How to tell if you're pregnant within 6 weeks
At Stix, we believe that regardless of where you live, you deserve to control your health. In honor of the changing world I wanted to share some of our favorite resources.
When I started asking my parents ~the question~ AKA how babies are made, they decided to call upon the most well equipped subject matter experts. Enter the infamous book — “The Care and Keeping Of You.” “The Care and Keeping of You” was my first look into what my body was capable of. It was my voyage into learning about the beautiful journey of a person with female reproductive organs. It also detailed what could happen if I got pregnant.
The key word is could.
My parents didn’t just give me a paperback book that day, they gave me a gift of knowledge. They gave me power.
Here are Stix, we want you to be able to make the best decisions for your life, and that starts with decisions about your body. We believe the best decisions are made when you have the best information to make them.
Being a person with a vagina can be hard. Yes - I’m talking about cramps. Yes - I’m talking about bloating. Yes - I’m talking about that day I really, really wish I didn’t wear white shorts. But, with the right tools and information it doesn’t need to be hard to figure out what’s happening inside your body.
Today, we’re here to talk about the earliest signs of pregnancy, particularly those signs that occur within the first six weeks after conception (AKA doing the deed) and before your missed period.
Can we talk about the birds and bees real quick?
Yes, in order to get pregnant you have to have unprotected sex with ejaculation or insemination within your ovulation window. Basically, your body needs to have produced an accessible egg that is inseminated by healthy sperm. If you have a regular period, ovulation is estimated to be 10-14 days after the first day of your cycle. If you have an irregular period, read more here about how to best estimate when you are ovulating.
How do I know if I'm actually pregnant though?
In the earliest days of pregnancy, you can’t take an at-home test to get answers. It’s nearly impossible to know the first two weeks because a lot of people don’t have any symptoms, but some do report the following:
- Implantation bleeding: This isn’t your period bleeding. It’s light bleeding, pink discharge or spotting that occurs when a fertilized egg attaches to the lining of a uterus to initiate the pregnancy.
- Cramping: Some people feel slight cramping in the abdomen, pelvis or back area - either for a few hours or sporadically for a few days. This could be another sign of the embryo attaching to the uterus.
- Nausea without vomiting
- Breast changes: One of the most common signs of early pregnancy is tenderness, swelling, a tingling feeling or noticeable blue veins in the breasts.
- Raised basal body temperature: Some people track their basal body temperature. Your baseline body temperature rises while you are ovulating, and sometimes stays higher a few days after ovulation occurs. If your basal body temperature remains high for longer than usual, that could be an early sign of pregnancy.
- More frequent urination: This could be confused with symptoms of a UTI, but with this more frequent urination you should not feel any burning or pain.
- Metallic taste in mouth: Early pregnancy often causes a change to your sense of taste, including a metallic taste in your mouth.
It’s important to note that many of these symptoms are not unique to pregnancy and that many people who are pregnant do not have any of these signs. That being said, there are more concrete ways to tell if you are pregnant. Read on.
When's the earliest I can take a pregnancy test? Can I take one within six weeks?
We live in a world where you can get a taco delivered from an app in less than 30 minutes. We love instant gratification (and tacos). Unfortunately, finding out if you have conceived or not is something you have to wait for. A pregnancy test measures the amount of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone in your urine. hCG is a sign that you have conceived and that the egg is growing into an embryo.
You might have heard of the infamous “two week wait,” meaning you have to wait about two weeks after ovulation to take a pregnancy test. A pregnancy test may return a positive result from 10 days after unprotected sex, but only if there is enough hCG hormone for a pregnancy test to detect fertilization. The reality is, you’ll get the most accurate pregnancy test results by taking it ASAP after a missed period.
For example, it’s possible you could take an at-home pregnancy test a week before your missed period and for it to return a negative result, despite you actually being pregnant. This is because the level of hCG, or the pregnancy hormone, in your urine is simply too low to detect. The Stix tests utilize early detection, which means you can test three days before your missed period. Yet, Stix comes with two tests, because even if you test negative before your missed period, it’s a good idea to take another test after your missed period because everybody is different. Your level of hCG may be higher, and the accuracy of the pregnancy test is more reliable.
The best, most accurate results for an at home pregnancy test are one week after a missed period. But, we get it, sometimes, you can’t wait that long to find out.
If you want to find out if you are pregnant as soon as possible, we recommend having pregnancy tests on hand to take on the first day of your missed period. The test line gets darker and darker as hCG levels rise in your body, so if you see the faintest of a line we recommend you test again in the next couple of days.
How to care for YOU
Your body is nuanced. Maybe you don’t get regular periods or maybe your birth control method failed during recent intercourse. Understanding your cycle and tracking your body’s changes and symptoms throughout different phases of menstruation is important so you can notice any signs of early pregnancy.
Remember, with knowledge you have the power to care for your body. Stix is just here to help.
Here’s some other Stix resources I love:
- How early can you take a pregnancy tests
- 6 Reasons to subscribe to pregnancy and ovulation tests
- 10 early signs you should take a pregnancy test
- Definitive guide to pregnancy tests