Am I Pregnant? First Signs of Pregnancy From 340 Mums

Case Studies

For 40% of pregnant women missing their period is the first sign of pregnancy that sparks them to ask the question - am I pregnant? Followed by their breasts starting to hurt, nausea and fatigue.

At Cadenshae we surveyed 340 mothers about very early pregnancy symptoms, when they found out they were pregnant, how far along they were, were they trying to get pregnant, how long it took and much much more.

What is in this case study about getting pregnant:

  1. First signs of pregnancy.
  2. How many were trying to get pregnant?
  3. How long does it take to get pregnant?
  4. When can you find out you are pregnant?
  5. How to know if you’re pregnant?
  6. How many pregnancy tests should I take?
  7. When is the best time to take a pregnancy test?
  8. How likely is a false negative pregnancy test?
  9. Pregnancy test brands.
  10. Can you get pregnant when you’re taking birth control?
  11. Advice about getting pregnant and the first signs of pregnancy.


    1. First signs of pregnancy.

    Every mother's body and pregnancy is different therefore the early signs of pregnancy can vary from woman to woman as well. From the 340 mothers we surveyed these were their first signs of pregnancy.

    • 40%    Missed period.
    • 15%    Breasts started to hurt.
    • 10%    Nausea.
    •   7%    Fatigue.
    •   6%    Blood or pregnancy test.
    •   3%    Cramps.
    •   3%    Food cravings or dislikes.
    •   3%    Change in mood.
    •   2%    Intuition.
    •   2%    Dizziness.
    •   2%    Headaches.
    •   2%    Bloating.
    •   1.5% Other.
    •   1%    Bleeding.
    •   1%    Increased urination.
    •   0.5% Heaviness in the pelvic area.
    •   0.5% Heightened sense of smell.
    •   0.5% Thrush.

    The other first signs that a few of these mothers were pregnant was heartburn, acne, constipation, continuous burping, elevated heart rate, weird dreams, oily skin, shortness of breath or chronic abdominal pain.

    For the 3% that thought they could be pregnant due to a change in their mood this included pregnancy symptoms such as:

    • I felt off, from how I normally felt.
    • Increased energy and feeling “buzzed”.
    • Frustrated with anyone who spoke to me.
    • Cranky and mean.
    • Just felt off in general.
    • Extremely short tempered and very emotional.
    • I was so moody!
    • Tired.

    2. Of the 340 mums how many were trying to get pregnant?

    79% were trying to get pregnant while 21% were not.



    3. How long does it take to get pregnant?

    Out of the mothers we surveyed that were trying to get pregnant we asked them how long they had been trying before they got pregnant. We discovered that more than 60% of couples take 3 months or less to get pregnant.

    • 34%  1 month (within 1 cycle).
    • 20%  2 months (within 2 cycles).
    • 11%  3 months (within 3 cycles).
    •   6%  4 months (within 4 cycles).
    •   4%  5 months (within 5 cycles).
    •   7%  6 months (within 6 cycles).
    •   8%  6-12 months (within 6-12 cycles).
    •   7%  1-2 years (within 12-24 cycles).
    •   3%  2 years+ (24 cycles or more).

    4. When can you find out you are pregnant?

    From the 340 mothers we surveyed over 60% found out they were pregnant 4 weeks or less after conceiving. Once you find out if you are pregnant or not the very next question is always “how far along am I?” This is how many weeks pregnant our group of 340 mothers were when they found out they were pregnant.

    •   1%       1 week.
    • 10%       2 weeks.
    • 16%       3 weeks.
    • 37%       4 weeks.
    • 22%       5 weeks.
    •   9%       6 weeks.
    •   2%       7 weeks.
    •   2%       8 weeks.
    • 0.25%    9 weeks.
    • 0.25%  10 weeks.
    • 0.25%  11 weeks.
    • 0.25%  12+ weeks.

      5. How to know if you’re pregnant?

      If you are you wondering if you’re pregnant the first signs of pregnancy don't occur straight away. Most women miss their period at week 4 before they begin to feel anything different whereas some women experience other signs of pregnancy in the first weeks after conception. In this case study, 98% of mothers took a pregnancy test to determine if they were pregnant or not. Followed up with a visit to their doctor to confirm their pregnancy.

