Welcome back to Lady Things, the column where we explore the mysterious interworkings of the lady body. This week, we ask the age-old question: Are you experiencing the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome or have you been, so to speak, knocked up?

Did you have sex this month? Are you feeling funny? Take this diagnostic test and find out if you will soon have to make the biggest decision of your goddamn life!


This month you have had sex. But you are on the pill/used condoms.

  • You’re totally not pregnant! Birth “control,” right?! Condoms are 82 percent effective! Birth control pills are, like, 99 percent effective!
  • Poor baby, you are so pregnant! There’s only one form of birth control that’s 100 percent effective and that’s abstinence. Just look at this New York Times chart to see how truly ineffective your current form of birth control is. Maybe next year at this time, when you have an infant, you can consider getting an IUD. For now, though, it’s too late.

It's the middle of your cycle and you get some out-of-the-ordinary spotting.

  • It’s probably just cancer. Or menopause. Either way, your getting-pregnant time is behind you and your tragic twilight years, or months, are all you have left.
  • Pregnant, pregnant, pregnant. This is implantation bleeding. Never heard of it? You must be terrible at Google.

It's a couple days before your period is set to arrive! Your nipples are feeling tender.

  • You’re totally not pregnant! Sensitive boobs are a sign that you’re about to get your period!
  • Wait, you’re definitely pregnant! Everyone knows tender nipples are also an early indicator of pregnancy!

You're tired. So, so tired.

  • Hey girl. NBD. You’re just about to get your period. Don’t even trip. Watch Ten Things I Hate About You. Eat some fucking ice cream. Maybe drink another cup of something caffeinated, but only after you take a nap.
  • So pregnant. That deep, tired feeling in your bones is your body preparing for the arduous task of creating, and then expelling, a full human.

You cried at a trailer for a movie about some goofy kid who becomes a ski jumper. The movie looks so dumb but now you're like, sobbing.

  • You’re cool! No fertilized egg is growing inside your body. Crying at something dumb? CLASSIC PMS.
  • Fuck, that is totally an egg and it is getting bigger by the second. Getting oddly emotional is totally, one hundred percent, a symptom of being pregnant.

You're feeling nauseous.

  • Stay calm. There are so many reasons to feel nauseous. Like, for example, that intense anxiety you’ve created for yourself over this possible-but-definitely-not-happening pregnancy. Take a deep breath. Eat lunch. Have you eaten lunch?
  • Welcome to your first trimester. Hope you enjoy it.

You took a pregnancy test. It was negative.

  • Deep sigh. You’re okay. One more month of not having to make the big decisions. A negative pregnancy test! What could be more clear! Proceed with your marvelous life! Oh the trees, look how green they are! The sky, so blue!
  • ALERT! YOU ARE STILL TOTALLY DEFINITELY PREGNANT! Did you take that pregnancy test at a time other than first thing in the morning, when your urine is most concentrated? Even if you did, who cares?! The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence! Until there is blood running down your legs, and that blood is menstrual blood and not just from a cut you gave yourself on your inner thigh from, I don’t know, the mechanical bull you keep at home, you still could be pregnant. Sorry friend.