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Reconnaître les symptômes des SPM et ceux d’une grossesse

Recognizing the symptoms of PMS and pregnancy

Why can PMS symptoms be confused with pregnancy?

Faced with the stress of a late period, the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and a possible pregnancy can easily be confused. This, for several reasons.

Similar symptoms

The first reason why menstruating people may confuse PMS with a new pregnancy is that the symptoms associated with these two conditions are similar:

  • Cramps and abdominal pain;
  • Chest tenderness;
  • Migraines;
  • Bloating and sensitivity in intestinal transit;
  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • Significant fatigue;
  • Mood swings

Hormonal fluctuations

The second reason these two conditions can be confused is that they both cause significant hormonal fluctuations. Periods are caused by a gradual drop in progesterone – we talked about this in our article on the role of hormones in the menstrual cycle . Pregnancy is characterized by an increase in the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin, the famous beta-hCG, is produced only after fertilization and implantation: it is its dosage which is measured by pregnancy tests and taking measurements. blood.

A late period

The third reason it's common to mix PMS symptoms with pregnancy symptoms is that they both happen at a similar time... Suspicions of pregnancy usually emerge when a period is late... or late period = potentially late period. approach = SPM! So we find ourselves between two waters: are our symptoms those of pregnancy (hence the absence of periods) or those of PMS (with periods which are about to start but which drag on for a while? little !).

Variability of symptoms

The fourth reason is the instability and variability of PMS symptoms: although we, as menstruators, have our periods every month for much of our lives, PMS symptoms are always different . Although we each have our typical symptoms, some cycles are different and it happens that new symptoms appear and go away!

This is why it can seem difficult, when faced with new symptoms, to know if we are in a different cycle or if we are facing a new situation – for example, the possibility of pregnancy!

And yes, if we know that knowing our body is essential, it can still happen that it plays tricks on us!

Self induction effect

Sometimes, the desire to get pregnant or the stress of getting pregnant can affect our mind. We analyze all the symptoms we experience and imagine that they could correspond to being pregnant! This, even when it's a little irrational: typically when you're faced with a late period while you're on contraception!

So, PMS or pregnancy?

When we find ourselves wondering about pregnancy symptoms VS PMS symptoms, it's because we're a little stressed. Stressed about finally getting pregnant or stressed about being pregnant and having to ask questions. Without providing you with miracle answers – there are none apart from the pregnancy test – we help you ask yourself the right questions and take a step back.

Ask yourself about recurring symptoms

It has been said: no menstrual cycle is the same and, regularly, we find ourselves with symptoms that have nothing to do with those we are used to experiencing. This is why it is not always easy to differentiate pregnancy from PMS.

That being said, every menstruating person has their recurring symptoms among those associated with PMS. We think in particular of the most common: menstrual cramps, catamenial migraines, chest tenderness or even mood swings. If you suffer regularly during your periods, we have offered you an article to help you relieve your painful periods .

Do you currently have these symptoms? If they are similar to those you experience regularly – except that they are delayed by a few days – then it is quite possible that you are just a little behind. In addition to pregnancy, several elements can contribute to shifting your cycle a little in an occasional and natural way: travel, stress, a sudden change in your diet or even intensive exercise.

Want to track your menstrual cycles, in duration and symptoms? Discover period tracking apps to better record what you experience during your menstrual cycles.

Check the duration and timing of symptoms

Let's continue our investigation and now compare the similar symptoms between pregnancy and PMS. How strong are they and when are they supposed to occur?

Cramps and abdominal pain

The most common and recognized symptoms of PMS and periods, abdominal cramps are also linked to early pregnancy. The changes (hormonal, physical, implantation) caused by young pregnancy can lead to abdominal pain.

PMS pain generally begins 2 days before your period, or 13 days after ovulation. Pregnancy-related pain can begin in the first days (implantation can be a source of discomfort, pinching sensation) then continue: the uterus enlarges, hormone levels vary, etc.

🌈 Do you suffer from abdominal cramps? Miyé Happy Cycle serum can be used to relieve you with a direct massage on the lower abdomen area or lower back. Without essential oils, it is suitable for pregnant women: this way you don't take any risks!

⚡ If you experience cramps for several days without relief and your period is late, consider taking a pregnancy test. This, especially if you are not used to this pain.