      How many of the 340 women took a pregnancy test?

      98% took a pregnancy test while 2% did not.


      6. How many pregnancy tests should I take?

      When we analysed the results from surveying 340 mothers we found that 40% of women take 1 pregnancy test to find out if they are pregnant, whereas 33% take 2 pregnancy tests and 27% take 3 or more pregnancy tests to be sure.


      7. When is the best time to take a pregnancy test?

      A pregnancy test is best taken first thing in the morning when the highest concentration of pregnancy hormone can be detected in your pee. During very early pregnancy if the test is taken later in the day results are less accurate due to your body being well hydrated.

      8. How likely is a false negative pregnancy test?

      When we asked a group of 340 mothers if they got a false negative pregnancy test result at the time that they were pregnant, we found that 11% got a false negative pregnancy test and 4% took another test because they got a faint line on the pregnancy test or it didn’t read clearly.

      How likely is a false negative pregnancy test?

      9. Pregnancy test brands.

      From the group of mothers we surveyed we asked them what the brand name was for the pregnancy test that they used to determine if they were pregnant or not. These were the most popular brands of home pregnancy tests.

      • 51%     First Response.
      • 35%     Clearblue.
      •   5%     Can’t remember.
      •   3%     Pregnosis.
      •   1%     Dollar Store Brand.
      •   1%     Easy@Home.
      •   1%     Wondfo.
      •   1%     Crystal Clear.
      •   1%     Life Brand.
      •   0.2%  Accu-Clear Early Pregnancy Test.
      •   0.2%  CVS Digital Pregnancy Test.
      •   0.2%  Freedom Mid Stream.
      •   0.2%  ClinicalGuard.
      •   0.2%  Baby4You.
      •   0%     New Choice.
      •   0%     Fact Plus.

        10. Can you get pregnant when you’re taking birth control?

        Out of the 340 mothers we surveyed 5% got pregnant when they were using birth control.

        Can you get pregnant when you’re taking birth control?

        What type of birth control were the 5% using when they got pregnant? 

        80% were using The Pill, 13% Intrauterine Device (IUD) and 7% were using a male condom.


        11. Advice about getting pregnant and the first signs of pregnancy from 340 mothers.

        I found out I was pregnant 4 days before I was supposed to get my period and my period before was extremely light and not normal. So I was thinking I was pregnant then but kept getting a negative test. Then one morning I was looking at my Fitbit and my resting heart rate was elevated by 6+ bpm which I had read can be a sign you are pregnant so I took one more test and the result came back clear as day positive without waiting for the full 2 minutes.

        I knew I was pregnant before I got a positive test because I HATED my morning coffee. That never happens. I got a positive test 2 days later.

        Wait until the expected period to take a pregnancy test. I had taken the first response pregnancy test 6 days before my missed period as advertised by First Response but the test was negative. Tested on the day of my expected period and tested positive with Clearblue pregnancy test.

        I had 4 urine sticks say I was pregnant but when I went to the doctors their test was negative. I was sure I was and the blood tests came back positive. I’ve heard lots of women say that the home pregnancy tests are in fact more accurate than the GP urine tests and I found this to be true! So if you are resting early at home (prior to your expected period date) keep this in mind!

        Trust your gut! I felt different and knew I was pregnant so I took a pregnancy test.

        If you think you are pregnant and your home tests read negative go to the doctor. Their pregnancy tests are faster and pick up hormonal changes earlier than the at home tests. I took 4 pregnancy tests and they all came back negative.

        In my very first pregnancy, my breasts were really sore was the giveaway. For my next two, it was nosebleeds that were the definite sign that I needed a pregnancy test. Right now my body's playing tricks with me giving me all my early pregnancy signs and I've done numerous negative tests. Haha, I think my body is telling me it wants to be pregnant!

        Track your cycles! It makes everything so much easier if you are wondering if you’re pregnant.

        No pregnancy is the same and the signs and symptoms vary in time and intensity. Pregnancy tests aren’t accurate until AFTER you have missed your period so don’t get down too fast if you get a negative!

