Pregnancy Symptoms vs PMS Symptoms

pregnancy vs pms blog

4 Clear Differences Between Pregnancy and PMS

Are you feeling like you could be pregnant, but it’s too early to know?

So many women are wondering if they’re experiencing pregnancy symptoms or PMS symptoms. 

PMS, which is Premenstrual Syndrome, symptoms can be similar to pregnancy symptoms. But from my experience, there is a fine difference between the two.

How do You Tell the Difference Between Pregnancy and PMS symptoms?

Here are 4 clear signs to help you know, if you’re pregnant or feeling PMS

  • Pregnancy cramping vs PMS cramping 
  • Position of Cervix (pregnancy vs PMS)
  • Implantation bleeding vs Period starting
  • Feeling implantation vs PMS cramps

Pregnancy Cramping vs PMS Cramping

From being pregnant seven times I can tell that the difference between both types of cramping is very clear. This is how you can tell:

When you have PMS cramping, it’s like a dull feeling in your womb. Your womb feels more heavy with PMS, as your body prepares to release. The crampy feeling of PMS is a downwards sensation which you notice in the front, lower abdominal area and also in the lower back.

PMS signs are clearly a downward, heavy feeling.

Pregnancy vs PMS
Pregnancy cramping

Pregnancy cramping is like being stretched from side to side, especially in your lower back. Following implantation, your uterus starts expanding which is what causes the stretchy feeling.

You may feel early pregnancy cramping as on and off twinges. Some ladies say they feel like a stretching between their ovaries which goes from side to side.

So the difference is either a sinking heavy feeling or more of a twinge pulling feeling

Got lots of questions? Come and "Ask Me Anything" I will reply personally

Position of Cervix (Pregnancy vs PMS)

The second sure difference is the position of your cervix. Your cervix is the mouth of your womb, and it does function as a mouth. 

Your cervix changes shape and position during your menstrual cycle:

  • When you’re ovulating your cervix is high and feels soft. If it stays that way then you have conceived
  • If it drops down, it gets harder which signifies that you’re preparing for your period

How to Check the Position of Your Cervix

If you’re in tune with where your cervix is, perhaps you’re used to inserting tampons or a menstrual cup, you’ll know and feel it during menstruation because it is so low down.  

When checking your cervix, and where it is positioned, it is best to do this whilst taking a bath or shower. Always be sure that you have really clean hands.

If it’s a few days before your period is due and your cervix is still feeling high and soft, it’s a really good sign that you’re pregnant.

You might say ‘hey Vicki,’ what does the softness feel like? 

Well, think about your ear lobes, that kind of soft. 

Then what would be hard, would be like the tip of your nose. There’s a fine difference between how both feel and it may take a bit of practice and getting used to.

So if your cervix is high and feels soft like your ear lobes, it’s a good possible sign of conception. If your cervix is lower down and feels hard like the tip of your nose, it’s a sign you’re about to menstruate.

Implantation Bleeding vs Period Starting

The third sure difference is if you get implantation bleeding.

Implantation bleeding happens when the fertilised egg travels down into your womb and attaches to the womb lining. This could disturb some blood vessels on the way and when implantation happens as well, It could cause a tiny bit of bleeding.

This type of bleeding shows up as spotting, which is a small amount of blood and the blood is normally dark brown like a rusty colour.

Implantation bleeding will only last between 2 hours and up to 2 days, it shouldn’t be longer than that. It could happen between 6-12 days after conceiving, which is a bit earlier than when your menstrual cycle starts. 

I know menstrual cycles also start with light spotting, if your light spotting does turn into more red blood, then you know that your period is coming. Whereas, implantation bleeding is (normally) a shorter amount of light spotting.

It is worthy of note that not all women do get implantation bleeding.

Feeling Implantation vs PMS Cramps

Implantation one sided

The fourth sign is the actual point of implantation. 

Implantation could happen either on the left or right side of your womb. 

It will feel like a brief, sharp stabbing pain like a pinprick happening on one side of your womb.

This could last on and off for up to 2 days and it’s a completely different feeling to what you’d get with any kind of PMS cramping because it is a noticeable pain on one side.

Are you pregnant or is it just PMS?

Now, these four differences between PMS and early pregnancy were very clear to me, but only a positive pregnancy test can prove if you’re pregnant or not.

So even if you’ve got all these signs, you still have to wait until you can get a second line on your test to see if you’re pregnant.

Keep an eye on the type of symptoms you’re having before your missed period.

I’ve got another blog on 12 symptoms of pregnancy before a missed period, everything that happened to me and how I knew that I was pregnant even before a pregnancy test could show me.

Are you struggling with trying to conceive and looking for natural methods to help you?

Sign up for my Womb Healing Fertility guide, it’s a free guide where I explain how you can do womb healing for yourself.

Watch My Video Where I Explain the Feelings in More Detail

Find my Trying to Conceive playlist on YouTube where I explain symptoms and signs that are hardly ever talked about!  It’s so good to understand your body and I help you with signs I got during my seven pregnancies.

Subscribe to my channel to receive regular supportive videos to help you on your pregnancy journey. 

Further support:

Come and join my Facebook group for support, guidance and tips for throughout your journey to pregnancy and beyond. There are midwives in the group so it’s a great place to be for getting fast answers to your questions. Plus we have great webinars and regular tips for confidence on your pathway to motherhood.

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Vicki Renz

Vicki Renz

Recurrent miscarriage survivor & mother of two. Qualified energy and shamanic healer with 20 years experience. I have made it my mission to support women with pregnancy struggles who are experiencing low self-esteem, ensuring an empowered and confident transformational journey into motherhood.

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