Missed periods are the first signs of pregnancy for many women, but they are not a reliable indicator. Doctors cannot accurately diagnose a pregnancy until the baby's heartbeat can be heard. Heartbeat detection can be done with an ultrasound at around 10 or 12 weeks. Blood and urine tests can be performed sooner and have a high accuracy rate. These tests can detect pregnancy as early as 8 to 10 days after a missed period. If you use a home pregnancy test, it is important to note that a positive result is more likely to be correct than a negative one.
Apart from a lab and home test, additional signs of pregnancy may include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, food cravings, frequent urination, and tender and swollen breasts. If you are experiencing any of the early signs of pregnancy, you may want to have a pregnancy test. The earlier you begin prenatal care, the better.