Period vs Pregnancy Symptoms: Difference and Comparison

Period and pregnancy symptoms can share common indications that cannot be identified and can confuse one. They can also depend on the nature of an individual.

The difference between a period and pregnancy symptoms is one of the most asked questions in the parenting forum.

It is difficult to tell the difference between the signs of periods and pregnancy symptoms.

Key Takeaways

  1. Both period and pregnancy symptoms can include fatigue, bloating, and mood swings, but pregnancy symptoms may also encompass morning sickness and breast tenderness.
  2. A missed period is a common early sign of pregnancy, while a regular period indicates the absence of pregnancy.
  3. Home pregnancy tests can help differentiate between period and pregnancy symptoms by detecting the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in urine.

Period vs Pregnancy Symptoms

Period symptoms are associated with the shedding of the uterine lining and the start of a new menstrual cycle that can include cramping and mood changes. Pregnancy symptoms occur due to the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy and tend to occur on a more irregular schedule.

Period vs Pregnancy Symptoms

The period is a state that happens to women after they reach puberty till menopause, and this happens after every 28 days on average.

It is the outflow of the endometrium with the blood. There are some symptoms that may and may not happen to every woman.

Pregnancy happens when an embryo or fetus grows inside a woman’s womb. Early-stage pregnancy can have many symptoms. The female body gets effect in many ways, physically and mentally.

Comparison Table

Parameters of comparisonPeriod SymptomsPregnancy Symptoms
Food cravingsOne might crave something sweet or savory. The cravings can be controlled.One might crave anything from pickles to anything. The cravings cannot be controlled.
CrampsCramps may be intense with back or foot pain.Cramps may be mild and can occur in the abdomen area with lower back pain.
Acne/pimplesThey appear before the menstrual cycle.During pregnancy, acne/pimples can stay for a longer time.
Mood swingsThey are very common.They last for a longer time.
Nausea/vomitingNo, there is no nausea or vomiting.Morning nausea is a symptom of about 855 pregnant women.
Vaginal bleedingBleeding may occur up to 10 days, depending on the woman.Bleeding may or may not occur for the women.  
Darkening of nipplesNo darkening of nipples happens.There can be more accumulation of melanin that can cause darkening of the nipples.

What is Period Symptoms?

Period or menstruation is the outflow of the endometrium layer with bleeding after the egg has died. The layer of the endometrium is prepared to shelter the egg if it is fertilized.

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The period lasts a few days in women. It occurs monthly from puberty to menopause on an average of 28 days.

The difference in length may happen differently because of hereditary or individual characteristics. 

There are some symptoms that can happen in women when a period a coming, like abdominal cramps, muscle pain, headaches, etc. Some women may also get acne before menstruation.

Apart from the physical symptoms, there may also be some emotional changes, like anxiety, depression, mood swings, and many more. Some women may also have sleeping disorders.

There is a fluctuation in hormone levels in women.

On average, a woman loses 50-100 ml of blood from the body. The menstrual blood has a red-brown color to it.

Menstruation is a process that occurs with many symptoms. Other symptoms may occur during the periods.

period symptoms

What is Pregnancy Symptoms?

Pregnancy happens when an embryo or fetus grows inside a woman’s womb.

The term embryo is used to describe a living being who has been developing for 8 weeks, and it is called a fetus when that being has developed for 9 weeks.

The birth of the new being happens after about 38 weeks of conception or after 40 weeks after the last menstruation.

Pregnancy symptoms are sometimes associated with delayed or missed periods or menstruation. But when pregnant, there are many symptoms that the women have in pregnancy and not in menstrual cycles.

After the fertilization of the egg with the sperm, there are changes that happen in the physical and emotional state of the women.

One of the notable early symptoms of pregnancy is morning sickness, and it can last up to nine months, depending on woman to woman.

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There are some other symptoms that happen in women, like lower back pain, headaches, tiredness, increased urination, and many more.

There can also be cravings for foods like dark chocolates, dairy products, or sweet and sour foods. Also, women found darkening around the nipples. Mood swings are common in pregnancy.

pregnancy symptoms

Main Differences Between Period and Pregnancy Symptoms

  1. Tiredness can be a symptom of periods, whereas if one feels extremely tired and wants to sleep the entire day, it could be a sign of pregnancy.
  2. The period has a feeling of weakness or dizziness because of hormone fluctuation, whereas pregnancy can have a feeling of weakness, dizziness, or fatigue due to hormonal fluctuation and changes in the blood flow.
  3. Only some women experience a little swelling or sensitivity in the breasts during periods, whereas during early pregnancy, swollen, painful, and sensitive breasts occur for months.
  4. There is no nausea or vomiting during periods, whereas during pregnancy, women get this feeling for up to 8 weeks after conceiving the baby.
  5. The bleeding lasts up to 7 or 8 days depending upon the woman, and she can lose up to 50-100 ml of blood on average, whereas during pregnancy, some women bleed pink or brownish color for up to 4 days.
  6. During this period, no darkening of the nipples happens, whereas pregnancy can cause more accumulation of melanin in the nipples, causing the darkening of the nipples.
Difference Between Period and Pregnancy Symptoms
References
  1. https://academic.oup.com/ntr/article-abstract/10/11/1609/1515575
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165032798001876

Last Updated : 22 July, 2023

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3 thoughts on “Period vs Pregnancy Symptoms: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The comparison table is very clear and concise but the symptoms of pregnancy early in the article can be emphasized further. It can be a common source of confusion and the more clarified it is, the better.

    Reply
  2. The article is very informative, and I like the wise and straightforward comparison between period and pregnancy symptoms. The signs are very clear to understand.

    Reply

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