        Read the box of each test as they are all different. I mistook the ‘rapid response’ tests for being the early detection ones so kept getting negative results despite having that feeling I was pregnant! Oops.

        My advice would be if you are trying, wait until you miss your period so you don’t waste your money on tests.

        I was feeling exhausted, but I didn’t want to rush to take the test. I’d had too many heartbreaks. I waited until my period was one week late and then I tested. Be patient. It’s so so hard but waiting until you can get the clearest result helps.

        It’s very exciting but try and hold off on taking pregnancy tests if it’s early because it could turn out negative when you actually could be pregnant! I was obsessed with taking tests and wasted so much money! I took two tests early (so I thought) and typically if you are pregnant the line will appear pretty quick and I knew this because I had miscarried previously. So I took one test at home in the afternoon and one that night (worst time to do it too but I was very impatient) both turned out negative BUT I didn’t wait for the time allocated to take the test, I only gave them about one minute and then binned them! So the test I did that night at home I chucked in the drawer with anger and walked away, came back to dispose of it and it was positive. Then the next day at work I checked the pregnancy test in the work bin and sure enough, it was positive too! So I then re-tested at the end of the week and was further along and sure enough two lines appeared and I was pregnant. 🙌🏻

        Implantation bleeding and gas was the first sign of pregnancy for me.

        Early pregnancy can be similar to premenstrual. I didn’t realise why I was so tired at the time and I had cramps so kept assuming I was about to get my period. We had been trying for 6 months so I didn’t think it would be positive but when I was a week late I decided to check. I had no real symptoms but I was tired. In my first pregnancy (early miscarriage) I got sore boobs and I truly believe they are all different!

        Really take the time to figure out your cycle, timing is everything. And as hard as it is, don't stress out over trying to feel symptoms, everyone feels them at different times!

        Once we stopped trying to get pregnant it all happened.

        Don’t read into every single sign (if you’re desperately trying) it just makes it much harder on you particularly if it’s negative.

        Study your cycle, I was surprised at how much I just didn’t know about it - I’d never taken much notice. Once I knew more about it, it was easy to know when I would be ovulating.

        Just listen to your body. I had a feeling something was off for a few days and then I was 3 days late so I took a test and low and behold I am currently 20 weeks pregnant now!

        My breasts started to hurt more than the usual period soreness. That was the biggest clue for me!

        I would encourage people to be more open about being pregnant early on. Yes, it’s risky but it will stop making miscarriage such a taboo. People will be there to support you if needed.

        My first pregnancy I had very tender breasts very early on and was aware I was definitely pregnant early on!

        Don’t take a pregnancy test too early. Wait until it’s really been a missed period.

        Wait until the morning to take a test!

        If your not sure just pop to your doctor to get a blood test. :)

        When trying to get pregnant, make sure you have a good base to start off on as far as good antenatal vitamins, herbs, etc... it will help your body during this time of growing a little human.

        The symptoms aren’t always the same! First time I had nausea and cramps. The second time I got thrush and was tired.

        I started testing at 8dpo and got the faintest lines ever. Initially, they didn’t get darker so I thought they were evaporation lines. Eventually, the line got slightly darker so I used a First Response test and hospital brand (hpt) to confirm I was pregnant at around 12dpo (days past ovulation).

        My emotions go on a roller coaster and that’s how I KNOW! Haha. Worse than any PMS I have ever experienced in other months. I also took 4 home pregnancy tests over a few days “just to be sure” and they were still positive! 😂

        Don’t keep taking the digital pregnancy tests to check if it still says 3+ weeks. Mine went down to saying 2-3 weeks after saying 3+ weeks so I freaked out that I was miscarrying… I wasn’t!

        Just because it took me a long time to get pregnant (13months for second child) doesn’t mean it will for the  third child (1 month/cycle). Any kind of nipple changes before a missed period can be a sign your pregnant. Also, I’ve been 13 days past my due date for a period and still not been pregnant.

        I was going to a cross fit gym at the time. We were doing a workout with a 1km run at the start. I got back from the run and could not catch my breath for a good 10 minutes afterwards. That prompted me to do a pregnancy test.

