Teen Pregnancy Signs

Teen Pregnancy Signs aren't always obvious in early pregnancy. Because a teenager may be scared, she may try to hide her pregnancy. Early medical care is critical for pregnant teens. Find out what to look for if you think a teen you know may be pregnant.

Teenage pregnancy poses serious risks to a teen’s health and long-term well-being, so it is important to get medical help and counseling quickly for a teen who is pregnant or who may be pregnant. Because teens may not always come to their parents if they believe they are pregnant, parents should know the signs that a teen may be pregnant.

Because teen pregnancy is especially risky, it is very important that pregnant teens get early medical care, so parents who know or suspect their teen is sexually active should be aware of the signs of teen pregnancy. Though in later pregnancy it may be more obvious that a teen is pregnant, knowing early that a teen is pregnant is important to her well-being and the well-being of her baby.

While it may seem that it would be easy to tell if a teen is pregnant, teens sometime hide their pregnancy, either because they are embarrassed or afraid, or because they are in denial about being pregnant. Some pregnant teens, especially younger teens who don’t know their bodies well, may not even realize they are pregnant.

Teens’ bodies are changing rapidly, and as teen girls begin their teen menstrual cycle, it may be irregular and cause symptoms similar to pregnancy, like:

  • Having light or irregular periods
  • Swollen or tender breasts
  • Moodiness

This can make it harder for teens or their parents to know if a sexually active teen might be pregnant, especially during the early stages of pregnancy.

Some teen pregnancy signs include:

  • Missed periods or very light periods
  • Moodiness
  • Fatigue
  • Breasts tender and/or enlarged
  • Frequent urination
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness, light-headedness, or fainting
  • Swelling of the abdomen

What teen pregnancy signs parents can watch for

Teens may not want to admit they are pregnant, and can hide many of the above symptoms from parents. Some teen pregnancy signs that parents can watch for are:

  • Not needing sanitary products for their period
  • A pregnancy test
  • Losing or gaining weight
  • Changes in clothing, such as wearing baggier clothing
  • Vomiting frequently in the morning or during any part of the day
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Unusual moodiness or impatience
  • Complaining of feeling dizzy or actually fainting
  • A change in a relationship with a boyfriend
  • A change in relationships with friends

Any of these signs could mean that a teen is pregnant, or has another medical condition. Parents who notice these signs in their teen girls should try to talk to them about it, and take them to a doctor for an examination.

Having open lines of communication improves the chances that your teen will tell you if she is pregnant, and also gives you the chance to talk honestly with your teen about teen sex and pregnancy before it happens. If you find out that your teen is pregnant, try to stay calm and deal with your feelings so you can help your teen. A counselor can help you work through any strong negative feelings that you have.

A doctor can confirm that a teen is pregnant, and help her to begin getting medical care as soon as her pregnancy is discovered. Most communities have free or low cost medical care for pregnant women and teens.


U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia, Adolescent Pregnancy [online]

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Medical Library, Tool Kit for Teen Care: Pregnancy Options for Adolescents [online]

Related Article: Teen Pregnancy Overview >>