How did women know they were pregnant before pregnancy tests were invented?

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Because missed periods aren’t always indicative of pregnancy, and some women continue to bleed during pregnancy.

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by the appearance of a very insistant individual

normally it’s b/c of missed periods and monitoring.

some can identify it by the way they feel, the shift in hormones

but, regardless of what they use as evidence it’s confirmed by observation (consistant missed periods, growth, appitite)

When my wife was pregnant with our first, her nipples got hard and stayed hard. Like all day. That was the first sign, before missed period, belly/breast growth, etc.

Also, first trimester is generally exhausting. So extreme fatigue. And being tired all the time for a month or two straight is another sign, generally before you start showing.

Breasts get larger and can be rather sore.

Being nauseated periodically, throwing up. This is often called morning sickness but can happen throughout the day.

(as you mentioned) Also, while a missed period is a big sign, some women have spotting while pregnant. While this isn’t a true period, it can be mistaken for a “light” period. In addition, some women are irregular with their periods or on “the pill” and can choose to skip their period altogether.

There are a lot of signs and generally speaking, women take a pregnancy test as a verification after noticing one of these signs. Women don’t just take pregnancy tests all the time. A missed period is a big one but not necessarily the first sign. You can be pregnant for about 2 weeks before your next period, and the body can respond very strongly in that time.

You could piss on a rabbit and find out. Well, kinda.

Historically there have been lots of ways of predicting pregnancy, some more valid than others (for instance, they’d stick an onion in the vagina and see if the woman had bad breath!?)

With the rabbit, you injected the urine of a woman into the female rabbit and then dissected it a few days later to see if it had enlarged overies. ‘the rabbit was dead’ became a euphemism for being pregnant, even though the rabbit had to die regardless of the result.