How to Tell If Your Partner Is Pregnant

Is my girlfriend pregnant?

Verywell / Brianna Gilmartin 

In This Article

If your partner thinks they might be pregnant, you may feel excited by the prospect of parenthood. It's also possible that either (or both) of you might be afraid to take a pregnancy test. If you have been trying to conceive, you might feel anxious about getting a negative result.

If you were not trying to get pregnant, a positive test could be overwhelming for both of you. Here's how you can support your partner if they think they are pregnant and plan to take a pregnancy test, as well as what to do if your role in your partner's pregnancy is unclear.

Taking a Home Pregnancy Test

You can get a home pregnancy test at grocery stores, pharmacies, and most big box stores. You can even order pregnancy tests online from various retailers.

To ensure that a home pregnancy test is as accurate as it can be, carefully follow the instructions written on the package, box, or insert.

A home pregnancy test is nearly identical to the urine pregnancy tests used in a doctor or midwife’s office and is generally reliable. These tests check your partner's urine for a hormone that is abundantly produced in pregnancy: human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).

A word of caution about early home pregnancy tests: While they are marketed as tests that can be taken prior to your partner's missed period, the accuracy of any home pregnancy test depends on the amount of available hCG. This means that while an early positive result is possible, a negative could still become positive in the days to come as hCG levels increase.

If the home pregnancy test is negative and might have been taken too early, the test should be repeated in one week if there is still no sign of menstruation. While home pregnancy tests are fairly accurate, a positive result should be confirmed by a doctor or midwife (who might order a blood test).

If your partner experiences any pain, vaginal bleeding, or other new or concerning symptoms, they should contact their healthcare provider.

Timing

If your partner has missed their period, they should consider taking a test whether or not they have any signs or symptoms of pregnancy. Some people don't experience symptoms in early pregnancy while others attribute mild symptoms to a brief illness or even their menstrual cycle.

Some common signs of pregnancy include:

  • A missed period
  • Back and pelvic pain
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Cramping
  • Enlarged and sore breasts
  • Fatigue
  • Heartburn, acid reflux, and indigestion
  • Light spotting (some people experience implantation bleeding which they might mistake for a period. It typically occurs about 10 to 14 days after the fertilized egg attaches to the wall of the uterus—which might coincide with when a person would have expected their next period.)
  • Mood swings
  • Nasal congestion
  • Nausea with or without vomiting (morning sickness), which can be accompanied by food aversions or cravings
  • Skin changes (such as pigment changes on the face or around the nipples of the breasts)
  • Urinary frequency

If your partner wants to take a pregnancy test, ask them what you can do to support them. They might ask you to run to the pharmacy for a test or be with them when they take it. Your partner might ask you to give them some space to process the situation in their own way and time.

Waiting to find out the result of a pregnancy test can be stressful for a couple—no matter their situation. If you were hoping to get pregnant, taking a test can be anxiety-provoking if you are worried that it will be negative. If you were not trying to conceive, the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy also can be nerve-wracking.

Either way, the sooner your partner takes a pregnancy test after they have missed a period, the sooner that you will be able to talk about the next steps and make a plan together.

Questions and Responsibilities

If you have doubts about whether you are the parent of your partner's baby, you might be wondering what (if any) role you should have in their pregnancy. If there is uncertainty and your partner does not know when they became pregnant, you might need to have a test to establish paternity.

It may also be helpful to research paternity laws in your state, which will cover your rights and responsibilities throughout your partner's pregnancy and into the future.

Being a Supportive Partner

Research has shown that when a pregnant person has a supportive partner, they are more likely to have a healthy pregnancy. Partner support is also good for babies. Infants who are born to people who have the support of a partner are less likely to be born preterm.

There are many ways that you can be a supportive partner. You can encourage your partner to make and keep prenatal appointments and, if possible and desired, go to these appointments with them. You also can help your partner make healthy choices throughout their pregnancy, such as avoiding alcohol or quitting smoking.

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  1. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). A Partner’s Guide to Pregnancy. ‌Updated May 2016.