A Guide to Recognizing the Key Symptoms and Signs of Pregnancy vs. Period

Nov 06, 2023

Vineeta Agrawal

A Guide to Recognizing the Key Symptoms and Signs of Pregnancy vs. Period

Women go through several symptoms before the start of their menstrual cycle that often replicate those of pregnancy. Ladies who are at the childbearing age or planning for a pregnancy often find themselves in a whirlwind of confusion. It can be exhausting to try to discern every month whether their bodies are sending them baby news or merely the arrival of their monthly visitor. Premenstrual symptoms (PMS) or period symptoms like the frequent urge to urinate, tender breasts, back pain, and mood swings are something that expecting mothers also experience. If you are also riding the same boat, it’s time to find out the indicators of both scenarios to differentiate between the two. So, let's start the journey of discovery and awareness: 

5 Period Symptoms

It’s almost impossible to claim that we are aware of all the possible period symptoms of billions of women when these signs heavily vary from woman to woman. The final sign of period a.k.a bleeding might be the same but the PMS symptoms are a whole new ball game. Let’s check out the list:  

1. Menstrual Cramps

84.1% of women have reported mild to severe abdominal discomfort before and during their period. (1) Resulting from uterine contractions, cramp eases the shedding of uterine lining.

2. Back Pain

Experienced by 40% to 50% of women, (2) menstrual low back pain (LBP) can make participation in regular activities uncomfortable for women. Caused by hormonal changes and uterine contractions, over-the-counter pain relievers might help women get rid of it.

3. Mood Swings

If you are a woman or you have a woman in your life, you might have noticed how quickly their moods shift sometimes. The period of crankiness and irritation lasts longer than ever. And they are crying for the smallest reasons. Blame their hormones for these.

4. Breast Tenderness

70% of women experience breast tenderness and swelling before or during their period due to hormonal shifts. (3)

5. Bloating

More than 50% of women experience bloated, and gassy right before their monthly cycles. (4)

However, the period symptoms among women can range from breaking out to feeling tired, constipated, headache, anxiety, depression, change in appetite, sensitivity to light and sound, and the list can go on and on.

5 Pregnancy Symptoms

So you are planning for a baby but suddenly experiencing tender, sore breasts? You haven’t taken a pregnancy test yet but are wondering if it is a period symptom or pregnancy. Get all your queries solved right here. Check out the list of pregnancy symptoms:

1. Missed Period

Most women are aware of the most common sign of pregnancy, a missed period. But don’t jump to conclusions as a lot of physical changes can cause delayed or missed periods. Consult a healthcare professional for assurance or take a pregnancy test if you are in confusion.  

2. Breast Changes

Yes, the discomfort you are experiencing due to swollen breasts, and pregnancy might be the cause of it.

3. Fatigue

Early pregnancy often brings on extreme fatigue, and you may feel more tired/sleepy than usual.

4. Frequent Urination

An increased need to urinate is one of the most common pregnancy symptoms. It’s the time when your body produces more blood and processes a lot of fluids that your kidney sends to the bladder.

5. Morning Sickness

The urge to vomit and feeling nauseous throughout the day can be a sign of pregnancy. Don’t let the term ‘morning sickness’ fool you. This nauseating sensation can be your companion for the entire day. 

Period VS Pregnancy Signs

We have discussed the most common period vs. pregnancy signs but still, the symptoms might puzzle you. So here is a side-by-side comparison of the two:




Cramps Mild to severe cramping depending on your medical history and usual pattern Women experience mild to moderate cramps at the early stage of pregnancy
Mood Swings You can experience a combination of irritability and frequent emotional outbursts in the form of crying Women usually feel more emotional during pregnancy which expresses itself by crying
Breast Changes The swollen, tender breasts go away once you start your cycle As your breasts feel heavier and fuller, the sensation stays with you throughout the pregnancy
Fatigue You feel better once the period arrives You feel more sleepy during the first trimester, but it can be a part of your entire pregnancy journey

Distinguishing between pregnancy symptoms and the signs of period can be challenging, but if you suspect that you might be pregnant, it’s best to consult a health specialist. A quick home pregnancy test can confirm the outcome. It’s crucial to be aware of your reproductive health and invest in personal care products like VinzBerry to be at the top of your hygiene game. Our intimate body care products are made for women of all ages and stages. Whether you are simply menstruating or pregnant, our products are safe to use for everyone. Feel fresh and feminine with us! 

Frequently Asked Questions on Period Vs. Pregnancy Signs

Q. What is the fastest way to know if you are pregnant?

A: The quickest way to confirm pregnancy is through a home pregnancy test. It’s safe, quick and reliable. 

Q. What kind of cramps indicate pregnancy?

A: Cramps in early pregnancy are usually milder than menstrual cramps and may feel like a pulling, tugging, or stretching sensation in the lower abdomen. 

Q. Does feeling pregnant feel like a period?

A: The early signs of pregnancy and PMS might feel the same but the period symptoms get better once the period arrives but the pregnancy symptoms last till the baby arrives. 

Q. How many days delay in periods confirms pregnancy?

A: If your period is more than a week or two late, it's best to take a pregnancy test for confirmation.

Q. What's the difference between pregnancy discharge and period?

A: Pregnancy discharge is usually light flow or spotting during the early stage of it or the first trimester whereas the period is full-blown uterine line shedding that happens every month. 


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3392715/

  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3838710/#:~:text=Menstrual%20low%20back%20pain%20(LBP)%20is%20one%20of%20the%20common,6)%20of%20the%20menstrual%20cycle.&text=Menstrual%20back%20pain%20can%20be%20a%20monthly%20occurrence%20for%20many%20women.

  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4200534/#:~:text=Breast%20pain%20(mastalgia)%20may%20be,up%20to%2060%25%20of%20women.

  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33614302/#:~:text=More%20than%2050%25%20of%20all,affected%20the%20quality%20of%20life.