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Pms Symptoms And Early Pregnancy

PMS Symptoms vs. Early Pregnancy Symptoms: How to Tell the Difference

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and early pregnancy share many similar symptoms, which can make it difficult to determine whether you’re about to start your period or if you’re pregnant. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you differentiate between the two:

Common Symptoms of PMS and Early Pregnancy

  • Breast tenderness: Both PMS and early pregnancy can cause breast tenderness and swelling.
  • Mood swings: Irritability, moodiness, and anxiety are common in both PMS and early pregnancy.
  • Fatigue: Feeling tired and lacking energy is a symptom of both PMS and early pregnancy.
  • Cramps: Mild abdominal cramps can occur in both PMS and early pregnancy.
  • Bloating: Water retention can cause bloating in both PMS and early pregnancy.
  • Headaches: Headaches are a common symptom of both PMS and early pregnancy.
  • Constipation or diarrhea: Changes in bowel habits can occur in both PMS and early pregnancy.
  • Nausea: Morning sickness, or nausea and vomiting, is a common symptom of early pregnancy.

Symptoms Unique to PMS

  • Spotting or light bleeding: Light bleeding or spotting can occur in the days leading up to your period.
  • Acne: Hormonal changes during PMS can trigger acne breakouts.
  • Food cravings: Strong cravings for specific foods are common in PMS.
  • Insomnia: Difficulty falling or staying asleep can occur in PMS.
  • Weight gain: Water retention can cause a slight weight gain in PMS.

Symptoms Unique to Early Pregnancy

  • Implantation bleeding: Light bleeding or spotting can occur when the fertilized egg implants in the uterine lining.
  • Frequent urination: Increased urination is a common symptom of early pregnancy.
  • Missed period: If you’re pregnant, you’ll likely miss your period.
  • Positive pregnancy test: A home pregnancy test can confirm pregnancy.
  • Metallic taste in mouth: Some women experience a metallic taste in their mouth during early pregnancy.

Timeline of Symptoms

  • PMS symptoms: Typically begin 1-2 weeks before your period and subside once your period starts.
  • Early pregnancy symptoms: Can begin as early as 1-2 weeks after conception and may continue throughout pregnancy.

Other Factors to Consider

  • Your menstrual cycle: If you have a regular menstrual cycle, it’s more likely that symptoms you’re experiencing are related to PMS.
  • Sexual activity: If you’ve recently had unprotected sex, it’s possible that you’re pregnant.
  • Other medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as thyroid problems or fibroids, can cause symptoms similar to PMS or early pregnancy.

When to See a Doctor

If you’re unsure whether your symptoms are due to PMS or early pregnancy, it’s always best to see a doctor. They can perform a physical exam, order blood tests, and conduct an ultrasound to confirm pregnancy.


  • PMS: Treatment for PMS typically involves lifestyle changes, such as exercise, a healthy diet, and stress management. Over-the-counter pain relievers can also help alleviate symptoms.
  • Early pregnancy: There is no specific treatment for early pregnancy symptoms. However, prenatal vitamins and a healthy lifestyle can help support the developing baby.


Differentiating between PMS symptoms and early pregnancy symptoms can be challenging. However, by paying attention to the unique symptoms of each condition, considering your menstrual cycle, and consulting with a doctor if necessary, you can determine the cause of your symptoms and receive appropriate treatment.

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