period vs pregnancy

How to distinguish period vs pregnancy

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Ever find yourself wondering how to distinguish period vs pregnancy? I’m going to share with you the symptoms that separate the two!

Many women can confuse these symptoms of pregnancy vs. menstruation because they’re very similar. I’ll use myself as an example.

I was always irregular with my menstrual cycle, so when I skipped 3 months, it wasn’t alarming to me. The last thing I was thinking was that I was pregnant. However, there were some particular symptoms that stood out to me and made me question if I was. 

I’m going to share with you what those symptoms were that made me question: Period or Pregnancy?

So let’s get into the symptoms that distinguish pregnancy from simply getting your period. 

Disclaimer: The content in this post is NOT meant to take the place of medical advice, it is simply the opinion of the author.

This is a guest post by Diana from The Healthier Mom. Read more about her from her author profile below. 

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Signs of period vs pregnancy (how to distinguish pregnancy from a period)

Frequent urination 

Unless you have some sort of bladder condition, this can be a huge determining factor with pregnancy.

The reason you urinate frequently is because of your fluctuating hormones and an increase in the blood circulating through your body. (you can read more about this fascinating symptom here)

It also happens because your uterus is growing.

As your uterus grows, it applies pressure to your bladder causing frequent urination. (to learn more about pelvic floor health – check out this post!)

woman in blue striped dress sitting on a toilet and holding a roll of toilet paper

I remember being at the hair salon and talking with my stylist and telling her how I missed my period, but I didn’t think I was pregnant and she told me to just take a test.

She had also told me that what made her realize she was pregnant was that she had to constantly pee.

My stomach sank when she told me this because I was peeing quite frequently. I kept thinking it was because of my increase in water intake, but I was wrong. It was in fact a pregnancy symptom and I was pregnant!

Have you ever experienced this symptom before? Was it due to pregnancy or something else?

Food aversions 

Unless I was feeling ill, I never got grossed out by any kind of food, ever.

One day, I decided to go get a burger at my favorite burger spot and as I was eating my burger I felt very nauseated and grossed out.

Almost like I could vomit just looking at the burger. I immediately left the restaurant and bought a pregnancy test.

Funny thing, your taste, and smell are amplified when you’re pregnant so it’s easy to experience food aversions.

Food aversions are basically psychological repulsions to food. So if you have a symptom like this, it could definitely be pregnancy-related. I don’t remember ever feeling this way about food before getting my period, so if you’re experiencing this, I’d highly encourage you to take a pregnancy test JUST IN CASE! 


This one may seem like it can be a sign of your period starting (because it kind of can be), but you’ll really have to pay attention to how much blood comes out.

One day, I went to the bathroom and noticed a tiny strip of blood and I thought “oh I just got my period”. I didn’t think twice about it and went about my day with my tampon and period (or so I thought).

A few hours later when I went to change it, I noticed it was completely free and clear of any blood.

I started to worry. This never happened to me before. It was really another indication that I was pregnant. After that day I never saw any more spotting and the arrival of my period was later and later.

Wondering which pregnancy test you should use? Try Clearblue Digital! These tests are great because you don’t have to worry about waiting on a ‘what if’ line to show up! You get a 3-2-1 countdown to your PREGNANT or NOT PREGNANT results! That’s what makes Clearblue Digital Pregnancy tests a favorite of FitMommyStrong.

Urine smell 

Ok, this one may sound a little crazy to some people, but trust me I’m not making this up.

After I peed, I smelled a baby. I know that sounds so strange and weird but I really did.

And if you’re wondering what I’m even talking about, it’s all thanks to that wonderful pregnancy hormone hCG. That wonderfully surging hormone can make your urine have a VERY STRONG odor (which is likely what I had experienced but just didn’t realize it at the time).

In fact, at this point, I thought I was hallucinating. But, it was really just another indication that I was pregnant. Here’s a great article about how your urine smell changes during early pregnancy!

This brings me to my next indicator. 

A heightened sense of taste and smell 

As mentioned earlier, your sense of taste and smell increases during pregnancy because of your hormones (more specifically, estrogen!).

It’s a pretty clear indicator that you could be in your early stage of pregnancy as many women tend to report this symptom as early as the first trimester.

In my personal experience, I never experienced this before starting my period, so I knew it was something unusual.

woman in white sitting on a bed with white sheets looking down at a pregnancy test in her hands

Final thoughts on how to distinguish pregnancy from a period: 

If you’re reading this and still unsure if you’re pregnant or about to start your period, then you should just take the plunge and take a pregnancy test.

I still can’t believe it took me about 3 months to know that I was pregnant but it all came down to these symptoms.

I even took 3 pregnancy tests just to make sure there wasn’t a mistake. And you know what, sometimes things happen when you least expect them to. And that’s how motherhood begins!

I hope you enjoyed this post, feel free to comment below and let me know what you thought! 

Read more pregnancy articles here:

Diana from The Healthier Mom

Diana is a stay at home mommy blogger. She’s married and has a 1.5-year-old son. Diana loves traveling, shopping and spending time with family. She’s faith-driven and likes to surround herself around like-minded individuals. She also is passionate about helping others.
Check out Diana on her social media pages below:

Period vs Pregnancy - How to tell the difference with these early signs

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