        All of a sudden bread made me feel so bloated I would feel sick from just one bite.

        I had dreams where I was convinced I was pregnant, and it was a really positive, bubbly feeling. I told my partner when I realised I wasn’t getting my period when it should have started (and the count was actually early by 3 days) and then took multiple pregnancy tests for the next two weeks until it was confirmed that, yes, I was pregnant. I hadn't known that the test should be done in the morning rather than the afternoon once your urine is diluted with the amount of water I was drinking. It was the best feeling when the test confirmed what my heart knew was already happening!

        The increased urination was definitely a sign for me and since it was around the time of my period my breasts hurting didn’t clue me in till my period was a few days late.

        Trust your gut instinct! I was trying and knew when I ovulated. I told my husband 3 days after ovulation “we are pregnant I can tell”. He laughed and said no way you can tell that soon and it was our first month trying so he was sceptical. I could tell immediately that my body was changing, shifting and that I was pregnant. Two weeks after ovulation and nine days before my period was due I got a positive pregnancy test.

        Try to relax and wait for it to happen, I didn’t realise how stressed I was about conceiving until I suffered a miscarriage and gave up trying. A few months later I had an event to go to and did a test because I knew my period was due and the test was positive.

        The initial bleeding I got, I later found out was implantation bleeding. I didn't know this was a thing.

        Track your cycle! Even if you aren't trying. "Ovia" is great! Or "Flo". Keeping track of your cycle takes out a lot of guesswork and can give such a good piece of mind! (Am I late? Am I not? When was my last period? etc.

        Just relax and take it as it comes.

        I took a pregnancy test before my period was due. But after that my first signs would have been fatigue.

        I knew my period was due but it hadn’t come in a week, my boobs started to hurt and I was super tired, I took a test first thing in the morning and it came back positive so went down to the supermarket and got another one just to be sure and positive again so rang the docs booked an appt and yup pregnant. I found out I was about 3 weeks.

        I had small “symptoms”, oily face and weird abdominal cramps 2 weeks before missed period. I waited another week and a half to take a test. I had a positive test about 4 days before my missed period.

        Breasts started to hurt, bloated right away, fatigue more than usual. Just overall feeling that you’re pregnant

        Trust your body you know when things are changing.

        The dog hated me for a week before I found out, and it wasn’t until I was about 10 weeks before he started to like me again, then became super protective of me.

        Using a cycle tracking app (Ovia pregnancy) was very helpful for me. It tells you when your fertile time of the month is and then when to take a pregnancy test. I used that app both times I was trying to conceive and got pregnant within 2 cycles each time. And then right after we conceived, I started having a heightened sense of smell and sore breasts.

        Wait the suggested time before you look at the home test. Sometimes the line is super faint if you’re newly pregnant.

        When you miss a period take a test but try to be patient in the meantime even though that is much easier said than done!

        Don’t overthink it, your body will tell you things if you listen.

        Don’t get your hopes up, just let it happen. It might feel like a bad period coming up but just hormonal changes with pregnancy.

        Trust your instinct.  Even though I was actively trying I just knew but couldn’t place how I knew exactly.  It was a gut feeling.

        Even though it’s such an exciting time and you want to shout your news to the world, just wait until you have had your 12 week scan before announcing your news. Having to un-tell everyone can be a very hard and emotional thing to do.

        Don't take a test too early. I did and it showed up negative! Two weeks later I had a positive one. For me, the symptoms were there even though the test was negative. Go with your gut!

        Just listen to your body and don’t get discouraged.


        Just relax too many women get all caught up in the am I pregnant or is this or that a sign.

        I love red wine, then when I was asked if I wanted a glass and had a few sips then said I don’t feel like drinking this I knew then I needed to take a pregnancy test. It also explained why I was so exhausted for the previous two weeks on our holiday, I kept having to have naps.

        Try not to overthink every symptom. Getting pregnant can’t be extremely stressful and emotional, especially after a loss. Prepare yourself for the worst and always, always hope for the best.

