

Every. Single. MONTH. I can no longer get pregnant, medically, but I still go down this list every 28 days!

Menopausalmother 2 years ago

This is so funny and it brings back a lot of memories. Oh gawd I remember going through this trickery every time I was trying to get pregnant. Not to be gross, but every time I’d go to pee, I’d check…and check… to see if there was a drop of period blood and prayed there wouldn’t be IF I wanted to be pregnant. And yes, checking the boobs every couple of minutes to see if they were tender–well, Of COURSE they were tender from being squeezed so much!!!

Andrea 2 years ago

ME TOO!!!! Plus I have been going through menopause before we were finished having kids. And I’m so sorry to tell you this but you still get the symptoms if not the visit from Aunt Flo! I KNOW I’m not pregnant but my boobs are sore, or I’m nausous. And the disturbing thing it’s not the same symptom every month so you then think oh I must be pregnant b/c I didn’t feel this way last month! Oh one of the many joys of being a woman! It’s better than being a man I suppose! LOL

Guerrilla Mom 2 years ago

I totally understand. I went through this just about EVERY month in the 2 years we spent trying to conceive. It drove me crazy!

Debbie 2 years ago

I’m sorry you are going through this every month. I would say you either are secretly hoping to be pregnany or scare to death that you might be.
What ever the reason life to to short to stress ourselves out. This is a habit that you need to STOP!!! Just kidding, but it is a habit.

When you start thinking about it, try thinking about something else.
Tell your self that this is a habit you are going to stop.

If you like this habit keep it up, after all the touch of the boobs can be fun, but i would start having my hubby do the touching and telling him if it hurts. Sounds like more fun!!!

Crystal 2 years ago

I’m pregnant with our fifth and LAST child. My mood swings this time around have been off the charts. Seriously. I’m one step away from all out Lara Croft. My family is considering moving into a hotel until after the baby is born! :) Great post! You made me smile this morning.

Janine Huldie 2 years ago

I think we all do this at least once a month around this time of the month. About 6 months ago, I had a stomach virus for about a week and felt literally the same way I felt with both of my girls when I was pregnant with them. Thankfully, it turned out to be just a stomach bug, but damned if I was freaking out just a bit!!

Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes 2 years ago

Yup, my tell tale ‘hurrah you are pregnant’ sign was dizzyness and feeling faint.
I felt the overly familiar faintness last Saturday and immediatly panicked until it occured to me thatit was 1pm and that I hadn’t eaten since 5.30 am…
A sandwhich quickly cured both fear and dizzyness.

Nelma 2 years ago

YES! I’m currently going through an ultra paranoia stage at the moment! Haven’t had a period since Mother’s day, boobs hurt, nauseous, exhausted, mood swings, junk food cravings, heartburn and “a weird abdominal tickle.” Am I pregnant? Well, according to 3 pregnancy tests – nope! Just paranoid and I’m guessing that the stress of thinking I might be pregnant (just gave birth in December) has shut down my system! But – besides the recent lapse in menses presence – I am constantly convinced I am pregnant. 9 times out of 10 I’ll take a test and end up getting my period the next day. So no, you are not alone! 😀