Chest tenderness

Another recurring symptom of PMS and periods: chest tenderness. The breasts are heavy, swollen, painful to the touch, sometimes even when touched. This symptom is also linked to the early stage of pregnancy. The breasts enlarge to prepare for breastfeeding under the influence of hormones.

Chest pain related to PMS usually begins a week before your period. In the case of pregnancy, you may therefore notice swelling in your breasts from the first weeks. During the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, the breasts will continue to grow and become heavier.

🌈 Chest pain? Nideco's soothing Tits party treatment can be applied to the chest to relieve the feeling of tightness. Without essential oils, it is suitable for pregnancy – just in case!

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⚡ If your breasts feel very heavy for several days even though your period is late, consider taking a pregnancy test. This, especially if you don't usually have this symptom!


Catamenial migraine is another common symptom of PMS… and it is therefore also a common symptom of early pregnancy. During the first trimester, when estrogen levels are highest, some women may experience a migraine attack, often a migraine with aura.

Catamenial migraines usually start a few days before your period and last for the first few days of your period. In the case of pregnancy, no study has been done on the precise temporality of migraines – it is therefore difficult to differentiate migraine from PMS and pregnancy migraine at the current level of research.

Bloating and sensitivity in intestinal transit

Intestinal transit is often disrupted during menstruation, largely due to hormones. These same hormones which also act on the intestinal transit of pregnant women.

Bloating and difficulties with intestinal transit linked to intestinal PMS generally begin in the two days before the period and spill over into the first days of the period. As for bloating and transit difficulties during pregnancy, they last the entire duration of the pregnancy (and are sometimes accompanied by difficulty urinating).

Nausea and vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are the most common symptoms of the first trimester of pregnant women – especially morning sickness. In some women, they are present at ovulation and during PMS, until the first days of menstruation.

⚡ If you have never had nausea and vomiting because of your period and you have nausea for several days even though your period is late, it is not impossible that it is linked to a potential pregnancy .

Significant fatigue

Significant fatigue is just as much a symptom of pregnancy and PMS. It will therefore be difficult to differentiate between these two symptoms which can appear several days before the period, in the case of PMS, and from implantation, in the case of pregnancy.

⚡ If you have been feeling very tired for no reason other than stress (it's normal to stress in this situation 🫶) for several days and your period is late, consider taking a pregnancy test, or even a pregnancy test early. If you are not pregnant, you may also need to rest and take care of yourself.

Mood swings

Last symptom that can apply to PMS and pregnancy: irritability, a feeling of depression or even mood swings. Typically, in PMS, these symptoms begin within 48 hours before your period and can last for the first few days of your period. In the context of pregnancy, these variations generally appear during the first trimester, sometimes from the first month, with varying intensity from one person to another.

⚡ Have your emotions been running wild for more than three days and your period is late? It may be time to consider taking a pregnancy test. This may help you calm down.

Symptoms unique to pregnancy

Nesting spotting

Implantation spotting , also called “implantation bleeding”, is very light bleeding that can occur between 6 and 12 days after fertilization (usually between 6 and 14 days after ovulation). It corresponds to the moment when the fertilized egg implants itself in the uterine lining. The latter, very irrigated, can bleed a little. This bleeding is very light, is dark brown, black or pink in color, and lasts between a few hours and 3 days maximum. It may be accompanied by a slight pang in the stomach. It differs from the rules by its very weak flow.

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Exacerbation of smell

Pregnant women generally report that their sense of smell develops particularly well – sometimes to their detriment, because it leads to different food dislikes, or even nausea. No studies exist on when during pregnancy the sense of smell changes, but it may be a clue.

Food cravings (and dislikes)

Food cravings (the craving for strawberries 🍓!) is a great cliché of the whims of pregnant women! As for food aversions, we talked about it just before, they can be caused by the exacerbation of the sense of smell. If you feel like your food cravings are changing drastically all of a sudden, it could be a sign that something is going on inside of you.

What to do if you are unsure about a possible pregnancy?

If you suspect pregnancy, the pregnancy test (and then the blood test that follows a positive pregnancy test) is the only way to determine for sure if you are pregnant . You generally have to wait three weeks after your presumed ovulation (i.e. one week late for your period) to take a pregnancy test, but to save yourself a little stress, know that there are early pregnancy tests . These can be done as early as 6 days after the expected fertilization date. They are less precise (there are more false negatives) and such an early pregnancy can encounter many difficulties, but it can help you overcome your impatience.

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