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Pregnancy – signs and symptoms

If you have recently had sex and your period is late it may be possible that you are pregnant.

For pregnancy to occur you need to have unprotected sexual intercourse around the time in your menstrual cycle when your ovaries release an egg (ovulate).  Usually, this happens about 14 days before your next period is due.  If you do not have a regular period, it is difficult to estimate when you are ovulating.

Pregnancy signs often start to appear 3-4 weeks after conception (when the egg and sperm meet up during sexual intercourse).  Signs can vary from one person to another but may include:

  • feeling tired
  • a missed period, or a lighter, shorter period than usual
  • changes in what food you like to eat
  • frequent urination (needing to wee a lot)
  • sore breasts
  • nausea or vomiting (not just in the morning – can be all day)
  • mood changes

If you think that you may be pregnant, you should take a pregnancy test as soon as possible.

Options for pregnancy tests include:

Remember, sometimes there are other factors that affect your periods like not eating or stress. It is important to find out early though, so you can look at all of your options and take good care of yourself.

Where can I get a pregnancy test?

If you had unprotected sex up to 5 days ago and do not want to get pregnant, you can still take the emergency contraceptive pill (morning after pill). See our emergency contraception information.

If you think you might be pregnant, a pregnancy test can be done as early as the first day of your missed period but it is more accurate if done about a week after a missed period.

Pregnancy tests are available from your regular doctor or Family Planning Tasmania clinics.  You can also buy a home pregnancy test kit from the supermarket or pharmacy.

If it is an unplanned pregnancy, it can help to have someone there to support you as you find out the result – a doctor, nurse, friend or family member.

My test is negative...

If you were not planning to become pregnant, this may be good news for you.  However, if a pregnancy test is taken too early, it may give a false negative result, so if you do not get your next period soon it is a good idea to do another test. If you are not pregnant and do not wish to be pregnant, now is a good time to see a doctor and get some reliable contraception.

If you were hoping to become pregnant – better luck next time!  If you are under 35, give yourself 12 months before checking with your doctor about why you are not getting pregnant.  If you are over 35, seek further advice from your doctor after 6 months.

My test is positive...

A positive result most likely means that you are pregnant. You may be feeling quite overwhelmed, excited, angry, sad, happy, anxious or confused.

If you have a positive pregnancy test and want to know more about your options, then our staff at Family Planning Tasmania clinics can help. We provide non-judgmental, objective and factual information for women about pregnancy and birth, adoption and termination (abortion).  See our pregnancy choices page for more information.

If you already know what your choice is, it is important to still see a doctor or Family Planning Tasmania for further information and support.

If you are going to continue the pregnancy, a doctor will need to give you a referral for your antenatal care.  They can discuss with you the different options that are available. You can get one of these referrals from us if you like, but you will need to book an appointment.

Other services that provide free counselling on all pregnancy options...

Women’s Health Tasmania
Telephone: (03) 6231 3212 or view their website.

Pulse Youth Health Service (for women under 25)
Telephone: (03) 6233 8901 or view their website.

The Link Youth Health Service (for women under 26)
Telephone: (03) 6231 2927 or view their website.

Women’s Health Information Line (statewide)
Telephone: 1800 675 028

This content is provided for general information and education purposes only and does not take into account individual circumstances. It is not to be relied on in substitution for specific advice from a medical professional and Family Planning Tasmania does not accept responsibility for such use. Family Planning Tasmania has taken every effort to ensure that the information is up to date and accurate, however information and knowledge is subject to change. Family Planning Tasmania advises that you always consult a medical professional for individual advice.

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