        My first sign of pregnancy with both pregnancies was unexplained exhaustion. I was always feeling tired. Then I started wanting a certain food in large quantities (peanut butter with #1 and eggs with #2). My husband and I were actively trying to get pregnant so I was able to get positive home pregnancy tests at around 6-8 weeks.

        Boobs will hurt and the fatigue is crazy! Consider yourself extremely lucky if you have little to no nausea!

        Listen to your body, it has a good way to tell you what it needs.

        Don’t have your hopes up until you have had a scan, there is something called a blighted ovum, a false pregnancy where the baby doesn’t grow.

        Try an ovulation kit to know exactly when you need to try. Amazon has great deals on kits.

        Try not to stress about it if you’re trying. Stress will hinder it.

        I normally want chocolate for dessert every night. I knew I was pregnant because for a few nights in a row, my normal scoop of ice cream sounded awful and started making me feel sick! Listen to your body and you’ll know!

        If you can wait until 4 or 5 days after your period to take your first test. I’ve known so many women to take them early and be disappointed with a negative result. If you have the patience, it’s best to wait until your hormone levels are really good to do a test. That way there is no disappointment.

        Feeling generally lousy was my first symptom. Took a test thinking it would be negative because my period was due. So always take a test - you may get a nice surprise.

        Test in the morning and recheck in 2 weeks.

        I didn’t know it at the time, but my first symptom was feeling like I DIDN'T want a glass of wine at the concert we went to that night… very out of character for me! :)

        If in doubt, check.

        It's such a stressful, nerve-racking, exciting time. Do whatever you feel you need to. I took 6 tests before I believed they weren't false positives!

        Trust your instincts and the better you know your body the more of a chance you’ll know earlier on.

        For me the day before I was due for my period I didn’t like gummy bears (usually I do), I thought they were out of date. The day my period was due I had cramps so didn’t think I was pregnant. At work, I had to slice some honey ham and it smelt like rubber, again I thought it was off. My friend thought I was nuts. I told my husband and he told me to test. I was adamant that I was not pregnant because I felt like I was going to get my period. Turns out I was pregnant. I took a test the day my period was due and it was a very clear positive. When going off birth control you can also feel like you might be pregnant, the first month I was off birth control I was sure I was pregnant.

        Cramping a week or two before your expected period doesn’t always mean your period is coming!

        Use an App to track your period and to see when your ovulation days are. If you have regular cycles and one time you missed your period I’d take a test when about 5 days over your next cycle.

        The 2 cycles before I fell pregnant my cycle was starting later and later. Didn’t have any symptoms, I was just 5 days late.

        When I was pregnant with my first child my first sign was sore boobs, they were killing me, then my period was a day late and I knew, I was on the pill with my first. With my second I didn’t test because I found out someone close to me was pregnant and I really wanted that to be me I did not think it would come up positive as we had only tried 1-2 times, I was completely shocked when it came up positive. Trust your gut, sometimes your body just sends signs to your brain that aren’t typical symptoms but more just a feeling.

        If you feel your period coming but it seems to be taking its time - you’re pregnant!

        We were trying to get pregnant and when I had implantation cramps I got pretty excited so took a test a few days later but it was negative. Then I had bleeding which was heavier than expected and lasted for 4 days so I thought that I had got my period and was pretty bummed! After 4 days of bleeding which was lighter than a period and didn’t get heavier I waited a few more days (one week after the first test) and it was positive! Had to take 3 tests to make sure haha.

        Trust your body's instincts. If you feel different, take the test.

        Take a test first thing in the morning when you wake up because that’s when your urine is more concentrated so will get a more accurate reading. And wait to take the test until after your missed period.

        You know your body, just pay attention and don't be afraid to take multiple tests.

        I was adamant I was pregnant. We went away for the weekend camping and my daughter had the best time, she had a grubby face and was so happy. I cried so much about how she was able to have a nice childhood and that’s when I knew. Hormones were all over the place, I was crying at everything!  

        I just knew I felt pregnant. That sounds ridiculous.  But my first sign was a heavy feeling in my pelvic region. Not bloated but heavy.

        First response early response tests are the best. Clear, early results.

        Written by Nikki Clarke.