How to test for a pregnancy

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"What are the symptoms of pregnancy?"  is an often-asked question. If you have been trying to conceive for some time, you may be aware of your ovulation cycle and have tests regularly, but if you're simply not sure, it may require choosing between a home pregnancy test, a visit to the doctor or a blood test in order to find out.

Watch: A stunning real-life video showing what happens during sex, ovulation, ejaculation and conception.

If your lifestyle includes activities such as consuming alcohol or smoking, or you have recently come into contact with someone with German measles, for example, it's safer to find out as quickly as possible if there's a chance you may be pregnant.

Here are some of the most common indications of a pregnancy:

    A missed period
    Changes in your breasts
    Headaches
    Nausea and vomiting
    Frequent urination
    Feeling exhausted or sleepy
    Food cravings
    Increased vaginal discharge

Here are some more fascinating facts about those early days of pregnancy:

Pregnancy 101

First signs of pregnancy

How to tell if you're pregnant

All about morning sickness

Could I be pregnant?
Pregnancy week by week

Pregnancy tests

Amazingly, some expectant moms only discover that they're pregnant several weeks (or even months) into the pregnancy. Women's bodies react differently to the presence of a foetus, so women choose different methods of confirming pregnancy. There are even news stories of women who have given birth without ever having been aware of the baby growing inside their bellies!

Here's how some of our Parent24 moms responded when asked how they confirmed their pregnancies via Facebook:

Bronwen: 2 very faint home tests & a blood test. Turns out is was only 2-3wks along so that's why the lines on the home tests were so light. Also always "listen" to your body. I knew something was funny with me.

Mavis: I went to my Gp for tests and it was confirmed.

Carmen: I took a pregnancy test.

Nikki: Three different home preggie tests after my hubby pointed out that he hadn't needed to buy me chocolate for over a month lol

Bianca: Home tests after nausea from eating lamb... All three times.

Fundisiwe: Vomiting, feeling dizzy, sleeping a lot.

Linda: Home pregnancy test followed by a blood test for double confirmation. (For both pregnancies.)

Carlene: Was on the injection. Only found out I was pregnant at 7 months no symptoms went to the doctor thought I was very constipated but was told nope there is a baby.

Most chose to take home pregnancy tests followed by a visit to the doctor to confirm the results.

What if it's negative?

Of course, there's also the negative test, which can be devastating to couples trying to conceive. Every negative test when TTC can be like a slap in the face. Find out more about how to support couples as they work through problems relating to fertility.

Why not chat with other expectant moms on our forums to find out more about what to expect.

How did you confirm your pregnancy?
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