One of your ovaries releases an egg around 14 days before your period. This is called ovulation. It’s usually in the middle of a 28-day menstrual cycle, but can be later if you have longer cycles and earlier if your cycle is shorter. The egg can be fertilised by sperm in one of your fallopian tubes. Conception occurs when the fertilised egg travels along the tube and implants in your womb (uterus) about six days after fertilisation. The fertilised egg grows and is called an embryo.
When you become pregnant, your womb doesn’t shed its lining as it normally does at the end of a menstrual cycle, so you don’t have a period each month. A missed period is one of the early signs of pregnancy.
You can buy a pregnancy test from a pharmacy or supermarket. This can test for pregnancy from the first day of a missed period. Some testing kits can give a result even before you miss a period. Your GP or family planning clinic can also arrange a pregnancy test for you.