Difference Between Pregnancy and Period Symptoms

Premenstrual symptoms and pregnancy symptoms share common indications making them difficult to be identified. The intensity varies for different women. It also depends on a lot of other external conditions such as stress, food, etc. The worst part is that both of them can result in a mix of emotional, physical and physiological symptoms which may tend to affect the relationships and attitudes. The symptoms also depend on the nature of the individual and pregnancy. A few signs may be different or pronounced in each case.


Pregnancy symptoms are usually associated with a delayed or missed menstrual cycle. The breasts tend to be swollen and tender and fatigue sets in. One of the most notable symptoms of early pregnancy is the presence of morning sickness. Usually this appears around two to eight weeks. For a few pregnancies, it may last longer to nine months. However in most cases the symptoms usually subside in a couple of months.

But the symptoms can be totally absent in some. Other pronounced symptoms include lower back ache, head aches, heart burn, tiredness, increased frequency of urination etc. There can be unusual cravings for dairy or dark chocolates and sweet or sour foods. There can be darkening around the nipples also. Mood swings and gassy feelings are quite common in pregnancy

Period symptoms

Pre menstrual period lasts a few days before the regular menstrual cycle in women. The symptoms associated with the premenstrual period are usually a result of the reduced serotonin levels. The hormone levels also fluctuate more during the period.

Symptoms before the period are often similar. There may be swelling and tenderness of breasts, abdominal cramps, severe muscle pain, headaches, fatigue etc. Acne is a common symptom before the menstrual period sets in. Some women tend to gain weight on a sudden and craving for sweet or sour foods. Apart from the physical symptoms, there can be other emotional changes. Most common among them are anxiety, depression, frequent mood swings, reduced concentration, and irritability. Some women suffer from sleep disorders, swelling in legs,

Difference between Pregnancy and Period symptoms

Both the symptoms are more or less similar in nature. But there are more pronounced symptoms like enlarged abdomen. For some this may set in late by about three months or so and make it difficult to diagnose earlier. The other symptoms are usually the same and may occur in different degrees according to the individual.

A missed or delayed period can be confirmed as a sign of pregnancy in rare cases where the individuals were more prone to have regular or precise periods. But the chances cannot be ruled out if the stress level of the individual is high.

The way to identify the pregnancy at its earlier stages is to conduct a home pregnancy test. The pregnancy kit is available with all drug stores. The test should ideally be taken fourteen days after ovulation or the day when you miss the period. If the test is positive, then a physician’s opinion should be sought. You can wait for two to three days if you still think of going to a physician.


Both conditions largely share the symptoms and the difference is in the treatments received. A regular exercise and avoiding stimulants will be helpful to alleviate the symptoms of PMS. But for the medicines used in treating the symptoms, pregnancy requires a lot of careful choice. Hence in both cases, it will be good to seek a medical opinion since a missed period or a large delay in period may be the sign of some other complications. First you should rule out the causes of a possibility of the symptom, this will help you to make a wise judgment.