Can You Be Pregnant and Still Have Your Period?
Menstruation is a sure sign that you are not pregnant. Note, though, that not every kind of bleeding is menstrual.
Some forms of bleeding seem like menstrual bleeding, while they are actually symptoms of pregnancy.
Implantation bleeding is an example of non-menstrual bleeding. It can occur when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus.
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Can You Get Your Period If You Are Pregnant?
The short answer is: No. If you are really on your period, you cannot be pregnant — BUT it is possible to experience menstrual-like bleeding during pregnancy.
Bleeding that is not related to your regular cycle is often called intermenstrual bleeding or spotting. Usually, this is weaker than a normal period bleed and often subsides after just one day.
ℹ️ Pregnant and bleeding: Approximately one in five women experience spotting in early pregnancy. This cannot possibly be a regular menstrual period, since pregnancy and menstrual bleeding are mutually exclusive.
- 🤔 Wondering if you are experiencing pregnancy symptoms? Read more here!
- 💊 Wondering if you should take the morning-after pill? Take our Test: Morning-after pill: yes or no?
Possible Causes of Vaginal Bleeding During Pregnancy
Vaginal bleeding, also known as breakthrough bleeding, at the beginning of a pregnancy can have many causes. Although usually harmless, it is reason enough to consult a doctor. The amount of blood alone is not a sufficient indicator of the seriousness of the situation.
Here are some of the reasons for bleeding while pregnant:
- Implantation bleeding: Five to six days after fertilization, when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus, small blood vessels are sometimes ruptured. This results in bright red spotting / implantation bleeding. Spotting during implantation takes place just before one’s period would be due.
Hormonal changes in early pregnancy can cause light bleeding. This so called ‘pseudomenstruation' is caused by altered estrogen levels. Some women even have regular pseudomentruations, blinding them from the realization that they are actually pregnant.
Infections of the vagina or cervix can also cause bleeding.
Vaginal exams or sexual intercourse can lead to contact bleeding because of the rupturing of small blood vessels in or around the vagina.
Other possible causes of bleeding could be life threatening to mother or baby. Therefore, any presence of blood should be taken seriously and brought to your doctor’s attention immediately.
Difference Between Period and Spotting
How do you identify the difference between menstrual bleeding and breakthrough bleeding or spotting?
Preparation by Progesterone
After the egg cell is released into the fallopian tube (ovulation), the female body assumes that the egg will be fertilized and a new life is about to begin. In preparation, progesterone is produced, a hormone, which enables the body to perfectly accommodate the fertilized egg. This leads to the thickening of the uterine lining.
The Uterine Lining is Expelled through Bleeding
If no fertilized egg implants in the uterus within the following days, progesterone levels decrease. Since no new life has been created, the nutrients contained within the endometrium are not needed. Consequently, the endometrium, the lining of the uterus, is excreted in the form of blood and small pieces of tissue.
Menstrual bleeding is usually heavier than any breakthrough bleeding.
Ovulation can cause spotting. This light bleeding in the middle of one’s cycle is known as ovulation bleeding. Since it is caused by the shift in hormone levels through ovulation, ovulation bleeding is a type of withdrawal bleeding.
Why Pregnancy and Period Are Mutually Exclusive:
If the egg is fertilized, it implants in the uterus about five days later. At this point, the body starts producing the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This is what is detected by a home pregnancy test. HGC ensures that progesterone continues to perform its tasks diligently over the next nine months...
The lining of the uterus, already prepared before implantation, is further thickened. The placenta, responsible for the baby’s nourishment and protection, starts to develop. The cervix is sealed by a plug of mucus.
So, rather than shedding its lining through bleeding, the uterus becomes even better equipped to host the new life. This is the reason why a pregnant woman does not get her period.
Am I Pregnant While Bleeding?
You probably got to this page because some of the topics have hit a nerve. If you are wondering where to go from here, these suggestions may be helpful:
If you are pregnant and are experiencing any bleeding or spotting, seek medical advice immediately.
If you had not suspected a pregnancy until now, because of your period-like bleedings, you may want to know answers to, "How can I tell if I am pregnant?"
- Feel free to take our Online Pregnancy Test and describe your symptoms and observations. You will receive a personal, detailed evaluation.
- You can also take a regular home pregnancy test or see your doctor in order to gain certainty.
Pregnant While Bleeding – Now What?
You may have just found out that you are pregnant despite bleeding. This would have come as a complete surprise. The presence of blood made you oblivious to the fact that you were pregnant. Perhaps you are already further along in the pregnancy and only just found out.
Your first reaction may have been disbelief, alarm, or panic. No wonder – your whole world just got turned upside down! Too many unanswered questions are running through your mind. Where do you even start?
Take a deep breath! You do not have to make a decision on the spot. Usually you are given plenty of time to make a choice. Find out about legal time limits at Until When Can I have an Abortion?
This is a difficult road to travel.
You are not alone! We would be happy to walk alongside you, providing you with a judgement-free resources. Our goal is to create an environment in which you can find the path that is just right for you.
- ⛑ Wondering where to go from here? Take the First Aid Test
- ⚖️ Wondering whether to have an abortion or not? Take the Abortion Test
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