Women sometimes find themselves asking “Is this PMS or the early signs of pregnancy?”. The difference between PMS and early pregnancy symptoms are often difficult to differentiate, as they are subtle and vary from woman to woman.
PMS Symptoms vs. Pregnancy Symptoms
A simple way to determine if you are having symptoms of pregnancy before a missed period is to take a pregnancy test. If you are pregnant, you may receive a positive pregnancy test five to six days before your missed period.
During the time before or after a missed period, you may be experiencing typical PMS symptoms and will wonder if these are instead early signs of pregnancy. Could PMS symptoms mean that the pregnancy test is wrong? Not likely.
Again, PMS symptoms and early pregnancy symptoms are so similar that it's hard to tell the difference. In PMS, there is breast tenderness, bloating and cramping. These happen to be the same symptoms you will find in early pregnancy. The only real difference is that the period is usually missed if you are pregnant.
The change in hormones from the premenstrual state and the pregnancy state is not very much in the beginning. Only hCG is added in early pregnancy and only after the period is missed is this significant enough to reveal any changes in symptoms. In both cases, there are elevated progesterone levels that can contribute to PMS symptoms. These elevated progesterone levels drop precipitously at the time of the menstrual period but stay elevated if the woman is pregnant.