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PMS or Pregnancy?
by Dr. Daniel J. Heller
It is understandable that women are sometimes confused as to whether their symptoms are the result of PMS or pregnancy, because there really is a lot of overlap between the symptoms of the two. And, of course, a missed cycle or a late period can certainly make the question feel much more urgent. Whether PMS symptoms or pregnancy symptoms, both occur because of changing hormones, so they have related causes as well.
However, PMS will never cause a positive pregnancy test, and the symptoms of the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, and even of the second half of the first trimester, are usually distinguishable from the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. Most women only experience PMS symptoms for a few days or at most a week before their periods (though we've met plenty of women whose PMS lasts over two weeks!), so the question "Is it PMS or is it pregnancy?" should usually only last several days for most women.